“Alcohol is not the answer it just helps you forget the question.” —-Anonymous
Growing up the son of an addict was interesting. Alcohol was a side effect of the greater drug of choice for my father. However, there were many times when a simple beer in a setting that is inviting to the indulgence led to some funny things as well. As a family we often went camping in Rio Vista. Rio Vista is on the delta and we would stop at Don Quicks and get some potato spuds, other foods that I forgot because the potato spuds were the highlight and of course a case or two of Budweiser. It was on these trips while camping my dad would give me my first taste of beer. Honestly, I never really like the taste. It was here that i learned that many amongst my family were either social drinkers who handled their liquor not very well or alcoholics. In some cases both. I should have learned the lesson right then and there. I have no excuse for not learning because my mother does not drink at all. However, I didn’t learn and I got drunk for the first time the last day of school my sophomore year.
The first experience drinking was a rough one to say the least. I’ll spare the details because that is not the point of this post. After that I found myself to be a social drinker. I do well for a while and then the shots start to come out and its all down hill from there. If I sip on beer or wine or even a whiskey slowly and make sure I have some water at the same time I am quite fun. Like many though I have my limit and I do not know it. I can go from awesome, fun and coherent to out of it in one sip of my drink. I would be the one who blacks out at the party. It would be ok if I fell asleep and the damage stopped there. However, somehow I operate and keep stumbling forward doing things I regret or should not be doing with zero recollection. This is the point of what I am writing about. You see nothing good in my life has come from decisions I have made while drinking. Whether I was conscious or not I generally do something I don’t want to hear about in the morning. Many times I found myself thanking the Lord I was still alive.
So why does the title say Alcoholic Scars? If I am just being real, raw and honest there are several things that have happened while I was drunk that have affected my life. Some hurt others, some only hurt myself and some have left lasting scars that will never fade away. Absolutely can let go and move on but the scar remains period. It’s a fact of life. In fact I think that it is often overlooked part of life. It does not have to be you any longer, you don’t have to let the past dictate the present but it plays its role. The times it has hurt only me are the easiest. I may be wrong in saying it only hurt me though as there were probably people who were worried about me and my safety. In fact, if something truly bad were to have happened then there were going to be people that would have had to live with the aftermath. So I’d be more accurate to say these are the times that I wondered off on my own and jeopardize my personal safety. Other times there were others directly involved. Although I am not ready to open up about those times at this point I will say I hurt people. My drinking led to irreversible actions. Whether I was intoxicated or not, coherent or not, I had to live with those actions. I had to live with the results of those actions. While I can honestly say that I have come a long way and those episodes are way less frequent they still rear their ugly head and serve as a reminder. Alcohol and I are not great buddies. Mainly in an intense celebratory situation. I fail to know how to pace myself. I fall to peer pressure way to easy and in the end not great things happen.
I write this for many reasons. The first reason is this: In life if we hurt someone, something or do something outside our general character we can learn from it and move on. We can also hold tight when we were of sound mind when it happened. However, when you are not of sound mind, intoxicated and you say something or do something you didn’t mean too you have this sick feeling inside. You can never take it back and you know you would never have done it of the right mind. When that person looks at you with void eyes and you see the hurt there is nothing you can say or do to take it back. The second reason is this: I realize that I am not someone who can be a partier. It is way to risky and there are way to many people who rely on me. Can I have a beer at lunch while snowboarding? Sure. A glass or two of wine on a date with a beautiful women? Sure. However, I am not a partier. I never have been and there are stories that eat a way at me that I have to live with forever. Things that have shaped the direction of my life that eat at me at times. Alcohol seems to be Americas gateway to a good time. I have some but I have also woken up with a dent in the car and wondering how I made it home. Only you know what you can handle and tolerate. Let this serve as a reminder that we are all different. Do not pressure someone who says no. They are saying no for a reason. Remember, that you have to live with the actions. Hopefully you are not someone like me that hits that blackout portion of drunk. If you are not I am very ecstatic for you. If you are we should probably reconsider our approach to this social acceptable pastime. Someday I know I will open up about the scars it has created in my life but I’m busy getting better, moving forward and living. I’m excited about what life may bring my way and I want to be the best version of myself to take advantage. Recently, I had an episode that reminded me of all this. Move on, be better, and become the man that some woman out there is waiting for.
The question that circles my head all the time is why I am still alone? Why have I not met someone who will love me for me. It’s true alcohol helps me forget that question at times but at the same time I become a person that proves I simply may not be ready yet. It reminds me that I may still have some growing to do so I can be the man that woman can count on.