Friday, February 18, 2011
Problems with alcohol.
A change in direction.
For my next blog topic I was going to discuss the manner in which my daughter was brain damaged. However, something has come up in the news that is somewhat important to me, and a little close to my heart. If you have not heard, a player for the Detroit Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, was arrested the other day for suspicion of DUI and several counts of resisting arrest. Why is this important to me? Well, first of all, I am a huge Tigers fan. I mean I LOVE the Detroit Tigers, the same way that Papa K loves the Texas Rangers. By taking this second misstep in the last 16 months, he is going to make it very hard for my beloved Tigers to win their division this year!
More importantly though.
The bigger issue is this guy seems to have a problem with alcohol and it can't help but affect his personal and professional life. It kind of hits close to home for me because I have had a number of family members afflicted with alcoholism. It is a terrible thing to go through I'm sure, and it's hard to watch a family member go through it. My uncle died essentially because of alcohol. He had the addiction, and sough help a number of times. He had a family and really wanted to get clean for their sake, however he just couldn't shake the hold alcohol had over him. He eventually died in a car accident because he was so drunk it's a wonder he could even put the car keys in the ignition. I was a sophomore in high school, and his was the first death of someone close to me that I experienced. It really hit me hard, and I think about him all the time even to this day.
There are too many other instances of alcoholism on both sides of my family to even mention and I've been lucky to avoid it myself. I saw at an early age what alcohol did to people, and I never really wanted anything to do with it. As I reached my mid twenties I changed my tune a little and started using alcohol as "liquid courage." I always had a hard time talking to the ladies, and a couple drinks helped me gain some confidence. It was then that I made some of the worst decisions of my life. More than a few times I drove home after consuming a "few" drinks. Not smart at all. Forget about the legal ramifications that I could have faced, what about the people I could have hurt? What if I had gotten into an accident and hurt, or killed, someone? What if that someone was a kid? Obviously, I could have never lived with myself if any of that had happened. I was lucky, but some people are not. Our prison system is full of people who have drove drunk and killed someone, and while they may not be bad people, they made a horrible decision and now have to pay for it the rest of their lives. I stopped drinking, and I see no use for it anymore myself. I don't need "liquid courage" anymore because I have the greatest woman in the world who already loves me. If I needed alcohol to talk to her, then I guess I have bigger problems than I even know!
What I'm getting at is, I worry about my kids when it comes to alcoholism. On both sides of their family they have people who have gone through the perils that alcohol brings. Both Stacy and I come from families that enjoy partying. I have to be very careful that I keep an eye on them when it comes to drinking. I don't want them to be totally shielded from it, because it is kind of fun to have a few drinks and enjoy yourself at times. I do want to teach them responsibility when it comes to drinking though. Designated drivers(which I've been a lot in my life) are the best things to have at a party.
The other thing that scares me when it comes to my kids and drinking, and this is almost completely out of my control, is someone else drinking and driving and hurting my kids. I swear if that ever happened, the person who hurt my kids would want to be sent to prison. It would be a better fate than what I would do to them.
That brings me back to Miguel Cabrera. He is so lucky he didn't hurt anyone. His life would be changed forever. Being able to play baseball, and make me happy by leading the Tigers to many wins this season, would be the last thing he would have to deal with. All of the facts have not come out in Mr. Cabrera's case, but he should consider himself lucky and take this latest incident as a wake up call. Nothing good seems to come from his drinking. So why do it?