Last night a wasp tried to drown itself in my beer. Do wasps get drunk? It sure seemed strange at the time, because at that very moment I was reading in a book about how alcohol affects our lives and bodies, and how alcoholism destroys lives..
That evening, I wanted to relax. So I fixed myself a bath, and poured myself a glass of beer to enjoy while soaking in the tub. While taking my bath, I was reading a book. It was a spiritual book that dealt with souls, and the possibility that we as souls choose certain challenges for our lives. This particular chapter was on souls who choose to become alcoholics. Humans are not made to drink alcohol, it’s unnatural for our bodies; it kills brain cells, and so forth. To be an alcoholic is to take this to the extreme, and then some.
Right about then, I heard a buzzing. A wasp had made it through the open window, and slowly spiraled down. As I watched it, it flew undeterred right into my glass and plunged itself into the beer. Kamikaze style. I couldn’t believe it, the Gaul of it! I watched it splash around, and it was either trying to survive or become happily buzzed. I thought “Now what do I do?” So I took a pen, and somehow fished the wasp out of the glass.
Now the little creature seemed disoriented. I am not sure if it was shaken by the experience of stirred by the alcohol. I was just watching, curious to see what would happen. It just ran around aimlessly, like we may do when we are drunk, and tried to get the fluids off its wings by flapping wildly. Eventually it was able to buzz off, out of the open window. As quickly as it came into my life, or into my beer, it was gone.
The whole thing just struck me as weird. So I did some research. It turns out, wasps are attracted to alcohol, particularly the sweetness in the beer. In fact, you can build a “beer trap”, where they will happily drown themselves in the liquid. Having a “buzz” is not unknown to them either; when insects eat fermented fruit, they can get “a buzz.” So to answer my original question, they can indeed get drunk. But can you imagine a buzzing, drunken wasp? Would it be a good drunk, or a mean one? I sure don’t want to find out.
So wasps DO like beer. And for a wasp to fly into a beer glass it not that unusual. What made it extra weird to me is that it happened right at that moment when I was reading about souls and alcoholism, and how our bodies are not made for alcohol. For the little creature to appear and plunge itself into my beer right at that moment, sure, this could be a coincidence. But if something strange is also synchronous with another related event, like me reading that section, then I believe there may be something deeper going on.
Because everything is connected.
You see, in my extended family there have been several alcoholics. I have witnessed the effects on the person and their family, the denial, the self-loathing, the vicious cycles, the depressive lows, the loss of control, and so on, that go with it. I think, a drink here and there is no big deal; that’s what I do. But when people cannot function without alcohol or drugs, then this is another matter altogether. It’s a horrible affliction.
So reading that chapter hit home. When that wasp crashed into my beer, it was like an exclamation mark! That’s what I got out of that moment: “Take note!”
In retrospect, the whole thing seems like a mini metaphor for alcoholism. Just like that little creature, which plunged itself into the alcohol and may have drowned in it, some humans do so as well when they become alcoholics.
And mind you, the term WASP can also have a different meaning, as in “White Anglo Saxon Protestant.” Not to imply that WASPs are heavy drinkers. I just find it interesting in the context of that metaphor that the term “wasp” can apply to both this insect, and to some group of humans.
So is there a lesson to all of this? If it’s a metaphor, is there a resolution?
The resolution is that the little wasp was saved by help form the outside.
It’s the act of helping that made the difference.
In real life, when somebody struggles with an alcohol and drug addiction, it’s hard if not impossible to heal oneself. But it becomes easier if the person gets help. A counselor can teach techniques that help cope with the cravings. And there are many great helping organizations, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
In the case of AA, the path to healing is based on accepting God’s guidance. And if you believe in the premise of that book, that souls may pre-plan for this, then this is indeed a spiritual issue to be resolved. I also believe that healing involves Love. It starts with self-love, forgiveness, and self-acceptance, to help break the vicious cycle. Of course, to me, Love is synonymous with God. So the idea is similar, to accept Love, or God, into your heart.
Thank you, little wasp, for helping and setting up this story.
If you read this, and you struggle with alcoholism or drug abuse, start by not denying the problem, then be willing to find help, and then please find help. Life can become great again.