I’ve made it no secret in this blog that I Hate Alcohol. There are so many reasons for that that you’ll have to read the original blog post to find out why. I haven’t had a drink in 35 years and I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d intentionally do so. Think of all the time and money I’ve saved, the feelings I’ve spared, and the health I’ve maintained.
Having said that, I’m not some prohibitionist. If you can drink in moderation, or only occasionally, and definitely NOT while driving, then cheers to you. I don’t care if you drink in my presence, as long as you don’t make an a$$ out of yourself. But if you know someone who is an alcoholic, whether they’ve admitted it to themselves or not, then this blog post is for you.
I’m writing this post now as New Year’s Eve is coming up, and most alcoholics will use that as handy excuse to get totally wasted. This will look even more pathetic in a pandemic year, because they will most likely do this all alone, with no fellow drinkers to cheer them on. If you’re sitting by yourself in an empty house or apartment, drinking away, then you have a problem. There’s no shame in seeking help.
But I’m going to hit you today with an observation. I’ve never known an alcoholic whose emotional growth wasn’t stunted in one way or another. I’ve been screamed at by alcoholics. I’ve seen them get violent. They throw tantrums. They take no responsibility for their actions or behavior. They are selfish. They are unreliable. They are impulsive and make very bad choices.
These are the traits of very immature adolescents.
Most people drink because they can’t cope with life. Effectively, they go away. And while they are “away”, they are not maturing as their peers are. They are not learning important life lessons because they aren’t truly living. They’re not developing people skills. They are so busy being pickled by alcohol, freezing themselves in time, that they don’t learn as much compassion as you or I do.
Alcoholics make horrible friends and spouses and parents. They will hurt you and they won’t care. If there’s any sign that you are outgrowing them, they will hurl abuse on you as you head out the door. Since their growth has been stunted, they cannot stand seeing growth in you. They will do whatever they can to hold you back.
It’s important to remember that none of this is your fault. It’s important to remember that you have a right to move on. Your alcoholic’s stunted growth doesn’t have to stunt your own.
Happy New Year. May the coming year bring you fresh insight and, if needed, a brand new start.
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