Drinking is not wrong unless we do it for the wrong reasons.
It has been a very common question to me whenever I find myself in gatherings, be it friends gathering or family gatherings.
They would ask me “do you drink?
And my answer is always no so they pop a follow-up question, why?
I never had an answer to this question until recently.
I didn’t have the answer before because I used to believe me not drinking was about me.
So, it was hard for me to say why I don’t drink because I have never even tried drinking.
How can I say that drinking is bad and I have never even had a sip of wine?
How can I say that drinking is not good for me based only on how I observe drinkers?
It could have been easier if I had tried drinking before, but that didn’t change a thing so I still didn’t drink.
Most of my friends are drinkers and they do it so well I envy them sometimes.
I know every one of them has their own reasons as to why they drink.
And that is why I have always appreciated their understanding of me not drinking.
It’s not easy for a nondrinker to be accepted in a pack of drinkers unless they value you that much.
And I can tell you my friends have always shown me that value. None of them has ever asked me to try drinking and they have always respected that.
With the kind of life that we were living back in college, it would have been so easy to try drinking. I personally know people who went there not drinking and came out as drinkers.
No judgment though.
The family that I come from is not a perfect family just like any other family out there. We have had our tough and challenging times. And we have had our happy days too no matter how few they were.
My father the head of the family may his soul keep resting in peace was not a perfect father.
But believe me when I tell you that he was the best father to us.
We needed him to be who he was for us to become who we are today.
My father was not a failure in raising a family.
And making sure that we lived to see the next day and of course with great help from my mother.
I can say that my father was not my inspiration as a child until later in my life.
He was the silent type, conversations made him uneasy.
And he only wanted to say a few words and be understood.
I grew up around my parents and they were always there for me.
I grew up seeing my father drink almost every day.
At first, I thought he was doing a very bad thing because not so much good came from him drinking.
But growing up I then realized that it wasn’t that bad.
He had reasons for it, reasons that he will tell no one because in his society and time.
No one will understand him and it was easy to be seen as less of a man.
I am saying his society meaning the time and place that he grew up in.
My father was not a drunkard.
He never forgot or forsake his responsibilities because of drinking.
He will never be out of money for food at home because he had spent it all drinking the other night, no never.
He was very organized and always planning ahead of time.
I guess an apple does fall that much far from its tree.
I took so much from him.
He was an overthinker too.
I can write so much about him but I think I have written enough to make my point.
Looking at my father’s life and his drinking habit I can confidently say that drinking is not as bad as many people say or think it is. I don’t mean to tell people to go out and drink today. But it gets worse when we let it be a place to hide.
It becomes a challenge when we believe that we can’t live without it.
And we can never do great things when we are sober.
This is what I learned from my father that made me not to drink.
My father didn’t drink for fun or for health reasons he was drinking to get away from so much that was going on in his mind.
He would talk to himself when sober, write things in the air but he would never do that after drinking.
He would become a completely different person and you could even have a conversation.
My father was diagnosed with diabetes for more than twenty years before his death.
And he was told right then to stop drinking but 22 years later he was still drinking.
Do you think he wasn’t fearing for his life or maybe he ignored the doctor’s advice?
No, he knew that if he didn’t drink, he would have died even sooner than that. And it wouldn’t have been from diabetes but maybe from depression or some other kind of mental problem.
You may think maybe I have never been tempted to drink, I have so many times than I can remember.
I have been so close to drinking in recent years but I am grateful that I haven’t.
And all these temptations weren’t because I wanted to have some fun no, they were because I wanted to escape from something.
Maybe I was under too much pressure for me to handle or maybe I was so stressed by my relationship with my family or my girlfriend.
But the only thing that will stop me from doing that is the fact that I will be going down the same road as my father, drinking to escape from reality.
There are so many people out there doing this type of drinking.
Maybe you who is reading this is one of them.
The truth is I wish the alternatives were easier so that you could use them but they aren’t.
You need someone, I need someone who will understand me for who I am and you for who you are.
So that you could go to them with anything, your worries, stress, and everything else, and they will take it without judgment.
My father didn’t tell me his story but I am a very keen observer and this is my observation which I am so sure of.
If he was here today, I would have asked him because now I have the courage and I bet the answers wouldn’t have been so different.
He was dying slowly like a cigarette and no one knew because he wouldn’t say it.
But I and you have a chance to live our life to the fullest and enjoy it because we only live once.
So, let’s talk about it with someone we trust and if you have to drink please drink for the right reasons, have fun, celebrate life.
But don’t ever drink to escape from life itself.
I know I have tried to escape life myself and writing this article wasn’t an easy thing to do but I hope I have touched someone out there. I don’t drink yes, but I learned it from my drinking father.