I couldn’t fall back to sleep last night after getting up to use the washroom. It was around 4 a.m. when my head hit the pillow for the second time, but I knew returning to the realm of dreams wasn’t going to happen. I was wide awake and wired. My conscience decided it was the right time to haunt me with visions of past transgressions. Tossing and turning in a pool of cold sweat, I relived a barrage of memories I wish I could move forward from. My heart sank and my chest swelled with guilt. It was in that moment of mental and emotional anguish I realized the majority of mistakes I’ve made as an adult had one thing in common: alcohol.
Deep down I’ve always know excessive consumption was the common denominator for my poor decisions, but my pride, ego and reliance upon the substance (addiction) had me defending its constant use. Plus, when we’re young, we don’t always fully grasp or consider potential consequences drinking may have on our futures, social lives, bodies, minds, and souls (consider the often careless party atmospheres on most college campuses). We often think alcohol is a necessity to have fun or is the cure to life’s problems when, in reality, it usually exacerbates our issues or makes them seem worse than they really are.
Now, blaming booze for my sins is too convenient an excuse—saying so would mean I didn’t or don’t have control over my own actions—but I want you to know that I take full responsibility for my behavior. I was the one who chose to put the bottle to my lips.
However, I wanted to acknowledge alcohol’s contributions to the laundry list of mistakes I wish I could take back. I have to think, had my inhibitions not been depleted to near nonexistence, I would’ve made better decisions. Maybe I wouldn’t have reacted as dramatically in some scenarios or said some of those hurtful words to those I care about (among other things I won’t mention here).
The silver lining is that these mistakes have allowed me to learn several valuable lessons.
The Lesson Learned
At the end of the day, we all know the negative aspects related to regular alcohol use. We can try to rationalize our “habit” and make excuses for our conduct but, if we’re honest with ourselves, we cannot deny the influence it can have on our decision-making abilities and the way we perceive the world.
Please know that I will never completely advocate against drinking—there’s too much I enjoy about consuming it: smell, taste, the warmth I feel inside—but I’ve learned being responsible and practicing moderation is paramount for maintaining physical, emotional, and mental health. Drink too much, and I know I’ll not only feel the downsides to taking the drug the next day, but it could jeopardize how I think and feel in the future.
Maybe it’s just a part of getting older (hopefully wiser too), but I’ve come to realize I cannot allow alcohol, or anything else for that matter, to impede upon my ability to make the best choices I can. It doesn’t mean I won’t make mistakes or every action I take will be the right one, but at least I can say my head was clear when I made them. I think any future remorse I may have will be easier to process that way.
Before You Go!
Did you know alcohol is involved in over half of all murders and sexual assaults? I wonder what would happen if we cut booze out from our society…just a thought.
What do you think? Did alcohol influence some of your poor decisions? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!
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