Why I hate alcohol
As I was watching a football game with my 8 year old son, a commercial came on for one of the most well known beers, and as I watched him watching the commercial, I felt an anxiety building in me. I asked him what thoughts he had about the commercial he had just watched and he said, “Well, it makes me want to drink beer.” My heart sank, but how could I blame him? The people on the commercial were having so much fun and looked so happy. Why wouldn’t he want that? He can even get beer cans with his favorite football team on them. And this is part of the reason why I hate alcohol.
I hate how normalized it is to drink in order to have fun. I hate how alcohol is the one drug that not using is looked upon more negatively than using. “Oh come on. Loosen up and have a drink.” Not many people have to explain over and over again why they choose not to smoke crack or inject heroin, but attend a party without an alcoholic drink in your hand and count how many times you must defend your decision. Decide to go from being a drinker to a non drinker and see how many of your “drinking friends” still want to hang out with you. Spending time with someone who doesn’t drink is threatening to the drinker’s psychology, and forces them to think about their own behavior. And who wants to do that when the goal is to escape reality and have fun?
I hate the effect that alcohol has on human beings and their relationships. I hate the false promises that turn to lies. I hate the irrational thinking, poor judgment, and the repetitive, emotion laden explanations it leads to. Let someone who is drinking feel they have wronged you and you will get 100 apologies no matter how easily you accept the first one. On the other end of the spectrum, let someone who has been drinking feel you have wronged them, and you will see the truly ugly side of humanity. If you don’t believe me, watch any episode of Cops and see what I mean. Ask almost any victim of domestic violence or child abuse if alcohol played any role in the abuse. You will see that alcohol brings out the worst in people.
Maybe it’s time we stop allowing big drug dealers (yes, alcohol is a drug) to brainwash our children into thinking that alcohol equals fun. Maybe it’s time to have commercials with mental health professionals explaining the dysfunctional role alcohol plays in so many people’s lives. Maybe we should have police officers, lawyers and judges explaining to kids the role that alcohol plays in crimes committed. Maybe we should make kids watch interviews of the families of the victims of drunk driving and domestic violence. These things will never happen because there is too much money to be made by continuing to convince our children that alcohol is good, not evil. Well, at least there’s that brief warning at the end of the commercials asking consumers to “drink responsibly.” Clearly, that’s working out great.
Many people will not like my hatred of alcohol but I’m OK with that. I’ll be the “party pooper,” the “buzz-kill,” or the Grinch who stole alcoholism. But when it’s your child lying in the hospital with pancreatitis, or drinking and driving, or abusing his or her children, or spouse, then perhaps it will make sense. Alcohol is evil, not good, and I don’t mean evil in any kind of biblical sense. I mean it is evil in that it ruins relationships and it ruins lives. And that is why I hate alcohol.