Alcohol. I fine servant but a terrible master


A wise doctor once said. Alcohol is a fine friend but a terrible master.

To many who really don't understand alcohol or have had traumatic experiences concerning alcohol this post will be of little interest to them. Specially as its not very PC these days to say anything positive about alcohol consumption.

Now I speak from experience having served 30yrs in the Metropolitan Police Force as a serving constable . First of all its an error to use or abuse alcohol to run away from grief or indeed anything. Yet alcohol taken appropriately and at the right time of day can provide a temporary and blessed relief from the stresses and strains of life. And at the moment in my case the loss of my dear wife of 50yrs to pancreatic cancer about 5 weeks ago. I personally look forward to my beer of an evening as a relaxation and mellowing out period following what is often the stresses and anxiety of the day living without my beloved Anne. Indeed I'm writing this now at 10-30pm whilst enjoying my beer. Clearly I'm not drunk. I know that what ever life flings at me during the day I have my guaranteed temporary relief at the end of that day. And its a strategy used by police officers and many others who's job it is to deal with life tragedies on a daily basis - including doctors and nurses. But I stress its just a temporary release and nothing else, yet a little something to look forward to at the end of the day which often assists in a good night's sleep. I'm reluctant to say this but: beware of those who take the moralistic high ground and condemn the therapeutic use of alcohol. They are normally or basically non drinkers and are merely quoting what they've read somewhere. I'm a fit 73yr old and have, and still use ( Not abuse !) alcohol as it was intended. Maybe your tipple is a few glasses of wine or a couple of stiff spirits. Either way it matters not. To requote my old school doctor friend from many years ago. Alcohol is a fine servant but a terrible master. There is no stigma in enjoying your favourite tipple.

Bless you all.

Geoff you are right to voice and express your take on what alcohol can aid,relieve and as in your case a welcome relief in taking the edge of a terrible situation and I much agree .. that also being the reason that has unfortunately made you a welcome member of this forum .. unfortunately it’s not always the case for everyone I don’t think it matters the reason we drink alcohol but more in fact the person we are that’s drinking it .. I’m in agreement Iso used to enjoy a glass of wine .. to de stress not often but still enjoyed .. unfortunately for me I now do fear people thing I take the moral high ground not because I want to judge or to be miserable.. but because tonight I tuck my five and six year old in to bed and give them a kiss and say ‘ mummy loves you and so does daddy up in the sky ‘ and my beautiful girl says back to me ‘ is daddy safe now mummy ..
you see my husband died last year just 36 he was not an alcoholic .. a husband a daddy and for some reason he turned to alcohol to take of the edge of what ever darker was going on inside him .he binge drank on the Saturday night was found the next morning . and now we are left with a huge hole in our lives ... I don’t drink anymore alcohol scares me .. I hope in time my thoughts will change .. I constantly now tell my friends and family to be careful watch what they have and why they have it but most importantly for them to still enjoy a well deserved beer and believe me when I say it comes from fear and no moral high ground .. I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife I know how cruel and cancer can be .. I hope the sight helps and a cold beer also
Love and best wishes Michelle x

Thank you both for your understanding posts. Everything in moderation. I do enjoy a beer and I also like cider. Like anything in life if misused it can cause problems. Overeating is good example. People's experience of over drinking can vary so much. Has anyone here attended an AA session? I have as a visitor and when one listens to the sad stories of family breakups, violence and destroyed relationships and major domestic problems caused by alcohol, it make one realise the dangers.
How events in life can swing from one extreme to the other. Teetotal to alcoholic.
Love to hate. Buddhists talk about 'The Middle way'. Walking the path between the two extremes.
If one holds beliefs about total abstinence from alcohol perhaps for religious reasons or just because the dangers are seen, then surely it's as unnecessary as the other extreme.
I am so sorry Michelle about your husband. Who knows what goes on in another's mind. We can never judge or condemn. Everyone has their inhibitions, and some are able to talk about it others 'bottle up'. The shame involved in opening up, which is so important, often stops a person doing just that. That's why counselling is so important. A counsellor will never criticise or judge.
I'm off for a glass of cider. 7% alchohol. Why not. Best wishes.

Michelle believe me when I say I am truly sorry to hear your story of a tragedy that for you and the children must be almost unbearable. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being brave enough to share. Of course I wouldn't for one moment even consider you taking the moral high ground. You speak from direct experience and as a wise person once said " Experience is the greatest authority." And your suspicions concerning the use of alcohol are well founded. I can feel you understand where my post was coming from and the over all message I was conveying. Yet on reflection perhaps my post could be construed as being rather smug as I come from a working culture of drinking and so used to the affects and behaviours surrounding the subject. Indeed my best friend died indirectly from the effects of being an alcoholic. He too was a retired police officer who had been haunted by demons for many years but would never share with me where they were coming from. Im sure as time passes even my use of beer ( never spirits!) as a means of relaxation will decline if for no other reason than the aging process. As I mentioned I'm an old feller of 73. Bless you and your beautiful family including daddy in the sky.

Love Geoff x

Thank you Jonathan for creating the balance on such a difficult subject. Indeed I to subscribe to the Buddhist Saying "Tread the middle path." Although I have wondered off the path into scrub land on many an occasion. Thus are the lessons of life learned.
Bless you Sir.,

Love. Geoff

I just wonder how many people turn to alcohol because it takes the pain away for a short time.

The problem with alcohol and grief is it's a depressant, using more than a small amount for a soporific effect will make you feel worse. I admit to using a tot of brandy to help me pass out for 3 to 4 hours a night. As a young man I abused alcohol and got into trouble for it so I'm fully aware of the dangers. I disagree with AA on never being able to drink again, I believe it depends on your own strength and willpower.
I personally refuse to consult a doctor because the standard answer is mind numbing chemicals like benzos. Illegal drugs like marijuana act in the same way. When the chemical wears off you're back in reality and feeling worse because you have to start all over again.
My personal vice is tobacco to relieve stress. I'd actually quit for 16 straight months before my sweetheart passed away and didn't start again until two weeks after she died. I felt so much better physically being tobacco free after 45 years smoking, but now it really doesn't matter if it kills me, I get to be with my Rhonda sooner.
Take care. Carl.

Hi Carl
I can fully empathise with your post. Everything you said rang a bell with me although futunately alcohol never got the better of me despite, like many others, I've said and done things under the influence many, many years ago that even today makes me feel ashamed. I've been vaping for about 4yrs now as a substitute for cigarettes and it works very well. But with the passing of my soul mate Anne I compliment that now with roll ups. I felt I needed a stronger hit along with my beer to feel more ' normal' again. My beer is Carlsberg not all that strong but creates a mellow feeling that never produces a hangover even if I go OTT. And just like you, I longer care about my health. I remained as healthy as I could to always be there to look after the love of my life. Now she's gone I couldn't care less about me. The sooner I die the better. I'm contributing nothing now to this world. My kids may want me but they don't need me. So Im more than ready to meet my sweet heart again in the other dimension of love. To use an American phrase - JOB DONE.

Hi Jonathan 123 and everyone else, I lost my partner 6 months ago and turned to alcohol - big mistake I now not only miss my love desperately I am now trying to stop drinking with all that entails. The unhappiness it can cause is huge ! Take my word it relieves nothing and makes life worse if that is possible when grieving - I loved him so much my life is quite meaningless. Now is a fight to conquer this toxin - warm wishes to all. Xx

Geoff -?i agree with you there is nothing wrong in n having a drink and I have a question : why is it you decide to write about it? Do you deep down think that you are having fun be too many? Do you feel others are judging you?

Sadie xx