When they ask me tomorrow why I no longer drink – I’ll have this much to say…
“It’s not worth the heartbreak. It’s not worth the loss. I would rather put my energy into things in life that give me fulfillment.”
You see, I lost a friend. And before you send a search party, don’t bother. He can’t even find himself…
I stopped at three. But I have no idea how many he was in before that flight came in. I’m not blaming alcohol for bending reality, I mean, sure, it does that. I’m more intrigued by our ability as humans to default back into that mindset that allows us to give up control of our decision making ability, even for a second. And tonight, in that brief moment of free fall, I watched a friend, a brother and a good man lose himself.
In some ways I wonder if it’d be easier to actually lose these people. I can’t help but feel that this loss stings even more just because I know he’s still around in body, just different from the man he was to me. The man I used to know. I knew we were in trouble when the drinks started disappearing and the antics and sheer volume started going up. Everything escalated. All over what? A petty conversation? I was part of the problem.
The liquid courage did it’s job, wedging ideals between friends with opposing views, pitting them against one another in the most insignificant way you can imagine. Allies cast as alley cats, out for a street fight.
After that first sip you really are playing roulette and for me, the sickness I feel, the hurt, the emptiness – none of that is worth the “good times with the boys”.
We parted ways and from twenty feet back I shielded myself for five more agonizing minutes of callous taunts, questioned integrity, courage and manliness. All from the lips of a “friend” mere hours ago…
So, when they ask me tomorrow why I no longer drink – I’ll have this much to say.
“Well, the more I listen to the words of those who do, the more I struggle to hear the message. The actions are simply deafening.
Thank you for reading this.
If you have a friend that you’re concerned about with addiction – drugs, alcohol, exercise, food, anything…. please reach out to your local medical professionals. There’s hotline that can talk you through how to approach the situation and help those that are struggling. Seek out help and be a friend. In my particular story, alcohol was the accelerator, but it can be anything. If you suspect someone in your life has a problem, seek professional help.