What Dependency took from Me

I feel there is a fine line between understanding and appreciating. It’s impossible to appreciate what we don’t understand. Until you have actually wxalked the mile; there is no way of truly knowing what someone is going through. There are so many people that suffer from addiction; they’ve created this voice that validates their harmful desires.


The voice that beacons for the user to make their world better with another hit, another sip, another shot, another roll of the dice. Their inner monster that gives them permission or reassures them they need this to keep living, that they are nothing and that maybe they even deserve to be treated in such a manner. These voices that take over and leaves the host an empty vessel.


I am not a prisoner of addition, it still hurts the survivors  


Alcoholism stole my mother’s independence


She still raised me to be the amazing woman I am; but all the nights of hard work studying with me for hours, working on science projects the night before they are due, also came nights that she didn’t remember. Nights were she would punish me for things I didn’t understand. Nights where she would argue over how the dishes should be placed in the washer, how things were moved in the house when nothing changed, or over how I would work too hard or be too happy. How I am too serious and I was never going to find a man because of this. Mornings where she wouldn’t wake up; to take me to school, to cook food, run errands, or even just spend time with me. Times where I never understood her condition, until I realized it was difficult to truly connect with her only after two glasses of wine.


One night watching her be so flustered about losing the day the previous night and how she was out of rum and she needed to go to the store but was running out of time. I did my best as her daughter to help in the situation, and suggested to her that maybe she just doesn’t go to the liquor store tonight, and run her other errands she didn’t get to that day – because of her sleepless night from the previous day. Watching her face turn red and her eyes dilate, she looked at me and yelled “Do you need milk?!” I said, “Actually I do, you and I both know my asthma medications kills some of the calcium in my body. But yes mom, rum is just as important as milk.” Of course she had to go get rum, there was no other option. Rum was her way of facing the day.  


Alcoholism stole my aunt’s life


She was one of the most open hearted, warm, understanding, and loving ladies I knew. She raised two beautiful girls and had a loving marriage. The family was in denial and blind to the demon on her back, flossing its teeth with her hair. Scratching her back with approval and growing stronger with each glass of wine she tossed back. The demon caressing her face with love and understanding for every mini bottle she would stash in her purse. Sighing with an angry gratitude while the whisky burned the lining of her throat.


After a sudden divorce things turned, dark. Living in hotel rooms rationalizing that she could drink while on ‘vacation’. The family would get periodic calls saying ‘S---- fell again’ or ‘She feel, but this time its worse’ or ‘Her daughter isn’t staying with her this Christmas because now she gets nasty when she drinks’ or ‘ She’s going to another rehab center this week, maybe this time it will stick’ This demon we didn’t acknowledge till it was too late.


Addiction stole my cousins’ lives


Alcoholism took my cousins mother. The twelve-year struggle of watching their mother fall apart and slowly crumble into the puddle of misery that she became. Wearing down the powerful, knowledgeable, dependable woman that they knew growing up. Instead she became this unknown block of ash in the family.


From watching their mother suffer from this, they each went their separate ways. One not as productive, the other was overly productive. Each of them developed different struggles; one chose education and work, the other choose an unstable relationship with two children while growing a habit for liquid courage in all shapes and forms. One little girl was somehow taught that she could do anything. That she was beautiful and any man would be lucky to have her. Somehow the other little girl lost that message. With this came anther generation of demons to fulfill their harmful desires.


Alcoholism stole my father’s faith


My father’s father died from organ failure from years of over indulging. From this abandonment, my father grew a fear of over indulging of any kind from then on. My father grew afraid of anyone that had more than one drink on any night for any reason. With this fear, he would become angry in any amount of over enthusiasm over anything if he did not deem it worthy. He lost trust in people, and trust in himself.


The last time we had dinner together, I was just about to go off for college. At the end of the evening he declared that he had something very important he wanted to share with me. He expressed that he was afraid that his daughter was going to become an alcoholic like his father and her mother. He wasn’t worried about me going to a college that had a 88% undergraduate dropout rate, no worries were shared about me getting raped, or going into debt. In a sense, I guess it was nice, maybe he has complete faith in me and no worries of failure. He worries that involved failure were on another level. But his faith was so shaken that he begged his daughter to be cautious about over indulging.


Addiction stole my innocence


My grandmothers’ children were raised in a house with overwhelming anger and addiction, and from that each one of those daughters created their own lives and vices once they had their own house and family. Though we all grew up in different houses in different eras, it was normal to have more than one ‘night cap’ for most evenings as collective. Some of us realized the difference in the rest of the world, and others embraced the darkness and chose to feed the growing demon.


Because addiction runs heavily in both of my bloodlines, I am essentially cursed from the start. Any friendship will be tarnished from fear of me making friends with an addict, or the fact that I may become one myself simply from upbringing. Any intimate relationship I have will be tainted from lack of trust and my personal levels of self-control. It’s overwhelming to be compared to Bree Van de Kamp from season one from my family but in reality, I’m viewed as functioning drunk in season two.


 Addition is an internal irritation that cannot be tamed with daily life, hugs, comfort, or love. It is a sickness that destroys the host, and leaves loved ones in shambles.