13 December 2009

My Dad

My dad died 23 years ago today. He was an alcoholic who was afforded every opportunity and had every reason to stop drinking. Some who knew him think that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his experience in Viet Nam and that the demons were too much to overcome. I don't know.

I'm no longer angry at him, but I was for a good long while. I don't know what, if any, role his addiction played in my own problems. My hunch is little, if any. I don't know if alcoholism is an inheritable trait. If it is, then there's a good chance my "allergy" (as the big book aptly describes it) came from him. But I don't think my life with him as an alcoholic played a roll, especially having gone through first-hand the devastation that alcoholism has on a family. Whether it did or not, though, doesn't really matter now, does it?

I still don't know why I did what I did. I also have no idea how I was able to stop when so many others can't. Was it a higher power? Beats me. The only thing I do know is that the obsession to drink was lifted. Through good times and bad I've been able to stay the course. Far more often than not, the fact that I'm an alcoholic rarely crosses my mind--the fact that I'm an alcoholic is a part of me, but it doesn't define me. And I can't remember the last time I thought of taking a drink. Not that I take my sobriety for granted. I try to go to the monthly anniversary meetings at the local clubhouse.

But I digress.

I'm not angry with or at my father because really, what's the point? I've learned to deal with anger and let go of resentments, nothing but trouble those two. But sometimes I get sad. He never got to see his boys grow into men; to impart whatever wisdom he had, whether we would have been receptive to it or not; mostly, though, it is his loss that he didn't get to experience his four glorious granddaughters.

It would have been nice to have gotten to know the man, but not so long as he remained on the path that he was. And, again, he had every reason and opportunity to get off of that path. He either couldn't or didn't want to. If it was the latter and there is a hereafter, then it is for him to explain.

Anyway, I miss you dad.

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