DISCLAIMER: What I state here is true for me and not for everyone.
I’ve learned a GREAT deal about myself and those around me since August 2010. I learned alcohol really does divide people. Sadly, I learned, that it kept certain people at bay when they found out I was pregnant and I wouldn’t be partaking in happy hour shenanigans. Even Noah has lost the company of some friends. I had my own problems with this beverage as I didn’t always understand moderation. Getting pregnant with Lucas was not only something we’ve waited for for years, but it also was our ‘wake up!’ moment. Noah and I were going no where good, FAST!
It’s been pretty sad and sometimes lonely not having as many friends as we used to. But alcohol means more to some of these people than getting to know our latest addition. Lucas put Noah and I into perspective and got us back on track with one another. Too long we made alcohol a crutch, a lifestyle, and an excuse. We used it for outings away from each other and that put us in harm’s way. We drank sometimes like we needed it to breathe so it’s no wonder most of our friends revolved around the same lifestyle.
As a lot of you know, I lost my father in a drunk driving accident when I was 12. But my father was not on a good path; he was riding with the drunk driver. He was drunk himself but opted not to drive as he had lost his license due to the ‘Three Strikes and You Are Out’ policy. He was just released from jail earlier that year but even that couldn’t change his way. He was in jail due to getting caught driving drunk 3 times; he had done it many times more than when he was actually caught. My dad was an excellent father, but just could not fight this demon. He took a swift decline with his drinking when my parents divorced and he never recovered. His drinking was the reason they divorced. I’m now at the age when he took his decline; if I hadn’t had Lucas, I would probably be on that decline.
I’ve noticed that drinking is really celebrated out here. So many wineries, distilleries and breweries; while they can be enjoyed in moderation, I’ve found that a good chunk of the population doesn’t understand moderation when it comes to this. There hasn’t been a time when I’ve gone to a bar, a beer festival, a wine festival, tastings or other event celebrating alcohol that I haven’t seen something negative come out of it. So with Lucas’ arrival, I, too, had some relapse moments but the one time I had a hangover with Lucas, I LEARNED NEVER TO DO THAT AGAIN! I still have beer and wine in the house, but it’s all been here a while and I partake in one glass every so often (at VERY most, once a week).
This all came up in my mind today as it was mentioned by someone today that it was just a few months away that liquor would be carried in more locations. I was always HIGHLY AGAINST this idea; I’m not really even a fan of how available beer and wine is out here. I just know way too many people who will make a bad example of this law and I’m worried for a lot of people’s safety. I’m also not excited about the fact that our state budget is taking away from patrolling emergency professionals and this new law is just going to increase the danger on the roads; not much more than now with the current availability of beer and wine, but an increase is an increase.
If you know someone who needs help from alcohol abuse, don’t wait as something bad will happen. It’s usually not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. True friends and family help you when you could be a harm to yourself or others. While I’m sad I’ve lost some friends over the last couple of years due to my lack of participation in drinking outings, the right ones have stuck around and made us feel like we have a family away from our family. And to you, we are so grateful!