Welcome to America

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at Kanuga 2013

at Kanuga 2013

I go to Starbucks fairly often, and so I chat with the barista’s a lot. One of them today told me that she had gone to Jacksonville this past weekend to the big country music festival.

“That looked really cool!” I replied, telling her I’d seen a lot of Facebook pictures and such. I asked her, “Did you have fun?”

She kind of surprised me with her reply. She told me that she is twenty years old and had never really been anywhere like that. She said, “I really like to have a drink and I understand that and all, but people were falling down all over the place and just drunk out of their minds.” Then she said, “If I go to a concert, I want to actually see the concert!”

There were other customers, so upon my departing, I said, “Welcome to being an adult in America!”

Oh trust me, I’ve done it myself. Heck, I was in drug and alcohol rehab at the age of seventeen and have had my share of battles with alcohol in this lifetime. So why should I judge another? How could I?

While not being judgmental, I still don’t like it. I still wish that people in general didn’t have to go through all that. The truth is that if you are drinking like that, you are doing it in the name of fun. However, those of us who have been there know better.

It ain’t fun. The typical conversation is concerning how much we drank last night and how badly we messed things up. I used to wear my battle scars like badges of honor of some sort. That was all I had.

The really crazy thing is that it is all in the name of fun. I used to go fishing, or go to a football game, or like the barista, I’d go to concerts.

Trouble with me was that I never remembered any of it. Trouble with me was that it was all a lie. It was a cover up. What I was really doing was drinking.

So when I see you, I’m not judging you. I am grateful to be one who has been granted escape, who has been given a “daily reprieve” from alcoholism.

But part of having a “daily reprieve” means that I can use my good judgement. Today I use my good judgement when I say, “You don’t have to live like this any longer.”

Now I go kayaking, I go to football games, I go to concerts, I go anywhere I choose, and I can remember it. It isn’t unusual to see other people who probably won’t remember it, but that is okay. That is life.

If you are this person who is suffering, who goes fishing and to concerts, but doesn’t really remember, or if you have another addiction or problem that you are suffering from, all I can say is that there is a lot of life out there just waiting for you.

And let me clarify that people in other countries have the same issues with alcohol, so I don’t want to single out America. I just thought it sounded like a snazzy title and it was what I’d thought to say to the barista.

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