In April of 2014, I’ll mark the anniversary of my second full year of sobriety. Yay me, right? Can I get a “Hell Yeah!” from everybody out there in Bloggy Land?
For those of you wondering, my drug of choice was alcohol. Beer, to be precise. I know some people will say that you can’t be addicted to beer, and that’s perfectly fine. Heck, I know some people that say Elvis was Jesus, and he’s coming back to save everybody’s soul with a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. Stupid, huh? Just like saying you can’t be addicted to beer. Stupid.
I wasn’t a bad drunk. I never missed work, or went to work drunk for that matter (that I know of…) I never got violent or abusive. I just liked to drink beer. And alot of it. When I quit, it wasn’t due to any health concerns or ultimatums, I just had the divine realisation that enough was enough. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at in my life now, but I can’t help but look back sometimes with a bittersweet reminiscence of all those wasted years and ruined relationships that were a direct result of how much I loved drinking.
I remember as a kid, the efforts that parents, schools, and other so-called responsible adults put into teaching us about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Part of me thinks that these efforts were part of the reason that made me want to drink in the first place. The adults all portrayed drinking and drugging behavior as being associated with bad boys, loose girls, and wild partying. Let me just say that as a teeneager, this probably wasn’t the best abstinence campaign they could have come up with. Shit, all the guys wanted to be bad boys, all the girls wanted to be loose girls, and every fucking one of us wanted to be partying wildly. Thanks to this, we now all had an idea how we could accomplish those things. To make it even better, MTV, who was just as keenly tuned into the needs of teens and young adults back then, came up with the brilliant idea to have rock stars be in these anti-drug commercials called RAD, or Rock Against Drugs. They’d get a rock star, like Vince Neil from Motley Crue, who was obviously well known for his clean living, and have him tell kids that drinking and drugs were bad. Then the rock star would proceed to release an album all about how much fun drinking and drugs were. Then, in a move as beneficial to adolescent well being as Teen Mom 2, MTV released a bunch of commercials with the Rappers of the day, and again called it RAD, but this time it stood for Rap Against Drugs. Of course this was hailed as a stellar idea, because rap was and is so well known for using catchy rhymes and funktastic beats to communicate the wonderful world of sober living. And bitches. Since then of course, MTV has eased up a bit on trying to be the ludicrously hypocritical moral compass of the young, and instead opted for programming that includes a bunch of buff, brain dead, alcohol fueled zombies that do nothing but get themselves into trouble and try to hump each other. And let’s not fail to mention the variety of shows that focus on how much fun it is to have a baby when you’re in the ninth grade. The other tactic that the adults tried on us when I was a teen, was making us watch these horrifically, grotesque videos that showed the tragic and twisted outcomes of accidents involving driving under the influence. These videos were usually so disturbing, I couldn’t wait to get myself hammered just so I could go to sleep without thinking about that shit.
All this being said, when my kids get a bit older, I’m going to approach the subject of substance abuse a little differently. I’m gonna tell them how it really is, minus the MTV influence…I’m gonna tell them about:
Sure, lots of people drink beer and enjoy it responsibly, but then again, you have a lot more people who drink beer and become an asshole. And a lot of those assholes are the people that think they’re enjoying it responsibly. Beer is one of those things that takes awhile to catch up to you, but when it does, KABLAM! You’re now a bloated, yellowish colored blob, with no chin.
Sure, tons of people love weed and support it’s legalization, but have you ever talked to a true weed addict? You know, the ones that can’t do anything else but talk about how fucking great weed is – Shower? Nope, weed is more important. Wash your hair? No time…to busy smoking. Get a job? They drug test…fuck the government; they’ll never take my weed. Take a look at their social media pages – do the majority of pics have them holding a joint or blowing smoke? Do they tell you that weed isn’t addictive, yet they can’t shut the fuck up about it? Don’t worry though, weed doesn’t have any negative effects.
* “X” and/or MOLLY
Why not? Who wouldn’t want to go to a club, lick a stranger’s face for two hours, then get gang raped by four people you just met, but “love soooo much”
Breaking Bad was awesome, but you’re probably not gonna get to meet Walt and Jesse. Instead, there’s a good chance you get hooked, you lose 114 pounds, and all your teeth, then you die. Unlike the TV show, once you get started on meth, you may not make it five seasons.
Ever meet anyone that sweated profusely, talked as fast as possible about nothing at all, wiped their nose 1652 times per minute, and didn’t blink for 5 hours straight? Think you might want to punch that person right in their drippy nose while yelling “SHUT THE FUCK UP”? That person might be on coke. You want more energy? Go the fuck to bed earlier, and have a glass of orange juice in the morning.
And that’s just a handful of some of the more popular things out there that can get a kid into trouble. There’s shit out there now that makes your fucking skin turn black and your fingers fall off. The worst part of it is, is when it comes to drugs, and even alcohol these days, you never know for sure what you’re getting. People will slip shit into your drink, so you’ll pass out and they can take advantage of you. Or they’ll cut drugs with anything from bleach to dried dog shit, just so they can make more of a profit. These people do not care about you.
Now, I know that this stuff doesn’t happen to everyone that tries drugs or alcohol, but when it comes to teaching my kids about substance abuse, I’m gonna be Mr. Worst Case Scenario. I want them to know the ugly side. I was very lucky that my own alcohol abuse never led to me habitually using other drugs. I also consider myself very fortunate to have stopped drinking when I did. I know too well, a handful of friends that have either had their lives destroyed, or actually died due to their addictions. There is nothing glamorous or fun about addiction. Sure, I could have taken a chance and kept drinking for 40 more years, possibly without any ill effects, but I’m first and foremost a Dad. And that means that not only do I have to make sure that I’m around for my kids, but also that I’m able to steer them in the right direction and hopefully teach them from my mistakes.
I value that much more than any buzz or high.
And oh, yeah…what the fuck, MTV? Would it be too hard for you guys to play some music videos again? Jeez.