Dec 27, 2017

When Will It Stop?

Some time ago, my alcoholic parent called me at 8:15 am.

“I’m not well.” I hear.

What? Did you have a test?! Is it your health? Please don’t tell me its cancer!!! My mind raced.

“I… I’m drunk. I’ve been drinking too much, and I can’t stop.”

Oh. Again.

“So, when did you start again?” I asked, thinking the holiday weekend had something to do with it.

“I never stopped. I’ve been drinking all along. I haven’t eaten anything.”  “Oh wait-- yesterday, I had an apple.” (This person also is diabetic.)

“I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want to live like this. I can’t live like this! This is too much… Oh, I’m gonna go, you don’t need to hear this, I’m going to go now.”

Panicked thoughts of suicide flashed through my head.

“Are you going to be all right?” I asked.

“You mean am I not going to do anything stupid?” (Yeah…that.)

For decades, beginning in my teen years, I witnessed this parent threaten suicide and get checked in to the psych ward too many times to mention.

“No of course not!  I have too much to live for.”

At Bible study last night, the man in front of us, maybe early 60’s says “Today, I am one year sober.” [On that day]One year ago, I fell on my knees and asked Christ to take it away. I surrendered to the Lord that day, and have not had one drop since.”

When my pastor asked me how I was doing.  I responded with my usual “Good, how are you?”

I smiled and walked away, wanting to share so much more. Sometimes I am not about to break open my heart and share my pain with others. Why?

Because that forces me to look at the pain, too.

It takes years sometimes decades to realize our loved one's addiction is not ours to own. It's not our  fault they drink to excess, and we have to remember to take what was  despite what was said in the middle of their being drunk. And it took me years to honestly realize I was not going to become anything like my role models.

But I admit I am angry. Life is short and we’re meant to have more meaning than sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves all day long.

Alcohol is a depressant.

And, this parent is on anti-depression pills.

It makes me angry. It makes me want to judge my parent; it makes me want to scream:


And then I realize it's not my battle to face, or to fight. 

What about you? Have you had a similar experience with a parent or other loved one that is stuck in their addiction? Did you find the release when you realized that you can't change them?

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