I may be just one guy, but the voice that surges through me is the voice of many. The motto of “just one more” has the potential to be a much more serious string of words.
“Just one more”, can not only be cause for concern but can be dangerous. One can turn to five quickly in the mind of someone who struggles to say no. Granted, not everyone finds refusing difficult, but I do.
To some extent, I can say that everyone has either direct or passing experience with someone who has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. The message I wish to convey about this is a simple one; in excess, many things are dangerous and can cause mental fogginess. Forgetting the fact that “just one more” can have consequences for another person.
“Ah, I’ll just have one more drink”
This has been my go-to line for years. “No, no, I’m driving…just one more.” I honestly have no idea how many lives I have put in danger over the years of my foolishness. I’m sure because of my “one more” mentality, there have been more than I’m aware of. That is an amazingly scary feeling – knowing there is a good chance you could have hurt someone and not even know it. But, what’s next to do? Thinking about all the wrong choices I have made in my life, (and believe me, there’s many), is not going to make myself or those I have hurt feel any better. So, then what should we do when faced with the choice of asking for one more? Well, that’s something only you can decide.
Making a change
For years, I have dealt with my stress by “having a few” to feel better about the current situation at the time. In fact, it was almost too late for me. After “having a few” too many one night, I became distracted and totalled my car. I wasn’t particularly intoxicated. I was more distracted than anything after consuming three beers. I had alcohol in my system and will never forget the look on the faces of the EMTs and police. As their eyes pierced my very soul, their assertion of my character was already ingrained in their mind. To them, I was a drunk or a junkie who must have fallen asleep at the wheel or nodded off. That was not the case, someone side-swiped me. But hey, I fit the bill of what a screw-up should be and look like. Apparently, that was me. I knew I had to change the way I viewed my relationship with drinking, and remove the perception that “just one more” was harmless.
Next time you are faced with “just one more”, ask yourself a few questions:
- Has stress been a factor in your decision?
- Are you “drowning” your sorrows or celebrating?
- Dissect your mood over the past 48-hours. Are there any big stresses or worries in your life?
- Have you felt depressed/panicky/anxious and tried to “mask” feelings or emotions by using an outside “feel good” coping mechanism?
- Where are you right now, mentally?
Sure, who wants to stop “having fun” and ask themselves a few serious questions. Well, the point I want to make is, if having a beer or two is your way of unwinding and relaxing after a day of working, caring for family, or whatever, then maybe looking for other avenues of relaxation can benefit you. I’m sure you hear people say this all the time, but here I go. IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU.
Finding a new way to manage stress
Simple breathing practices can be a great and healthy way to get into meditation which is a brilliant tool in managing anxiety and stress. Try it. What do you have to lose? You might gain some deeper insight as to the direction you want to follow in life. It can’t hurt. Meditation and other natural ways to feel in healthier are out there. Need to de-stress? Who doesn’t? Alcohol is not the only way.