I want to share something very important with you, from the heart, and I hope you take a few minutes to read and strongly consider what I have to share.
I grew up like any other suburban kid in a pretty good school system with good influences like baseball, basketball, skateboarding, snowboarding and other activities to help me grow strong, smart and stay on a good path. I remember the first time I tried a beer in the 8th grade I thought it was terrible, but it seemed like it made my peers happy and allowed them to have a good time.
No Big Deal
Alcohol, among other substances, slowly started becoming a regular thing to partake in and eventually became something normal to do on the weekends. Several years later, as I matured, I would attend parties which involved consuming large amounts of alcohol. After all the fun, I would drive home. I was under control right? NO WAY!!!
Looking back I know there were angels, spirits, or a higher presence watching over me, and more importantly, with those driving on the road with me. One “fun” night of drinking led to a massive brawl and nearly killed my best friend putting him in the hospital with a impressed skull fracture and blood clots. To this day he still suffers from extreme migraines and seizures. As I navigated through a very uncertain path during college years and into adulthood, I am grateful my lack of understanding for this drug did not bring me to cause serious harm to myself or others in my wake.
Waking Up To Some Hard Realities
Ami and I have been very proud the past few years to be creative partners with an addiction therapy company called Empower. While designing promotional materials, brochures, websites and blog posts, we’ve become very keenly aware and awake to the serious dangers of alcohol use in this country. This is not coming from an ad campaign, or a public service message I read. No. I am talking about a realization I came to on my own from reading the work of some amazing people who are changing (saving) lives.
When you start to notice the subtle and common messages we are bombarded with on a daily basis that alcohol is a normal thing to consume, and how its advertised and associated with major events and celebrations all throughout the world, you begin to have sensitivity about the impact it has on how we interact in the world.
Somebody Won Something, Let’s Get Drunk!
Every major sporting event is blatant with alcohol advertisements. Entire communities and cultures celebrate by drinking. “3-martini lunches” were a common practice and Don Draper entices us to get creative with a strong bourbon. Shots of tequila help celebrate a victory, and Heineken ads are plastered on the net of the US Open. A whiskey to deal with stress of the day, the list goes on and on. The point is, alcohol is a widely accepted and very common in this country for every reason. Begin to look around and see how alcohol branding is part of the fabric of our daily lives.
Cut To The Real
I am pouring out these words in an effort to help save one person from a life of struggle and pain. This is not a post to go over stats we turn a blind eye to. There are plenty you can look up about alcohol related deaths and stats about people entering and returning to rehab. I’m sure you can’t find thousands of mothers who have lost a child to alcohol related accidents. No, this is a real person sharing a real life revolution of the mind only due to working closely with an organization who deals with this daily.
If you or yourself know someone who is either fully engaged in alcoholism or may be on the cusp of becoming heavily dependent, please give them a gentle nudge to go on a retreat at our center in Clearwater. And if not here, any other rehab in the US. There is help – and especially now as the concept of addiction is finally growing in understanding and scope.
You Don’t Have to Call Yourself an Addict
The biggest benefit to our program is Perception Therapy, which are the foundational materials developed by Julia Stewart 18 years ago followed by hundreds of success stories. Empower’s program does not label individuals as “addicts” and will not have to sit through the shame and guilt of repeating they have no power over their addiction. Perception Therapy treats the perceptions that started the behavior. This program has an outstanding 4/1 success rate over traditional 12-step.
Visit Empower Clearwater for more information. They accept most insurance and have residential programs available. Stay in a beautiful space near Clearwater Beach, FL. Leave the program feeling renewed and confident.
As I honestly share these words with you, I admit I still enjoy having a few drinks with friends and even enjoy a good bourbon or gin to sip at home. I am not judging anyone or even saying its wrong to enjoy a drink with friends, but I do ask you to dig deeper into your perceptions of how the US makes it perfectly acceptable to drink and get in a car after a game. Ultimately, alcohol becomes a dependent friend that makes huge promises but always ends up making things worse.
Please share if you feel moved, you could save a life – or a lifetime of struggle.
And I’d love to hear your own comments and experiences…