Over the last couple weeks I have bugging a friend of mine to give me permission to share their story in one of my posts as I believe it has the possibility to open your eyes and even change your life if needed. Be warned that this post is an extremely sad story but it’s my hope that you take a positive message from it and don’t let it happen to you.

The article isn’t about my friend, but it’s about their mother. I have met her numerous times and she is an amazing lady and one of the nicest people I have ever met. A hard worker, caring and would do anything for her three kids when they were in need. Three years ago her oldest child gave birth to a set of twins and she was blessed and absolutely loved being a grandmother. Her life was amazing……….. kinda…

Two ice cubes, a shot of vodka, top it off with pineapple juice and a quick stir. The “Train Station” as she called it. A drink she had stumbled upon one day while experimenting with different alcohols. Sounds like fun, but not if you stumbled upon it 30 years ago and have been consuming at least 20+ a week since then. She was a heavy drinker. Having at least four to five drinks, six nights a week. She never thought it was a problem nor did anyone see it as a HUGE problem because her drinking never presented any issues on the surface. She never drove drunk, she never went into work drunk and wasn’t an abusive drunk in any way. So what was the problem?

Depending on what your definition of ‘binge drinking’ is, some say that she would fall into this category.

Taken from Wikipedia:

Binge drinking is associated with a profound social harm, economic costs as well as increased disease burden. Binge drinking is more common in males, during adolescence and young adulthood. Most binge drinkers are not familiar with the risks associated with binge drinking. Heavy regular binge drinking is associated with adverse effects on neurologic, cardiac, gastrointestinal, hematologic, immune, musculoskeletal organ systems as well as increasing the risk of alcohol induced psychiatric disorders.

There is a time and place for everything and when done in moderation, alcohol isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She would drink pretty much every night alone. And we all know what happens when we drink……. we get hungry. Consuming four to five ‘Train Stations’ a night and ingesting large quantities of bad food almost every night for years. I’m not a doctor so I can’t really start spitting out the scientific health effects of alcohol, but from the little that I do know, I can tell you that drinking alone every night isn’t good for anyone.

Some of her kids didn’t like it but never knew what to say because it wasn’t really effecting them negatively…….

A couple months ago……. it caught up with her.

While on her way home from grocery shopping she started having massive headaches. She got home, put away all the groceries, and the headaches put her to the floor. She was rushed to the hospital and it turned out she had a massive stroke. Her brain was bleeding and wouldn’t stop. The doctors rushed her into surgery but nothing could help her. The stoke had taken her life. There was never a distinct answer but the three doctors who were trying to save her life, all said that years of constant drinking was most likely the cause of her stroke.

Taken from strokesignsandsymptoms.com

In a study done in 2005, it was discovered that people who drink at least 3 alcoholic beverages daily stand a greater risk of suffering from a stroke, by almost 45%.

It’s weird that she had called her favorite drink, ‘The Train Station”, which basically was the cause of her death. She took the train straight to her grave. So why write about this and share her story? Well this is the part of ‘Giving Up for Gain’. Although her years of solo drinking had little to no negative effects on her current situation, it had no positive effects and would lead to sadness. Some might say its a selfish act. Yes, she passed away, but she left a world of hurt. She left a husband to live alone, she left children to live without a mother and she left grandchildren that didn’t even get a chance to really know who their grandmother was. I had a Grandfather pass away when I was really young and although we lost him to cancer and it wasn’t something preventable, I still know what its like to have never really got to know him well and I wish I would have. As sad as I feel for my friend losing her mother, I can’t help but have a bit of built up frustration and anger towards her mother. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that drinking daily isn’t a good idea and a big risk to your health. She could have stopped. You think the birth of her children would have made her think twice, or even more so, her grandchildren. We all have problems and sometimes it takes a positive situation to help us notice that we need to change so we can experience that positive situation for years to come. She was given all the reason and more to realize that she needed to control her drinking but never did. Very selfish in my eyes.

It’s never too late to start over and giving up alcohol was a way she could of gained years of life. Time spent with her family, time getting to know her grandchildren and a happier life was all the reward and incentive she should have needed.

Again, I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. I don’t understand the disease of addiction and some cases can be more severe than I know. My hope with this article is to hopefully open your eyes to the idea that giving something up can gain so much in the end. I challenge you to do this. Even if its not health related. There is nothing wrong with setting a reward for yourself. Incentive is good. It’s the sign of a goal reached. In January of this year, I decided to take part in this because of my friends situation. I gave up alcohol for the entire month. I titled it “No Juice January”. For 31 days I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol. I told myself that if I accomplished it, I would buy myself a new lens for my camera. I can say that I’m the proud owner of that new lens and it was well worth it. I did it for personal reasons too. It made me more focused and it’s amazing the amount of work you can do when you aren’t spending it hung over on a couch. My body felt better, my sleep patterns were better and when you work for yourself, the success of your business is solely on your will and productivity.

On Monday, I am going to post a video talking about this idea. I will give up something different every month and reward myself for it. The video will be posted on the last day before the next month.

So I hope you took some positivity out of this post. If you are someone who might be in the same situation as my friends mother, then I hope this opens your eyes and you take the necessary steps to fix your problem. Don’t let your friends lose a friend, your kids lose a parent and most importantly don’t let your grandkids not have enough memories to even remember you.

Never give up unless its for gain.