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Blinded By Beer Goggles

Filters of delusion, insanity, and fear.

How often do we view life through filters? Filters of delusion, insanity, and fear. Why do we take what we see through all forms of media as our truth? How often do we make assumptions in our lives based on what we hear, or think we hear? Many of us may fall into the filter trap. In addiction those filters become even more magnified. We become blind to life from the complete black out of our addiction’s desire for the insane. If we become open, honest, and willing we can recover the clarity of our existence. We can once again see a Life Unfiltered as Mark Goodson recently wrote about on the Miracle of the Mundane.  I can enjoy the pure, unfiltered moments of my life today. I no longer see life through the filter of alcohol. I am no longer blinded by beer goggles.

Beer goggles

On the Saturday before Father’s Day I was able to realize the magnitude of the new clarity in which I see life. This unpolluted vision came from the visit I had with my two boys. One son had come in from Colorado to play in a music festival called Twisterfest in Chickasha, Oklahoma. He had gotten me tickets to see him perform with his band Translation of Sound. It had been Christmas day since I had seen him. Even though we talk frequently I was anxious to see him in person. I was hoping that my worrying about him would subside as I spent some time with him. I had no idea of what was in store. One of the most pure, unfiltered moments in my life was about to happen.

Translation of Sound

I was taken back to April of 2010. It was his senior season of high school soccer. I had not missed a game. But one Friday night they were playing super power Jenks, OK in an away game. Traveling from OKC to the Tulsa area was not meeting with my weekend plans. The possibility of his team getting trounced was high. I sent him a text that I probably would not make it due to the drive and potential outcome. Whether it bothered him or not he did not show it. He just responded that it was ok and he would see me at home late that evening. My beer goggles had blinded me to what was really important. The need to chase the party overtook me. An away game and potential big loss was too easy for an alcoholic to justify my decision. The night for me would end with a dose of humbling karma. That was the night I was arrested and spent the night in jail with a DUI. Blinded by my beer goggles I could not see the reality of life. I missed an unfiltered moment with my son for alcohol.

Gone were the beer goggles

Seeing him as I arrived at Twisterfest brought a fresh clarity to my eyes. As he handed me the tickets, that he autographed on the back, I swelled with emotion that I cherish today. Gone were the beer googles and I could see life unfiltered. We chatted for a bit and he introduced me to his girlfriend. He then had to get ready for sound check and his concert and left me to find my place in the crowd. I settled into a spot and anticipated the show. I was about to experience a high I never obtained in my addiction. It was the most amazing feeling to see him on the search for his purpose. Living his dream on stage right in front of me. I was overcome by a sense of pride. I was experiencing a moment in life without obstruction of any kind. It meant more to me than I could ever try to explain.


As they came on to do their set I got my camera ready. As he began to play and sing I was amazed. The words of one song resonated with me. It was titled Hold On. Oh how I knew exactly the feelings he must have experienced as he wrote that song. Some clouds began to move in. They blocked the sun as a wind swept in and brought the most cooling, refreshing relief. I was lost in all my senses during their performance. Every sensory preceptor in my brain was firing. This was what I had been searching for. True and pure happiness. I was awakened by watching him perform. Just by pursuing the things in life that I had only dreamed of. Life with no filters, no pretenses, no dramatic hype. Just love pulsing through our veins to the beat of the bass from his music.

My eyes had been opened to the truth.

What a day! I was not expecting to feel such clarity. Earlier before the concert, I was able to have lunch with my other son who lives in Oklahoma City. Our relationship has grown leaps and bounds. He is a soul I admire for his pure heart. His card and gift was more than I could have asked for. He had already made my Father’s Day so special. Then to have the added clarity of life through my other son’s concert left me in awe. Gone were the beer goggles that only brought delusion, insanity, and fear. My eyes had been opened to the truth. Things I did not allow myself to appreciate before. A life that is pure and free of selfish motive. Real life and real moments completely free of any filters. Does not get any better than that folks!

Check out Hold On by Translation of Sound. Featuring my son Brady on lead vocals and guitar.



  1. Kip, no. It does not get any better than this. I mean. First, is the experience. Which is incredible. Suffering from this illness I relate to that. But second, is your ability to articulate it. It is such a perfect example of living the simple life and finding joy. I could cry.
    But that’s what guys like us need to do man. Show up! Shut up and show up. Be there for the people in our lives. It’s so simple and so easy and was so hard for us for so long. And now it’s a habit. Warriors on purpose, fistfuls of faith. I’m with you brother. The tribe grows.
    PS Son of yours is quite the talent!

    • Humbled by your words brother. We just gotta keep moving forward a day at a time. I always wanted to be a rock star and to see him actually living it instead of just dreaming about it was crazy in itself. I appreciate your compliment to him. I know I am a proud papa but I really did think he did great.

  2. Thank you for sharing with us a moment that exemplifies what living is really all about. As a Parent in Recovery, I can’t imagine any greater gift. And Mark’s so right. Your ability to capture this experience in words brilliant.
    Color me grateful.

    • Thanks Abbie. We all share in the hopes that it can help someone else. At the same time we help ourselves. We are a community, a team, and being a member is something I am so grateful for. We are all in it together.

  3. Teresa Gambler-Oyler Teresa Gambler-Oyler

    I enjoyed this post so much. I’m going to share it. There are so many people that I know and love who turn to alcohol or drugs to exist.

    My husband removed his “Vodka Goggles” on May 3rd of this year. Yes, just 2 months ago. He had drank every day for forty years.

    Now, every day he tells me about something he never noticed before. I am so thankful for his new life. God is good. All of the time.

    • I am glad it spoke to you. Really is just what God has done in my life and I just go and He teaches me what to say. I can really relate to what your husband is going through. Life is great and God is magnificently awesome. Today was not extraordinary in terms of a party, just simple, but it was the most real fourth I have ever had. Simple and free. True feeling of independence. If there is anything I can ever do to help your husband he is always welcome to contact me. Thanks for sharing the post.

  4. Hi Kip!
    I have been sober for 22 months and 2 days!
    I used to have wine goggles!

    • Congrats on your 22 months. I am sure you are much the better for it and love your profession. Teaching is a love most would not understand. Keep up and be goggle free.

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