cartoon cow writing at a desk

Clear Headed and Grounded (4.2.17)

Alcoholism is a major problem in our family systems and culture. I do not drink alcohol anymore for several different reasons. I used to have two glasses of alcohol whenever we went out to dinner as a couple before we had children and then after we had children. I was having 4 glasses of alcohol per week. I enjoy the taste of alcohol and I felt like I was drinking moderately and responsibly. A psychic channeler once told me that whenever people drink, spirits that are stuck here on the earth plane are attracted to that person and surround that person to try and catch a buzz. That information made sense to me.

As our children were growing up, over time I noticed that their behavior was different whenever I was drinking alcohol. One night we were eating at one of our favorite outdoor restaurants in Pawleys Island and it was a picture perfect summer evening. I had my second glass of wine and within minutes our typically well behaved daughters ages 7, 5, and 3 began running around the table as if they were possessed. Maybe I overreacted, but I said to myself, “OK. This is not what I want for our family.” Our family is super-sensitive and I did not want to create more drama than we were already experiencing on a daily basis.

When I abstained from drinking alcohol, my husband continued to have alcohol whenever we went out to dinner. It was fascinating to observe the shift in my husband’s eyes and his behavior after one glass of alcohol. Although he was still my husband, he became a different version of himself that I didn’t like. Nathan and I have had many discussions about the effects of alcohol and how it exaggerates or magnifies certain characteristics in various people. My husband is a really nice guy, but to me, when he drinks alcohol he becomes obnoxious. The more alcohol he consumes, the more obnoxious he becomes. He disagrees with me, but if he observed a video tape of himself while he is drinking, I think he would see things differently.

If you ever go out to a restaurant and stay sober you can see and feel the shift in a group of people once they begin drinking alcohol. Many times, there is a group or several groups of people that will start out at a normal level of conversation and then once they begin consuming alcohol, the volume and the energy of the people increases exponentially over time. It’s remarkable to witness and experience these shifts of energy.

The second reason that I stopped drinking alcohol is because alcohol makes me more talkative. The last thing I need is to command more of a stage to seek more of the limelight to tell even more stories. I also realized that as I became more talkative and entertaining (as a result of the alcohol), I would put my husband down in public. I never went on a rampage, but this pattern in my behavior was noted by both of us. It was never my intention to hurt his feelings. One night when we were on a double date with one of my husband’s work acquaintances, I caught myself going down the negative path. I was being entertaining, the story felt humorous and all of a sudden it felt like I stepped outside of my body and was viewing my behavior from above. I thought, “Holy shit! This is not how I want to act!” It felt like a slap in my face. I never drank again after that evening. Over time, I realized that under the influence of alcohol I was airing my grievances about our marriage out in public. Gheez. That is not how I want to improve or work on my relationship with my husband.

My parents never drank alcohol while I was growing up. As a matter of fact, I am the one who got them to drink wine during a brief period of time, because a friend of mine from college had introduced me to Zinfandel. We all liked the wine and enjoyed having a couple of glasses together occasionally as a family. My parents stopped drinking alcohol after that brief stint.

My mother was a teetotaler, because her maternal grandfather was an alcoholic. Her father – known as my grandfather from West Virginia – became a late onset alcoholic which was incredibly sad and ultimately ended his life. My paternal grandfather – the one that lived on the farm – was a full blown alcoholic when I was a child. My grandfather who was as quiet as a mouse would become a demonic person whenever he drank whisky. He drove a bulldozer during the weekdays and would come home on the weekends and drink. I remember my grandmother adding water to his whisky bottle that he kept underneath the kitchen sink. My grandfather would hardly say two words to me when he was sober, but when he drank alcohol, his eyes would look possessed and he would constantly taunt my brother and me to eat hot chili peppers. Fortunately, he stopped drinking cold turkey later in life because of a health scare damaging his liver. One of the family stories after my parents were married is that my father spent an entire day installing cement blocks in the red clay dirt to define a driveway at my grandmother’s house in the country. When my grandfather came home, he tore the entire project up in a alcoholic rage. Alcohol changes people. I don’t know anyone who is a better person because they drink. Most of the time, alcohol destroys relationships and enables drinkers to leave damage and destruction in its wake.

Years ago I read a book called I’m Not Dead I’m Different: Kids in Spirit Teach Us About Living a Better Life on Earth (HarperCollins ©2011) by Hollister Rand. One of the biggest messages that Hollister has received from these children and teenage spirits is that alcoholism is a major problem in our society that needs to change in order to allow people to have better relationships with themselves and with others. This was another message for me affirming the path that I am choosing to live.

I’m not suggesting that everybody jump onto the sober bandwagon. You have free will in this lifetime to make your own choices about how you want to live. I’ve decided that I don’t want to be influenced by alcohol. I prefer to be clear headed and grounded and that’s what works best for me.

I am not an expert. This is my experience.