|Drunk in Public - Source: Daily Mirror|
Alcohol is a great leveller isn’t it?
It doesn’t matter where you come from, how good your education or what colour your skin is. Whether your tipple is the finest champagne or the cheapest white cider the ultimate effect can be the same.
It worries me when I see pictures like the one above. It reminds me that I lost all self-respect through drinking. As an alcoholic, all I cared about was getting enough alcohol in my bloodstream for the day. I stopped caring about my family and friends, what I looked like, how I smelt or how I behaved. Most days I couldn’t remember anyway so why should I care.
But it’s not me that I worry about, it’s my children and other peoples children too.
Binge drinking seems to have become an accepted norm amongst youngsters. Falling flat on your face after a night out is not only acceptable but expected.
Is binge drinking as big a problem as the tabloids make out? Well yes, I think that it is. Sound like an old fart imparting his wisdom but; when I was a teenager yes we used to drink and yes, sometimes we got drunk but I don’t remember scenes like the above on the streets where I used to live.
I used to live, when I was a practicing alcoholic, in a small room in a busy town centre in the South East of England. Opposite where I lived was a pub that, in the day, serviced people like me but three nights a week; it became a night spot for youngsters. Let the binge begin.
At about 9.00pm, the doors of the pub were closed and bouncers appeared at the entrance. To get in you had to pay an entrance fee and in return, you got loud dance music and cheap booze.
I never went in on these nights; I didn’t need to pay an entrance fee to get a drink in a pub, but I used to hear the aftermath from my room in the early hours of the morning when they all got kicked out; breaking glass, fights, screams the lot and the mess, the in the morning was indescribable.
God forbid that my kids ever binge drink and get into that sort of state but then they are all someone’s kids aren’t they.
I doubt that these binge drinkers are alcoholics (yet) but they are living in a culture where being falling down drunk is not only acceptable but funny. Their peers don’t scorn them for vomiting in the street, they egg them on.
I’m ashamed of what I became through drink and I’m ashamed of how I live now. So much so that I have only contacted a very small number of close family since I left hospital to let them know I’m OK. I’m still hiding where I live even from them.
I wish I could take these kids to one side and show them how I live now but I doubt that they would take it on board after all, it’s never going to happen to you is it?