Addiction shows up often and in different forms in my life, but for a long time it was with alcohol. To the point that I awoke every morning to a hangover and spent all day waiting for 5:30pm, because I had decided that was an appropriate time to enjoy my first of many glasses of wine. Soon the time shifted to 4:30pm and every morning when I woke up I would open just one eye to see if I had done it again, and sure enough, I would be greeted with the head-splitting dehydration from my evening of drinking.
It was the thought of my boys growing up with an alcoholic that made me decide to make a shift. I quit drinking for good a little over a year ago. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it is still hard when I go to places that there is a lot of drinking (which is just about everywhere). I needed some kind of inspiration to keep me focused on the path of sobriety.
I didn’t know very much about my dad’s mother. But I do remember hearing that she had struggled with alcohol in her lifetime. I decided to interview my dad, to gain some insight on what it is like to be raised in the midst of addiction. I was expecting to hear how much he despised alcohol, how it is an evil in our world, what I heard instead really shook me. Even from a very young age, what my dad said he remembered about his mother was her struggle with insecurity. It made him sad and scared for her.
I don’t know what addiction is and where it comes from exactly, but in my body it starts as a sense that I am somehow inherently flawed. Addiction shows up as a desire to get away from that feeling. What I took away from the interview with my dad, is how incredibly important it is to take care of yourself and to check in over and over to see if what you are doing is adding fuel to the fire of dysfunction, or if you are truly taking care of yourself and your needs.
I recorded the conversation I had with my dad, so it is his voice that is telling the story. It is a reflection on how innocent our kids are, but also how much they understand and how incredibly intuitive they are. Our kids lives are being shaped by all of our decisions and the little things in our lives end up being the big things.
Just below, press PLAY for the audio of my interview with my Dad.