I got this link
in my Facebook newsfeed today – WARNING – IT IS HARD TO WATCH! BUT share it . .
but if it’s hard for us to ‘watch’ I can’t even imagine
what it is like to experience it. That
is what we forget when we are busy having a ‘great time’ with friends and
family through this holiday season. We deny it. We ignore
it. We minimize it. I know I have done it.
I also know that I have made radical changes in how I ‘party’ over the
years. It is often the ‘why’ you don’t see me out at social
events. I don’t want to even take the chance of driving ‘impaired’ much
less legally drunk. I like many – do want to have a glass of wine
or a mixed drink – it is HOW we ‘celebrate’ – it ‘takes the edge off’ – it lessens
the anxiety – it helps us feel less uptight – worried – caring about ‘dumb’
stuff. I’m not going to lecture.
I just want everyone to stay
mindful of how we celebrate can also destroy lives. If you know that you
want to drink
‘too much’ then make ALL arrangements so that you DON’T drive and also be
mindful about your partner not driving YOU if they
impaired. Too often we assume they are ‘ok’ to drive – when in fact
they aren't – but we might not be either – so someone risks driving home. .
. been there done that. You can get a DUI for LETTING someone
drive drunk!! Even if you ‘win’ in court you still have to pay for
I always start my ‘soap box talk’ with clients with the
word YET. It is the most crucial word of all.
YET. It didn't happen to YOU yet. But
‘yet’ could be tonight – this weekend – this Christmas. . . You
could be the driver who ‘accidentally' goes off the road, texts, gets distracted,
took that pill to ‘handle nerves’ or passes out – blacks out. . . or you could
be hit – maimed and killed by someone else – who thought ‘yet’ wouldn’t happen
to them . . .
I love my parties with alcohol as much as many – but on a
daily basis I also get to see the lifetime of damage – grieving –loss that
‘partying’ or ‘calming my nerves’ leaves families, children, spouses,
co-workers, neighbors and other significant loved ones. They are
forced to manage through the rest of their lives with the daily reality of that
loss. They aren’t protected by blackouts, passing out, brain damage or even death– they too often got ‘the phone call’ and blindsided by it.
They quickly learn that life has NO absolutes. No
matter how ‘good’ they are – bad can happen.
If you want to party with alcohol – be an adult
and plan accordingly. If you have as serious problem stopping once you
start – don’t start – your GOOD friends will have alternatives- we are
NOT in high school worrying about peer pressure! There is always
bottled water, soda, coffee, teas, ‘sparkling’ something.
- TELL Them you are on medication and can’t
- If someone at your home says they ‘can’t drink’
HAVE ALTERNATIVES. See previous listing.
- If you know it will be a ‘balls to the walls
drinking’ event – YOU CAN STAY HOME and you CAN do SOMETHING ELSE!
You will probably only miss ‘how drunk we got’ stories.
- FOCUS on the MEANING or REASON for the
on the KIDS – and their excitement about Santa and gifts as well as
feeding reindeer and Elves, Christmas lights and 'Elf on the Shelf' . . .
on the RELIGIOUS meaning – attend church services and Children's presentations.
on the MUSIC – its traditional – sensational and often done by
volunteers – ENJOY their dedication!
on the PEOPLE – they may not be around next year – act like they won’t –
and VALUE their presence this year!
on LAUGHS – share FUN – get out of your own routine – box and structure
– be different – spontaneous – unpredictable.
on the SPECIAL people – visit the lonely, sick, elderly, disabled,
isolated – bring JOY.
I could go on and on- but what I’m discovering as I ‘age’ (yuck)
. . . is that with each added year I’m also adding to the list of special
people who I have lost – and when the holidays come around that loss is
magnified – when you’re young you haven’t experienced as many losses –
Christmas can be about KIDS and gifts and all the ‘fun’ stuff that happens –
but when you’re older and more years are on your inventory – the number of
losses can easily outweigh those ‘children’ moments. It makes
the holiday season feel ‘heavy’ or more burdensome. It makes me so
much more aware of how my older relatives felt –wondering why they ‘weren’t happy’ during the holiday season like I was. . . I was naïve and
clueless! That’s what’s so special about INCLUDING young children into
the holidays! They bring that needed distraction – spirit – fun
So I will end
here –I just want to bring QUALITY to your holidays – knowing that each one of you is
struggling against the odds of that. But as I tell everyone of my
clients . . .
Life is Hard – Don’t Make it Harder. I’ll
add: Don’t Drink and DRIVE! Set up places for your
heavy drinking friends to STAY –so everyone can sleep well.
Have neighbor/friend provide ride (call when needed).
Have a cab /Limo/ shuttle arranged in advance.
Have a confirmed designated driver.
Take turns – one drinks the other drives – flip
Don’t add to risks – stay home if weather is
If you’re throwing the party – Have
non-alcoholic alternatives! Make it fun!
- Focus on food - music- entertainment-seeing people - not the alcohol!
Always respect the FIRST time someone says
they’re not drinking – don’t make stupid comments – you’re NOT in high
school. DO NOT tempt them with alternatives or shots. We are
Alternate glasses of water for every glass of
alcohol – this also prevents hangovers!
Let’s get through this Holiday season with as few losses as
possible –some will come naturally – but we don’t need to be part of the
problem and a lifetime of loss that wasn’t expected or planned.
Thanks for reading this far. If it saves lives
it will be worth every word and minute.