It all started out innocently enough. As a child of the 70’s, I witnessed every special occasion and daily event with my parents and extended family having “just a beer” and “just a cig.” It was not only a requirement but was expected. It was viewed as harmless as drinking water or chewing gum.
On my first field trip on our bus to our favorite theme park in Pittsburgh, we sang along to “99 Bottles of Beer on The Wall” the entire way there. It was ingrained in me that this thing called BEER was fun and a right of passage. Smoking made beer taste even better! Off to High School where I went to “Party Til 1999.” because after all. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” In a blink of an eye, I was off to college to drink from the “Keg in The Closet” (which is literally the truth, not figuratively) and to drink with my buddy “All Summer Long.”
Then it happened…..The party was over and now I had to sing and listen to “The Parting Glass” and watch my loved ones die pre-maturely from the so-called innocence of “just a beer” and “just a cig.” I was young damn it and I needed them. What do you to when alcohol is no longer fun but you need it to drown out your pain? You drink even more is what you do. You drink for pleasure then drink for the pain caused by that same pleasure.
Instead of starting my journey and career, I became “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer” instead. This led to more “Alcohol.” That “Alcohol” made me do shameful things but I could always blame it on the Alcohol when it did! What is worse than shameful behavior? Driving drunk all the time is worse and I did it all the time. This is a true song I wrote and recorded about the reality of drunk driving. Please don’t drink & drive this holiday Season or ever.
I finally took off to Nashville TN to pursue my lifelong dream as a Musician. I was on my way to “Get Drunk and Be Somebody”. All those songs I listened too and all the advertising all telling me the same thing. “Just drink! It is only Beer! It couldn’t harm anyone. Take one more drag, ah there ya go! The problem with chasing a dream when you are in active addiction is that you are always drunk! “The More I Drink” leads to one thing. “I Drink Alone” and I was officially in hell from “just a beer.” I now needed, yes needed to drink 2 cases of beer a day to not have the shakes and to make it thru the day. I am 5 ‘0 and was 130# at the time. Why eat breakfast when you can drink it. Hey, it is only “just a beer.” Remember those commercials and songs stating how fun it is? How harmless it is? It isn’t like I was drinking the hard stuff! I wasn’t a crack or heroin addict. It was worse…
Then it happened. “Tonight That Bottle Let me Down” and my buddy “just a beer” stopped giving me the buzz I needed yet I couldn’t stop! “Sunday Morning Comin Down” wasn’t just one Sunday but every day that ends in Y! Y me? Y not me?
I am here to set the record straight and to share my story that subtlety, kills. “Just a beer” and “just a cig” have killed more people than all wars combined! Whether you are in active Alcoholism on your way or have hit bottom, there is hope. This Pittsburgh born and bred beer woman loves BEER and always will. I will be 20 yrs sober soon, one day at time. I don’t get to graduate, ever. BEER! It made me a Jolly Old Woman, until it didn’t. Regardless of what stage you are in your drinking or even if you don’t have a problem, PLEASE, please don’t drink and drive. Please listen to my song I wrote on my website about the true reality of stopping for “just a few beers” and driving home.
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12 Steps & 12 songs. Me singing my story of the progression of my Alcoholism prior and during Alcoholism.
*Please share this post. My website, like share and repeat. If just one person is saved from drunk driving and/or from destroying their life from the Bottle to The Bottom, it will have been worth all my pain!
*Please view my video below! This Pittsburgh Gal Thanks You!…


  • Heather Linkenheimer

    Music Executive and One Dog Lover


    Author of A Whole Lot of Bud Never Made Me Wiser. Available on-line and in paperback. Singer and Songwriter with 30 years experience.