She is not alone

Drinking is a huge problem all over the world. Binge drinking in colleges, abuse of alcohol by teenagers, lonely drinkers, who want to escape from reality, are dangerous. But how does a person become a drunkard, and how can one stop the process?

In this article I am going to tell a story about a family tragedy of a college student from Saint Petersburg City. Kate, 20, lives with her step-father and mother. “My parents got divorced when I was 13. Right now my step-father is my friend: we go abroad together, we talk a lot, we do sports. I see he supports me.” Kate says her biological father, Mr. Elkin, hit her mother and her older sister, he yelled at ladies and abused physical power. “It’s very hard to forget and it’s even harder to talk about it. One day I came home a bit earlier from my volleyball practice. I opened the door and saw my mother lying on the floor. She was choking. My father was near her, he didn’t try to help her at all.” Kate says drinking was his problem. “He could drink for many days. One day police got him lying on the street. They called our land phone. Mom was totally shocked. That was a shame for her, for a 10 and a 16 year-old girls, but not for an adult man.” Kate admits her Dad realized he was a drunkard, but he was a weak-willed person. “He promised us quit drinking, but the other day I found a bottle of vodka in my box for toys. Now I understand that was an illness.” Relatives tried to help Mr. Elkin, he had a course of supportive treatment but nothing helped. “I believe he could quit without medications. It is not hard to refuse to drink. The problem is a desire.” Kate hasn’t been talking to her Dad since parents got divorced. She was never interested. “Mom always payed for my education, for sports and everything. She was paying for my sister’s tuition without any help. He was not there.” However, the lady knows her father was reported to be in a nursing home. “Some neighbors called my family and said my Dad was in a delirious condition. He saw some awkward pictures, he got angry.” Kate says there were several bottles of vodka and a few slices of bread in the kitchen. The lady can’t imagine how a normal person could live like that.

This story may happen to everyone. The one thing we should do is to take care of people who are near us. “On the one hand I wish I could help him, on the other hand he damaged my life.”

Millions if people live with it, they put a blind eye on violence in families. Isn’t it time to think this problem over and boost one-parent kids, victims of drunkards and give support to everyone who needs it? Kate is an exception as she is happy now. She is not alone now. She has a nuclear family and, unfortunately, she knows what violence is.

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Drinking Coke

Just one hour before the shift is over,  Maria, 20, an assistant manager in a small company in Saint Petersburg City, fills her stomach with another glass of coke. “I consume 2,5 litres of Coke daily. I don’ t think I am addicted, I just like the flavour”. Maria insists on having no problems with gastrointestinal system. Se has been drinking Coke for 7 years. “My parents are not against it. They consume Coke themselves when they want, once or twice a week. They never prohibited that to me”.

Maria is probably an exception to the rule. The rest of the company doesn’t like to drink Coke. Natasha, 30, says, “There are 8 table spoons of sugar in every glass of Coke. And I do not believe Diet Coke is better. The taste is the same, so it should contain a certain percentage of sugar.” Natasha will not allow her little daughter drink Coke. “It’s made of chemicals. Moreover,  there are no vitamins, and what’s worse – people may get addicted to caffeine. So I do not want my kid have any problems with her health”.

“There is onlyone girl in my college who drinks Coke every day, the rest is indifferent to it”, says Kate, 22. She, herself, may drink Coke once a month, and she adds the sparkling beverage to spirits. “I like the elicious mixture of Whiskey and Coke. And I would be very grateful if anyone could tell me any other tasty mixture of Whiskey and something else”.

According to the sale’s statistics in the same company, which is not specializing in beverages, Coke is the most popular drink. “People also get sparkling or still water, but Coke is ranked first in this contest”, says Olga, 20.

My Neighbor, My Friend, My Relative, My Acquaintance

It’s not a secret drinking is a common problem in Russia. Russians had rather tough history, lots of invasions and a plenty of wars. The severe climate also builds up the character and the outlook.
But the Nation found a way out in drinking, both men and women.

Hardly could you meet any Russian who doesn’t know anyone who drinks. A neighbor, a relative, a friend, an acquaintance…

I found it rather interesting to interview several people on such “drinking” acquaintances.

“Alex was a wonderful engineer, the whole district knows him”, says Albina, 19, about her neighbor in home town in Bashkiria. “When the refrigerator was broken, I knew I could dial him and he could help. Alex was a kind and a generous person.” Alex started to drink when he his son sank in a lake. That was a tragedy for the man. “He found a solution in the bottle of spirit. He borrowed money, but he always gave everything back.” Albina remarks, Alex never yelled and never abused his physical power when drunk. “He lived with his mother. They could yell at each other but all the neighbors understood the situation. People tried to help.” Alex disappeared the past fall. “No one knows where he is, but everyone hopes he is all right.”

Sometimes all the adults in the family appear to be drinking. Irina, 20, said how it feels. A family that loved to drink lived on the next floor, a lower middle class family in a suburb of Saint Petersburg City. “My Mom was always waking up at nights, she could not stand the rows they had. She called the police, the neighbors but she could not handle it.” Irina adds, one day her Mom tried to talk to the neighbors face to face but the man hit the mother. In all this story a weird thing is the “drinking family” consisted of a man and a woman in their early 30s, and of a toddler, aged 3. The kid always had enough food, enough toys and medicine but the parents were drinking. They never hit the kid but the kid didn’t look neat. Later on, the family moved out from that house.

“I could hardly say he has ever drunk”, says Tatyana, 53. She told me a story of a friend of hers who was a binge-drinker for 10 years. The man Ivan had his own cafe in 90s. When his business went up, Ivan started to drink. He could not control the company anymore, and he lost it in a couple of years. “Ivan got some hypnoric treatment, and it helped. He did quit drinking.” In 2000s Ivan went to Israel and started his business again. “Now he is a successful and a happy person”, says Tatyana, addinf that Ivan  “doesn’t drink anything harder than juice or sparkling water.”

Some people are able to cope drinking, some don’t. Some people are happy without spirit, some are not. Some people find the only possible solution of their problems in drinking, some say “no” to “water of life”. While each person is to choose some prerogatives. Each person has his own life, his goals, desires, preferences and Choices, so it’s never late either to stop or to start to do something.