I have returned to this series of posts for the last time. Yes, you heard me right. This is my last Under the Influence post. I’ve talked about how alcohol hurts you physically, and how it can tear your family apart. Now I’m going to voice my opinion about why drinking doesn’t make you feel better (mentally).
Firstly, I have to state that I am not opposed to a guy going to his friend’s house to play pool and have a beer while they visit. Emphasis: ONE beer. Not two. Not six. Just ONE. Nor do I think it is wrong for you ladies to attend ‘Girl’s Night’ at the restaurant and have a strawberry daiquiri. I don’t even think it is wrong to kick back and relax with a glass of wine on Friday night while you and the family are watching a movie. (Wine repulses me, of course, but to each his own.)
What I’m saying: don’t over drink. Okay fine, maybe going out partying every once in a blue moon is okay, too. But it needs to be a rare thing. Yes, I understand that some days (or weeks) just flat out suck. You are going to have terrible days. You are going to go through tragedy. How you handle yourself in these situations has a lot to say about your character. If you turn to the bottle, you’re a coward. I know that might have stung several of you readers. Sorry, but I call ‘em as I see ‘em. The truth hurts. But someone needs to point it out to you.
I know that there are things that are going to happen to us in this world that hurts and leaves us wondering how we’re going to continue on. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you got kicked out of your house. Your best friend, baby sister, son, mother or dog just passed away. Things happen in this world that people can’t explain. Some things just make us stop and ask, “Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong?”
But turning to alcohol isn’t the answer. It isn’t. I don’t have a miracle cure for all the pain in your heart. I don’t have any useful suggestions for you to make the hurt go away. But I know it isn’t alcohol. If you’re suffering, a tall margarita is going to be about as good for you as someone hitting you in the face with an aluminum baseball bat. I’m serious. Maybe you feel like you need that beer. Maybe you clutch the bottle to your chest and hold it like it was the loved one who left you. But you are living in a lie. That liquor isn’t helping you. Not really. It might seem like the pain disappeared for a little while, probably while you’re passed out and senseless, but when you wake up, the pain is just going to come back. Only time will heal some wounds. Alcohol won’t stitch up your broken heart. It is just going to rip another hole in your soul. I could tell you to turn to God, but if you blame him for ruining your life, all I’m doing is whistling in the wind. I know this might not help, but you must have faith. If you can’t or won’t believe in the Lord’s love, then just believe that one day your troubles will be over and the sun is going to shine again, even if it seems like the cloudy grey sky is going to stick around forever.
I know these posts will probably not make an alcoholic turn over a new, liquor-free leaf, but I’m hoping that some of you ‘weekend drinkers’ will see that your “fun” is really just sorrow and pain in disguise. You’re hurting yourself. You’re hurting your family. I know that most young adults view their 21st birthday as a free pass to endless parting. Not me. Seeing alcohol bottles in the house freaks me out. I know that that one bottle of Jim Beam can start so many fights, bring so many tears, cause so much pain, and tear my world to shreds. My drinks of choice are ice cold coke, chocolate milk, and apple juice. As a matter of fact, I’d rather just pass up my 21st altogether, along with all the alcohol in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are some drinks out there that are simply delicious. But when you look at the consequences, isn’t it safer just to go with a milkshake or a nice cup of sweet tea?
This concludes my Under the Influence post series. Thanks for sticking with me this long. And remember to think of yourself and those around you the next time you reach for a vodka tonic, bloody Mary, ruby red merlot, wine seltzer, rum ‘n’ coke, or a frothy mug of beer.
Thanks guys and girls. Good luck and God bless.