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Demon Alcohol

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Not so happy

Not so happy

“Take this money and get the recruit drunk, then let him sleep it off in the open bunk in your dorm room.” the big time NCAA Division I wrestling coach ordered one of his upperclassmen wrestlers. The recruit that he was referring to was me. I had just had my bubble burst. I thought I was going to be offered a full athletic scholarship. Had I not just won the 167 lbs. N.C. High School Wrestling Championship with a perfect 33 – 0 record? The coach had told me in a very brief meeting that the best he could do for me is get me in the university. I had not bothered applying because I knew every college that had a wrestling team would be offering me a scholarship. Boy was I wrong! I ended up taking a partial scholarship at a NCAA Division II school, but this article isn’t about my wrestling during my glory days as a young athlete.

49 Ways to Make a Living in the Philippines
State Champion

State Champion

I was seventeen years young my 18th birthday was a few weeks away, but the coach did not seem to care that I was not yet legal. The upperclassman wrestler took me and a couple of other guys from the wrestling team to a bar called Trolls. A pitcher of beer was ordered and brought to the table. I had never drunk any alcohol. My dad never drank in his life because he remembered how his father would change when he was drinking and had determined the change to be not a good thing. I don’t remember my fraternal grandpa. He died when I was 3 years old. My understanding is he worked hard, drank harder and died young. Anyway back at Trolls the first of many to come pitchers of beer sat on the table amongst three college wrestlers and a prospective college wrestler. I could have and probably in hindsight should have declined the offer, but when the mug of beer was offered I inhaled it and Demon Alcohol entered my body for the first time. I drank quickly at first because I did not like the taste, but after a few mugs. I started to enjoy the beer. For a while I was feeling good, and then suddenly I no longer felt well. I quickly went to the restroom and deposited a large quantity of Demon Alcohol and whatever else was in my stomach in the sink. The management at Trolls did not appreciate that I made my deposit in the sink and not the commode, so we were asked to leave. This was my first experience with Demon Alcohol it would not be my last or worst.

At the college I attended I was visiting a friend, George, in his dorm room one day after a night of binge drinking and I noticed a hole in the wooden closet the school provided. I asked, “What happened?” while pointing at the hole in the closet.

He said, “You tried to hit me and I ducked and ran.”

I looked at my hand and now the splinters in my fist made sense. “Why did I try to hit you?” I inquired.

Watch out for Demon Alcohol

Watch out for Demon Alcohol

George answered, “Last night I told you that you were drunk.”

Never tell a drunken person their drunk, sober or what time it is it can only lead to trouble. This was one of the times I experienced a blackout. It was not the only time or the worst.

Drinking ourselves to DeathIn the Philippines, I have noticed a lot of binge drinking among Filipinos and apparently from what I have read on this site expats. One night I was sleeping with my wife and kids under the family size mosquito net at Mama’s house in Bohol. I was awakened by someone yelling outside the house in Bisayan and Mama’s dog barking back in dog. I looked at my wife who was also now awake.

She said, “That is my second cousin; he is drunk.” For a second I saw concern on my wife’s beautiful face.

I said to my wife, “He will probably wander off or pass out in a few minutes.”

I then tried to go back to sleep a few minutes later things got quiet and all was good. Had I been drunk I would have probably gone outside to confront second cousin. Things would have likely escalated to a physical altercation which I feel is a no win situation for me. I might or might not win the fight, but if I seriously hurt or kill second cousin I would be in deep trouble. If he was carrying a bolo, I would probably be cut into several pieces also not good.

An update on second cousin, he came by Mama‘s house while we were visiting with a couple of San Miguel Grande beers. My eldest brother-in-law was there and we shared the beer pretty equally none of us getting drunk. Second cousin told me that he had stopped smoking and no longer drank heavily, because he regretted doing so in the past. He explained that everyone in the community saw him as a drunkard. He said that he regrets that he had not been able to find a wife at the age of 40 because no one wants to marry a drunkard. All three men sharing the beer agreed that on occasions we had said and done things they regretted under the influence of Demon Alcohol.

Happy Drunk

Happy Drunk

I know what some of you are thinking, but Jay haven’t you ever been a happy drunk? The answer is of course I have had a good time when under the influence, but I personally don’t wish to be seen as the town drunk by my family and community. In the Andy Griffith Show, one of the characters was Otis Campbell who was the epitome of a happy drunk. Some people are like Otis Campbell who never turns into an angry drunk. I guess if someone is like Otis they are harmless as long as they don’t drive or operate a chainsaw or heavy machinery or a hammer or a bolo or….you get the idea. When you hear of someone doing something boneheaded the chances that alcohol was involved are real good.

alcoholic or drunk?

I am not recommending prohibition of alcohol like the US tried to do in the early 1900’s. If someone offers me beer I drink one or two. Alcohol affects people in different ways. Some people if they start drinking they can’t stop until they pass out. For me every time I binge drank it was a choice I made. The affect on me was that I became a more primitive person and my judgment was not good. Since getting married and starting a family, I personally have decided to limit my drinking to a point where I am not seriously affected. In my opinion, I think it is wise if you are drinking to: know how the alcohol affects you, know who you are with, where you are going to be and how you are going to get home before you start drinking. I am not judging anyone for drinking heavily. I have been there and done that although a lot of it I don’t remember. I am not trying to tell anyone else how to live their life as long as they don’t affect my family I don’t really care what someone else does. When I write an article my intent is to possibly entertain, to give the reader something to think about and discus, and for me to learn from the feedback I receive from the readers.

I wrote this article over a year ago. I submitted it for publication to Bob, but for some reason I got cold-feet and asked Bob to retract it. I decided to resubmit because a friend of mine died recently of liver failure at age of 60 due to years of alcohol abuse. I used to think 60 was old, but now that I am 50. I really think 60 is young. This article was more about the short term effects of alcohol than the long term effects, but I have only been affected in the short term at least to my current knowledge. Anyway like I said the article is meant to inform and get people to think about the choices they are making and the possible consequences good or bad.

Questions

  1. I shared my first experience with Demon Alcohol. Would you like to share yours?
  2. On the graphic I included with this article the Philippine death rate due to alcohol was lower than the US and Europe. Do you have any insights or theories on why?
  3. What are some precautions that you think are wise to take before drinking alcohol in the Philippines?
  4. Do you know someone who is changed in a negative way by Demon Alcohol?
  5. What is your definition of alcoholism?
Posted in

Jay Stainback

Jay Stainback lives in Raleigh, NC, USA and is hoping/planning to retire to Bohol in about 10 years. He is married to his beautiful Filipina wife Juliet whom he met on-line. They were married 12/7/02 and have two boys’ ages 9 years old and 5 years old. Jay has visited the Philippines 4 times the first time 1 week, the 2nd time 2 weeks, the 3rd time for 3 weeks, the 4th time 4 weeks spending most of their time in Bohol.

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John
John
6 years ago

What the heck did I just read? And is there anyway to go back in time and get those minutes of my life back?

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  John

Hi John,

Sorry that I wasted your time. Maybe my next article will be more interesting!

Peace

Jay

MindanaoBob
6 years ago
Reply to  Jay

I would not worry about it. If John had no interest, he wasted his own time by continuing with the article.

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your support and allowing me to post my articles on your forum! I think the only reason John’s comment got to me a little was it was the first and as a writer I am not sure what other people will find interesting. This was kind of a touchy subject and not easy for some to comment on. I was actually expecting more negative comments which I don’t mind especially if they express a dissenting opinion. On an unrelated topic, have you heard from Paul Thompson?

Peace

Jay

MindanaoBob
6 years ago
Reply to  Jay

No problem, Jay, it is my pleasure, and I enjoy your contribution to the site. John was rude with his comment, and I note that he did not even respond when I told him so.

I would not be worried about it. Drinking is a problem for many expats, and I think that your article was a good reminder for people.

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
6 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Jay,

Sorry John posted what he did. That certainly was a heartless act on his part. I guess John doesn’t care unless it is his story. He’s obviously all about himself.

Thanks Jay for posting the article.

Rusty

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Rusty Bowers

Hi Rusty, John did not really upset me. I wish he had been more specific on his criticism. I must admit that for me the thought of my article being boring is harder to take than someone having a dissenting opinion. Of course, Bob is right in that all articles are not interesting to all readers. I have read articles on this site that I did not find interesting that others thoroughly enjoyed. I now suspect John may have not actually read the article, but just did not like my opinion and wanted to use a clever line to criticize… Read more »

Adam
Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  John

Well said Jay! Obviously John found it hard to understand. Not hard John! Alcohol is evil. Has caused me many hardships over the years. Crazy decisions are made when one is drunk. It saddens me to see many expats in this country drinking themselves silly every day because the grog is so cheap and they are bored. Even some people on this site constantly rabbit on about their beloved SM beer. They need to grow up and find something to do to keep themselves busy. Have a coffee instead of a beer! Alcohol is behind the majority of crime in… Read more »

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the support, but when I see an article with only one comment and the comment is that the article was boring. I tend to give some credence to the comment. Thanks for sharing your two cents. I have not been drunk in 13 years since I married my wife, but I have to admit sometimes I really want to get drunk. IDK.

Peace

Jay

Adam
Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Jay

No need to apologise Jay.
Many people simply don’t like reading or hearing the truth.
Good on you for having the courage to write your story here.

MindanaoBob
6 years ago
Reply to  John

I think your comment is downright rude. Nobody forced you to read any article on this site, let alone this one. If it is not of interest to you, go read something else.

Undisclosed
Undisclosed
6 years ago

4) Yes, a very good friend of mine has totally wrecked his health by drinking. I was too “drunk” myself to be able to help pull him out of the dangerous spiral we could see he was on. He is severely damaged cognitively and physically. Now that I’ve got my drinking under control it is too late. He lives but is weak and not for the incredible strength of his wife and family would be in a nursing home. 1) My first experiences were at deer camp or similar gatherings. Then I went to the neighbors to hang out with… Read more »

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Undisclosed

Hi undisclosed,

Thanks for sharing and Bob Martin thanks for allowing undisclosed to share. I know you normally require a name, but I can understand why one would want to stay anonymous on this issue. I could have written a stronger more interesting article, but there is a limit to ho much I am willing to disclose about my experience.

Peer pressure seems to be a common thread. I was unaware of the regional differences in the Philippines.

Thanks again for adding to the discussion undisclosed!

Peace to you and your friend!

Jay

Undisclosed
Undisclosed
6 years ago

That’s too bad you feel that way John. Booze can do serious damange to a person and it can be from a slip of the tongue every bit as much as it comes from OWI or cirrhosis.

The syrup my friend has to take ’cause his liver doesn’t work anymore gives him the runs and now he can’t walk very well, guess what?

Listen to what Jay has to say.

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Undisclosed

Hi undisclosed,

The friend of mine who died recently was not a very close friend. When I saw him recently I asked him, “How are you doing?” He said, “I’m dying.” I honestly thought he was kidding around. Then a couple of months later his wife posted on Facebook that he only had days to live.

Peace

Jay

Bob Snapp
6 years ago

I am a recovering alcoholic of 20 years….still play music in the bars….alcohol is a demon to some and to others a way to socialize….its all a matter of the person and how they handle it….imho

Bob Martin
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob Snapp

Good luck to you, Bob.

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob Snapp

Hi Bob Snapp,

Congratulations on the twenty years! I agree that people are affected differently. For me 2 or 3 beers and I am good. If I get to 4 or 5, I have trouble stopping and mayhem may occur that I can neither control nor remember. Thanks for sharing!

Peace

Jay

Greg Brown
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob Snapp

I was a firefighter for 19-1/2 years. I just wish people could see all the deaths I saw caused from drinking. They would never get drunk again.

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Greg Brown

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your input and comment! The thing about alcohol is that it really has a powerful seductive appeal. I have not been drunk in 13 years since I married Juliet, but sometimes I want to get drunk and alter my consciousness. It is not a daily struggle for me, but if say my wife and kids were to go on vacation in the Philippines and I were to stay here in Raleigh by myself. I would probably go back to getting drunk. Alcohol is a powerful drug. Thanks again!

Peace

Jay

Peace

Jay

Leo
Leo
6 years ago

It`s very hard to find some facts why alcohol is good for someone, but I bet there still is some. For example to relief a person who is insecure, shy and cannot “open him/herself it can be good with the limit he/she can handle.. who knows, perhaps, maybe? My wife`s uncle is a very nice old person but very shy because he says he even as a barangay captain, cannot talk in english with me. There is an answer for that serious thing….”the Language medicine!” A small bottle of Tanduay or only a small glass of it and there comes… Read more »

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Leo

Hi Leo,

Thanks for sharing your 1 peso thoughts! comments like yours add a great deal to the articles. I think all things in moderation. A small amount of alcohol is probably beneficial, but some cannot stop once they start. I am not too surprised alcohol improves some Filipinos English. I think sometimes they are nervous and alcohol lowers inhibitions.

Peace

Jay

AJ UK
AJ UK
6 years ago

On the graphic I included with this article the Philippine death rate due to alcohol was lower than the US and Europe. Do you have any insights or theories on why?…………probably lack of reporting in PI. In the Barangays, how many people go to the doctor when ill? How many deaths are followed up with an autopsy?

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  AJ UK

Hi AJ UK,

My wife’s father died a couple of months before I visited the Philippines. No one knows what from. Back in the USA, when asked about her families medical health my wife has no idea what ailments her family has died from. You are probably correct that this is a factor. Thanks for commenting!

Peace

Jay

Cordillera Cowboy
6 years ago

How ’bout that? I was also a high school wrestler, though not a champion. I’ll take a stab at some of your questions. 1.I shared my first experience with Demon Alcohol. Would you like to share yours? I was in my mid teens, working as a stable hand. The boss’s son, another guy, and myself, all of us teens, were delivering a load of horses somewhere or another. On the way back, they pulled a bottle of cheap wine from under the seat of the truck and began passing it around. Since I was in the middle, I got twice… Read more »

Jay
Jay
6 years ago

Hi Pete, Always nice to hear from a fellow former grappler! Peer pressure definitely played a part in my beginning to drink as well as the desire to escape the reality that I was not seen as the blue chip star athlete that I thought I was. The thing is I might have proven that coach wrong had I not started drinking. My Freshmen year of college I made the NCAA Division II finals and was soundly beaten on ESPN. That was my best year wrestling in college. I think drinking heavily it got worse in college slowed my reflexes.… Read more »

AJ UK
AJ UK
6 years ago

I thought I’d add a bit on point 3 from your questions – Firstly, always pour your own drink if not drinking at a bar. Know what you are drinking. Secondly, drink lots of water if you are there for a session. As we have all found out, it is hot in the PI and alcohol only enhances the dehydration we can all feel. One point to remember is that if you drink a six pack of beer you will pee 9.8 tins. Thirdly, don’t get involved in the Pinoy macho trait of pouring a large glass of drink, downing… Read more »

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  AJ UK

Hi AJ UK,

Thanks again for commenting! I have heard of people getting drugged in the Philippines and here in the USA with a date rape drug. People should to be careful when drinking.

Peace

Jay

easy
easy
6 years ago

Hmmm…. I don’t always comment on articles but I want to encourage Jay to keep posting. I won’t comment extensively about my own drinking history except to say that I have one….and now I have not had any alcohol for over 30 years. I learned in a VERY hard way that alcohol is not my friend. However, as others have commented, problems with alcohol are not one-size-fits all. Anyway, I mostly wanted to respond to Jay’s very good questions: 1. I had my first drink at 13, by drawing off booze and then watering down my parents modest bar that… Read more »

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  easy

Hi easy,

Thanks for commenting and sharing your experiences and thoughts!

Peace

Jay

Derek
6 years ago

Hi jay, after reading this post and read all the comments yes alcohol can be a big problem,
Many people drink for different reasons some drown their sorrows others don’t know when to stop and others can’t stop, then their are social drinkers like me who only drink limited amounts and always have something to eat if you’re going to have a drink,
Yes I’ve known people who have died drinking to much alcohol but more people I have
Known have died smoking cigarettes, you have to be sensible in what you drink everything in moderation, Derek in pasig.

Jay
Jay
6 years ago
Reply to  Derek

Hi Derek,

I think all things in moderation is wise. I have never really understood smoking, but once you get hooked I have heard it is hard to stop. I have seen Sari Sari stores selling cigarettes to 6 year olds. I forget what they cost I think it was 1 or 2 pesos per cigarette. I guess that could be an article although I have no plan on writing it. Thanks foe commenting!

Peace

Jay

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