July 12, 2013How Alcohol Affected My Life
Both my parents were alcoholics. My father finally sobered up when the local sheriff gave him a choice between going to jail for fraud or to the state psychiatric facility for 6 months ("treatment" hadn't even been invented back then). He was released and although he went to a zillion meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, he never did take responsibility for how he had wrecked his marriage, children, family and friends. He died sober (nearly 40 years), but at his funeral I recall saying: "There isn't a big enough church in the world that could hold all the people he helped in AA. But the very small crowd here today testifies to the fact that he only worked steps that applied to helping other alcoholics and not mending relationships or taking responsibilities for his family."
We didn't know for years that our mom was a secret drinker. We had such sympathy for her being married to an alcoholic and then a recovering but not responsible husband. She divorced him finally and married a man who was not an alcoholic, but was as controlling and just plain "unavailable" as our father was. She was spending nearly every day in her pajamas, drinking and smoking. Her husband would say he could not understand why she would not stop drinking. I suggested Alanon for him, to no avail, because he insisted her drinking was not his problem.
My three sisters joined me in making a trip to where they lived and literally got her out the toxic situation. She moved back to our home state and never drank again. We were grateful that she was as happy as she could be for the last years of her life -- without alcohol.
It has always puzzled me why comedians make fun of drinking and that acting inebriated is somehow funny. There is not a child of an alcoholic who thinks drinking and getting drunk are in any way funny.
It's a tragic way to live. Fortunately, my three sisters and I managed to make good choices, get an education, get good jobs, and two of us chose wisely and have great marriages. Two sisters married alcoholics, but eventually divorced...ever with ease and always with tremendous guilt. One of those two is very happily married to a strong and wonderful man; her ex is still drinking and on girlfriend number I don't know, I cannot keep track.
I can only thank God daily that we all have known the pain of alcoholism we personally escaped becoming or being alcoholics.
Posted by Staff at 10:01 AM