Defeating the War against Alcohol

                                                Defeating the War against Alcohol


                I felt my body tense as my Dad reached for the bottle.  For the last three years, the same routine took place. He grabbed the bottle, lifted it to his mouth, took a long painful looking swallow, and then sat it down.  My stomach did cart wheels, and my mind raced with worry.  I knew that in a matter of minutes he would be belligerent. Then, moments later, his eyes would glaze over and he would appear content.  A few more swallows left him edgy and over whelmed. The last few dreaded moments are the worst, yet the ones I cannot help but wish to have.  Once he passes out, I know he will be safe for the next few hours.

                My Dad always preferred Vodka and Coke.  My preference was to see him sober longer then a day.  I can’t put my finger on the moment I noticed his drinking increased.  He was always one to have a few beers or a mixed drink.  But, lately he drank more alone then he did with others, and that worries me.  He spoke not to long ago that drinking released his pain. The pain he failed from his failures, and the fear he carried of letting go.  Drinking was a way for him to ease the hurt in his heart, to forget the past, and for just a few moments, pretend things weren’t that bad.  So, he continued this life style hoping one morning he would wake up and the pain would ease.  Praying one day he would wake up and forget what he was unable to forgive.

                A few days later I wrote my Dad a letter.  I explained on paper what spoken words could not reveal.  I desperately wanted him to know that his actions affected not only himself, but those around him.  The man I once idolized had become prone to numbing his pain instead of dealing with it.  He taught others to be strong while he himself took the easy way out.  I wrote that he was ill, that this was a disease I didn’t think he could fight on his own.  While he numbed his pain, those around him longed for a cure, prayed for that moment to come when enough was enough.  Out of utter desperation, I handed him the letter. I poured my heart and soul into two pages, wanting so badly to get through to him.  I walked away that day praying for a change. The days to follow left me anger and alone.  Not just at him, but also as myself.  I was afraid I pushed him to far and I wanted so badly just to hear his voice. 

                Finally, four months later I gave in and called.  I learned then that my letter was his wake up call, the one thing that pulled him back to reality.  He hadn’t called because he was determined to get over his addiction, and refused to give up.  Fifteen years later my Dad still hates the sight of Vodka and Coke.  Although he didn’t give up his social drinking, he found the cure he needed to better himself.  I have found myself in many moments of sadness reaching for that bottle as he had.  When the going got tough, I got drunk.  That same bottle that almost killed my Dad was the very same one threatening my life.  I went through that faze for a little over a year before I got the help I needed.  I have only learned one valuable lesson in all of this; Death is forever, pain goes away. Drinking yourself as so many of us often do could result in a situation where you are not as lucky as we were. Seek the help you deserve, and realize your true strength.

Hank   Hank wrote
on 8/27/2008 12:08:09 PM
I very much enjoyed and agreed with your writing. You are wise beyond you years.

lindsay   lindsay wrote
on 7/2/2008 9:42:56 AM
Deeply moving and heartfelt.

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 7/1/2008 2:47:46 PM
The same thing you went through with your dad, I went through with mine. And even later in life I started to be like him with abusing not only alcohol, but drugs as well. But I got smart and beat it. My poem "I Love My Freedom" was the result of 12 years of not being free from "My Masters". I commend you for your decision for you are a brave young lady. Keep your head up and look to the stars.

BlueIris   BlueIris wrote
on 7/1/2008 1:06:16 PM
Most of the essay was heartfelt, with vivid descriptions. The last paragraph seemed too rushed. Perhaps you could start a new paragraph about yourself, after talking about your dad. I would like to read more about your personal struggle and triumph.

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