Archive for the ‘alcohol’ Category

Any of you ever struggled with an addiction?  Tobacco, alcohol, pills, food, sex, drugs, caffeine, sugar?

Any of you know anyone who has struggled with an addiction?

If your answer is yes, then you should understand how addiction affects families, friends, and friends of friends. It’s far-reaching and the damage slides down the hill quickly and lasts a very long time.

You should also know that stopping the addiction is not as simple as saying:  “just stop doing it.” It’s so not that simple. So not that simple.

Any of you ever been abused? Sexually, emotionally, physically, verbally, financially, mentally?

Any of you know anyone who has been abused?

If your answer to either or both of those questions is yes – then you should understand the struggle – the fear – the shame – the damage.

You should also know that there is no time limit on how long one will struggle and to tell someone to: “just get over it” and “move on” is so not the answer.

I don’t understand the level of ignorance and hate that have come along with Dylan Farrow and her letter about Woody Allen and the drug induced death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

I don’t understand the lack of thought process that goes into the people who have written comments and blogs calling these two people any name they can think of.

Dylan Farrow is a human being trying her best to live in a world that has treated her unkindly and a man who abused her on many levels – and continues to abuse her on many levels. If you have been abused – you understand and you would never comment. If you haven’t been abused – then quite honestly you have no right to judge her or speak ill of her.  None of us really have that right for none of us know what happened when she was 7 – or what is happening now.  Woody Allen isn’t beyond reproach – not then – and not now. 

Phillip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose.  The demons in his head won the battle – and Phillip Seymour Hoffman lost his life.  If you’ve ever been addicted to anything – you know of what I’m speaking of when I speak of the demons and you probably would not make any comments. You are probably sitting quietly nodding your head in mournful understanding thanking whoever and whatever you believe in that it wasn’t you dead in that bathroom with the syringe in your arm – or a bottle in your hand – or pills – or whatever…

For those of you who are perfect and have no vices and have lived a life that has not involved a struggle of any sort – I ask you to have compassion and understanding.  Practice the whole “cast the first stone” thing and when you have the desire to write or comment on anything – do so with kindness.  You don’t know how or why a person is where they are in their life. You don’t know their journey – you don’t know what they have been through.

We don’t practice enough kindness. We like to cast those stones and throw those comments and blast the lives of people we don’t even know. 

Look in the mirror and then decide whether or not you really should speak.

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I wasn’t going to jump into the free-speech, don’t heckle the comic telling rape jokes fray, however, I find myself reading articles, shaking my head thinking: Is this what we’ve become; A funny rape joke society?

Honestly, I’ve never even heard of Daniel Tosh.  Never seen him, never heard him, didn’t even know he existed.  Now that I have heard of him, I still have no desire to see him or listen to him.  I don’t believe he should be censored, although I do believe that perhaps attending a group meeting with women who have been raped should be in order for him, just so he might understand his ignorance when it comes to women and rape.

I’m not a fan of rape jokes; I think it’s sick on any number of levels.  I suppose what bothers me the most is that his rape jokes are only about women.  I mean if rape is funny, let’s tell jokes about men being raped, and little boys and little girls.  Let’s leave no one out of the loop here.  Cover the entire rape spectrum.  Men, women, boys, girls, and babies – I’m sure there has to be some sort of joke in raping a baby!

Yes, I agree with the if you don’t like his type of humor, just get up and leave, however… what of the man sitting in the audience who might have had too much to drink and believes that yes, rape is funny and decides to see just how funny it is up close and personal? What then? Do we not place any blame on Daniel Tosh and his laissez fare attitude about women and rape when this man goes and rapes the first woman or child or baby he sees? Is he not accountable for anything he says? Is this really what free speech means?

With any freedom comes responsibility and accountability.  You have the right to express your opinion without any governmental interference as long as you follow the laws and you don’t incite violence.   Raping someone is all about violence. It’s not about sex or a woman asking for it or dressing for it or whatever other lame-ass joke is told.

Tell your rape jokes is you must.  Just remember that we need to hear some side-splitting men raping men jokes.   And how does that one go about the rapist and the baby?

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Susan and I went downtown San Diego last evening to see a show called Rock of Ages. It was this loud, funny, wonderful musical full of the music of the 1980’s.  We sang along to Starship, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Twisted Sister, Foreigner, Journey, Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, Poison – and at the end of the show we were on our feet singing, clapping, cheering. It was a few hours of raucous fun, and I left the Theatre feeling upbeat with my throat a little sore from the singing and cheering!

As we were walking to our car we passed a woman wrapped up in a sleeping bad, sleeping in the doorway of a downtown building. I didn’t want to stare, but I couldn’t help but notice that along with her bicycle she had one of those carts people use to put their children in while riding.  She had all of her belongings in that cart, and she was using that as a sort of cushion for her head as she slept. Hundreds of people were walking by her, and still she slept.

I could feel the tears coming as I held Susan’s hand a little tighter and said:  “If anyone passes that woman and doesn’t say – there but for the grace of God go I, they have no heart.”

How do people end up on the street in the United States of America? How did this woman end up in a sleeping bag with all her possessions crammed into a baby cart for her bicycle? How does one even begin to think of sleeping on the street? How do these things happen here in the land of the free and the home of the brave? And why is it so many of our brave are the ones on the street?

A friend of mine wrote of his time living on the streets and it simply broke my heart. I find after reading his story that I complain less about what I believe to be the tragedies of my youth!  Not that we all don’t face our own demons, for we most surely do – but, I always had a roof over my head and food to eat. His story of redemption and conquering his demons are worthy of my respect and my affection for him. He inspires me to be a person who now looks at the person on the street and question how they got there and how can I help them find a safer, warmer, loving place to call home.

It’s these unknown homeless citizens of this United States of America who have lost their way – lost their vote – lost their voice,  that need those of us who still have that voice to stand up. They need protecting – they need to be fed, and they deserve our respect.  I mean – think about it.  If you lost your job and couldn’t pay for your home or apartment where would you go? If you had no money for food – what would you eat? If you had no car and no money for the bus or the train – how would you manage? If … If… If…

They all have a story to tell, they are all someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, brother or sister.  What if it was you or your mother or father or brother or sister or a grandparent?  This isn’t just their issue – this is a human rights issue, for it could happen to any of us, at any time.

Taking care of the homeless doesn’t seem to fall into any category on the upcoming Presidential election blurbs of what will help you get elected.  They all seem to want to spend millions of dollars to bash gay people, millions of dollars to kill folks in Afghanistan, millions of dollars to keep women in their place, millions of dollars to allow folks to be able to kill another person – well just because they can, and millions of dollars to force a solitary religion down the throats of a people who live in a land that was built on freedom of and from religion. I’ve heard nothing on jobs or the economy or helping the veterans or feeding the homeless or basically taking care of our own.

I used to believe as Americans we were better than this – I believe now – we have lost our way… Those of us in the middle, and those on the bottom of the scale have been lost in the shuffle that is now American politics and American justice.  The people with the money have the power and the people with the power have the money. The Honorable Lord Acton said it best: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

As a people – we must find our voice  before it’s too late for all of us. Can you hear your voice?

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Do you think we well really ever address the issue of alcohol in this country? Ever?

Does it say nothing to you that when watching an NFL football game we have to endure commercials that sell us beer, drugs so men can have erections, and whatever a woman in a bikini can sell. Is this what’s required to watch football? A beer and an erection?  I’m just asking…

I understand the draw of alcohol – I also understand the demons that come from alcohol.  I’ve been a part of the collateral damage that comes along with alcohol – and from experience I can tell you the damage never really goes away.

We need to not glamorize alcohol – we need to speak openly and quite frankly about what can happen when alcohol – in any form – takes over your life.   For those of you who believe you don’t have a problem when you put away a 12 pack of beer during the 3 hours the football game is on because “it’s only beer” well – beer is alcohol.  For those of you who think that downing a bottle or two of wine at dinner is perfectly normal – well – wine is alcohol. If you can’t get through the game or through your dinner without it – well – you might just have a problem.

Alcoholism isn’t the vision you have in your head of the drunk of the street with the cheap bottle of whiskey in the brown paper bag.  It’s the folks who have to have their wine everyday just to” take the edge off” – it’s the folks who just have a beer or two or three to “unwind” – if you drink every day of the year – you might want to ask yourself why.

Alcohol – in any form – is its own drug.  For those who are prone to addictions – it’s the perfect drug of choice.  It’s social – it’s accepted – and in some cases it’s demanded of you to be able to enjoy life fully! “Come on – one drink – it won’t kill you.”  The thing is – it can kill you. If you become addicted – it will kill you. Slowly, but it will surely kill you.

I’m not some tea-teetotaler on a soapbox – I’ve done my share of heavy drinking, and I still like my shot of whiskey on occasion. I’ve had my own glass behind the bar where everybody knew my name and I’ve gotten behind the wheel of my car when I had no business even opening the car door. I was lucky – I never hurt anyone.  I did my share to help Jerry Lewis and his Kids by drinking my way through the Labor Day telethon – and I’ve donated my fair share to the San Diego Padres and Chargers respectfully by drinking their $9.00 beers at the games.  I’ve embarrassed myself at family functions and said some pretty hurtful things to others when fueled with that liquid courage!  Sadly – I wouldn’t remember what I had said – but some wounds have never healed.

Thankfully – those days of more than one drink are over for me.  My family faced some major trouble a few years ago all fueled by alcohol – and that prompted me to look at my life and stop the cycle. I saw firsthand what alcohol can do and how it can ruin lives and families. When I realized that family genes were not on my side when it came to the battle of addiction – I knew it was time to stop before I ruined my own life.  I will on occasion enjoy a shot of whiskey – but – it’s rare.

There needs to be a discussion in America about alcohol. An open, honest, non-glamorized discussion about what can happen when that one glass of wine or that one beer becomes an addiction. If we’re going to sell it – there should be warning labels, and there should be literature about alcohol addiction in every liquor store in the country.  In every grocery store shelf that has alcohol – there should be literature warning you what can happen.   In every commercial there should be a warning about what alcohol can do to your body.   How many more people have to die before we get it?

Perhaps the girls in the bikinis could make a commercial warning of the dangers of alcohol. We could show it in between the commercials for bud light and the erection drug!

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