The Demon Drink
Hey...I was just perusing through the site and stumbled upon this particular post.
I too come from an alcoholic home, but it wasn't what I thought would be 'alcoholic'. My parents didn't binge drink, my dad went to work every day, my mom had supper on the table between 5 and 6 PM. All outside appearances, people would think that there was nothing wrong with my family. My aunts and uncles were those kinds of alcoholics (skid row bum types), my parents weren't. Yet, they were still alcoholic. When my dad drank, he couldn't stop. Most of the time he would be the life of the party, but every so often he would get mean.
My mom liked it because it was the 'social' lubrication that she 'needed'. It made her feel more important, smarter and better than what she really felt. It also became her escape from life. To this day, I remember my mom reading me stories, but not being 'present'. I remember her kissing me and putting me to bed, telling me how much she loved me with nasty beer breath. But this is normal in most alcoholic homes.
Alcoholism isn't just the physical manifestation of the 'allergy', but it's also a spiritual disease that often times stretches through generations and through entire families. It took me marrying an alcoholic (no surprise there...) and hitting a bottom of my own before I was willing to understand what alcoholism is. Because I grew up in an alcoholic home, I have a lot of alcoholic tendencies, but I am not an alcoholic. I've tried...just not it! I can party hard, but there comes a point where I don't enjoy the effects of alcohol on myself or friends. I can stop, with out counting of how many I've had. But I did worry for a long time that I could end up like my mom and become an alcoholic at the ripe old age of 42.
My husband has 8 years of sobriety this year, my dad had that many before he passed away at 55 from gall bladder cancer. They did achieve this through AA, and they had (from what I have seen) good groups of folks to help them. People are quick to knock things they don't know, and it's not for everyone. But I have seen AA help bottom of the barrel drunks turn their lives around to become the upstanding human beings they were meant to be. Most alcoholics I know are absolutely brilliant, hilarious and wonderful people, they just can't stop drinking. Eventually you see them set themselves up for failure and things progress until they are desperate and it becomes a matter of life and death. That's how it was with my dad and my husband.
My mom, continues to find new bottoms. She does not currently do anything to take a look at herself, but I know that today, if she could stop, she would. So I don't have that expectation anymore. I can't get caught up in her drama either, as I am a mom and a wife and I have a job etc. The most compassionate thing I can do for her, is to let her find that willingness for herself.
No one but you can call yourself an alcoholic. I can read what you wrote, but I am not an alcoholic so I can't say 'yup, that's it'...but I do know how little I actually knew of alcoholism until I sat down to read a big book and attend Al-Anon meetings. So if you're still curious, sit down and read Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), as it does detail types of drunks, all the reasons leading up to drinking and what alcoholism is and does to a body. Good Luck, something watches over drunks and fools, I think that just about covers everybody