Is your drinking worrying you? Do you drink secretly?

(Just posted this on my website, but felt it was important enough to post here today. The little girl in the true story just touched my heart.)

The facts:
If you have been stressing lately about the amount of alcohol you are consuming, or if you find yourself drinking when no one else knows, you had better start right away to make some BIG changes or you are HEADED DIRECTLY IN THE PATH OF A FREIGHT TRAIN! This is not a joke.

Even if you think you are in control and just have a drink or two when no one is around – YOU’VE ALREADY GOT A PROBLEM. If you have the “need” for a drink this warning is as serious as stopping at a red light in major city traffic. You are headed the wrong way on a one-way street.

You can lie to yourself, justify your drinking, or just say it’s no one’s business – but this writer speaks from personal experience on both sides of the fence….the drinker, and the one who suffered the effects of living with a drinker. This is serious business. It cannot be stressed enough. If you continue your stress level will increase.

If you think having a drink takes the edge off for a while, you are kidding yourself. It’s like any drug only more insidious.
Ultimately you’ll need more to get the same feeling. This drug causes much more damage than others because it is legal and so readily available.

Ever have a blackout? Ever gotten angry when drinking? Have you ever said or done something you wish you hadn’t? Ever thought about what it costs to continue the habit? Have you lost your family and / or the respect and love of friends? Ever hidden a bottle or lied about your drinking?

Most people with a problem (possibly unrecognized, as yet) have experienced at least one or two of these scenarios.

No matter what the scenario – married, divorced, children, partnering with someone, or alone – overindulgence of alcohol can not only RUIN your life and the lives – it is a spirit, intellect, and health killer!

The problem is that alcohol has been advertised to be “socially acceptable”, a way to take the “edge off”, and a way to find your “confidence”, some profess true feelings come out, or that it is one of the best legal ways to party hearty.

DON’T FORGET WHO IS ADVERTISING: big business, politicians who have there hands out, and people who are in the middle of the struggle and don’t want to drink alone.

Those are NOT very good recommendations! If you are a parent and you love your children SEEK HELP NOW. There is no shame in it. From grade school to the elderly, America is fighting the battle with alcohol. It takes courage to make this move, but you won’t loose everything ultimately, if you do something now!

If you don’t care about yourself enough, yet, think what you are possibly doing to someone else because of your drinking.

Alcohol stress for the NON-DRINKERS
This is a true story about a little girl who deals with the effects of alcohol EVERY DAY of her young life.
McKenna was nine years old the day I met her. I rounded the corner while taking my energetic puppy for a promised walk. I walked a few yards and noticed a little girl across the street on her bike. Her outfit was pink and her hair red. Not the kind of red that reminds you of a fire truck. It was a soft red, almost light pink. It was cut in a cute bouncy style.

I introduced her to my dog so they could become friends. She was “sparkly”. Funny, that’s the only word that comes to mind.

She has dreams. She sings. I asked if she was good and she was modest and said “Some people think I’m good when they hear me.” I asked if she thought she was good and said it wouldn’t be conceited to tell me. She told me she thought she was good – but with purity and no diva attitude.

She asked if she could sing for me and I said yes. When she started she was a little nervous, but she got more relaxed and belted out a very nice rendition of the song she was singing.

She was actually very good and I told her I enjoyed her singing.
Then out of a clear blue sky she told me this:

“My dad’s an alcoholic. I know he loves me, but alcohol took my dad away. I’ve known it since I was five. He never keeps his promises to us and my mom warned me to let me know if he crushed my heart some time along the way.”

My heartbeat quickened. I knew if I allowed the tears in my eyes to express themselves, it wouldn’t be right, or helpful for McKenna, this beautiful nine year old. I could feel her genuine pain.

She was however, mature beyond her years and ready to understand and forgive. I explained some things about addiction and she listened hard.

She rode her bike next to us all the way to her boundry. I turned around and backtracked because she was so hungry to talk about it. She has lived on this planet only nine years and is already suffering the pain living with someone who is an alcoholic brings.

She asked me if I would walk that way again and I said I would love to see you again. She hugged me and we waved good-by.
McKenna’s pain has only begun. Times will get harder. I can pray for her and be her friend.

Know this: just because you may not be an “alcoholic” (you may not even know you could be) – and you think you are just a social drinker, be sure to plant a seed in your mind to monitor your habits.

As creatures of habit we get into the “habit” of things easily; they are harder to break. Remember alcohol is a seductive and sneaky drug that at some point can creep up on you and rule your life!

Don’t wind up like the man I saw laying on the side of the road, sleeping under cardboard. His shoes were off and I couldn’t see his face, but I could see the empty bottle of bourbon next to him. Head towards the path a friend of mine went down. He actually made a decision to quit all on his own. He had been in jail, almost lost his family, and knew he had to do something. He quit cold turkey and has not had a drink in twenty-five years. His life is wonderful now and he has no regrets.

Don’t think your children aren’t watching. They see and hear more than you think. Don’t forget the statistics of high school and college age students who have DIED from alcohol poisoning is on the rise. Don’t forget alcohol may seem to take you up temporarily, but as it wears off it becomes a depressant!

Now What Do I Do?

First of all, take a breath. Before ANY fearful or major happening in your life, USE MINDFUL OXYGEN. It will help relax you and empower you. Refer to earlier posts if you are not familiar with breathing techniques as there are a few on line practices on this website. No charge, of course.

Seek help. If you are hiding alcohol, have been drunk this week, or can relate to any of the scenarios above: PLEASE SEEK HELP.

Most communities have Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and Alanon (for those suffering from the actions of alcoholics). Look online for help and websites offering more suggestions.
Contact a church, a family member or friends…there is help available and there is NO SHAME in asking for help. There is hope in it!

Don’t leave your spirit in an empty bottle of alcohol. The choice is yours and yours alone.

2 Responses to “Is your drinking worrying you? Do you drink secretly?”

  1. slamdunk Says:

    Thanks for sharing Marsha–getting help now before the children’s years pass by for a parent is essential.

  2. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    It is essential or the kiddos pay the price, possibly their entire life! Have a wonderful day.

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