Wino Xing crossing sign by Wayan Vota of flickr.com Alcoholism

Wino Xing crossing sign by Wayan Vota of flickr.com

As a child, I remember trying to fall asleep in my room and hearing the sound of a can of beer being opened in the living room, it would send shivers down my spine and make me worry about how this night was going to turn out. Was it going to be another all-nighter worrying about that barge into my room or was I actually going to get some sleep this night. See growing up as a kid I had to deal with alcoholism in my family which made me develop this fear of touching anything alcohol related. To this day my love of craft beer fights with my fear of becoming that drunken statistic, it’s an on going battle that keeps me balanced and at times makes me question so much about myself.

Going off to college was a challenge because I was that guy that didn’t drink and the one that had to turn down repeated attempts to get me drunk. I had my first drink when I was 21, no seriously, see I had this huge fear of taking a sip of  alcohol and being turned into this always drunk wino, waking up in the morning and not remembering what I did the night before or even worse becoming that one drunk that gets violent and loses those people close to him. I still carry this fear of becoming “that guy” and as much as I love my craft beer, I approach it with extreme caution. It’s a caution that holds me back from doing more and fully immersing myself into the craft beer scene, as some other craft beer lovers do.

Looking around the craft beer scene, you can find a lot of bloggers that drink on a daily basis, which honestly, I envy. I want to enjoy a brew every night, I want to be able to get home and not worry about drinking and just enjoy myself but I never want to turn into someone I can’t control. There are many nights I find myself at 10 pm debating on whether I should pour a beer.

“Will this make me look like a drunk? What will my wife think? What does my daughter think? Will this be the drink that begins my descent?”

When I started the site in May of 2011 my uncle commented once “let me ask you a question, I hear you’re opening a beer website. What’s wrong with this picture?” I couldn’t and didn’t respond. All I could think was I am in control of my faculties, unlike others in the family, and I’m a grown ass man. What came out was “yeah I’m opening a beer site and no I don’t see anything wrong with it” and that was it, nothing more became of that. Here I am a year and a half later still trying to combat  those fears of alcoholism and overcome that idea of me becoming that guy and just another statistic.

My eight year old daughter commented once that I was addicted to beer. Now granted she didn’t fully understand the definition of addiction and thought that addiction meant you really liked something but that got me thinking about and rehashed those feelings I had as a kid. These days I come armed with a better understanding of myself and a beautiful new family that always remains in the forefront of my mind, reminding me that “this beer is not worth it” and yes I can fight the urge to have another beer and yes I will be the role model my kids need and yes I will still love craft beer, just in moderation.

Cheers folks!

Picture of Irving's Family

My Family