M. Elyse Lynch


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Alcohol: The Destroyer of Worlds

March 17, 2019

There is a certain saying about guns that has stayed with me ever since I first heard it mentioned: ‘a gun isn’t a weapon until it’s placed in someone’s hands.’ You can say this about cars, about planes, even about large frozen lamb legs, if you’ve ever read Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the Slaughter. But through my experiences, the same can also be said about alcohol.

For those who go out on the town and get a bit ‘tipsy’ now and again, I doubt they have a clue what I’m referring to. But for those who have been or still are direct victims of alcohol abuse, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Growing up with a parent who was an alcoholic has been perhaps the most harrowing challenge of my life, and still continues to be even after my parent stopped drinking. Imagine being not only terrified every time you had to go home from school, but being forced to watch those around you fall apart and knowing that you are just a helpless child, too ashamed to speak out, too young to understand that you can’t control what’s going on, that it was never your responsibility to. And even now, imagine being much older but still being forced to face the after-effects of that trauma daily, and despite how much pain the abuser has caused, imagine how it feels to come to terms with the abuser’s own suffering and knowing that you can’t take that suffering away.

I truly do mean what I say about alcohol being ‘a destroyer of worlds’ because it did destroy mine, and I know it continues to destroy many others as well. It benefitted no one in my situation. Instead it caused so much hate, so much self-loathing, so much loss, and so much heartache. To look back is to be so overwhelmed that you feel as if you might break once more, and what adds further injury is that none of the past can be removed or changed. It’s my story, and despite how much I’ve learnt from it, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, not even my worst enemy.

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, alcohol is a significant contributing factor to the cause of homicides. (Morgan A & McAtamney A; 2009). However, this truth doesn’t stop anyone from drinking alcohol, because it’s everyone’s drug of choice, and the best part is the fact it’s legal. But for people like me, that’s the worst part. Despite how many people suffer from the effects of alcohol, I doubt that alcohol will ever be made illegal. That’s something I’ve come to accept, and even though that feels like a slap to the face, it is what it is.

But that doesn’t mean things can’t be changed.

Like my parent, many use alcohol to self-medicate, mostly because they’re too scared to seek actual help. But I’m going to tell you now that nothing is worse than using alcohol to solve your problems. It’s a cycle that never ends and things will never change. I’m telling you now that if you don’t think you deserve such help, if you don’t believe you’re worth it, you are so very wrong. Everyone deserves a chance. No one deserves such suffering. I promise you that you will lose yourself if you take that path, and you risk never being able to find yourself again.

So, don’t turn to the bottle when times get tough. It’s a short-term fix that leaves lasting negative impacts long-term. Instead, go and see a doctor, and if that seems too overwhelming at first, then just talk to someone, anyone, even if that’s just a close friend or family member. Trust me, anything is better than drowning your sorrows and expecting them to go away. Remember, alcohol is only a weapon in the hands of an abuser, so please don’t abuse it, for the sake and sanity of yourself and those around you.


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1 Comment
  • Saadia

    I strongly agree. My mother was (and is) an alcoholic. She was abusive when she drank to my dad and me and my siblings. The horrible things we witnessed and sufferred was due to her drinking. It bothers me when poeple joke about getting drunk or do it for fun, but they just don't understand the ahem it can do like you and I. Thank you for writing this because sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who had an alcoholic parent who ruined everything. Good luck with the contest and I hope you are happy and safe now. (:

    about 1 year ago