Today let’s take a look at alcohol and for a start, the carelessness and emotion that alcohol brings on.
Alcohol is available everywhere and comes with little or no social stigma, depending on the society we live in, of course.
It’s inexpensive compared to other hard drugs, and make no mistake, alcohol is a hard and deadly drug for those of us addicted to it.
Alcohol makes us uncaring. Towards ourselves, our loved ones, or anybody else who stands in our way.
Anyone who drives a car drunk, even tipsy, has to face the first reality that a single crash can disable or kill you, your loved ones, or anybody else who is unlucky enough to be suddenly in your way.
And you have to live with that on your conscience for the rest of your life.
Driving a car is the most dangerous thing most of us will ever do… hurtling down the busy freeway at 40 meters per second in a fragile box of metal and glass.
At 70 km/h on the coastal road, or R102, or Marine Drive, whatever you want to call it, an accident with another car can easily land you, or someone else, in hospital for a few months, or in a coffin.
Even around town at 40 or 50 km an hour is plenty fast enough to kill or maim a pedestrian, and pedestrians account for half of all deaths on our roads.
To do this drunk is insane, criminal and immoral.
Apart from all that, it will probably get you into the holding cells for a night or two, and believe me, they’re not a nice place to go.
Friday is the worst because then you’ll be in for the whole busy, overcrowded weekend until Court opens on Monday, when bail can be set.
I know many of you think “It won’t happen to me, it never has”…. in 5,10, 15, 20 or however many years “clean time” you’ve had.
But there’s a first time for everything, as you’ll find out when you suddenly arrive at a roadblock with nowhere else to go, or happen to knock down a drunken pedestrian who suddenly steps out into the road.
And no, it’s not their fault, it’s yours, because you’re the one driving the car and if you don’t learn your lesson the first time, you’ll end up there again.
And do we, as addicts, as alcoholics, learn our lesson? Think about it, and be honest with yourselves.
Why the physical or verbal abuse that suddenly leaps from its cage?
Yes, we’ve heard it all before.
– “I’m not like that really”
– “I’ve never done it before, I don’t know where it came from….”
– “She/he just makes me so angry when…”
– “She was asking for it….”
– “He was looking for trouble”
– “She cheated on me, she deserved it”
– “She/he just kept ignoring me”
– “He/she just wouldn’t shut up/stop being so annoying/carrying on/upsetting me/arguing with me/being a this or that….”
These are just a few of the many excuses. Ever heard of just ignoring them, or just walking away and calming down.
They are not your problem right now. Your problem is your anger and being able to express it calmly, with assertion but without destruction.
Being drunk is the last thing we need and the consequences involved, which are usually not very nice.
The answer is very simple: Over-emotion.
Strong emotions are not easy to handle at the best of times, and this is what usually turns us into addicts, alcoholics, in the first place: the need to alter our emotions into ones that feel better.
Being over-emotional is, arguably, our biggest enemy. We can’t think straight. We can’t concentrate. We can’t focus. We behave erratically. We can’t open our mouths because we’re afraid of what might come out. We can’t shut up. We lose our temper. We hurt others and in doing so hurt ourselves.
To let it out we drive too fast, punch the wall, slam the door, kick the cat, break a cup or two on the floor, break the window, break some guy in the bar’s nose, scream at the husband/wife, shout at the children, insult the neighbor, bang our head against the wall, disappear for hours, and most of all, go and get more drunk. We all have our favourites.
So, what do we do about our over-emotion?
Well, for a start we can avoid getting drunk, because that’s what usually brings it on, and it nearly always does, because that is the nature of alcohol.
Secondly, we can just walk away when we feel it coming on, and act quickly because it can come on very fast…. in a few seconds for some of us, or in a minute or two, or after an hour or two of stewing in it. We go to the bar to shake it off, come back and it starts all over again, this time even worse.
Ric Overy writes under a non de plume in a personal capacity. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of this publication.
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