Tuesday, 11 April 2017

What Would You Do?

I came across a YouTube video last week. It's a 'social experiment' where they film a sixteen year old boy drinking vodka from a bottle on the streets of New York to see what will happen.

Predictably, most people walk straight past, although many look shocked or concerned. A few stop to check if he is okay.

Then, a middle aged man comes up. He looks genuinely worried and sincere. He takes the boy by the arm and says this:

What are you doing, man? You can't be drinking. You're too young to be drinking.

When I was young like you, I was drinking. I lost everything. I lost my home, lost my children, lost my car, lost my job. It's a no-win situation. I ended up being homeless. For a year. Just because of this bottle.

Don't drink, man. Don't drink. You're too young. You've got youth on your side. You don't want to be homeless and losing your family and everything, do you? Because this is the worst. It's a no-win situation...

And you know what I learned?

I learned, yet again, that ex-drinkers are the bravest, wisest and most compassionate people out there, and that sharing your story is the most powerful thing you can do to help others following behind you.

It also made me think: why is it that we see the sight of a sixteen year-old drinking so shocking, and yet we expect it of eighteen year olds? And few people bat an eyelid at a forty year old drinking to excess every night of the week.

Surely anything that we instinctively know is wrong for children is also not good for adults?

Anyhow, here's a link to the video: click here. Let me know what you think.

Huge congrats to Philippa, my e-mail buddy, on TWO YEARS sober! 

Love to you all,

SM x


  1. I'd like to think I would stop and try and help. One of the things that makes alchohol so dangerous is how socially acceptable it is and how normal it seems to consume it.

  2. Great video. Some people did try to intervene, which was nice, but that last guy was great. Good for him. Those other kids were nice too, they sussed it was a social experiment straight up, but still checked he was OK. Thanks SM

    Tonight is 6 weeks sober for me. Feeling pretty chuffed, but yeh, not letting my guard down. Easter this Sunday when you traditionally break the Lenten fast. I'm ready for that little voice telling me - it's ok, everyone is celebrating. Not listening :)

    1. Good work on 6 weeks. Keep at it and yes don't let your guard down. This is worth it :)

    2. Hear hear! Break the fast with a mountain of chocolate instead ;-)

  3. I would love to be the person who stopped and said all that. In my head I would have said something like that. In real life I would have done nothing, and then thought about how I should have said something for the rest of the day. Good on him for having the guts to confront this boy and let him know the dangers of what he was doing.

  4. I feel exactly the same as you do "putting down the glass" I would probably just walk past but then have the vision of the boy drinking in my head for a long time :-(

    After watching the video though maybe I would say somthing, what a lovely guy he was to share his story to help the boy.

    It is strange how people look at drinking differently. I'm still in shock after this weekend having friends round, and my close friend who knows I've stopped drinking, ( and she doesn't drink a lot and wasn't drinking that evening) she text me before they set off saying do I want a bottle of prosecco because she had 4 bottles as gifts for her birthday and didn't want to come empty handed in case I changed my mind later and wanted a drink!!!!! I mean omg!!! They then came and her and her husband never even mentioned me not drinking??? And in the past, I would have been so drunk in that get together. Words fail me! :-( xx

    Sorry I've gone off track a bit there!

    1. I didn't watch the video, just imagined it, and what I would do. Strange about your friend. I have a friend who is not a big drinker and knows I struggle with it. She knows I've stopped drinking, but always asks when we are out to lunch or dinner if I want a wine...odd

    2. Exactly! Weird isn't it? People can be strange and the longer im sober the more I'm realising this!!! I think maybe it's because my friend can control her drinking so she always felt better than me because I couldn't, it's like in a way she wants the old me back to make her look good?? Anyway the old me won't be coming back so she needs to get used to it!! X

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. well these social experiments really do show a bitter picture of our society . but what that man said is totally true . it really is a no win situation . i work for an organization which help people Our sole mission at Kansas City Rehabs is to provide state of the art, compassionate, and affordable care to all individuals affected by chronic alcoholism, drug addictions, or co-occurring mental health disorders.
    do visit our website