Friday, February 9, 2007

Family of Alcoholics

Alcoholism runs in the family. My father used to be an alcoholic. He mellowed down a bit not because of his own choosing but because of his high-blood pressure. His doctor advised him not to take any more alcohol. So it was forced to him not to. But given the choice I am sure my father would go back to his old ways.

My brother next to me who is in Canada now has stopped drinking alcohol. Again it was not his choice too. His wife and his parents-in-law are born-again Christians. So my brother has no choice but to abide by the customs of his new family. But everytime he comes back for a vacation, he goes back to his old ways by drinking beer to his heart's delight.

The youngest brother has not mellowed down yet. He still has a very active night life just like me a few years ago. He goes out 2-3 times a week often coming home around 2-3am in the morning. Just recently, his girlfriend mentioned of him complaining about chest pains. I experienced that too before when my body's alcohol level is beyond normal. I don't know what is the normal level but I just know when it is too much.

Alcoholism is not hereditary but more of a social disease. When we were young, we were confronted by my father's alcoholism. Almost everyday, my father hosted his friends and they often drank, sing-out loud, had endless discussions until the wee hours in the morning. It seemed enjoyable at that time. The camarederie, the brotherhood of alcoholics. When each of us grew up, we seek the same environment, the same group of people, we seek the intoxicating experience of alcohol.

When I joined Alcoholics Anonymous, aside from deciding that I want to get rid of this habit, in the back of my mind, I told myself, I don't want my eldest son to follow in my footsteps, to follow in our footsteps. Alcoholism has to stop right here with me. I don't want my son to experience what I went thru. Late nights, womanizing, sleeping in the most unholy places, extravagant spending for the sake of the brotherhood, affected relationships, trauma, quarrels, shouting match, and too many negative effects in myself and my family.

Alcoholism has to stop right now. I don't want to raise another family of Alcoholics. It is enough. With the Higher Power and by the grace of God, I know it can be done.