Talking About the Thing We Talk About Not Talking About

Stop me if you have heard this one before...

Come home from work, have a beer.

Making dinner, have a couple beers.

Sit down with the intention of playing Call Of Duty and yelling at kids through your head set, have about 4 beers

Do lawn work all afternoon, have about 6 beers. Sitting around a fire with your buddies, bullshitting all night, have about 8 beers.

Now add all those up on a normal Saturday or whatever. That's a lot of goddamn beers. And I'm not saying you all do that, but until recently, that was kind of my normal drinking habits. It has gotten to the point where I realized 10 beers in, and I'm not nearly as drunk as I should be. It has gotten to the point where friends and family have expressed a "hey, you need to calm the fuck down" sentiment to me.

It has gotten to the point where I feel it would irresponsible of me to not write on this topic, and finally talk about it. As the title implies, all of us beer writers at some point have acknowledged that this is a topic worth talking about...and then that's fucking it. The conversation rarely expands beyond the acknowledgment of said issue.

So we're going to get uncomfortable the next few days. No, not blogging from the back of a Volkswagen.



 See that there? That isn't a picture I stole off the Internet. That's a death certificate.

To be more accurate, my father's death certificate.

To really hammer the point home, here is what I want you to take notice of:



Yeah. My piece of shit dad drank himself to death. Now, this isn't going to be a spiel about growing up with an absent father, nor is there going to be any real highlights about having an alcoholic mother either; This is about my relationship with alcohol, be it for better or worse.

Am I an alcoholic? According to the NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence), I very well might be. According to rehab.com, I should potentially seek help. According to myself, and 99% of you out there, I just really like beer. Isn't that what we all say?

But hey I really DO just really like beer! I love the exploration of flavors. I love the immersion in the history of it. I don't need to drink, right? I mean, today was a tough day at work, I deserve a drink. And that drink deserves another. Hey, this one has been chilling in my fridge for a while, been wanting to drink that one, whats one more? Hmm, I'm still relatively sober, I kind of would like to catch a buzz, maybe one more will do the trick? No? Well how about one more, and then I'll head to bed. Perfect.

And that's how it goes. It's a seamless train of thought that I chase down the tunnels till I reach the altered state of mind that I want to achieve. It's certainly not every day, but it's definitely more often than is probably healthy.

Look, I'm not about to sit here and say you're all alcoholics. SO if you're already planning on making some stupid comment along the lines of "SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!" I don't even want to fucking hear it. Keep it to yourself. I'm not going to sit here and say I am an alcoholic. But you know whats a scary thought? I could be. Very easily, actually.

I do not shy away from the fact that I love being drunk. It's so much fun. Hanging outside on my patio, buzzed and listening to Wu-Tang. Sitting on my couch, screaming at 12 year old kids on XBox live is only made better when I'm 5 beers deep.

If I'm going to be honest, there is more negativity that has been influenced with my love of beer than I ever care to reflect on. Looking back on my past friendships, I can easily see that the common denominator is alcohol. Take inebriation out of the equation, and that friendship is strained, and the time spent together is awkward. It is never as fulfilling as it is when you're both already a few beers deep. Looking back at past romantic relationships more often than not, I can pinpoint when things started to go down hill after decisions I made while heavily intoxicated. As many of you know, I am 31 years old as I write this, and already once divorced. I don't even want to delve into the possibilities of what alcohol may or may not have contributed to that.

I mean, yes, in the game of life, I am fucking winning. I am very happily married now to a woman I love beyond words. But even now I still put my relationship in jeopardy more often than I care to admit. And what, you may ask is the cause of that? Alcohol.

It's this weird double edged sword. Some of my best memories have some amount of alcohol involved. In the same breath, some of the worst, most scariest moments, are also fueled by alcohol. I have the broken household items to prove it. I have had some questionable drive homes, as well.

Kind of scary how that last sentence seems like it's an afterthought.

It would be easy for me to sit here and justify my drinking. I have never gotten a DUI. I have never gotten into a fight. I have never injured myself. More often than not, my drinking is done at home, on the couch.

Excuses. Excuses. Damage isn't only measured in quantifiable instances. You would be, and I have been, a fool to ignore the emotional, and physical toll that my drinking has wrought.

It's just unfortunate that I am only now learning that I have been toeing the line for far too long.

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