#DolphinsLiveWell: “The Personal Truth about Alcohol”

#DolphinsLiveWell:  “The Personal Truth about Alcohol”

To clarify, by “personal truth” I mean my individual perception of alcohol and/or alcohol abuse. This perspective was developed through the testimony or story of my favorite uncle who has been an alcoholic for most of his adult life.

My uncle Pablo, who currently lives with my grandparents in a small town in the Dominican Republic, started drinking heavily at a young age and it eventually led him to becoming an alcoholic.  Every summer, when I visit my grandparents, I learn a little bit more about his condition after we finish our one-on-one guitar sessions. Playing guitar seems to be one of his alternatives, as it helps him stay sober throughout the day when he’s out of work.

My uncle Pablo admitted to losing everything in his life because of his overuse of alcohol, especially the people he cares about the most: his ex-wife, the trust of his children, his family’s respect. Long story short, his abuse of alcohol led to a dependency—his drug— and the destruction of his relationships, as well as the development of depression.

His constant efforts to be alcohol-free gives our family hope that he will recover, but he often relapses after some months of being sober. Although he believes he has lost everything, my family and I still love him and continue to find ways to help him overcome his illness. We still admire his funny, caring, and lovable personality…but he is the one who has lost his sense of self-worth.

Let me clarify once again that the purpose of sharing my uncle’s testimony is not to upset, scare away, or judge anyone; rather it is to demonstrate the reality of what can happen to someone who continuously abuses alcohol and its aftermath.

Pablo has been such an influential person in my life—he has taught me a lot through the confessions of his mistakes.

Through my lens, drinking alcohol is not worth wasting our lives and abusing our own bodies, because life is just too beautiful and we only live it once. While drinking alcohol causes a “high” feeling that allows us to escape and feel good, it’s only temporary and can damage our body and mind if not used in moderation.

But thankfully for us, we have resources that can assist us with our issues. The resources we have at Le Moyne, the resources which my uncle lacked living in an environment with insufficient health services, are the ones that students should take advantage of here on campus. In particular, the amazing staff at the Wellness Center, who are here to assist you in any shape or form; from individual counseling to participating in the Substance Abuse Group, a group for anyone who has concerns about their drinking or drug use.

It is you who has to want to change in order, though. You have to take the initiative and ask for help. As the Halloween festivities are fast-approaching, I have some final advice for you: please eliminate or at least manage the amount of alcohol you put into your body because abusing alcohol now will take a toll on you in the future— physically and mentally. As the saying goes, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”