I'll be the first to say that there's nothing wrong with going out every so often. There's nothing wrong with having a few drinks over the weekend, and there's nothing wrong with a couple parties. Most importantly, there's nothing wrong with having fun as long as your fun doesn't interfere with other parts of your life.

You, on the other hand. You let your drinking control your relationships as well as your decisions. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that alcohol can contribute to poor decision making, especially with teenagers whose brains haven't fully developed yet. I remember walking with you, talking with you, and knowing that you had only asked me to take that walk with you because liquid courage had taken over. Out of curiosity and a hint of concern, I asked you how often you were drinking. Your response was, "Oh, you know, most nights."

You're not a frat boy who parties with his brothers a lot. You're not sipping bubbly out of fancy glasses with a significant other on romantic dinners. You have a drinking problem, and I can tell it's impacting your relationships.

You'll probably insist that your drinking has nothing to do with anything. It's something you do to cope with yourself. That said, do you see many benefits coming from being intoxicated seven nights a week? Are you bringing home the best grades you can? Are you making lots of new friends? Do you have any dates lined up? Do you feel happy and healthy? If the answer to any of those questions was yes, then maybe you would be fine. However, I highly doubt you can answer yes to them. If I ask you those questions to your face, you probably won't even be able to look me in the eye. That's because you know you have a problem.

I can only do so much. I can encourage you to seek counseling. I am not a psychiatrist by any means, but I sense that you have some deep-rooted pain that is driving you to drink more. I have learned, however, that it is nearly impossible to help someone who doesn't want to be helped. If you want to continue to hide yourself in the bottle, I won't be able to stop you. All I can do is sit on the sidelines and hope you'll learn someday.

Yes, you have hurt me, and I refuse to blame it all on the drinking. I know that part of it stems from your drinking, but I also know you will use that as an excuse for your behavior. I am not okay with that. I think the best thing you can do for yourself and others is to admit that you have a problem, and seek help for it. There is no shame in managing an addiction or disease. The shame is in refusing to acknowledge it.