Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Criticism - positive or negative?

Run your fingers through my soul.
For once, just once, feel exactly what I feel,
believe what I believe, perceive as I perceive,
look, experience, examine, and for once;
just once, understand.

Those words may seem controversial to you.  We all have our own problems so why should we take the time to care about others?  That is all and well but is negative criticism of others necessary if you haven’t taken the time to understand?  I have learned that before I can judge another, I need to walk a mile in their shoes.

I read a blog post the other day where the writer was slandering a woman, who has an alcohol problem, for drinking and driving with teenagers in the car.  It started me thinking on how many times I had to take my own children to functions or school and the only way I could get out of the house and do this was to have a drink to calm the tremors.  I was fortunate, by the Grace of God, that nothing terrible happened and I never got a dui either.  When I look back on those terrifying years, it was the only way I could cope with a disease that had consumed my mind, body and soul. 
Yes, alcoholism has been medically classified as a disease.  Like Aids, people tend to shy away from alcoholics and deem them to be the dregs of the earth, the unsavoury.  When we take the example of drinking and driving – I agree that it is totally irresponsible – but there are normal people that drink too much at a party and get behind the wheel of a car.  What about those who are driving while texting on their cell phones or the mental health sufferers who are under the influence of large doses of Valium or other heavy drugs? 
An alcoholic has to choose recovery on their own desperate terms.  In the long term, forceful rehabilitation actions will not help them but there are a couple of things you can do to make yourself a little less resentful: 
1.  Drinking and driving – tell your children and their friends not to get into any car where you suspect the person has been drinking - drive them yourself.
2.  Resentments – show a little more tolerance for the person involved by encouraging them not to drive with others or at all when under the influence.
3.  Presence – it is your responsibility, if you care enough, to take the car keys away from someone under the influence – friends do not let friends drink and drive.
4.  Concern – if you are sincerely worried about whether a person is an alcoholic, tell them your concerns and let their friends and family know.
5.  Educate – read and learn about alcoholism – you might change your perspective.
6.  Practice what you preach – don’t drink under the influence of any mind altering substances either.

7.  Judge not, less you be judged. 
You know the saying – when a dog is down, kick it.  Well I have known how it feels to be there.  Alcoholics are generally beautiful people with emotional defects that have risen out of their pasts.  Don’t pick on the hopeless.  This world is in a mess with war, economic instability, hunger and poverty which has all been influenced by the greatest addictions of all:  Power, Greed and Corruption. 
I am sure you all have some thoughts of your own on this subject, so please voice your opinions.  We need to strive to make the world a better place for all.

“To love means loving the unlovable.
To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.
Faith means believing the unbelievable.
Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”
G. K. Chesterton


  1. I agree, alcoholics are generally good people. But in reality, if a person knows they have a problem then it is their responsibility to make sure they set the situation to prevent harm to others. I have NO sympathy for a parent that throws more than a few back, gets so drunk they can hardly speak much less drive, then puts their children in the car, and drives off. It's criminal and UNFORGIVABLE. It's disgusting.

    My post definitely has a different point of view on this than yours. For me, once the addict irresponsibly and intentionally almost kills their kids, their sympathy rights go right out the door. There is no argument to justify it.

    For the record, "intentionally" is used (and I know it's a strong word) because when the addict is sober they know what they did was wrong and they know they will do it again. If not preventing something, then it is intentional on their part when they know their record of behavior.

    Now, with all that said I have a GREAT deal of sympathy for a person addicted to anything. It's a terrible, terrible life to lead. But like the saying goes, "You can't make someone ready to change. They do it when they're ready." This to me says it all and you can only help too much. They are accountable for themselves. It is no one else's responsibility to make them change and get help. It's not easy, and it takes a lot of will power and support, and I know this. I've been living with addictions my whole life. My father was an abusive alcoholic, my ex-husband was an alcoholic, and there are others. Lucky for me I had just one to kick, smoking. But you know what? I was smart enough to know it was my nasty addiction. Not those around me. Not my kids' problem. I went out of my way to be sure it didn't affect them. Get where I'm going with this? I was accountable, I took precautions, I took charge. I didn't try to pass it off as poor pitiful me with an addiction and I would be as proactive if I had a drinking, heroin, crack, pills, etc. problem.

  2. Thanks for responding Linda - I am sorry to hear that your father and ex husband were alcoholics - it is tough to live with an addict. I was just trying to point out that it is not only alcoholics that drink and drive and your post seemed to be the best to give an opinion on. I really hope you can put your past resentments behind you, let go and move on. Take care of yourself xxx