Having watched Aamir Khans show (an avid follower of his show that I am) the issue raised in this episode was one quite close to home and one that struck the chords in just the right places for me. It was difficult to contain the tears during some moments and while my son watched the show with me, toward the end of the show, he came and sat himself into my lap and just hugged me close. I think the enormity and the intensity of the issues associated with the aftermath of alcohol related dangers, really hit him hard too!
So where does it all begin and where does it all end? We’ve all been there havent we? School parties, New Years celebrations, endless pub crawling events that morph our Fridays into Saturdays into Sundays….. The intoxication, the so-called ‘fun’ element that alcohol is supposed to bring into our mundane lives, the ‘high’ that we experience that replaces the high of simply being alive; silent killers if not handled with responsibility. Limits are crossed, one peg becomes two, then three and four, and before we know it, our role transforms so suddenly from being the controller, to the controlled. And it controls!!!!! And controls and controls until life just spirals out of that control and one is left on a never-ending treadmill of disaster.
My father’s younger brother passed way some years back and the reason for his demise was this culprit. I remember once as a young girl in Nairobi, hearing the phone ring in the late hours of the night, the time when a phone rings that you know something has to be wrong, and my father picking it up to be informed of a horrific car crash that had almost killed my uncle. He had been drinking and had driven the car right under a huge lorry. And survived! I remember thinking to myself that time, when having been told what had happened and the reasons for why he was in hospital, ‘why would someone want to do that to themselves?’ At that time I didn’t understand the complexities of the problem and the dark places that it reached in a person’s life. But I did know how it affected families and loved ones as I watched these after effects unfold. It was never a pleasant sight. How the alcohol could transform a fun-loving individual, who was intoxicated on life and love into a shadow of a former self. It was tragic to hear how alcohol actually ended up consuming his laughter, his soul, his mind and eventually his life. I read this comment from my cousin in response to the show and the topic of alcoholism below, and heartbreaking is the only word I could think of to describe how I felt.
Some of the things I feel are a result of ‘irresponsible’ alcohol consumption are as follows:
- Ugly, bloated features, red bloodshot eyes and foul breath
- Empty pockets as money is being spent on self-destruction
- Lies, deceit, pretences.
- Violence, swearing, overbearing attitude, arguments.
- irresponsible behaviour behind the wheels of a car or when a fight is provoked
- Deterioration of health, breakdown of the organs that need to sustain life
- Adopting the role of a fool, slurred speech that no one is interested to listen, garbled messages that spew forth from a mouth that can belong to a very intelligent human being
- Terribly uninspiring role model for peers.
- Embarrassing behaviour amongst family and friends that you can’t remember and they will never forget.
- Crossing the lines and behaving in a manner that would never be expected of you under normal circumstances
- Not being able to remember what you may have done, a temporary state of mind limbo where events seem to have been erased
And the list goes on and on and on. Not a list I envy in someone I’m glad to say!
Everything in life has its limits and when things are done within these limits, a balance is created and one can achieve those rare happy moments that want to be remembered and cherished for years to come. There are indeed, such wise thoughts behind the words “too much of anything is poison”!
But when the limits are crossed and responsibility is thrown out of the window, then an aftermath of a storm is all that can be expected. And with a storm of such magnitudes that were featured on this show, the alcoholic isn’t the only one to go down. Families, friends and loved ones get pulled into the whirlpool of sorrows and devastation too.