Destitution, suicide, and depression.
Alcohol has led to nothing but destruction. From the the destruction of one man’s ambition, to the destruction of an entire race of people, the Native Americans. If truth in advertising were law, companies like Budweiser and Jack Daniels wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. They’d be forced to depict staggering imbeciles arguing at back yard barbeques, annoying idiots in bars talking loudly, and starving, homeless bums who have pickled their brains to such extent that when given money for food, head off instead to the liquor store for more of the same sickness that landed them on the street in the first place.
It has been my misfortune to watch some to whom I was closest shut every door to every opportunity presented to them in favor of the door at the corner store. The door that led them down the aisle of dillusion. The door to social and economic ruin. I’ve watched people lose every friend they ever had, turn their backs on those who loved them most in favor of the garbage that put them in their position. I’ve seen men lose every last ounce of self-respect they’ve ever had in favour of another ounce of their favourite poison. I’ve seen them trade the women that they love for their favourite brand. I’ve seen men show up drunk at funerals. I’ve seen them make fools of themselves at corporate functions and family gatherings. I’ve watched them allow alcohol to turn the drive for success into the satisfaction for mediocrity. But I’ve never seen them allow anything to keep them away from that next drink.
They’ll insist that they can quit whenever they want, except that they never get around to wanting to.
A few will even brag about their alcoholism as if it were a virtue or a badge of honour.
And my, how they defend it. They’ll defend it as if they invented it, they’ll espouse its redeeming qualities, the delicate care taken in its manufacture, and, of course, those famed men with whom their tastes are shared. Those poor bastards like Morrison and Hemmingway. But I’ve never known a drunk to be successful at anything besides being a drunk, at least not until after he’s dead. Then his star really shines. Just in time to influence another generation of misguided souls.
Meanwhile it drags them deeper, deeper into the darkness. And they never seem to realise that what began as their escape slowly turns into their prison.
I’ve watched more than a few men slowly drink themselves to death when their defenses have been whittled down to nothing more than vague regret.
Personally, I think that the government should allow family members to sue the manufacturers for millions in wrongful death lawsuits, the way they’ve been allowed to destroy the tobacco companies.
Why stop at the bars and the servers?
Actually, if men had any sense at all, it would have been they who had petitioned Congress to legislate Prohibition, and they would have drug people like Al Capone out into the street and hung him publicly for attempting to take advantage of them. But instead they turned him into a saint and a millionaire. Folks had gotten to the point that they didn’t believe that they could even experience fun unless they were drinking. The madness lingers. And Prohibition was repealed.
I wonder how many people can blame broken promises and shattered New Year’s resolutions on alcohol. Most of them, I’ll bet.
I had a friend who told me he’d decided to quit smoking. “You’ll have to quit drinking as well if you intend to succeed,” I told him. His success was short-lived. It lasted up until he drank more than he should have, of course.
For most people, ‘should have’ means none.
Alcohol destroys the Will. It is the primary reason that only those with the strongest will can regulate their intake to only a couple of drinks and then stop. Most can’t stop once they get started.
A testament to the power of alcohol over man.
It is my hope that, if you see your reflection in my words, you finally decide to put an end to the madness that, if left unchecked, may very well put an end to you.
Johnny Nowhere is a songwriter/composer who, through first-hand experience, saw fit to resist becoming an alcoholic. He has no regrets.