Experience, Strength and Hope (my story till 15)

I know I should get on with it. I will. I want to summarize and try to understand where I’m coming from a bit better.

I was an only child of two young people. I had a supportive extended family. I moved to the suburbs) before I started school. My parents were the first in each of their families to go to college. My father was an alcoholic who died at the young age of 33 from alcohol. If you believe in degrees, I think it’s safe to say he was “severe.”

My mother remarried a few years later, to a man I haven’t spoken to, despite living with him while growing up, for over 30 years. When I was around 12 years old, I started engaging in self-destructive, attention-seeking behavior. Though I had had friends in the past, I didn’t really have any at that time, except for my best friend, Isabel, who I had known since I was 5.

My mother continues to this day to engage in alcoholic behavior. She does drink and she takes pills. In addition to that, I’ve come to see that there are ways in which she is still very critical of me and she expresses these criticisms to my partner and my adult children. I have other relatives who I believe are alcoholic.

I was smart enough. I had two health problems, severe allergies and bum knees, that complicated things, but not too much.

That’s all I can think of at this moment to summarize my life up until I was 16. It’s my personal belief that I was predisposed to be an alcoholic. Whether that’s by heredity or something else, I don’t know. It absolutely doesn’t matter one tiny bit. I am alcoholic. I can’t go back to not being alcoholic.

I’ve heard people at times attribute their alcoholism to this or that factor or experience. It doesn’t matter. Whatever anyone has gone through, there are others who have been through the same and worse, yet they don’t become alcoholic. The wisdom of the ages, my personal experience and the experience of countless others tells us beyond a doubt that we can’t go back to being “normal.” Even if there was a chance I could, I wouldn’t ever risk it. Even if there was no doubt that I could, I wouldn’t want to. That is the miracle of AA.


One thought on “Experience, Strength and Hope (my story till 15)

  1. We read a story at a meeting last night, “Because I’m an Alcoholic,” on page 338 of the Big Book, 4th Edition. It also spoke to the question so many of us had or have when we first come in…. “why did I drink, and why did I become an alcoholic.” I remember asking that question, and there are innumerable “excuses” that I used for drinking each day; but I have come to believe that THE primary reason for my drinking was that I am an alcoholic. Others go through the same things that I went through and still go through, and they are not alcoholic, they don’t drink over any of it. I did, because that’s how I knew to deal with things, because I AM an alcoholic.
    I had to grow into the realization that the reason I drank was because I’m an alcoholic. I didn’t want to be an alcoholic, and I whined that statement at meeting after meeting for the first six months or so of my sobriety. Today, and I hated to hear this early on, I am glad to be an alcoholic IN RECOVERY. If I didn’t have this disease, I wouldn’t have this recovery. And this recovery has been the biggest blessing of my life.

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