I don’t think I have every quite expressed my hate towards alcohol. There are many reasons why this topic is at the forefront of my mind right now and therefore it is a perfect opportunity to talk about it.
I grew up in a household with very responsible parents. My mother has never had alcohol and is extremely against it and my dad had a rare drink but overall alcohol was not a huge part of my upbringing. I was told not to drink and that it was bad for you, that was about it.
As I grew older and my peers experimented with alcohol I was still somewhat not convinced by ‘how great’ it was. After school, I had my somewhat fair share of alcohol, not a lot compared to others but a few drunk nights and that has always been about it. I don’t drink very much right now and the reasons why I was told alcohol was bad for you when I was young is turning into a much bigger picture, a complex one.
There is much greater awareness towards early education in alcoholism for school students nowadays. There are advertisements on television targeted at parents to educate how their alcohol use affects their children’s upbringing. However, a disjoint between this education and culture exists.
This week while I was volunteering, spending time with my teenage mentee, the topic of drugs and alcohol use is presented in the book we go through each week. I go through everything related to alcohol and even some tips on how to not succumb to peer pressure and avoid people’s comments when you say you aren’t drinking.
Then my boyfriend tells me that his manager at work is distributing beers. And they are allowed to bring alcohol and drink after 3 pm if they like. In my mind, there is just something wrong with a workplace that promotes drinking and sees it as a strategy to ‘wind down’ or ‘chill out’ after a hard days work. Why not promote things that have long term benefits for the employee but I know most workplaces use alcohol.
During placement this week, I realise the sadness and trauma alcohol can bring to a family. Family breakdown, violence, sexual abuse, homelessness and many more issues stem from alcoholism and the inability for humans to control themselves.
And lastly, my own anxiousness that has come from an unknown place regarding alcohol. How I feel when people close to me are intoxicated. I feel angry and frustrated that they couldn’t control themselves and annoyed that I must deal with the aftermath.
I know it must seem like I don’t know how to have a good time but I can have a good time without alcohol. I drink sometimes but with caution. I don’t blame those who become alcoholics, we are surrounded by a culture that promotes alcohol left, right and centre.
All I can say is that it destroys lives and everyone should think before they drink.
5 things I am grateful for:
My family – so thankful for the stability, love and care I was and am given.
Placement – I feel so enriched everyday, I am learning so much and enjoying the experience.
Old friends – nothing beats a friendly talk was a familiar voice.
Love – it is crazy how strong this emotion can be, even in the darkest of situations, love definitely shines a light.
Me – In the past week I am realising how grateful I am to simply be me, flaws and all.