Unlike many people, I hold the belief that alcoholics don’t say things they don’t mean when drunk. Rather, they says things that they otherwise couldn’t say. Alcohol removes one’s inhibitions. If Mel Gibson decides to rant when questioned by police, it is likely that he holds a secret in a bigoted corner of his mind. Alcohol didn’t mix up the crazy batch of ideas in his head – it uncaged them and convinced him to let them fly.
I have no problem with light-hearted, good-natured drinking on a very infrequent basis. But to expect me to willingly tolerate much of it is an abuse on me. Most people who have drink excessively simply don’t see themselves as behaving like baboon asses. The alcohol convinces them of their wittiness, intelligence and social popularity.
Most of the time, I just can’t stand being around people drinking. It has caused me problems throughout my life to be increasingly unable to be around it. It had led to countless fights, gunshots and broken relationships.
For a rare few, alcohol allows them to be social and to be quite entertaining without crossing the line of baboonassery. They are the miraculous few drinkers. The issue is that most alcoholics think that they aren’t misbehaving or irritating people.
I grew up surrounded and imprisoned by alcoholics. Don’t get me wrong, they were outnumbered by the boring rank and file normal people. But like an apple with a worm, I don’t focus on the good part of the apple I’ve eaten – I focus on the rotten, nasty taste and the partially-eaten worm in my mouth. It’s a more natural response, isn’t it? When you’re young, you aren’t allowed to hurl the apple into the yard with disgust. No, you are required to sit on couch and eat one after another, regardless of the consequences.
People who drink too much with frequency usually have a horrible hole in their lives that can’t be filled. Whether it is a disease is up to the “experts” on the matter. For whatever reason they drink, their “right” to do so ends when it affects other people negatively and avoidably. This means that I don’t have to be around you if you are going to excessively imbibe. I don’t have to listen to you ramble on incoherently about whatever subject gets lodged in your head.
Expecting me to ‘grin and bear it’ is unacceptable. I think that hitting you on the head with a skillet is a more productive response. And it solves future recurrences, too.
Since I’m going off on a tangent… Every once and a while, I experience someone suffering from living with an alcoholic or excessive social drinker. The drinker acts stupidly and immaturely. The person stuck with the drinker is forced to smile and pretend that everything is okay and the he or she isn’t embarrassed by the drinker’s antics. If you try to point this out to either the drinker or the person suffering from the presence of the drinker, it is as if you have accused someone of murder. The retaliation is immediate and fierce. Part of the code of silence of drinking is that you are made to look like an ass for alleging that there’s a problem.
Adding the element of love to the equation of excessive drinking sets my proverbial goat on fire, too. Just because you are family to someone doesn’t permit you to excuse abuse under the guise of “drinking too much.” You choose to drink too much. You choose to get angry and violent when drinking. You choose to get into a motor vehicle and hurt and kill people. You should be held 100% accountable for what happens when you are drinking. Just trying to use the alcoholic excuse should earn you a severe beating – just for bringing it up.
That I am a member of your family earns exactly ZERO free points to be drunk around me. You have the right to drink like an idiot, but not to do it in my presence if I don’t want. Please don’t turn the issue around on me when I leave the room or house without explanation. I don’t owe you one.
As I age and look back on my life, I’m disappointed in myself for tolerating it when I clearly shouldn’t have. I can’t alter those previous decisions. But I can overcome the fear or hesitation NOW, can’t I? If someone is drinking too much in my presence it will be responsibility to either leave the area where the stupidity is occurring or break the social barrier and confront the drinker. Confrontations with drinkers work out more elegantly if you wait until the drinker is sober. He or she will do anything to get away from the accusatory conversation. No one wants to eat a gallon of ice cream and then be forced to have the empty reminder in your lap for the next two hours.
Resolved: zero tolerance to be in the presence of inappropriate drinkers.