Alcoholism, a personal take

I wonder what brought about prohibition? What caused an entire nation to actually prohibit the sale of alcohol? Could it be because it was destroying families all across America? And how is life different today? Was prohibition really a bad idea?

In my younger days, especially during college, I drank more than my share of alcohol. I was probably drunk more than I was sober. Like many people, I slowed down considerably after graduating college.  In the last 40 years, I remember getting drunk just one time.

When I got married, I was reintroduced to alcohol in an intimate and personal way.  At first, I thought my wife’s alcohol inspired gaffes were somewhat charming and humorous. I would laugh, as would my friends. As time went on, and my wife’s alcohol induced issues continued, I took on a different view ,  I dreaded every day of dealing with her. As is the case with many alcoholics, she slurred her words and became belligerent, nasty, and violent.  She would scream at me, strike me, and eventually (and thankfully) pass out.

When she passed out, she would urinate over the entire bed, EVERY night.

I was on my own in addressing this issue.  Her family were alcoholics and supported her behavior.  They tried to get me to stop pressuring her (except for her sister).

She decided she wanted to start a family.  I knew, considering her addiction, it was a terrible idea.  I intensely resisted. I didn’t want to put a child through this hell.

She finally won out and we had our son, Michael.    She did not drink during the pregnancy.

But after Michael was born, she resumed drinking.  I can’t detail all of the horror stories of her alcoholic parenting.  Suffice it to say that Mike spent much of his toddler years alone, because his mother was passed out. Since I was at work, he was an infant on his own.

Miraculously, Mike not only survived but thrived.  He entered school and was at the top of his class every year.  Although he was ‘fine’ he recently confided to me, as an adult, the agony of suffering through her inebriated parenting.

As he got better, incredibly, his mother got worse.  As the years passed, she took greater risks.  While drunk, she caused a terrible traffic accident on a local highway.  Despite a very high blood alcohol level, she didn’t get a ticket. And it didn’t stop her for a second.

She continued to drink and drive, and got a DWI.  This did not change her behavior.  She continued the madness.

What finally brought this tragedy to an end was the onset of alcohol induced brain damage,  which resulted in very strange behavior, even when she was ‘sober’. This resulted in permanent institutionalization.

Tragic ending? Not for my son and me.  We are both totally relieved that we are not being tortured on a daily basis.  We always know where she is and what she’s NOT doing.

So back to prohibition.  Would I vote for it today? Based on what I know and what others have told me about their experiences, I would vote yes in a second. I have learned to hate alcohol with an unmatched passion.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that our story is just one out of millions. The heartache nationwide is beyond measure.

It’s time to end the madness.

2 thoughts on “Alcoholism, a personal take”

  1. I too have personal experiences with alcoholism. I married two alcoholics. Fortunately they were nothing like your wife. They were sweet and a little stupid when they got drunk and it didn’t interfere with their careers. My dad was also a lovely drinker and worked his sweet ass off till a few years before he died. Fortunately the genes were not passed down to me and my sister. I like to have wine a few days a week but can take it or leave it. I am somewhat concerned about my grandchildren because they have it on both sides[genetically]. One thing I have learned as an adult is that alcoholism is truly a disease. It grabs you and holds onto you and takes a huge plan and effort to get rid of. Happy for you and your son. Peace of mind is a wonderful commodity.


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