My father was an alcoholic for the most part of his life, beginning at the mere age of 14 he immersed his soul in alcoholic beverages and failed to stop until there was nothing left of him. For 18 years, that is all my eyes were set upon, a hopeless, frigid, selfish man who had taken it upon himself to allow this addiction to not only consume and destroy him completely but his very own family as well. Day by day, I watched my father wither away with every swig he’d take from the countless of bottles that lay beside him. The more this alcohol addiction absorbed him, the farther away MY father got from my clasp.
My Relationship with My Father
As a result, I set upon acting on my suppressed anguish and vexation, belittling and minimizing his actual worth with every chance I got, treating him as if he meant absolutely nothing to me. It got to the point where I’d wish death upon him, pleading for him to at last give my mother, sisters, and brother peace by succumbing to his demise. I’d angrily spit on his face when he’d drunkenly approach me, firmly express how much I loathed him, and I informed others who inquired towards my father’s being that he was dead, because he was, in fact, dead to me.
He had nothing, not a job, no money to his name, not a family, not a wife, not any of his four children as we had all chosen to relinquish that part of our lives. This hostile and deplorable behavior towards my father went on for years. It wasn’t until I reached my freshman year of college that I realized my actions, along with my sibling’s and my mothers, were all contributing to my father allowing himself to fall deeper and deeper into this dark abyss. I mean who could possibly want to live a life like this, a life where not even your own children, the children who you took part in creating, can bear to even look, let alone, be affiliated with you. It was as much his fault as my own.
I had never taken the time to try and comprehend what my father was feeling, how demoralized and unavailing he must have felt, but most importantly, how alone he may have been. Everyone treated him with such disdain. Everyone voiced their profound hatred towards him. Everyone just stood by and watched him drink his life away. I began to empathize with him, taking it upon myself to show him that I was there, that I had forgiven him, and that I loved him, I always had which is why it hurt me so much to see him put the bottle ahead of his very own family.
My Father’s Death
It was during this time that I was at San Francisco State, in part having gone so far in the hopes of running away from the pain that I felt upon seeing my father, that I decided to change. It is also at this point where his health truly began to gradually decline. My father was on his final days of life. It was only a matter of time until he was at death’s door as the prolonged consumption of alcohol had destroyed his body. I stood by his bedside for the remainder of his life, and although I was never there for him prior, I made the choice not to leave him during this pivotal period. The experience with my father not only prompted me to try and comprehend alcoholism but it also filled me with a drive to gain insight towards the lives of others as you never truly know what troubles their minds, as whatever it may be may possibly prompt their demeanor.
Alcohol as a Drug
Alcohol is one of the most prevalent drugs known to man, easily accessible to any and all who are above the legal age to purchase. It is something that many do not view with contempt as it is failed to be recognized by all as an object possessing a potentially jeopardizing prospect. This detrimental intoxicating beverage, as stated by an online article entitled “Alcoholism and Alcohol,” has affected “about 18 million adult Americans” (medlineplus.gov), prompting them to, slowly but surely, develop an alcohol use disorder. Otherwise known as alcoholism.
Alcoholism, classified under three categories being: mild, moderate, and severe, is, as mentioned in an article by the Delphi Behavioral Health Group, “the most severe form of alcohol abuse and involves the inability to manage drinking habits…if left untreated…it can spiral out of control”. Those who become affected by this are not only mentally reliant on on the said drug, but physically as well as their body necessitates a drink, or drinks, in order to properly function as an individual. Their body can no longer bear being without any form of liquor in their system so swigging down an alcoholic beverage plays an extremely detrimental role in their regular, everyday life.
In product of the excess amount of consumption, the body sets about, as denoted in an online publication entitled “Alcohol Dependence and Withdrawal,” “building up a physical tolerance [and] experiencing withdrawal symptoms,” (drinkaware.co) if the heavy drinking is discontinued. Despite the fact drinking may possibly aid in momentarily alleviating any pain by prompting one to briefly feel at ease, wrongfully abusing alcohol may further lead to grave complications in the future as it affects both the body and mind. One does not have to first handedly expose themselves to alcohol to take notice of the effects that alcohol has on an individual as watching others who have consumed this drug to have their etiquette of speech drastically altered, resulting in slurred, stretched out, repetitive statements, along with a loss in co-ordination, slow reflexes, unconsciousness, ineffectiveness, and various other uneccessary byproducts.
When identifying an individual as an alcoholic, it is imperative for one to pay close attention to their demeanor as it can aid to the proper diagnosis of the being suffering from alcoholism. Those who fall and fail to avoid becoming consumed by this deadly disease will experience a series of symptoms prior to the recognition of the nature of their illness. For instance, signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence include “waking up and drinking, or feeling the need to drink in the morning, worrying about where your next drink is coming from, and finding you have a compulsive need to drink and finding it hard to stop [once started]” (drinkaware.co). In addition, some withdrawal symptoms may consist of hand tremors, sweating, nausea, visual hallucinations, and seizures. There are a lot of undesirably harmful physical and mental features attributed with this disease and with the progression of time, will only worsen if not treated properly with medical care. Those who find themselves in the early stages of alcoholism still have a chance at survival as there is still time to prevent this disease from converting into something deadly and irrevocable.
As aforementioned, it is highly probable for an individual to be stricken with other diseases that can inevitably be life threatening. The further that a person walks hand in hand with alcohol, the more control and authority that is given to this inanimate object, which will ultimately serve its purpose of destroying and deteriorating what once held the vessel of a healthy individual as they have taken a path that can and will lead to their demise. Consuming too much of alcohol, of any kind, is unquestionably perilous. “It can cause damage to the liver, brain, and other organs” (medlineplus.gov), which include Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a chronic memory disorder, “cardiomyopathy, or drooping of the heart muscle…anemia…clots, causing strokes or heart attacks… cirrhosis of the liver or alcohol induced hepatitis…pancreatitis, the consistent inflammation of the pancreas…[and] increased risks of ulcers, digestive problems…etc.,” (alcohol.org) as accurately expounded by an online article serving to raise awareness and shine light on the negative aspects of alcoholism.
As can be hopefully understood, alcohol has an immense negative impact on the wellness of the individual indulging in distilled beverages. All the symptoms and illnesses affiliated with alcoholism don’t all come into being at once, they progressively set themselves into place, creeping up slowly overtime, at times even hitting you with more than one disease making the process of overcoming the addiction impossible as an inevitable death has already been set into stone.
Effects of Alcohol
For the most part, those who fall into the category of being branded as alcoholics won’t admit to having a problem with addiction. When confronted by others, those who have found themselves harboring a dependence for this substance will fail to acknowledge that they have a problem that needs immediate attention. They will unceasingly remain in a state of denial, going as far as too pushing those who are only trying to help away, putting a wedge between them, leaving no room for anyone to reach over and pull them out before it is too late. Alcoholism doesn’t only have an adverse effect on the drinker but those who are in their surrounding as well, be it their immediate family, friends, lover, coworkers, etc. It is prominently known that those impacted the most in these situations are the children.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence “estimates that there are 18 million alcoholics in the U.S., meaning that roughly 26.8 million children are being exposed to the effects of alcoholism” (family-intervention.com). 26.8 million children are left with no choice but to watch their family fall into wreck and ruins as the alcoholism interrupts the standard family dynamic that should be taking place by being overcome with a series of problems. Children find themselves to be neglected and tossed aside by the parent harboring the addiction as nothing seems to matter more than the alcohol itself. The children are no longer the most important and crucial thing in their life, they, along with others, are a priority no more.
Effects on Families
Everything seems absolutely trifling and minute in comparison to the alcohol addiction. But the offspring aren’t the only ones affected by this, as their spouse/significant other fall victim to the alcoholism as well. Finding themselves worrying for more than they bargained for. For example, there will be a point in time where the abuser will reach a point where nothing will matter but their drive and determination to drink, resulting in one of many conflicts being having to confront and deal with financial troubles as the money is wrongfully spent in alcoholic beverages, initiating fights which will, in due course, weaken and damage the well-being of those they once claimed to love deeply.
Alcoholism is something that many families and individuals face on a continuum. Sometimes, the circumstances that people find themselves in are far more perplexing than others, but it is still something incredibly difficult to overcome nonetheless. Falling into alcohol addiction, or any addiction of any sort, is harrowing and emotionally disturbing and distressful for any one individual who has come to face it at some point in their lives. Addiction is not something that one can come out on their own, they need the help and support of others to regain control of their body, mind, and soul. One must not allow themselves to spiral out of control and they must refrain from falling into an endless pit filled with sadness and despair. Alcohol shouldn’t be as accepted or plastered around as it is in our society, day by day, there are billboards, commercials, and other products used to expand the prevalence of this substance, encouraging people to drink be it at restaurants, bars, clubs, parties, etc. Alcoholism has no partiality, it doesn’t care for your wealth, race, sexuality, or religion. It has no face, but it does in fact prey the most upon those who find themselves in a vulnerable, helpless state, attacking until the individual have finally succumbed.