Here’s the meat and potatoes without wasting your time with 700 extra characters.
I internally struggle with alcohol consumption.
Not internally as in how much I consume, but rather the implications it has when I ask myself why.
Being an extrovert, [mostly] only child who was single until the age of 31 I did a lot of social drinking… A lot. Most of the time it was honest and moderated by my conviction and most of the time I would drink two more beers than I should have because I am good at hiding my level of intoxication.
Most of the time.
At 23 I was drunk for the better part of 6 months because I learned the hard lesson that sometimes people only want you around for what you can offer them, and when that thing is gone so are they. I went from being the lead singer of a Christian Rap-Rock band [yes this was in the early 2000’s] to a bartender who drank almost as much as I served. This is when I learned how to hide. While working I would have a plastic cup next to me that magically got the excess of the drinks I wanted to try after making them. Only to then drive to the bar with my sober co-workers and slam as many shots of Jagermeister with a Miller Lite chaser as we could in the only hour of freedom we had. I finally quit that job in order to distance myself from the routine, and it worked, mostly.
See, most of the time I was able to have a few drinks and call it a night. And most of the time I would fall asleep with a half full beer because I was ready to be done, but I wasn’t ready to be done. Booze wasn’t even necessarily the “thorn in my side”; that was women, but booze kept me social… I’ve never needed to drink to “have a good time”, but if we’re having a good time, we might as well have a drink, right? Yeah, most of the time.
As a husband and father of two I had to come clean to my wife recently and tell her a couple of things about me: 1) I have likely spent more money on booze than any other one thing in my life. 2) If I’m being honest, which was my goal, then she would have to tell me if she ever thought I was drinking too frequently [even if that be two beers a night]. About half way through our marriage [our one year anniversary is in November), I had a beer at like 11:45am with my “lunch” and a few days later my wife graciously told me that she noticed and wanted to bring it to my attention. If you’re confused that I have 2 kids it’s because one of them is my step-daughter.
If I am not honest with myself, God, my wife, and you then it is incredibly easy for me to mask how much I drink, but as I mentioned in the beginning the most important question is “Why?”. So here is my check list; I hope it helps you reevaluate some part of your life and forces you to be honest with yourself, God and those closest to you.
Am I drinking because I’m stressed?
Am I drinking to help me sleep?
Am I drinking because beer is delicious?
Am I drinking because it’s something I can control?
Am I drinking to remain socially relevant?
Am I honoring my God and my family?
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
This is my story. I like alcohol…a lot. Grace is messy.
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