Hi. My name is Dain and I’m an alcoholic. I’m also an admitted jackass on most subjects and am never one for being overly serious, except when it comes to drinking. That’s a subject I take quite seriously. I have been clean of drugs and alcohol since February 19th, 2007. I drank heavily in Chico for many years, becoming well known amongst the bar and party circuit. I landed a DUI in 2000 and still acted like a brat for many years after. Family, friends, and associates would tell me I should watch it; that I drank too much. My drinking started as a fun and wild time, which eventually turned into a severe problem (as others saw it. I thought I was awesome.) I didn’t see it as a problem until years later when I nearly DIED and only then was I willing to admit I had a problem and go through a program of recovery.
In my journey to sobriety I learned that alcohol was not the problem, I was the problem. I was using booze as an excuse for whatever happened that day. It wasn’t until I was ready to get honest with myself and take a hard look at my actions that I was able to realize my excessive partying, binging, and doing drugs was less about it being available and more about how I viewed my self-worth as a member of humanity.
This runs counter to what many are shouting, but I feel that trying to fix the current crop of problem students is a lost cause; their behaviors and peer groups are set. The education programs being called for would have needed to be instilled back in Junior High before peer groups and social practices hardened into acceptable habit. They wanna party like assholes and make bad decisions? Not much we can do about that other than provide guidance and information on how to get help and hopefully remove the stigma of asking for help. Honest discussion must happen earlier in life. Personal responsibility must make a comeback.
I was in the Synthesis office during the recent meeting of bar owners and what I heard made me sad for them. Here is a group of business owners that have been extremely regulated, blacklisted, scorned, punished, kicked, and urinated on. Every time there is a casualty of alcohol, they become the easy target. Why them? It’s easier for someone to buy liquor from a convenience store (less chance of being carded) or a supermarket (much larger sales window between the hours of 6AM and 2AM). Stores are cheaper too. Yet it’s the bars that get slammed. Regulating and/or punishing bars will serve no purpose to achieve the desired goal when I can just as easily acquire alcohol from stores or house parties. The bars are simply an easy target for a public that is too overwhelmed with a much larger problem, that goes much deeper than the physical business or even the glass bottle.
Our drinking problem lies within.
I’ve had it said to me that if you can get sober in Chico, you can get sober anywhere. There may be some truth to that. Really though, I think you CAN get sober anywhere. It’s staying sober that’s key. You have to want it. I have to want it. If I don’t want to be sober, if I don’t value and respect my sobriety over all, then what’s to stop me from that next drink? Certainly not some regulations or a community call to action. It’s a nice gesture. Perhaps that’s how it all starts; admitting we have a problem with alcohol.
Chico has a giant range of substance abuse programs and help available. If you have comments or need help with alcohol you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org