The most important thing to me personally, besides my family of course, is health and fitness. Keeping the body healthy is my greatest personal priority. I have always been conscientious about eating right and exercising. When I tell people that I don’t drink alcohol they look at me in bewilderment. I don’t tell them the real reason why I don’t drink because it means a lot to me and it is a long story. But for some reason I feel compelled to tell the reason tonight as my blog entry. Here is the reason why I don’t drink alcohol.
When I was young I had a friend (DW) who was staying at my house. She was staying at our house because she was suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and she was trying to quit. She was battling addiction for many years and was in and out of rehab centers. My family was very caring and loving toward people and we felt that we could help this woman get through the tough time. During the time she lived with us I developed a unique bond with her. She told me about the drug trips she took and how horrible those experiences were. I learned a great deal on the reality of hallucinogenic drugs. So much that I had nightmares from the truth that she told me. Her greatest addiction though was with alcohol. I was at the age where many of my friends started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I didn’t resort to drugs or alcohol because I was always on a sports team during the school year and I signed a contract. To me when I sign something I commit to it. My loyalty to following the rules was instilled to me by my parents. However, during the this tumultuous time in my life I was conflicted between having friends and playing sports. If you didn’t drink or do drugs you were considered a geek, freak, jock, or nerd. When you are fifteen years old you don’t want to be considered abnormal, so you often do things that you don’t necessarily want to do, but do it for the sake of being called “cool.” When I would go home after school I would talk to DW and she would tell me about the peer pressures she faced when growing up. She told me about all the irresponsibility that her and her friends did as as an under aged drinker. She told me that nothing good comes from under aged drinking. In fact, she told me that most of the people that she knows that attend the AA meetings all started their addiction as under aged drinkers and drug users. She gave me a lot of insight on the dangers of alcohol. She told me that not everyone is an alcoholic and has problems with drinking, but for those that can’t control their drinking it becomes a problem.
DW stayed with us for only 8 months. She made great progress when she was with us. She was sober and clean during the time she was with us, which was a big step toward her sobriety. Four months later we got a phone call that she relapsed and was in the hospital. When I went to the hospital to visit her, she didn’t look the same. I was shocked at her appearance and was very saddened to see her in this state. Her liver was dying because of all the alcohol abuse. Her face blew up about twice the size. The last thing she told me was, “take a look at me Daryl, you don’t want to end up like me. Whatever you do don’t drink or do drugs. You can do great things in your life without having to do this. You are a beautiful person keep that, don’t become like me.” She died the next day. She was 28 years old.
That experience has never left me. I told DW at her bedside that I would honor her wish. To this day I have never had a drink of alcohol in honor of DW. She didn’t realize it but she changed my life forever, and I truly thank her for that.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
tags: fitness, alcohol, drugs, muscle, bodybuilding, exercise, health,