By KLAUS DORING
“Who was woe? Who has sorrow? Who has conten-tions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long on the wine, those who go in search of mixed wines? Do not look at the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse words. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the mist of the sea, or like one, who lies on top of the mast, saying: ‘They have struck me, but I wasn’t hurt; they have beaten me, but I didn’t feel it. When I shall awake, that I may seek another drink!'” (Proverbs 23:29-35).
When I recopied this part from my bible I got the idea to write about this topic. The writer of these proverbs expressed very well the effect of alcohol.
Alcohol is, as we all know, a depressant. It slows down the function of all the body’s parts. Vital functions can be slowed down to the point of death. Under its in-fluence people choke to death at family pic-nics, drown at the beach, fall asleep while driving a car, hurt and even kill other people.
The devil alcohol creates a feeling of free-dom without worries and euphoria. Our feelings are really free flowing, every-day worries are replaced with a carefree spirit. Wow, I really feel on top of the world today… .
I joined the circle of many other fellows around, more or less regular social drinking, and/or habitual drinking drinking with meals (beer or wine!). When I stayed in France, I couldn’t believe that for many French-men a breakfast consists of bread (baguette), cheese, coffee – and red wine! Any-way, social drinking also means occasional drinks to relieve stress or boredom.
Once we reach the addic-tive stage we are already in danger. Gulping drinks and secret drinking daily to relieve stress makes one lose control, and being unable to stop drinking creates drinking habits, Danger is with us, if we lose control over when, where and how much we drink. The memory blackouts don’t let us remember any more, where we had been or how we get home. We loose our self-respect and the performance of our work is seriously affected. Loss of interest in everything (except in drinking) means loss of jobs, conflicts with the law, mental deterioration, and even death. The sad conse-quences should let us tremble with fear.
A few people who decide to stop drinking find it easy. Having made the decision, they simply never drink again. And honestly, every time I enjoy a drink in really acceptable measurements I am trying to ask myself, if I could stop drinking right now. And I am pretty sure, the answer is YES. That’s how I quit smoking almost 25 years ago… .
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