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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.

SaratogaGirl SaratogaGirl 26-30, F 22 Responses Feb 20, 2009

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Thank you.

great piece...thanks for sharing

Thank you, Ms. Serendipity. Alcoholism is a disease for which there is no total cure, but there IS very effective treatment.

This was a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing. I can not even imagine what it would have been like, had your father remained drinking, through your mother's passing. Seems like it is always an easy outlet to use drinking to cope with the realities of life. I can see where you get your strength from, and I am so happy for you. Best wishes :-)

I know what hating does. Hate is my most natural emotion. I have felt it so much more then anything. I use to be so consumed in hatred that I could kill and it would make me happy. Hate can make you strong, but eventually it will also break you. Had to learn to give it up at that point.

Well, not liking is better than hating. Hating is like acid... it burns through everything.

My mom is simply a loser. There are lots of losers in this life. It is okay though because as long as I am not a loser like her it doesn't even matter. I no longer hate her, but I don't like her one bit.

I won't comment on your mother. But yes, my Daddy IS a winner... he got sober, and after my mom died he raised me on his own, while holding down his full-time job and always continuing going to AA meetings and helping other alcoholics. I love him very much.

It is okay redhead as I learned you are either a winner or a loser. You dad sounds like a winner while my mom is a loser.

I am very sorry, Lion. All I can say is that I wish your mom had done what my Daddy did do, and that is seek help and devote himself to getting and staying sober. It worked for him and it could have worked for her. {{{HUGS}}}

My mom is a hugely abusive alcoholic, and she taught me a different lesson., She chose other men over her own kids, and screamed at me nearly every day. As bad as this is going to make me look she has taught me not everyone is equal.

I am sorry.<br />
<br />
My father got sober through the program of AA and the help of his Higher Power.

You are very lucky. My story is a lot diferent from yours. My father has been a alcoholic since before I was born. I don't have a lot of good memories like yours. On the days he didn't drink he would just be angry all the time. He would fight with my mother most days. He never had something positive to say. The only one kind of lucky it would be my mother, because even though my brother and I hate alcohol . A least she doesn't have to keep suffering see in us going the same way as my father. However my brother and I never had a father .

Take it a day at a time, msbogart...

reading this is uplifting for me. i'm an alcoholic, i'm not a father- or even a mother but this gives me hope to just keep being me. thank you

Success through AA can bring real happiness to more than just the recovering alcoholic. I have a friend who has been in recovery for 23 years and she's truly one of the happiest, healthiest persons I know. I'm happy you had a dad who was strong enough to live his life in such a loving way for you.

Ha, ha, ha... it was just an itch... no happy endings... ;-)

Thanks. <br />
<br />
I'll refrain from telling my wife that I had a hot chick from the internets help me with an itch I needed to scratch lol.

With pleasure! That it? Right there?

Thanks :)<br />
<br />
Say, I've got an itch just under my left shoulder blade that I can't reach, think you can help me out?

All true, whuttup. The vast majority of alcoholics die from their disease. It is a terrible illness, and all who come into contact with it are affected by it. But I can tell you that I personally know several hundred people, who, through God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous have regained their lives, their dignity and their souls. <br />
I am truly sorry for what you went through and what happened to your mother. I sincerely am. I have tears in my eyes even as I write this because I know the kind of life she could have had and that you could have shared, had she embraced her recovery. Unfortunately, not all do recover. AA's themselves admit that the Program is for people who WANT it... not for people who NEED it. The 12-Steps demand that people take actions and adopt mental attitudes that no active alcoholic wishes to take -- unless he or she accepts that this is the path to sobriety, sanity and life.<br />
Whattup, please know that my arms are around you giving you a hug right now.

You have no idea how lucky, either. Most alcoholics never advance to that stage of recovery, but if they do, then like you describe they can benefit from the experience. Your dad is much more self aware of his weaknesses and his actions than someone that never went through what he did. <br />
<br />
I had an alcoholic mom that you may have read about in my stories. Once she fell into the despair of her alcoholic life, she never recovered like your dad did.