Cheers!

To A Life without Addiction

October 10, 2013  |  By Maria Lupu, Romania

Cheers!

Photo : Wiki Commons

“Life is too short to be sitting around feeling miserable! Get a drink, down it and turn it round with another drink. Whether you are doing bad or good, put your glass up!” This is the typical saying you can hear from teenagers nowadays at parties.

I am not trying to be the nasty hangover that dispels the euphoria you must be feeling right now daydreaming about that kind of partying, but have you ever thought how slippery is the transition between first glass and the grave?

Like fairytales begin with the phrase “Once upon a time…”, the path toward alcohol disorders begins with just a simple glass with friends at a common party. The following days, you will avoid an inconvenience or you will try to forgive an unpleasant problem with a drink at the bar while you are skipping classes with friends. And this is how you gradually pass over the normal social drinking to the first kind of alcohol misuse called “binge drinking”, or heavy episodic drinking.

This is the stage where the youngster finds comfort and confidence. The liquor is now the answer to all doubts, the solution to all problems. Things  that were bothersome before can be hidden and forgotten for a short while. Jack Daniels is the fairy Tinker Belle that gives the adolescent the opportunity to fly out from the nasty reality in a better world. Like Peter Pan in his Dreamland, the young one can use the magic liqour to be in high spirits and to enjoy the sense of sanctuary that seems so common in this “Drunkland”. But eventually, the drink`s magic effects die out and the fairy turns to an angry mother knocking in the morning at the door of the room, and the dreamland turns back into insufferable reality.

It is a fact that underage drinking is a regular custom in a lot of students’ daily life. We can`t deny that alcohol is not a tabu anymore among youth; actually, this matter is treated with way much more ease by parents than it used to be a few generations earlier. Bianca, a 17 year-old student from Brasov is nicknamed “Drunky”, and what is more astounding is that even teachers call her that. But despite her habit, her grades are pretty high and her behaviour at school is completely different from her “Drunky” side. She confesses: “When I drink, epecially tequila, the entire world is mine! Even my blog`s motto is entitled “Life Means Beer”, she laughs. ”But for me, it`s all about fun. I never drink as a solution to coping with my own problems. Thank God that I`ve never stretched the line to addiction.” On the other hand, Claudiu, who is Bianca`s classmate, claims that enjoying life doesn`t imply tequila or beer. ”By getting drunk, I would be another me! My friends are still making jokes when I`m the only one who orders tea or orange juice at a bar”, he says with a light smile. ”Nevertheless, I`m still popular and happy with my own “sober” self”.

Between alcohol abuse and alcoholism there is just a slight difference; perhaps it is most suitable said they are “at a drink’s distance”. In the end, they are both serious alcohol use disorders that can shatter a life in thousands of sharp shards. Unfortunately, a drunkard is not only digging his own grave, but affects also his or her entire family. Cristi, a young man of 24, states that: ”Whenever I sense I grow a little bit tipsy, it`s enough to recall my father`s image coming home drunk in an ominous swaying walk. I can feel again that cold shiver down my spine knowing that another night will follow of quarrels and swear words; a night with a crying mother and a brutal father. That, as a child I felt was unbearable. This is why I will never allow alcohol to transform me in a wreck, taking my family down with me as well!”.

All in all, it appears that regardless of whether we’re talking about social drinking or some serious alcohol disorder, it in the end not about the drink itself, but the person who consumes it. Life with its chances and experiences is the bartender who is willing to offer us whatever “drink” we want to command. It`s all about our choices! Why not make from our own life a flaming cockteil? In this way, WE will be the ones playing with ingredients and tastes, rather than allow the ingredients to command the way we live.  “I've gotten more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me”, once reasoned one of the most noted politicians of all times, Winston Churchill. Now, the question for all of us to ask is: What do you actually get from each sip of alcohol that you drink?

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