I Consider Myself a Very Lucky Daughter
For some people this would undoubtedly be a terrible thing. Alcoholism causes many, many problems… violence, mistrust, humiliation, even death. I do not in any way wish to minimize the dreadful impact this disease has on people. However, I will say this: for me, it was nothing but a good thing.
My father is an alcoholic. A recovered alcoholic. That is not to say that he can drink again, he cannot. He is still an alcoholic. But he has recovered from the obsession to drink through his Higher Power, through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and through the fellowship of the absolutely wonderful people who have also recovered from their alcoholism.
I never saw my daddy drunk. Well, maybe I did as a tiny baby, but I have no memory of it. He has been sober for over 22-years now. He entered the program of AA shortly after I was born. I am his only child. He told me that it was my birth that gave him the psychic shock to admit his disease and seek help – not for my sake, for his own, so that he could be the kind of father and man he always wanted to be.
He was sober, early in his recovery but sober, when my mother got her diagnosis of cancer. He was there for her and for me when she died. I know he has drawn comfort from that.
He is very serious about his program of recovery. I grew up going to AA meetings with him. I learned to sit in the back of the room with my books and drink glasses of milk and eat the cookies that were there while the AA’s talked. I had so many surrogate aunts and uncles, good people, serious about rebuilding their lives, that I always felt warm and loved and supported when I was with them.
With my father in recovery in the AA program I grew up in a house that was ours, that was always warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That was always neat and clean. There was always a hot breakfast for me and a full dinner. My father made time for me. He read to me, he talked to me, he listened to me.
I grew up with the philosophy of the 12-Step movement taught to me. These were valuable lessons… things like, whatever you do, never lie to yourself. Never make promises you can’t keep. Do not judge others. When you make a mistake, promptly admit it and fix things. Always be self-supporting. Remember that there is a Higher Power – and it is not you. Easy does it. First things first. Remember whenever I see someone less fortunate than I, that there I go, except for the grace of God. Take things a day at a time. And many others.
I had a Daddy that cared, that taught me that all people were equal, that all had inherent self-worth, that all could recover from their problems if they had the chance. I had a Daddy who I could believe and believe in.
My father is an alcoholic… and I am very lucky.