Like lots of people, when I've had 'a bit of a day', nothing hits the spot like a nice glass of wine out on the balcony/porch/backyard.
And in the summer, the patio season, you are definitely more likely to find me hanging out with my buddies drinking a snakebite (cider/lager halfers) than any other season.
But lately, I've been thinking about alcoholism. Not because I even remotely worry about that affliction getting the better of me. Rather because I have been exposed to it all of my life in one way or another. There is a person in my family who was a 'raging alcoholic' when she was young and she also grew up with alcoholics. She used to take me to AA meetings with her when I was a kid so I heard some great stories, let me tell you. The height of sophistication for an eight year old - going to tim hortons with the gang after Their Weekly Meeting. And I know more than one man who drinks every day... one who drinks so much that he rarely exhibits signs of inebriation despite going through a 'two-four' in about 3 to 4 days... one who went through detox and was sober for over a year and who has now decided to 'go for a beer with his buddies' giving little thought to all those who suffered with him and supported him - talk about a slap in the face... anyway there are more than that but saying more would get me in deep trouble. If I'm not already.
Here's what I think. (And this is not AA approved, I've done no research, It's just my opinion...) Alcoholism steals, it kills, it destroys. It kills your vitality. It steals your personality. It destroys your relationships. Make no mistake, though, everything it takes it leaves something else in it's stead. It leaves a person who is unable to experience joy, motivation; a person who does not think about how their words and actions affect others; a person who allows themself to be ruled by their anger and disappointments. A person who can be cruel and even violent where there used to be someone kind and loving.
I can't be more specific than that, but that's okay. I said what I wanted to.