“Focus, Drinking and Discipline”

Have you seen the movie “Never Been Kissed”? In the movie, the main character says, “to write well, you must write what you know.” I have been with Compumatrix for several years, far less than many of you, but you have taught me that focus and discipline are essential to running a lucrative business. Without these two tools, none of us will ever run a successful business of any kind.

Unfortunately, there are many roadblocks along the journey of life that make it very difficult to focus and to keep the discipline needed to get the job done. Today I would like to discuss one BIG OBSTACLE, and that is the use of alcohol and how using it to excess can cause you to lose your focus, your drive, and determination. Your ability to be disciplined will leave, and you will destroy your business and probably your family along with it.

In my lifetime, I have been hurt very badly by people that I care about who just happen to drink a lot. They are the ones who drink carefully, away from interested glances. They are the ones who always insist that they don’t have a drinking problem, they just like to drink. They turn to alcohol whenever their world isn’t quite right or perhaps whenever the wind changes. Sadly, alcohol has become a solution for everything.

My dad always vehemently denied that he had a problem, well I’m sorry, but actions speak louder than words. Perhaps I should be clear here. I’m not saying a drink or two will destroy your business, but I am saying that if alcohol is your go-to solution for everything challenging, you have a problem. I am personally very tired of excuses and promises. Wake up, smell the coffee, start being honest with yourself and your family for once solve the problem; don’t do it for yourself; do it for them. In the end, it’s your family and loved ones that get hurt every single time, not to mention your business fails.

I know a young lady who wishes to go to medical school and become a doctor. She tries very hard and has a real chance to make her dreams come true, but she loses focus and discipline when she drinks, and it doesn’t return for days or even weeks. Her boyfriend drinks all the time but does it quietly in the bedroom; he thinks we don’t know. Personalities change when people drink; they become strangers; they become angry, often horrible, hateful, angry human beings. To be fair, sometimes they become happy drunks. Her boyfriend is only affectionate when he is drunk; that’s when he wants to marry her. So who is the real one, the drunk one or the sober one and whom should she trust?

The young lady is proud that she stopped drinking wine and whiskey; now what she drinks looks like a soda can. She believes that since the can states it has only 3.7% alcohol she is not drinking, yet her personality changes; she loses focus, and what needs to be done doesn’t get done. Even at 3.7%, signs of drunkenness appear! Her 7-year-old talks about how mommy gets weird. Do drinkers think that what they do is a secret? Do drinkers believe that no one notices? Why do they think their personalities don’t change?

Alcoholism is insidious, it creeps up on people quietly. A drink here or there suddenly becomes an obsession but a quiet one. When your number was two it was ok, but then four became ok, then six then eight, and you can see what happened. Heavy drinkers never think there is a problem. When you bring it up, they usually get very defensive, or perhaps they cry and apologize and promise to stop but rarely do.

Heavy drinkers may not see themselves as alcoholics, but others do I promise. I don’t care how you define alcoholism. When you absolutely just have to go to the liquor store, when you have to have a drink to “calm your nerves” when you hide what you are doing away from others and there are lots of cans and bottles in the recycle, then you might have an issue. Think about it!

I wish I knew the magic words to stop the hurt that drinking causes the wife, the husband, the mother, the father, the grandparents, the children, and the friends, but I don’t. Over the years, many alcoholics, heavy drinkers, and don’t forget the “I haven’t got a problem gan,” have inflicted pain and suffering in my life. Truthfully, I don’t know how to stop them. In the end, the only one who can stop the pain is the drinker. They have to love others more than they love their alcohol. They are the only ones who can stop the hurt and put an end to the insanity they inflict upon their families.

They may never stop; my cousin didn’t; he spent 25 years in the Marine Corps and died a hopeless alcoholic. A friend of mine stopped after 30 years and said one day at a restaurant sadly that he wishes he could remember his kids’ childhood, but “it’s all a blur.” My father finally quit at 75 because he was embarrassed by incontinence; unfortunately, the damage was done. If you continue to drink, your loss of focus and discipline will cause you to fail in your business. Your Compumatrix business demands focus and discipline: otherwise, it will fail; alcohol will take that away. Alcohol is not your friend and never will be.

The good news is that the past doesn’t matter; it only matters what you do today and the rest of your life. Yes, I believe that drinkers can change; if you have a drinking problem of any kind, you can change it. If you don’t like your life, change it. It’s all up to you. Good luck, it isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Afterward, your focus and your self-discipline will return. You will be able to face your family honestly and become a person of integrity again. If you run your Compumatrix business with focus and discipline and without needing alcohol, you will be successful!

About the author

Barbara has served as a Registered Nurse in the State of California since the late 1970s. Her career includes USAF Flight Nursing, Critical Care, Home Health, and School Nursing. Recently retired mother of three, she is now a Grandmother and Entrepreneur, caring for her grandchildren 8 and 5, homeschooling TK and 2nd grade, caring for an elderly gentleman, and an aspiring author.


  1. Barbara, Thanks a million for your frank and life saving blog for potential readers. Firstly, let me say that I am very sorry to hear about your personal experiences with alcoholism. You are very fortunate and I’m sure that you are very thankful that you you survived the storm. I like you have survived the alcoholic storm oil at a very young age. It hurts me deeply to admit that my mother was an alcoholic, because I loved her so much, but the truth cannot be hidden. Alcohol drove my parents apart and that was only the beginning of a very long and difficult road for all. For me, I lived my early years with my mom in a tavern, one room with no stove or refrigerator. Before school, I would go down to the tavern with a nickel or a dime and the bartender would give me a bowl of cereal. That was it.The sadness as I remember, came when my dad and mom would argue, because I loved them both so very much. My dad wanted me out of the tavern with him, but in the 1940s the mother won out. The story goes on, but I will stop with the details. Needless to say I also survived the alcoholic storm and I am sure with many scars to prove it. I have had many friends over the years that have lost their families and business and some their lives, all because of alcoholism. It is a heart break. The good of all these experiences is that I survive and I pray that I have become a better and stronger person. As result of my experiences, I have never had a desire for alcohol. I personally give credit to my extended family for their support and most of all to God’s will and plan for me.

  2. Barbara I completely get what you have been through. I was in a marriage,from which I literally ran for my life, my husband started drinking when his best friend robbed him of all his money. He was the perfect husband and a father when he was sober I would make excuses for him because he was so loving and caring, but after a few drinks would get violent, I was living with a Jekyll and Hyde.

  3. A very bad addictive, alcoholism..
    It contains a lot of poison and you endure the body to so much pain when drinking heavily.
    I’ve been there myself 20 years ago, and the road back is exactly as the picture above.
    One have to decide which path to take, and stay focused on it. It will get worse before it gets better.
    A very open hearted story you shared with us Barbara.

  4. Barbara, thank you for writing about a personal and informative topic. When it comes to addiction, not many people like to talk about, the easiest way is to avoid it altogether. I was directly affected by an alcoholic husband and I have only talked about it in private and with a few people. What many people don’t know is that the people around an alcoholic in someway become enablers, you learn to cope until it becomes a matter or your own survival as in my case. As the dependency increases, so does the effect it does to the behavior and health of the person. There are help groups for the families who have to live with the alcoholic person; you must seek help in some form because eventually it affects your life and specially the children.

  5. Thanks for the post Barbara. Its amazing to see the people that actually can stop drinking. They somehow get the grace to put their mind to it and just do it. Cold Turkey as they say. I know that it takes a lot of help from God but it can be done. We see it a lot. I am thankful that the ones who have stopped are now no longer vulnerable to be driving on the roads while compromised.

  6. We begged my mother to get treatment for alcoholism, but yet, as she was the first up in the morning and worked as a teacher, she ‘certainly wasn’t an alcoholic’. When she was hospitalized, for the first time, doctors scolded her that she was an alcoholic. After “recovery”, she explained to everyone around her how she thinks that she was one of the first people to get swine flu.
    Last year, when she died, her death certificate “Cause of Death,” said, “Alcoholic Cirrhosis of the Liver.”

    1. Jeff,
      Thank you so much for your comment; I am so sorry to hear about your mother. Denial is another disease and is very prevalent and yes some people can drink a lot and still function, my dad did. I wonder though if they hadn’t drank, how much further they could have gone in life and how much more wonderful their life could have been?

      1. I wonder if you know if a child of an alcoholic can inherit the addiction and manifest that dependency in other ways not related to alcohol itself, but in a “certain attitude” like being depressed, anger, etc.

        1. Yes, I am aware of the struggles that Children of Alcoholics go through. I went through the family program at Hazelton in Minnesota and it was a great first step. Then, I send my Dad and sister. Still have one more sister to go and plan on using some Compumatrix money to get the last sister though the program.

      2. Thank you. It was a very long and hard struggle. I have files of all of the organizations that I talked to and always felt that I could one day help her beat it. unfortunately, I didn’t. My only advice to anyone in that situation is that you must be very tough from the very beginning and tolerate no excuses. As Carol Burnett said of her child, “You have to love them enough to let them hate you. Alcoholics certainly have the ability to rationalize anything when it comes to their addiction.

  7. Thank you Barbara for this honest blog. Alcoholism is sadly something that destroys peoples health, lives and families. I have my own family experience with it, you are right, they don’t admit the problem until is late or never. Very sad that the person who is drinking it’s only thinking of their own problem selfishly and not about the people who really cares about them.
    It is very hard to watch the person you care about getting sick because of their drinking problem and still claiming that the problem is the doctor’s diagnosis…….
    After 30 yrs of prayer and battle, when that person nearly lost it’s life to alcoholism for the third time, and losing half of it’s stomach… realized that he needs to change his life.
    I am thanking God for the changes that happened in our lives, because only He could make it possible.

  8. OK, Barbara, this is a truthful blog that is hard to make and understanding and encouraging comment. You have hit upon an issue that so many have experienced, either in childhood or as an adult. Some will not admit to it, because it brings such hurt and pain. The truth is when alcohol resides inside an individual; they are as a child with no sense of what they do. They can be belligerent, mean, some, as you say, is more loving, or they become fighters and beaters. When they are not drinking, they can be hard-working humans. But as we see from many we know, they make it through; however, they learn to cope. They inevitably become lovely, caring people with a focus on making their lives better. Bless you and thank God for the strength he gave you to make it through. Thank God for our new experience with Compumatrix.

  9. Barbara really alcoholism is a heavy and very sad addiction. Often he ends up not only with the addict, but also with his family. And this issue that many do not think they are not addicted to is one of the biggest problems. I have lived with a person like that … I have many sad memories of that time … But for someone to get rid of alcoholism, strict treatment is necessary, but for this treatment to be carried out, it is essential that the person accepts it. And that is a great difficulty. Anyway, unfortunately the first person who needs to help is the addict himself. Without that help, no one else can help you. And, as for focus and discipline, it is an excellent attitude to achieve the goals!

  10. Thanks for opening up in your blog post. There is something so powerful with words when a person tells their story about a part of their life.

    You find alcoholism within a person brings out two sides. The side which you love, admire and cherish which is without the alcohol problems. You then have the hidden part after a few drinks which can sometimes tarnish that loving side.

    If they overcome it with lots of love and support, it will only make them stronger and keep striding forwards. Just got to keep fighting.

  11. Good advice for sure. Growing up, my family had nothing to do with alcohol. We had no time on the farm for drinking. This was back in the 60s. Bars were looked down on as well as drinking. One day in the heat of the summer haying season my dad had a six pack of beer in the fridge which never happens and not to my mom’s approval. My brother and I assumed it must taste good or why have it, right? So we begged dad for a taste. Finally he let us have a sip. UGH! I have never developed a taste for beer. Thank you God.

  12. Very nice Barbara. Heartfelt and sincere. Heavy drinking affects all those around that person who chooses to numb their response to events or emotional responses to life’s challenges. We cannot help but feel compassion for those trapped in the prison of ‘alchohol”, but in the end the path to freedom lies within that person – the first step is to acknowledge, the second is to resolve to be free!

  13. what a great read and putting all the answers from so many around the globe and how they feel about alcohol — it is just a real read — i was actually sober over 15++ years — now I have an occasional beer — however if I need to go back be sober then I will — but i will honestly wait til my Aunt at 98+ has passed — she likes a Mich ultra ===== so I drink with her at that point — good bad or otherwise —

  14. What a sad subject and yes like you I have met and seen too many of these cases around me also very close once. So sad to see so many are losing the reality of life when they are drinking without realizing it anymore. Lives are being destroyed not only for them but also for those who are living with them. Have also met and still have some very good friends who were able to give up the addiction completely and having a happy life again. One of them is now trying to help others to do the same, but it’s not an easy thing since most will not admit having a problem in the first place. Doing or planing having a business and drinking at the same time is not a good combination.

  15. Interesting Blog Barbara , you really tell it like it is.
    I never drank , but growing up and going to dances , I seen a lot of my friends drink so much that they passed out where ever they landed and waking up next morning saying , what a good time they had. “ Asking well what did you do ? “ , They replied ,they could not remember and gosh they suffered with a hang over. I could not wrap my head around paying all the money to make yourself get sick and puke all over the place. I also like to be in control of my self.
    It is sad that people get caught up into drinking . I do feel bad for them and it takes a lot to stop and control their addiction.

  16. Barbara thanks for that reminder about alcohol abuse. Its so very common in families and can easily destroy people, careers, hopes and dreams. I really like your comment “The good news is that the past doesn’t matter; it only matters what you do today and the rest of your life.” This is so very true for many situations. We have the ability to wake up and decide what this day will look like and what we will allow to get in our way. Set goals, even very small and see what you can accomplish.

  17. A very bad addictive, alcoholism..
    It contains a lot of poison and you endure the body to so much pain when drinking heavily.
    I’ve been there myself 20 years ago, and the road back is exactly as the picture above.
    One have to decide which path to take, and stay focused on it. It will get worse before it gets better.
    A very open hearted story you shared with us Barbara.

  18. Very insightful and true blog Barbara, drinking alcohol has destroyed many lives, it certainly destroyed my marriage.
    The worst phase for me was the one of denial, it’s always easier to blame other people then, it took several years for my ex to acknowledge the problem which of course was only the first step to recovery.

  19. I, too, come from a family with one or more member being an alcoholic. My dad owned his own business and went to work every day without fail.
    That business was successful and even put me through college. Although I did not know it while growing up, he was a functioning alcoholic, drinking during the day but successfully keeping his business going.
    My father died at 47 yrs. old from cirrhosis of the liver, and emphysema from heavy smoking.
    I wanted many more years with him but never got them because of his alcoholism and smoking.

  20. One of my childhood friends I grew up with became a alcoholic he tried and tried to quit…. went through DTS at least 10 times, he even went in to the rehab centers every time so he did try hard but it finally took his life. What a horrible addiction and you can not function like you could if you were sober and more clear headed.

  21. That is a thoughtful and in-depth post on a subject that affects many people. I have been there to some degree myself in years past and I am happy to say that I don’t miss that point in my life. There are so many potential addictions out there waiting to capture us the first time we let our guard down. It only takes a not-so-good excuse to get yourself going into the rabbit hole of alcoholism. I still know where to go today if I want to steal a glimpse of how it used to be and how easily it could be again. I would say it is another good reason to say your prayers and count your blessings so that you can stay focused and disciplined on the journey to achieving your goals in life. There are too many distractions to allow excess drinking to be one of them.

  22. THere are many addictions that affect many of us in many different ways. Acohol,Drugs and Smoking to name some of the most common. Sadly many people are unaware that they are addicts until it is almost too late. Fortunately I had the willpower to stop smoking just like that. I stopped My wife put up with a few bouts of being a bit scrathy but we got over it I still have half a packet of cigars in my cupboard 17 years old. More likely to turn to dust shortly but a constant reminder. Will power is so essential as is family support. It must be difficult to explain to those that either think they know best or simply do not wish to know because deepdown they know they aredoing their health severe damage

  23. My dad was an alcoholic, so he chose booze over his family, I only grew up with a mom and grandparents. I grew up and looked back at his life and realized I never wanted to be like him. Even as a child I called him Steve instead of dad because all I ever heard was my mom yelling Steve! I decided early on I was not going to be a parent like him. I started studying holistic medicine. Liver Flukes from what I found can keep the craving going. Dr Hanna Kruger In Colorado has supplements for Flukes. I had no idea what these were. Apparently if you have asthma, they can be in your lungs. (Trust me I have asthma and I have done a cleanse) I wanted to build my family up instead of tear them down. I saved who I could. For all you ladies out there who get cyst on your ovaries. Just add braggs amino acids to your food. It will dry them up and they go away. I have done this for my daughter. When we went back to the hospital to have it removed it was gone. In just 2 weeks! My holistic Dr told me this so I’m passing it on!

  24. This article was very informative by shedding light on alcohol abuse. Many people do not realize that abusing alcohol can and will affect your business and work ethic. Too much alcohol will lead to heavy decreases in productivity as we learn here. It is very important to never get to close to the point with alcohol where it starts to negatively affect your life.

  25. When reading your blog, I realize how alcoholism is a very emotional disease for family members and loved ones. I feel it is not recognized as a disease, rather it is a judgment of character. I feel great compassion for the alcoholic and their loved ones. Thank you for sharing your story.

  26. Barbara, your blog post is very powerful and very personal. Based on the many heartfelt and personal replies here it looks to be helpful to many. Thank you for posting it! I am very thankful that I managed to pull myself back from crossing over into becoming addicted to alcohol when I was in the Navy.

    Drinking heavily was a big part of the military culture, and from what I hear, it still is today. Borderline or full-blown alcoholics with strings of failed marriages behind them, was what I saw repeatedly as I observed my senior officers. I served with several functioning alcoholics and my observations of them helped me to understand and realize that if I had stayed in the service, that I probably would have ended up the same as them.

    I did encounter the same thing in the corporate business world, but it was different and I had more control over situations. I was fortunate to find a balance that allowed me to become a social drinker only and went on to have a long 40-year marriage to my lovely dearly departed wife. But to the point of your blog post, Barbara, heavy drinking can easily destroy the focus and discipline needed to run a successful business. It can destroy families and lives as well.

  27. Thank you for your very good blog post Barbara. Alcoholism is indeed a severe evil in society. It disrupts families and the personal lives of the ones who suffer from this disease. It also causes many deaths. There is a very fanatic movement in almost the whole world about banning smoking. As far as I am concerned that should also be a movement to ban alcohol.

  28. Your blog post reminds me of the many problems I have seen in the years that I still was working. As a Manager Human Resources, I had throughout the years to deal with several cases of employees who had a severe drinking problem and were, in fact, unfit to do their jobs. The consequences mostly were heavy for the person himself but also for their families because many of these alcoholics lost their jobs. Employees that were willing to start a program to help them got this opportunity but the ones who were in denial really had a big problem.

  29. Barbara what a beautiful post revealing the sad consequences that befall the family who have to live with the one with the problem. Little does that person realize the hurt and damage he /she causes by being habitually drinking with no regards to the harm inflicted on the Family,Friends and colleagues.The ultimate toll that person may have to pay by way of ending up having Cirrhosis of the liver and suffering and living last days in extreme misery.

  30. Thank you, Barbara for your post, I can tell that it came from the heart. My first mother-in-law died early as an alcoholic and it was so sad as when she was sober she was funny and interesting, but when she under the influence, she was a nightmare. Rude, abusive, and many times we had to put the phone down on her.
    The one thing I look back at now with gratitude was that I said to her I would NOT bring her grandchildren round to her apartment (they were 3 and 5) whilst it was filled with cigarette smoke and with pints of lager around.
    One morning she called us around and gave her grandsons a hug. There was no smoke and not a lager in sight. She was pleasant and interested in the children. Two weeks later she died abruptly overnight with Liver failure.
    Life is precious and so are family

  31. this is such an inspiring read thru — so many great stories and yes also sad stories of those that can not let go and eventually the insides give out — i just look so often over the past 45+ years and am a math guy and the numbers do not lie — I do hope for all who battle please do not quit — But ?? yeppers do know sometimes we lose — in Yeshua always in prayers — rj

  32. I have had family members that have had problems with drinking. Some were mean when they drank, others were what one might describe as being comical or entertaining. One after years of alcohol addiction, has been sober for a couple of years, so there is hope.

  33. Back in the day, I had a great Uncle that would get stumbling drunk and be like Otis on Andy Griffith, white suit, hat, and all. Like Otis, my dad said that our Uncle worked hard during the week, but would be stumbling drunk every weekend. As kids we did not know any better, and would laugh and laugh watching out the back window as our Uncle stumbled down the pathway. We did not know that we were observing someone that was an alcoholic and did not have the ability to control his drinking and would later succumb to its effects.

  34. this is such a great read and as we go forward in our compu biz world and put Life into our Biz — reading these replies and the Blog simply gives me that inspiration to go forward in truth and do as best I can everyday and stay Real and be Honest with myself as well my daughter — this is first biz at hand then keep true in Biz of Compumatrix — just great stuff here — rj

  35. Hi Barbara this is a very informative post revealing the sad consequences that befall the family who have to live with the one with the problem, little does that person realize the hurt and damage he or she causes by being habitually drinking with no regards to the harm inflicted on their family, I pray or all who battle please do not quit.

  36. It is strange how others see you, just this week someone said something to me about a friend and the amount she drinks, the person I was talking to said but you drink as much, I bought twelve bottles of wine over a year ago and I still have 6 of them left, two of the other were given away as gifts, our joint friend drinks at least a bottle of wine sometimes two each day, I felt justified in asking how I was a big drinker, Before covid we used to go out as a group of 10 for a meal, my drinking friend always bought a bottle of wine, I used to help her drink it because other wise she would drive home with a full bottle in her!!!!
    My help to society !!!
    So be careful our others view you.

    1. Yes Doreen , I know what you are talking about. I have a little wine once or twice a year and when I go into the beer and wine store ,people look at me funny and I am not kidding. I live in a very small comunity and everyone knows everyone . They always wonder why I am in the store. They know I don’t drink. But I do buy a special wine for our anniversary and that only comes around once a year.

    2. I understand Doreen as for me I drink every now and then and if I’m with a group of friends I always have a designated driver since I don’t drive that is a must. I’m a social drinker but sometimes the customers on the other end of the phone will get on my nerves and I will have a glass of wine right after work LOL.

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