Monday, October 22, 2007

"Hello, My Name Is BrainCheese And I'm An Alcoholic"...And Other Statements That Might Not Surprise You...

I'm not certain why I CARE what political figures do with their lives and I'm really sick of reading about alleged celebrities (I use the word "alleged" because, come on...is Ms. Spears REALLY a celeb?!?) entering rehab to avoid various drug/alcohol related charges. But I've been following the story of a local Seattle-politician-Wannabe (who also introduced herself to me on Saturday at "Da Banquet" while vote trolling) and I read something yesterday in a Seattle Times article that just chapped my arse, so onward I rant...LOL

The article quoted politician Wannabe's attorney saying that Wannabe had undergone an alcohol evaluation and was found to "not have a problem with alcohol". Now, let me back up a bit here...


Wannabe, who is running for an elected city office, was arrested last week on DUI charges...admittedly, driving after having had a few drinks...blowing a blood alcohol above the legal limit, and allegedly going 50 in a 30 zone and weaving, according to arresting papers.


OK...I was sort of fine with Wannabe getting arrested for DUI. It happens...not enough, but it happens. As a matter of fact and statistic (quoted from research by Voas & Hause), it is estimated MOST drunk drivers get behind the wheel with blood alcohol levels above the legal limit (0.08) between 300 to 2,000 times BEFORE EVER COMING TO THE ATTENTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, i.e., being arrested. Yes, you read that correctly....300 to 2,000 driving episodes of BAL's (blood alcohol level) ABOVE the legal limit while driving. That's a hella lot of driving drunk! So, statistically speaking, it's no wonder there are so many DUI arrests these days (which, by the way, are now clogging our court systems and jails at a higher rate than those charged with crimes such as burglary).


But keeping this statistic in mind (and being an alcoholic myself, who has not had an alcoholic beverage in 20 years...another story to tell. LOL), I can't help but wonder how many times Wannabe has been behind the wheel of a car intoxicated and just NOW has been caught?!? And for her attorney to make such an asinine public statement is just...well...the height of RIDICULOUS! But I'm inclined to believe this attorney.


I also don't necessarily believe Wannabe has a "problem with alcohol"...most alcoholics don't.


"WOOT??", you say. Did I pickle my own brain at a very young age from intoxication to make such a crazy public statement in a blog?!? Has MS clouded my judgment and reasoning?!? Nope, neither...


Wannabe doesn't have a problem with alcohol because the alcohol is just the catalyst or symptom. Wannabe HAS A PROBLEM WITH HER EGO BEING TOO LARGE FOR HER BRITCHES...yep, said that publicly, too.


Speaking from experience (and having driven intoxicated in my early drunken days, but never "caught"...woohoo, aren't I special), one has to be extremely NARCISSISTIC to drink and get behind the wheel of a car. To risk one's own life and the lives of others and NOT CARE demonstrates a very high level of narcissism. To convince one's self they are "special", "different", or "invincible" and therefore IMMUNED to the effects of alcohol or intoxication takes a highly skilled level of denial and ego structure. And, it's easy to do...especially if you "get away with it" between 300 - 2,000 times before EVER being caught, arrested, or involved in a crash. But the act of driving while under the influence is STILL an act of spinning the chamber on the hand gun and pointing it at YOUR head and MINE...odds are, if you (or anyone else you know) is driving while under the influence, it's only a matter of time before being caught, being involved in a crash, or worse yet involved in a fatality (which in 2005, 39% of all traffic fatalities involved BAL's above 0.08...over 14,000 deaths. Go here if you want to peruse stats yourself: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Trends/TrendsAlcohol.aspx ). And this fact, dear reader, REALLY PISSES ME OFF! The idea that I gave up drinking only to be potentially KILLED by a drunk driver just chaps me...LOL


I am a designated driver...have been for years. I don't care if my friends drink (and believe me, working in social services/medical professions causes a high number of folks to drink!)...I don't care if my friends drink in front of me...I will mix my friend's drinks...I go to bars with them and they drink. I choose not to imbibe and they don't hold it against me any more than I hold it against them that they DRINK alcohol. I will always drive my friends home and sometimes even insist upon it if I suspect they've had "too much" to drink with "too little time" passing before getting behind the wheel of a projectile weapon, i.e., vehicle. And if I'm not around, there's ALWAYS a designated driver available to them...it's called YELLOW CAB! And I insist they keep this population of immigrants employed...it helps the economy...AND, it keeps my dearly beloved friends and total strangers on the road safe.


It takes an even bigger ego to give up the keys to your car...but this "largeness of ego" is demonstrated in a good way...it's called ALTRUISM. Perhaps Wannabe's lawyer would have been better off to just stop at the typical "no comment" and zipped the lip regarding Wannabe's problem or lack thereof with alcohol...I know I certainly would have respected her more and not felt like I'd been SLIMED by her hand shake on Saturday...
Off to compulsively wash my hands again...with battery acid...LOL...


20 comments:

mdmhvonpa said...

Wow ... the ever lovely and talented Mrs MDMHVONPA does not drink by choice (not a decision due to addiction) so I have to cover her share every time we go out. Now, I have BOTH coasts covered and have to drink 3x as much. Sheesh, thanx. Honestly though, a glass of red every night or so is enough for me ... and it keeps the stress-demons at bay. And yes, it's a regular sized glass.

Zee said...

You know, I'm not sure I agree 100% about the ego thing. I drove drunk plenty of times and in all those cases my getting behind the wheel had more to do with my inability to see myself clearly than it did with my ego. It wasn't that I thought, "I know I'm drunk and I don't care; I'm going to drive anyway!" What I thought was, "Oh, I'm fine! I'll get home ok..." Seriously.

I'm not excusing it in any way, shape or form: I shouldn't have driven. At all. What I am saying is that alcohol numbs us up, impairs our judgement and makes us do things we wouldn't ordinarily do.

Having said all that, I agree with you about alcoholics' problems not being about the alcohol: it's merely a symptom of deeper-seated issues, one of them being ego. Still, there is one very particular piece that convinces me - whenever I doubt it - that I am indeed alcoholic: I have absolutely no control over the stuff. And that is why I quit: because once I have a drink, I just keep drinking and then my judgment gets impaired and THEN I drive. And that = totally effing crazy. It's one of the reasons I stay sober: the thought of killing someone else or myself scares the living daylights out of me!

It amuses me a bit that "Wannabe had undergone an alcohol evaluation and was found to "not have a problem with alcohol"." because chances are, if she's being put under that microscope she most certainly DOES have a problem of some kind. People who are not alcoholics typically don't get pulled over for DUI or get in trouble in other ways.

Anyway, I could go on about this forever but seeing as I'm SUPPOSED to be working I'll close...

harkoo said...

Is it me or is it an accident that the cartoon px of the man in the car driving drunk looks like Bush? We in Maine are very familiar with his drunk driving days-in fact I have seen a px of his trashed car that ended up in a Maine dump when he was in his 40's. He had a lawyer too keeping that imfo from the public. (will I be sent to the prisons for writing this? Will Linda go to prison if she publishes my comment on her blog?)

Peej said...

Gotta agree with both you and zee... half is ego and half is being impaired enough not to know you're too drunk to drive.

I don't drink anymore unless you count a glass of something on New Year's Eve. :) I choose not to. My MS world spins fast enough that I don't need an accelerant (spent 10 minutes looking at this and still can't figure out if I screwed it up!). LOL!

Pass the battery acid please?

BRAINCHEESE said...

MDMHVONPA:

You funny man! You KNEW my next question was, "And just how BIG were/are those drinks?" I've been doing psych/alcohol/drug assessments too long...sigh...LOL

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

ZEE:

What I know about the addictive brain/addictive personality is that there IS an extremely high level of narcissism at the root of the cause...I know this, because I know myself when I drank and the years of cognitive therapy I faced to unravel this key issue as well as working with addicts for 20+ years. Call it "ego", call it addictive brain, call it whatever one wants to label it...the fact remains the same...myself, like any other drunk, knew and knows their limit and drinks anyway. Never once did I "pre-plan" a ride home before drinking, which is what any sane, non-addictive person would do if they planned to drink or even DIDN'T plan to get drunk. I don't drink now, yet I have Yellow Cab preprogrammed into my cell phone these days...did I mention YEARS of cognitive therapy?!? LOL

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

HARKOO:

NO! It's not you...that IS a cartoon of "Horhay" Bush drinking and driving!!! LOL How astute of you...

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

PEEJ:

Well the MS and also the fact you're OLD now, too! LOL

(The battery acid was to burn any remaining "slime" off my hands from my very awkward handshake and conversation with "Wannabe")

LD

Bubbie said...

Ahh, I have had my run ins with not just wanabes but wannabes that made it to office. Hard to be civil in public to the one that was in charge of disenfranchising voters in Fl, by hiring a firm from Texas of all places. With MS, being out of balance and all, it's not at all out of the realm of possibilities that one might trip on your ill placed cane on one's plastic face.

Diane J Standiford said...

My problem(besides all the ones mentioned) is that I now have to choose to vote for this person or a person I do not want to vote for.
AAArrrgh I have never drank, smoked, or used illegal drugs, boring-yes, but I hate the idea of not being in control of me. (ironic, I now have MS) Can't drive, can't get a joint, and can't mix booze w/my drugs.
Ironic. Boy, that party you attended was quite an affair.
****PS--kudos for speaking of your own alcohol problem and 20 years--right on! Hear my applause!!!

Peej said...

Yup... Knew what the battery acid was for. And just hearing about it made me feel that it was the only way to become clean ever again! No one takes responsibility for their actions anymore... What's changed so drastically in society?

Oh well, guess you're right. I'm old. lol!

Hope you get rid of your cold quickly -- try zinc with C

Peej

Sara said...

well well well, what a topic . . . so on a totally different note, but your post made me think of it . . . me mum's been sober for nearly 27 years (or there abouts) so when I was growing up I use to think that girls weren't allowed to drink & one time my cousin brought his gf over & I saw her on the deck drinking from a beer bottle & I ran in to "tell on her" when me mum explained it's ok . . . took me awhile to understand - I guess since she got sober when I was just 3 I grew up with AA & her AA mates in my life that I have lil sympathy for drunk drivers, whatever their excuse!

sorry for that totally unrelated comment, but i'm getting a cold & so the mind is a bit hazy today

Miss Chris said...

When I was a senior in high school (many moons ago!) my best friend was killed by a drunk driver. She was a passenger in a car that was hit by a drunk driver, who just happened to be my neighbor. The issue here, other than the obvious, is that this guy was stopped earlier in the evening and wasn't "drunk enough" I guess, to get arrested. But when he killed someone, I guess he was drunk enough then. In my mind, people can agree to disagree on regarding why people chose to drive drunk. Whether its narcisistic behavior or a clouded mind from all that booze.

Becky said...

I agree with the ego...everyone knows that if you drink to much, you are drunk. The best thing to do is have a deisgnated driver, no matter how little you drink. I know that 1 drink on my meds gives me a buzz and I should not drive. There is no excuse for it, IMO

BRAINCHEESE said...

BUBBIE:

I STILL say you should sell "rubs" on that cane of yours that tripped the celebrity!! Could supplement your disability income? LOL

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

DIANE:

I'd probably still vote for Wannabe...she's human and made a really bad choice. Haven't we all? I just can't stand the media-speak and spin-doctoring they do for the public...or maybe the "ignorant" public who only think in black and white terms? I give Wannabe points for continuing to stand there and converse with me and my knowing stare...even though she never brought up the subject of her arrest and neither did I, but I think she "knew" I knew.

I'd have to study her track record on other issues to know if I'd want her on the council or not, which I have not done.

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

PEEJ:

Zinc w/ C? I already take 1,000MG of C w/ rosehips! What are you trying to kill me?!?
Oh, and I DID try the tonic water for the calf spasticity (forgot to tell you that)...I drank that nasty stuff for about a week EVERY DAY...didn't really notice much difference, so maybe I "dosed" it wrong?

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

SARA:

Well I guess that confirms the age old, "we live what we learn" theory, doesn't it?!?

Funny thing as a kid, I didn't think my father could read because he never read the paper everyday like my mother did! I finally asked her, which late into my adulthood, she NEVER forgot! My father WAS literate...not always "wise" at times, but literate. LOL

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

MISS CHRIS:

Yep...doesn't really matter "why", it's the outcome that speaks volumes to the story.

So sorry about your friend...

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

BECKY:

Kind of like how I know certain medications I am prescribed at times slow my reaction time...I HAVE to ask others to drive for me when on them, which thank goodness, isn't that often. But I DO plan ahead for these moments...

LD