Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Getting Drunk

I have no idea how many mornings I used to wake up and have no clue as to how I got home or what I did the night before.

There was a point in my life that I was drunk every single day.

I was reflecting on one particular morning when I had a conversation with a stranger. This conversation was similar to many I had over the years. It was when I worked in a shop, and this guy came in to buy something. He came to the till, looked at me and then asked if I was ok. I said yes and asked why. He asked if I remembered him. I said no. He then told me that the night before he had seen me staggering past the pub he was in and then collapsing outside. He helped me up and then walked me towards my home. He said that he left me at the top of my road. I had woken up in the morning for work with no clue how I had got home or what I had done the night before. I still remember how I felt when this man was telling me the story. I still remember feeling sick as I listened and anxious. I still remember laughing and acting like it didn't matter. I still remember thinking that I needed a drink.

There would be countless more times when that kind of thing would happen again.

I heard that over a million people in the UK in 2010 were taken to hospital for alcohol related problems. I wonder how many who should have gone never did. Probably would have topped 2 million if they had.

We live in a time where people in the UK love getting drunk.

And it is causing huge problems in people's lives.

Depression. STD's. Debt. Relationship breakdowns. Affairs. Illness. Strain on hospitals. Violence. Tears.

I'm not anti alcohol. I'm tee total but I am more than happy to sit with people while they have a drink.

But alcohol is a massive problem in the UK and government have no idea what to do about it.

And with the rise of individualism people feel like it doesn't matter if they get drunk because they think it only affects them. Yet it is clear that this is not true.

Consumerism makes us numb to what really matters in life and makes us crave for a quick fix of happiness. Alcohol helps provide that fix.

A belief that God is not really needed in our lives or society puts too much pressure on our relationships with each other, so alcohol provides the fantasy that we really love each other and can handle the pressure we are under to make each other happy.

The tears, breakdowns, fights and pain on an average night out in town tell a different story.

If in church we say that coming to Jesus makes everything ok, then people will always go to alcohol.

Jesus is not a self-help product to a better way of life.

I suspect the answer to the issue of massive alcohol abuse in the UK lies in what the Gospel and Christianity is really all about. And I'll pick that up tomorrow.


Bryony said...

Joe, I am with a a few people who really drink to excess at the moment. On friday, I was with a guy watching fireworks (Cowes week, IOW) and he had a whole bottle of vodka and red bull. He ran off and I couldn't find him. He told me the next thing he remembers is being with me at the fireworks and then waking up in the morning in his bathroom. ( About 8/10 hours later) This he does regularly and also other members of staff do the same. The staff think drinking like this is fun. They have no one to be accountable too. Christians are accountable to God and other Christians, but these people have nothing. I see the difference, the problem and the only solution is the gospel. That is a huge challenge. Please blog more about this. IN Christ. Bryony

Joe Haward said...

I will blog about it more Bryony. It is a big issue and one that is not easily sorted. I do believe that the gospel is the means of transformation and I am sure people will be transformed. Hope you are ok.

Bryony said...

Thank you :)

Yes I am well thanks. Starting my relay year in 1 week! http://www.uccf.org.uk/relay/what-is-relay.htm
So packing, praying and preparing!