Letter to the editor: My name is Andy and I have a problem

Andy Gonzales

I read with sadness Stillman’s column on Veishea and his views on alcohol. I think a lot of people don’t see the true dangers of alcohol and it’s destructive influence. For a long time I drank, to be accepted, to have fun, anything really. I was under the mistaken impression that to have fun, it was necessary to drink. I agree that last year’s Veishea wasn’t the greatest in the world, but how could Stillman take alcohol so lightly? For a long time I drank, I went to the bars, got drunk, would stumble home and puke my guts out. I remember laying on the ground vowing I wouldn’t do it again, but I would be there the next night. It wasn’t until I went home to Texas and would pour myself a glass of orange juice (with vodka of course) that I realized I had a problem.

My grandmother with years of experience from male relatives took one look at me and new what my drink was. It was as if she could smell it seeping from my pours. All she needed to do was look at me and she knew. It’s a very humbling experience to look at your reflection in the mirror and not recognize the face staring back. What disturbs me most about Stillman’s column is that there is someone out there like me who doesn’t want to drink but does so anyway. They drink and drink and drink. After a while their grades start to fall, they are late for work, they need a swig in the morning just to start off the day, they start losing their real friends and eventually even your family gives up on you. And of course you deny you have a problem. “I can stop anytime.” That’s what you’re thinking, right?

Alcoholism is a disease. When confronted with the notion that we might be alcoholics, we attempt to reason why we drink, “I had a crummy day at classes, I’m stressed out, my life sucks, I broke up with my girlfriend.”

Denial is often the first sign you have a problem. Sadly addicts continue to act out on their frustrations. It’s everybody else that has the problem, not them. In my mind an alcoholic was someone who was really hooked on booze, someone who hides a bottle, sees pink elephants, a bum who can’t hold a job. Stillman completely misread Seagrave’s view. I’m going to assume that I am able enough to interpret what Seagrave meant. He meant that there will be no ultimatum placed to force students not to drink. I even think he may feel it would be OK to drink as long as it is done responsibly. He was asserting that he would treat us like adults as long as we act like them. As for those who want to get plastered, go right ahead. Eventually, alcohol will consume you too. I think Oscar Wilde said it best, “I can resist anything, except temptation.” Everyday I’m confronted with drinking and I keep a bottle in my fridge to remind me of what alcoholism can do.

Daily I’m tempted to open up that bottle and pour myself a shot. I know eventually though that when I move, I’m going to take that bottle and throw it away with the rest of the trash.

Andy Gonzales


Political science