I was pretty shocked to see these photos of Sum 41's Deryck Whibley that surfaced last week.
Being a typical music industry figure, Whibley made the most of his status and lived life in the fast lane. Until it caught up with him and he almost died from alcohol abuse. He detailed the ordeal on his website:
That's some scary shit.
Not long after this story surfaced, Channing Tatum - you know, Channing Tatum who did this for us all and has made a living off his flawless physique - revealed that he thought of himself as a high-functioning alcoholic.
But it's not just famous folk that struggle with their relationship with alcohol.
After noticing I had started to live an almost alcohol-free life, one of my friends went to great lengths to tell me that they also didn't really drink any more... That she wasn't that kind of person anymore. But everytime she updates her Facebook profile or uploads a photo to Instagram, it involves alcohol in some way.
Another friend was advised by her doctor to give up alcohol for a month to let her liver heal. Just one month. She hasn't been able to do it. First she had one last blow out weekend to get it out of her system before she took a month off drinking... Then she kept on drinking.
Maybe I've been pretty naive but all of these stories have shocked me.
I used to scoff at the idea of partaking in initiatives like Dry July or Ocsober. "Unless you're an alcoholic, not drinking isn't an achievement," I used to tell my friends. "Everyone should be able to say no to a drink."
Seeing people so close to me - and people you would never consider a traditional 'alcoholic' - struggle with alcohol has made me rethink that position. Use this year's Dry July as a opportunity to take a break from alcohol (and help out a good cause while you're at it).
If you struggle to make it through a month without boozing, it might be worth taking a deeper look at your relationship with alcohol.