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A Whole Lot of Bud Never Made Me Wiser

Whole Lot of Bud, Never Made Me Wiser

I was 9 years old in 1976 when I saw my first beer commercial. I was sitting on my father’s lap as I asked him what the commercial meant. I noticed that it was the same name of the bottle of beer my father was drinking, as his cigarette smoke was filling the room like an episode of Mad Men. I asked him if I could take a sip and he replied, “No sweetheart, it is something for adults.” All I knew was that it was in his hands and made him happy.

I wanted to be just like him when I grew up and the commercial looked so happy. Decade after decade the message has remained the same. Look to the bottle of spirits for happiness and relief instead of finding the Holy Spirit within. After all, it is “just a beer" and it is "just a cig." If people, places and things can trigger an alcoholic to drink, what do you do when you don’t have control over people, places and things? Well, you stay away from bars. Check. You stay away from people who drink. Check. But you can’t avoid the messages screaming at you every single day in music, on television, internet, and social media or in the movies, on the highway, in grocery stores, to drink because it’s “just a beer.” In our society, we view beer like it isn’t even alcohol at all. There hasn’t been one day that ended in Y for over 17 + years now that I haven’t been bombarded by a DRINK A BEER message. I have NEVER, not once, had one day where I’ve been able to escape the message to give up, and drink because it’s “just a beer” and it could never harm me! I was a BEER DRINKING WOMAN. Me without a beer can still feel like I am living without oxygen at times. I haven’t been in a bar, tailgating at a concert or at a professional football game in over 17 years. Yet, I have seen and heard about “just a beer” no matter how it is advertised and to whom (me and someone you know or yourself) when, why, what and how.

I have heard time and again in song and in messages that ONE BEER is waiting for me to make everything in my life better. If it doesn’t make life better, then at least it will be my temporary pain reliever until it doesn’t. Then, that one, turned into two and two too many, always. What a lie this was in my life and what a lie it continues to be for millions. How would you like to quit the bitch of nicotine, which is harder to quit than heroin yet throughout the day, every single day ending in Y, no matter where you turn, someone is “Blowin Smoke” in your damn face. Well for the alcoholic, someone is trying to shove "just a beer" down my throat every minute of every day and not just on their “Smoke Break” either but all the time. I go to the grocery store, it is there. Check social media, and an advertisement is there. Watch a video online, and there it is as the introduction before my favorite song or even as an introduction to a tragic news story. So “just a beer” has no boundaries in when or where they will air their message. As long as millions are viewing the news, whether it is hellacious or happy, “just a beer” is spending millions to entice you. Watch anything on television and the message is there. As I am gathered here today to share with you my story and to create an awareness, it is just another day for an alcoholic like me who has to put up my dukes each and every day and fight off the devil’s message. So “Hit me with Your Best Shot” because you do every damn day but I am stronger than you!

Mind you, I do not believe that it is wrong to drink but the drunkenness and everything being based around getting drunk is not just a sad state of affairs but deadly to millions. I didn’t just like beer. I loved it. I can still go crazy with desire for an ice-cold beer when I cut the grass and smell the smell of fall, the crisp leaves in the air and a bonfire. It is better than any orgasm I have ever had! But yes, even the best of the best ones, “just a beer” was still better! If it is hot, or cold, rainy or sunny. If I’m happy, sad, mad, pissed off or depressed, it is there waiting. Especially when I am pissed off, I would love to get my pissed off on and get piss drunk because I’m a COLD BEER DRINKER which of course could never hurt or kill me. And especially when I deal with depression and anxiety, for a relief, any relief and yet I have learned to ride the pain out no matter what. Why? Because alcohol as well as “just a beer” is a lie and it is a depressant and I can’t sacrifice my life over bouts of pain. I am an alcoholic who carries this blessing and curse with me “Til My Last Breath.” I write this for those who understand that they can’t just have one and they must fight each day as well. You are not alone! There are tens of millions of us in the U.S. alone and we get it. Wine and beer kill just as many as the pill popping opiate epidemic, year in and year out, and addiction is a bitch. It is a bitch because it is in your face and in your ears every waking moment of your life without your choice. You also have to work and you have to hear day in and day out about people drinking. Then the holidays come, any holiday for that matter, and you hear it repeatedly. There are the co-workers of mine and yours who are from ages 20 - 70+ talking over and over about TGIF and time for a drink. It was beer in my 20's and 30's but now, people in their 40’s and on have matured. They don’t drink “just a beer” but wine now too. For a glass of wine isn’t viewed as alcohol either and one could never become or be an alcoholic from drinking “just wine.”

The jokes and stories, week in and week out, never cease. I “Turn on The Radio” and have to change it every five minutes on some days because they are singing for me to give in and go drink. So, I then turn off the radio or listen to non-drinking songs and songs of hope that I’ve purchased, not streamed. I thought it would stop after my 20’s but it doesn’t and didn’t. Then comes your 30’s and people have kids and those parties all involve beer because, hey, it’s “just a beer.” It continues on through your 40’s, 50’s 60’s and on and on whether it is beer, whiskey, and wine, whatever, whatever gets the job done. And those who are young like I used to be are being bombarded with the messages in song to drink now more than ever. Ironically, it isn’t country music that sings the most about branded alcohol but rap. In a recent study conducted by Boston University School of Public Health, the exact issue of my book is finally being warranted because it is happening people.

Per the report as quoted, “there are 4 brands that show up in the lyrics of popular music.” Those brands are Patron tequila, Hennessy cognac, Grey Goose vodka and Jack Daniels whiskey. Over half, YES half, of these alcohol brands are sung in songs that were the most popular songs on Billboard in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Finally, the questions are being raised about the relationship between alcohol companies & the music industry. The study was also co-authored by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and is the first to examine in depth the context of the use of specific brand names in music. Well, I am not a Professor but I, too realized all of this not recently but for years and it is the sole purpose of my message.

*Note -Of no surprise is that alcohol use was portrayed as overwhelmingly positive in lyrics with consequences almost never mentioned. Therefore, I wrote my song and story, because what these songs portray is a lie. These artists usually have a sponsorship with the alcohol company or endorsement agreements. It is no different than when cigarettes placed their brands in movies. People not only drank the Kool-Aid in the 70’s & 80’s but smoked the Kool-Aid and are dead.
Tobacco advertising is no longer allowed to advertise but alcohol is viewed differently. It won’t change until people become educated, and don’t support their music at concerts or buy merchandise. You don’t have to worry about supporting them by buying their music because who the hell buys music anymore unless it is Adele? And Adele is not singing about getting fucking drunk every damn song. But, her songs, although beautiful are quite sad and this too can lead to a drink. So please be careful with those songs about time, lost time, lost dreams, regrets, breakups and so forth. So, what is left? There are plenty of hopeful songs and messages left so become your own DJ. The Kool-Aid now is alcohol in music, movies, Internet & mobile advertising. Often, I see the horrific commercials of the destruction from tobacco as people are on oxygen, lost limbs or have voice boxes asking you to think and not smoke. These are bone chilling! But where are the commercials for "just a beer" or "just wine" showing the patients in hospice and in liver failure from drinking. I have yet to see one commercial or PSA. Where is the documentary “Thank You For Drinking?”

For those of you old enough to forget but haven’t forgotten, remember what your parents said about rock? Well, they were wrong for there wasn’t one alcohol song referenced when rock-genre music was examined. In this study, out of 167 songs, hip hop/rap accounted for 37.7% of alcohol mentions in songs, followed by country @ 21.8% and pop @ 14.9 %. Turn on Top 40 pop, hip hop or a country station and let me know if you can escape hearing a song to party within the hour for pleasure or over pain? And if you can, did you hear an alcohol commercial in lieu of the song or both? I guarantee that if you can’t. Turn on country music and see if you can do the same thing. Turn on an urban station and try as well. So, you get the idea that the message chases you 24/7. You won’t last an hour listening to any of these music genres without them singing about drinking or using drugs. Adults and kids alike are listening to this. It does and will affect them as well as you. It is music that is more powerful than any of these other mechanisms and mediums. Listen, look, see and hear long enough and you will become desensitized just like everything else going on in this hot mess of a world we are living in. If you are what you eat, then you most definitely are what you listen too and watch as well.

When my nephew was confirmed, it was my hope that the Bishop would have addressed the issue of “music” that forms young people’s lives, minds and souls. He stressed over and over the importance of the Holy Spirit and being Christ-like and yet all I could think about was these young, almost adults going home and cranking up their garbage rap music singing “wake up you lazy shit, time to make some mutha fuckin money!” We can do whatever we want because we are” Young, Wild & Free.” The young start out free until they pick up and imprison themselves.

Or they are listening to country singing about “just a beer.” You see there is this dirt road, and a lift-gate for my beer, with a girl, under the moonlight and it is the same message, many times singing about drinking in your truck as well. And pop music, well, the main message is YOLO. But although you only live once, you only die once too.

For the life of me, I don't understand why this issue isn’t being addressed in schools, in church, and across the board. Why aren’t they teaching about music in the church and what the lyrics mean? Why don’t we have restrictions on advertising? We don’t talk about it because advertising works and sells. The messages in music sell a lifestyle as well and musicians with their alcohol endorsements, alcohol sponsorships are then followed by their own alcohol brand. “Drink the fuck up everyone” is all they want you to do. Companies and advertising make billions in sales every year. So, after high school, college or professional athletes pray before their big game, they crank up the music to everything they’re taught to avoid, and it’s all sponsored by liquor companies.

Oscar Wilde raised the question, “Does art emulate life or life imitate art?” Well only you can answer that question yourself. In my own life, songs, advertising, family traditions, and stimuli around me, were all influences on me. If art, a.k.a. advertising, didn't work, then billions wouldn’t be spent on it every year. Why do you think the biggest social media behemoth doesn’t charge for membership? It doesn’t charge because the billions of advertising dollars are targeting hundreds of millions of people, regardless of age. Hell, you can’t even verify properly if the person viewing the advertisements is actually the age they claim.

An article by Petra Rattue, in Medical News Today, stated “Music like rap, hip hop and R&B often contain references to branded alcoholic beverages that are commonly linked to a luxury lifestyle which degrades sexual activity, violence, wealth, partying, and the use of drugs. Researchers at the University in Pittsburgh conducted a study published online in the international journal Addiction that reports that the average U.S. adolescent is heavily exposed to alcohol references in popular music.”

As far as my own life was concerned, I listened to country and rock. Therefore, it was “just a beer” just me and my buddy beer. Notably, country music doesn’t sing about Hennessy, Grey Goose or Patron. Guess what it sings about? Well two guesses. One is whiskey and the other is no big deal for its “just a beer” right?

Therefore, I would partake in this "just a beer" mentality for I believed and witnessed the lie all the time. It was “just a beer” and I could never get sick from such a thing. Then there are sports. How many people would attend any professional or college game if “just a beer” wasn’t served? Go to any professional sporting event and see how "just a beer" is not a big deal. Well, "just a beer" is a huge ass deal. Every stadium has scoreboards, commercial after commercial, party music blaring in the stadium and advertising plastered everywhere to partake. They have bars and restaurants named after liquor and “just a beer” as well. For it is "just a beer" and it won't ever hurt you. Get your wallet out because "just a beer" is a multi-billion-dollar business. Would they be able to just fill a small section if “just a beer” wasn’t served or sponsored? Hell no they wouldn't be able to. You know it and they know it!

You can’t even watch fireworks without hearing and seeing about “just a beer” because hey, it’s “just a beer.” The amazing Fourth of July Fireworks in Pittsburgh are sponsored by beer because hey, it’s “just a beer.” As you were going out with your family for an enjoyable night to celebrate the birth of America and the lack of things “Made in America" it is all sponsored in the name of “just a beer.” So, drink up and bitch and moan. There’s nothing a beer can't cure as our country goes down the shitter like a hangover! Then, we wonder what the hell went wrong? I have been “The Underdog” like many sports teams for most of my life. Therefore, I cheer loudly when anyone has a winning season. I, like them, want to know what it feels like to finally get into the end zone. I want to know what it feels like to slide into home plate instead of always being tagged “You’re Out.” I haven’t experienced that feeling since I was a young kid. I personally know what it feels like to having a losing season for 20 damn years. Hell, mine has been even a decade longer. As I tuned in to watch my own hometown team finally make it to wildcard playoff game, the first thing, the very first thing I heard was that the wildcard playoff game’s lineup was sponsored by a beer company. There are alcohol companies sponsoring the “Player of the Month” as well. As if they could ever achieve MVP status drinking “just a beer” all the time like fans do. As the first batter was up, there was a beer sign right behind home plate. I turned off the game immediately. All I could think of was how many of these athletes would be so close to a championship if they were drinking “just a beer” and getting fucking wasted like people do tailgating or at the bar, or at home with “just a beer.” Well, the answer would be absolutely none.

Next up, they entered the playoffs which is being played in a stadium named after "just a beer" once again. Check out the scoreboard and “just a beer” is there screaming again. This mentality of alcohol and pro sports going hand in hand needs to stop before more lives stop. It is all about the dollar and lives are destroyed in every single state in the United but Divided States over not just politics but” just a beer” too. All alcohol companies are the same even if some advertise differently. As I used to believe when I was an irresponsible drunk, “Hey it’s not my fault at all. It’s the games fault, the stadiums fault. For you see, I just can’t help myself because we are a FOOTBALL TOWN WITH A DRINKING PROBLEM.” What a lie this is.

How in the hell do you think 60k people get home from a sporting or concert event when over half their songs are singing to party, most advertising is branded by beer and alcohol companies and musicians sponsored by “just a beer” as well? When I became PRETTY GOOD AT DRINKING BEER, I attended these football games and took an RV just so I had a bathroom on wheels. Or I snuck into the men’s room because I didn’t give a damn then or now who is going to the bathroom beside me. I just care if they wash their hands afterwards as if I did, drunk. Enough with the outrage already who is going to the bathroom beside you. I don’t give a crap (no pun) who is beside me. I do care, however, who the hell is on the road beside me and is drunk as shit and endangering my life and the lives of others. This is what people should be enraged over. Fuck the bathroom!

At one of these games, my boyfriend of the week, a girlfriend and her husband got so drunk that we didn’t make it into the game until a few minutes left in the 4th quarter. The game was over just when our asses got into our seats. As we left the game, my girlfriend’s husband didn’t. We went back to the PARKING LOT PARTY and as all the drunks got into their cars by the thousands to drive home drunk, her husband was still nowhere to be found. The parking lot finally cleared, we went into the RV and as we were watching the news, there was her husband on TV as he was passed out sound asleep in the stadium. He DID NOT hear 60k drunk fans leave nor did we notice that we left him there either. And this, my friends, is the reality of a drunk-fest every football, baseball, hockey, racing and basketball season. All Professional sporting games and especially the playoffs, Superbowl, Hockey Classics, World Series, Pro Basketball, racing and College Sports are brought to you by “just a beer” to buy “just a beer” and liquor. ABSOLUTELY everything sports related are brought to you by “just a beer” for you to buy it, get drunk and spend money!

Would you support a stadium called OxyContin Coliseum? Would you condone taking your family to a stadium named after a nicotine manufacturer? Of course, you wouldn’t condone a stadium named after a drug or nicotine but you will if it is “just a beer,” right? You would be appalled, disturbed and would NOT accept this at all and demand a name change. Opiates help millions of people who are ill and need relief however they also kill millions too. And the heroin epidemic is a tragedy but it is no different than the legal tragedy of “just a beer” and what is so- called acceptable. Yet, there are many stadiums named after “just a beer” and suites named after alcohol and alcohol themed bars and restaurants throughout all of them. Then there is racing. It took until 2010 for racing to ban the advertising of tobacco products in racing events but not when it comes to alcohol. Tobacco advertising was banned for decades but took until 2010 for a sport? In an article by Kate Walker, she stated, “We are fueled by the demon tobacco, we guzzle the planet’s dwindling resources of energy, and we hypocritically promote alcohol brands on high-speed vehicles while telling the world not to drink and drive.”

“A report by 57 European health authorities concluded that once every 5 seconds an alcohol brand races by in the Formula One race in Monaco.” No alcohol company should ever be permitted to sponsor their brand on a racecar or to be permitted to be the event sponsor in the United States or across the globe!

If you had a time machine regarding finances to have a life filled without financial struggle, what stock do you regret not buying? Do you kick yourself for not having the foresight to buy the tech stocks for those products and services you can't live an hour without now? I will give you a hint. Per Morgan Housel on CNN Money, it isn’t computers, satellite or biotech. Have you guessed what it is yet? I will give you one more hint. It is a KILLER stock. One dollar invested in this killer stock in 1900 was worth $6.3 million in 2010. I know you weren’t born yet but someone in your family was and most likely used this product and died pre-maturely. One dollar invested in 1968 was worth $6,638.

Basically, if my parents would have bought this stock when I was born, instead of the $50 CDs that accrued about $25 in 25 plus years’ time would I be better off? Just $1 from the year I was born times 50 years would have reaped me $331,900. Notice the word I use is "Reap?" One man reaps profit (gains) while the other meets his Reaper (loses). “Here Comes the Reaper.” So, would I be alright buying a stock and gaining monetarily from a profit that kills others? No fucking way! But instead, people I loved met their reaper over it so, no, you can bury this SIN Stock with my loved ones it killed. This is 165 times greater than the average return in any industry. As the article states, surely it must be something that changed the world? It may not have changed the world but if you used it, it sure as hell changed yours. This stock has performed 20.6% yearly return way better than the S & P average. The answer of course is a tobacco company. My home, your home that was founded on freedom was founded on addiction and tobacco which left people in chains walking around freely. As I will state many times, one does not have to be behind bars to be imprisoned. But, “This Land is Your Land” was built on nicotine so in essence, built on poison. In 1611, John Rolfe brought seeds from Spain to Jamestown, Virginia and started the tobacco industry in the United States. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington financed the American Revolution from the loans on the backs of tobacco farms. As we fought for our freedom from British rule and taxes, we imprisoned our country with a tobacco addiction! We traded one evil for the other.

All the technology in the world, all the advances that have changed the world, yet it is tobacco that has reaped the most deaths and most profit to this very day. Advertising laws have changed and less people smoke but "just a beer" remains alive and not well. The only thing different is how we view our “Vices” but always, ALWAYS the same message ensues. The manipulation and lies on mobile, apps, the Internet, television, sporting events, concerts, in music and sponsorships of artist’s country music artists or rather performers for they are far from creating art by any means! That is a lot of messages reaching millions of people every second of the day. Glutton stocks are up 73% as each and every day, thousands continue to die from “just a beer” “just a cig” and the misuse of alcohol.

And, if you are living in the states where more people die from smoking than war, someone there is reaping benefits from the sick. If you do smoke, you are the CEO employing millions of people in the states of NC, KY, VA, TN, SC and yes, of my own home state of PA too. Many communities, schools, universities, towns and people are reaping from you or loved ones getting sick. It sounds sick but getting sick is sick, profiting from sin stocks is lucrative for those who reap but don’t meet their reaper in death because they don’t smoke. This is the reality and a reality check! There is a reason why the ATF stands for alcohol, tobacco and firearms. Hello! Because this is what kills people. They are legal because they kill and make billions of dollars from sickness that follows and tragedy. See, your tragedy is someone’s gain, always! Cigarettes are almost ten dollars a pack in PA and regardless of whatever state you are in, as you pay to kill yourself, millions of people benefit from your demise. The only reason awholelottabud.com isn’t legal everywhere is because it isn’t killing anyone. Therefore, we can fill up the prisons with these terrible, non-violent bud-smoking people who harm no one! Make sense? Hell, no it doesn’t. But repeat again. ATF. Alcohol and tobacco are in the same league as guns and yet are legal. They are just as deadly and are legal. So, tobacco companies, federal and state programs and countless others are benefiting hugely!

All this concern over war, shootings, guns and immigration, et we are the ones killing ourselves the most with nicotine, addiction and hate yet it is wiped under the rug. Subtlety! There is a reason why the ATF stands for tobacco and firearms. People already know about the harms I have discussed but for some reason, we don’t view alcohol as the same thing. We still view “just a beer” no differently than people did “just a cig” from the founding of Jamestown and the growing of tobacco in 1607. Alcohol is the A in ATF and it kills millions as well. In fact, my own hometown of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County recently published a report that more people die from addiction than homicides here. So why the hell is everyone fixated on guns when nicotine and ALCOHOL, “just a beer”, is the danger you need to worry about? This is the reason why Billions are spent advertising “just a beer” and alcohol because it is no big deal. Advertising is the great manipulator and lie in life.

Millions of people give zero thought to SIN stocks because they aren’t the ones dying to live from them. They are on the other side, the winning side, as you are on the losing side. Your demise and “Habits” make them millions and billions, yes with a B. Huge Corporations invest in your poor choices every second, year in and year out. Whether they own the deadly product or not or work for the company convincing you to “Smoke a little smoke” or to SAVE WATER, DRINK BEER. They reap and you meet your reaper. Millions of people however want zero to do with stocks that harm people. This would be a moral choice but make no mistake about it, addictions are $ signs to many. When tobacco prices fell and many farmers defaulted on their loans during the American Revolution, they were considered immoral because it was considered immoral if you couldn’t pay your bills. So even then, if you were black, a woman, and poor, you were considered second-class citizens. However, if you were a rich tobacco farmer whose product would kill millions, you were a success. Ah, the American Dream is not one made of fairytales like is portrayed in American history. We didn’t eat peacefully with the Indians. We were founded by addiction, pillaged Native Americans, bought slaves and were a racist disgrace. America was made of those select few who win at all costs by manipulation, lies and feeding addiction as millions who lose, not just the millions who lose from “just a beer” and “just a cig” but also millions who lose from corrupt power whether it was 1611 or 2020.

If you start or started smoking by the age 16, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day until age 50 and didn’t die yet, you would have smoked 511,000 “just a cig.” The cost in dollars would be $236,635. Had you invested that “just a cig” money, let it compound until the dirt old age of 50, you would now have $1,156,162 dollars! This is enough to have those golden years you dreamt of but more importantly have the ability to “Breathe” not just financially but physically. This cost is just the purchasing cost, not the extra millions in hospital fees as you are dying. So, while you thought 50 was as old as dirt like me, people are now in the dirt having paid to kill themselves.

Step right up and place your bets. Feed that machine that takes your time and with all the lights and noise for your last dollar. Have another round or case, or two cases or a few glasses of wine. Take another drag on your “Cigarette Dreams” until the day it leads you to your “Last Cigarette.” Take another peek at the strip club or porn on-line and make them rich as you lose many times across the board with your health, freedom and relationships. Alcohol companies and businesses have been making money from drunken asses like me since the dawn of man and yet they can still advertise. It hasn’t mattered whether it was legal or not. During Prohibition, Joseph Kennedy (Father of President JFK), made a killing (pun intended) getting you drunk. The Bronfman family made billions during Prohibition as well as they bootlegged their alcohol from Montreal to the United States. Whether it is legal or not, alcohol made and makes billions.

Alcohol companies and their advertising are the game board and we are just the pieces, the broken pieces, as they say Check Mate. For most, it will take us a lifetime to pick up those pieces to piece them back together and find peace. It is time for you to make the move and take back your King. The King is not in a beer bottle or nicotine. They are just many of the pawns in life. Don’t let others rent space in your head with their messages. Companies, the government and states with sins taxes are waiting for you to make the wrong choices in life for there is money to be had. Do not let them. Which side do you want to be on? The one on the dying, indebted or imprisoned side or the side of freedom? Do you realize how many people are the CEOs of so many companies? You are a CEO! Repeat after me. You are the CEO of hospitals, medical supply companies, doctors, big pharma, alcohol and tobacco companies, jails and so forth. I used to be a CEO too because I kept them in business for decades until I shouted, I quit!

The War on Drugs, the War on Crime, and War in general are not wars that were/are to ever be won. War in general has made billions of dollars for certain companies and people and boosted our Nation’s economy after World War II. In fact, WWII created America’s middle class and suburban America. As the world continues to become more hateful and racist, a tragedy occurs every single week involving mass shootings, and the war in the Middle East continues, we kill more people from hate and addiction in our own damn country. How sad is this? We therefore are our own worst enemy in addiction and with hate. If people can’t get along in their own families, how the hell can we expect anything different? And the more people hate, the more they drink, range ensues, lives are endangered and we need to just stop it!

Oh say can you see what the hell happened to my country? We wave a Chinese flag with American stars and stripes, wear clothes from China or some Third World country and drive our foreign cars into Wallyworld. Then, after your 40 hours at your underemployed job that has been outsourced, we are bombarded by songs that sing about the USA budgeted on the backs of foreign companies saying fuck it and have a beer. It is “just a beer.” It’s as if our country has become one big Addict nation and we are choking on the Suds. As once again, this so-called beer or American Made has all merged into foreign companies even if brewed here. Then we wonder, how the hell everything right in the world did, go so damn wrong.

Perhaps we are too busy being DRUNK AMERICANS to produce things again. No president, whether from the left or right, can make America great again. We have the greatest minds, technological ideas and are the greatest country in the world. Addiction, greed, and selfishness are our problems and it needs to be addressed! Can you “Imagine”, not that there’s no heaven, but could you “Imagine” what we could achieve if everyone put down their habits, decided to “Come Together”, realized that a professional sports game is just a game? It’s just a damn game. If we stepped away from the bar and raised the bar high without getting high, and into the world to make the change you want to see just like Gandhi said? Life is not meant to be about just getting thru Monday-Friday and to get drunk on the weekends. We, you are better than this.

The worse the economy, the higher the addiction rate as mentioned previously. It is higher when you don’t have a pot to piss in! What does this tell you? It tells you that since there is no longer a middle class, then the only class left to become a part of is the DRINKING CLASS. This would be an insane percentage because it would mean at least 80% of the population. At one point, our country was 70% middle class so since there is no longer one, be the class who drinks! I, too am from/of what you would call "the hurting class" like most Americans today but can’t drink the pain away. I live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes not even hand to mouth because I have gone without food. I get anxiety with worry over something breaking, and the stress of simply not having the money to pay bills can break you and has broken me to this very day in ways that Webster can't define. I have driven a car that was held up by rust and without heat for years. If there are errors in my spelling for this book, then it is due to not having the means to get glasses. I had a toothache for 6 months because I couldn't afford the dentist for a root canal and had to have it pulled. Everything that I thought was a given in the beautiful fairytale of my youth is now considered a luxury? Never, in my worst nightmare would I have thought I would live my life in which going to the doctor or dentist was now a luxury instead of a necessity. I have only been to the doctor only one time this past year for a recent physical otherwise it was only for an emergency i.e. when I got a staph infection. I literally didn't/don't have the money to cover the visit with or without insurance. Who can pay a 10k yearly deductible and then pay for a med? I certainly would go for preventative tests if I could. People are eating carbs and are unhealthy in our country not just from lack of exercise or because they are lazy but lack of money. Carbs are cheap and sometimes the only thing millions of people can eat! But, I try to avoid carbs at all costs because I don't need any other struggles in life, ever! I am you. I get it. I get you and this is the true reality! Facts, DO NOT lie.

I certainly don’t have or have used credit cards in decades. I still pay for the damage I did the first time around and this is when the rich get a second chance but not the poor. I have been unemployed, underemployed, been told I am now too old, too over-qualified, under-qualified, the wrong gender and I can't even meet necessities. And now that I have arrived at Middle Age, one would think that I lived in the Middle Ages. Throw away, discard, out of date and yet you can be 70 and run for President? The feeling of already having your paycheck spent is sad and heartbreaking but I still won't drink over it. So, no one can dare say to me that I just don't understand and that I don't get it! I do get it. I get how this feels from not getting what it is needed!

Guess what? Life is a bitch and it is hard. Drink over it and life will become even more insufferable. If I thought it was tough prior to 1999 that was a cakewalk since the Great Depression of 2008. And even then, there were millions of losers from the subprime scam. There are many wealthy people who bet against it and as you lost your shirt, they gained enough shirts to fill every foreclosed closets in the country. I was one of millions who lost my shirt, and closet was taken away in not just one, but two homes. Homes that weren’t just houses, but lifelong homes that were always my safety net in life. It was not from subprime but from lack of a good career and many times, so many fucking times, I want a pain reliever ASAP!

I can’t stop for DRINKS AFTER WORK and become TOO DRUNK TO KARAOKE to forget about life for a while. This message is a lie to millions of us and if I succumb to it, my life is over. I have been dying to live again since 2008 so fuck you “just a beer” and fuck you twice “just a cig.” This book is not for the rich because I will never know such a world. This book is for the true reality of those who continue to do the next right thing without nothing and hold on when they lose everything! I don't have a pot to piss in so can I borrow yours? I am you. We are living in a world in 2017, with a new President but on 1979 wages, as inflation has increased fourfold and one would need to make at least $75-140K to live a middle-class life. In 1979, my Father made $40,000, which has the buying power of almost 140k in today’s dollars. For someone to even come close to living a middle-class life like I did in the 70’s, couples would have to make around 40k a piece and even this would make you of the lower middle class. Or one would have to make 60k and the other part timer another 20k so just forget about it if you are single. Two can live way cheaper than one and I am one. When your college ghetto was nicer and you lived better in college back then, America, not just Houston, we have a fucking problem here. So how about we start making things, stop outsourcing, quit bitching, quit drinking, and quit whining like a PUB WITHOUT BEER.

If you are one of the lucky ones making 40k with health & dental benefits, you can consider yourself damn lucky. “Here in the Real World,” I can count on both hands those who are well off and that is because most work for a family business and they were guaranteed a job. The few others are your typical doctors and lawyers. Other than that, we are fucked, screwed, scared and people are getting drunker and more cynical every second. 1979 wages in 2017 everything is 4 times more expensive. I found an electric and gas bill recently from 1979 and it was $25.00 combined! There is a reason why the study from Princeton concluded that the threshold of happiness is around $75,000 a year. In this study, when all bills are paid, a buffer in place for when things break well then you have peace. 150 million Americans make $26,000 or less and yes many hold a Bachelor's and this is before taxes! How does anyone live on this? Well, you don't live at all but rather exist. What do people do to escape life and stress? They fucking drink. So yes, therefore "just a beer" means more today than ever. You find the money to find "just a beer" even when you are dirt poor? No matter how poor I was in addiction or how poor I am in my life now, everyone can find loose change for their BEER MONEY. You know that I am right because millions do it daily who have nothing! The mentality of “I can't afford to pay a certain bill, so fuck it and just drink away” always enters the picture. I have been there, and I am still there but it is a huge lie that drinking will make it better even for a few hours. It doesn't ever make it better and you are only hurting yourself and I have hurt myself too much to ever do it again.

I can clearly remember learning about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs on the one day I wasn't hung over or drinking at college. Basically, this is a theory of thought that states when one is poor that they are not allotted dreams. Their entire focus and energy is then focused on getting by for the day and fucking eating and existing on less than $26k a year like I am doing as well as 150 million Americans. It is only when you reach a certain threshold when you can actually have dreams to chase in life and that is when necessities are met. Although I agree that being poor definitely DOES NOT afford you the luxury to think about tomorrow financially, I completely disagree that you have to put your dreams on the shelf even when there is no food on or in your own shelf. At this very moment, my cupboards are bare and I have not stopped trying to get this book into your hands or have given up. I was given that wonderful Middle Class life but spent most of my adult life financially poor. I chased dreams, crashed and failed and fell hard, picked myself up, fell again, pulled with all my midget might to get up again. Fall 7, get up 8. Fall 9, get up 10.

A friend of mine told me once that it was better for me to have had a dream, chase it and fail than to never have a dream at all. She was born into poverty and only knew of Maslow's Theory. Well, no it isn't and it also wasn't better chasing a dream and not having it come true. Both outcomes suck. So, "is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?" Well again, both suck! I want a happy ending already. The point is that you can dream and make it reality whether you are living in a mansion or a tent. You can also break an addiction being poor but it will be excruciatingly hard for this is when money matters, a lot! Services are not there for the working poor or even the smallest of middle class We also have a dental epidemic on our hands and this too should be treated with regular health insurance. Have an addiction or can’t get to the dentist, you are treated as if “you are a loser” and it is a disgrace.

We aren’t Lindsey Lohan being paid $2 million by Oprah to film her recovery. We aren’t whisked away to a 60k resort either. Insurance pays basically nothing and if you don’t have it, well there is no room in the rehab for you! But, you can do it because I did it and I loved beer more than breathing. We, you and anyone you love, are not celebrities who upon completion of a 60-day program that is like a spa, gets millions to tell their story. What story would that be? For they don’t lose their job. They get interviews and a pat on the back. Anyone else, you are fired, can’t get treatment and it is truly like a 3rd world country for our Addict Nation. You can lose weight and get healthy whether you are rich or poor as well but yes, it is also difficult regarding dieting when you are poor and broke. You can however still be somewhat selective and literally walk your ass off! How many excuses do we have to make in life when our dreams don't come true? Well, I would lose weight if only I had the money to join a gym, join a weight loss program and hired a chef? All I know to do is to get my ass moving and walking. I now officially have more miles walking on foot than in my car. But, I am still overweight but damn, I would be as big as my car if I didn’t walk. I simply don’t eat and when I do, not enough because I can’t afford too.

Or, I can't possibly chase a dream or go back to school because it is just too hard to do when you are poor and I am way too old now. Well guess what? Poverty is way more expensive for you are always just paying the interest and never the principal. Therefore, you must dig down within, become an Entrepreneur, think outside the box because I assure you, no one else gives a damn and why I have never given up on you or this book. There are millions of people on the barstool across this country shouting HEY BARTENDER, I’ll take another round. So please, stop for a drink and shout BOTTOMS UP then place the blame on the alcohol just like I used to do, or on your family, the economy, the world, and the rich. Then, go ahead and believe the worlds or your own bullshit. Are you losing hope in life? Country songs in particular are waiting for you to sing to drink up and find your HOPE ON THE ROCKS. Have you ever heard someone say that you can’t lose hope in life? They say this for a reason for without hope you have nothing. For without hope, you don’t have trust in anyone or anything. Which hope will you choose? Will it be hope from a beer bottle or God? Alcoholism is life or death for us.

All that so-called All American country music you are listening too, all those songs singing about the working man's plight, all those songs singing to go grab a beer, is all bullshit. These artists might have started out broke and with a dream but they aren't now. Why then would you give them one more dollar at a concert or to an alcohol company that leaves you dry? For you see, they aren't out drinking "just a beer." broke and hung-over even if they are sponsored by an alcohol company. They are now living the high life hoping you continue to live the low life so they can live an even higher life (no pun). They are on their jets, going home to their compounds and are rich and loving life. Give yourself more credit please. Think! I know this to be true because I spent thousands making many people rich but never again. And all this Made in America country music you are listening too, it is owned by foreigners no differently than the so-called American Made Beer or the Big-3 cars. Hell, you can buy a foreign named car that is more American than the Big 3 who outsource the manufacturing. Find me something that is, please! Country music is supposed to be as American as apple pie and yet it is brought to you all by foreigners.

There is no sense either to worry about the corruption in government, politics or on Wall Street or the 1%. The only thing you can occupy in life is your own choices. As for the 1-10% be the 1-10% who doesn’t drink and is sober.Tobacco will kill, always. Only 10% of alcoholics become addicted so I suppose that 30 + million people don’t mean anything? This is a hell of a lot of people, people! This excludes, as always, the additional millions of people who abuse it on any given day or night or who drive drunk and the accidents and fatalities. We hear all the time about the 10% who are rich but why is it that we never hear about the 10% who become addicted to alcohol and "just a beer." 1%, just 1% of those in the United States are filthy rich which is a very minimal population compared to the rest of the nation. This is not a debate on the rich. My point is that only1% out of 320 million in the states alone. This means that only 320,000 beat addiction just for today. 320,000 people out of 32 million people? This percentage is heart wrenching. The ugly truth is that regardless of what alcohol company or what beer brand, 10% who drink your product will become addicted and who knows the other percentage of those who abuse it but it is much, much higher! (no pun)

For millions of us, drinking “just a beer” is prison and destroys any freedom of happiness and leaves us in chains. Trying to find the pursuit of happiness in the beer bottle leaves you in chains. There isn’t one family, not one or one person who doesn’t know of someone who has struggled or is presently suffering from addiction.

So, what side do you want to be on? “Now More Than Ever” choose wisely. The rest, well we can’t do a “Damn Thing” about it. Do and don’t do the things that you can actually change. Don’t be “Waiting for the World to Change.” Be the change you want to see in the world. ~Ghandi. There hasn’t been a time in my life when I haven’t come across a friend, a family member, co-worker who has been exempt from knowing of the pain of someone they care for who is an alcoholic or addict. These people had their storm, didn’t accept and it turned into a hurricane and then into their own horrific tsunami just like my life did. A guy I work with lost both his father and brother to a drunk driver. The other two women have brothers who are addicts. The other woman was married to an alcoholic. Another is in recovery but lost his son from addiction when he died of an overdose. Or those who have succumbed to addiction in general. Not a week goes by that we don’t hear about a senseless death and yet the status quo remains. It is this so-called subtleness that is killing people more than war and violence and hate combined, year in and year out.

Most of the other people have adult children presently under the influence and cry over it. It is everywhere. I am absolutely certain the ripple effect is in every office, every neighborhood and family not just in our nation but across the planet. They take the drug and you get the side effects for life. The 10% are the forgotten people and this is just the people struggling. What is the percentage for those affected by those in addiction? Not even an accountant could properly evaluate the numbers. I know that we are under the influence in this country and we are drowning! It hasn’t been five minutes since I wrote the above paragraph when a worker on the night shift tells me that his niece died recently from an accident. Her friend was driving drunk on the way home from tailgating at a country concert. She was only 24 and I am certain just pushed that line and was buzzed and more than likely, heard these types of songs at the concert singing to get drunk with zero consequences. She went to a concert, just like millions do each year and now she is forever gone. The weekend comes and I am at work. I am working as a dispatcher and I receive a call that there is an accident in Pittsburgh and that the roads are closed. It is 11:16 pm and it is snowing so I had assumed that it was due to weather conditions. I assumed wrong for it was not weather conditions but whethered conditions as a drunk driver crashed into a co-worker’s daughter’s friend and she died instantly this evening. She had just turned 18 as the driver went out to get drunk at happy hour that turned deadly hour. She can’t even start her life, but you can begin again if you choose too.

My neighbor lost her son the night he turned 21. He went out for "just a beer" only had a few you see, drove that so-called fine line and died seconds from his home which is usually the case (no pun). It doesn't ever stop. The only thing that stops is lives that shouldn't! All the latter that is mentioned happened at just one job in a years’ time. If I added up all the stories and deaths, I would have enough stories to fill not the library anymore but the cloud storage.

Alcoholism is defined as an allergy to the body and obsession of the mind. In this case, we, I, Can Not and Do Not process alcohol in the same manner as a so-called normal person. Therefore, alcohol is poison to me. It also states obsession which makes the debate whether it is a disease irrelevant. It is a dis ease of the mind and body. This same poison, however, creates a craving for that same poison. It is analogous of getting cancer from smoking or drinking and then being treated with chemo or radiation which is also poison. Add the economy and life and depression and I must put on my boxing gloves each and every day. So, lace them up if you are an alcoholic like me because I am not going down without a fight. I am “The Fighter” and you can be too. Consider alcoholism like diabetes. Diabetes can be managed as can alcoholism but the only way it can be managed is by complete abstinence. In this regard, we are damn lucky for cancer can’t be cured. You or I can at least have ours be in remission for the rest of our lives. It ain’t easy. No one said life would be easy but they failed to mention to me that it would be this damn hard. But I would rather it be damn hard than for it be over. At least when it isn’t over, there is truly still hope that isn’t on the rocks but will hope!

Some days are easier than others and as quoted, “The monkey may be off my back for now but the circus is always in town.” The circus would be advertising, music and television, society in general, everything.

Beer was discovered in the Middle East 5,500 years ago. 5,500 years ago and yet it is used as a means to escape more than ever in 2017. Brewed in the Middle East where war has endured and is still in chaos and taking American lives. However, for us alcoholics, war to us isn’t just in the Middle East. It is right in our backyard and in our home as well as within our own head and body. The war is within our head (which means all the stimuli telling us to drink) and in our body for we don’t process it correctly. You can however learn to live and deal with Alcoholism correctly!

My name is Heather and I am an alcoholic. This is my journey with my ex best friend "just a beer." It all started 40 years ago, at 9 years old with the innocence of a child and my wanderlust. Even as a child, it was all preparing to cage me as well. Hope! God spared my life for one reason and that is to give you the truth and set the record straight. All my pain led to this very moment just so I could tell you that A WHOLE LOT OF BUD NEVER MADE ME WISER. And so my story began with me and my FAMILY TRADTIIONS. To carry the message forward and to continue to hear my story, please purchase a copy of my biography on here as well as a T-shirt, Sweatshirt to help me pay it forward!

Thank you!