Another Rant About Alcoholism

One of my most popular blog entries is Why I Hate Alcohol, and I genuinely thought I’d gotten all my anger about the subject off my chest when I wrote it. It turns out that that is not the case. Far from it.

The other day, someone who calls himself “Dad” commented on another one of my blog entries, Do You Know This Child? Help Solve a Mystery. In that one, I mentioned that my father told some outlandish stories about the war, and that because he was an alcoholic, I never knew him. “Dad”, without knowing me at all, implied in the comment section that my disbelief of my father’s stories is probably “what drove him over the edge.”

Okay. Hoooo. Wow. That still pisses me off to an unbelievable degree. And when I have such a strong reaction to something, my first instinct is to take a closer look and ask myself what about the situation is pushing my buttons.

First of all, I hate being misunderstood, but in this case that was probably my fault for not clarifying my relationship. When I said I did not know my father because of his alcoholism, I didn’t mean he was present in my life but always “in his cups.” I meant that because he was such a mean drunk and a worthless fraction of a man, he left my family when I was three months old. I never met him, never got child support from him, never received so much as a phone call or a Christmas card my entire life. So yeah, I suppose I didn’t make myself quite clear in that entry. I literally didn’t know my father.

But what really makes my head explode is the implication that, had I known him, I could have in some way “driven him over the edge.” The man came home a drunk from a war that had ended 20 years before I was born. I’m sure he had PTSD, and that was a contributing factor, and that’s tragic, but making the assumption that the blame for one’s alcohol abuse lies somewhere outside oneself is the worst of all alcoholic excuses.

No one forces someone to start drinking. Not once did anyone hold a gun to the man’s head and pour the gin down his throat. Millions of people have experienced horrors and not tried to pour alcohol over those memories.

I’m sorry. I know this probably won’t be a popular sentiment, but dammit, the bedrock of being an alcoholic is selfishness and irresponsibility. Without those two things, you don’t destroy your life and the lives of every person within your sphere of influence. Full stop.

Alcoholics are very adept at blaming the rest of the world for their problems. The whole “poor me” thing may as well be tattooed on their foreheads. But I refuse to feel sorry for an alcoholic. I don’t care how often people try to call it a disease. It’s an addiction, which is a mental health issue, and yes, more often than not one will need help to conquer it. But unless and until you admit to yourself that you have made the bed that you so frequently pass out in, no healing can take place for you or anyone who has the misfortune to love you. You can’t clean up your mess until you first take ownership of it. Grow up!

“Pushed him over the edge,” my ass. Sheesh.

Furious_Smiley_Macro_by_somadjinn

[Image by Somadjinn on deviantart.com]

9 thoughts on “Another Rant About Alcoholism

  1. Pingback: Why I Hate Alcohol | The View from a Drawbridge

  2. Stephen

    I understand how you feel!!…I grew up in an alcoholic home…I lived with my dad who was an alcoholic..I never felt safe growing up and there was always chaos in our home…I’m 48 now and still find it extremely hard to be around people who drink…lost close friends to alcohol who just couldn’t understand it when I would say to them I don’t hate you, I just cant be around all the drinking..it drives my anxiety through the roof…people think I’m stuck up because I won’t go drink with them after work..it plays with your head..made me think sometimes there was something wrong with me…I don’t like alcohol….I had my times that I got drunk and stupid as a teenager,,,but it never was fun for me and I didn’t do it very often..after my dad committed suicide when I was 23 because of alcohol..it never was the same…I couldn’t understand, and still don’t, why people choose to be drunk and stupid…I find it hard even being around my older brother because he’s always drunk and I see dad..I recently realized I have to reach out after all these years because I never dealt with what all that stuff alcohol did to me as a child..so to this day I am still dealing with the aftermath from alcohol…Take care!!!

    1. Every single thing you said hits home for me. And I’m tired of people acting like I’m pissing on their party if I don’t indulge. Ah well. And I’m 50. The ripple effect lasts your whole life long. Glad you’re reaching out, though. Good luck.

      1. Omed

        Yes, agree! But even supposedly good people can potentially serve such attitude. If we should or do care is a whole other matter. I think its all about knowing your own standpoint towards alcohol and once this is well established then refusing a drink is not a problem. I feel sorry for those who can’t be around sober people at a party where alcohol is served and the whole drinking culture seems ridiculous the longer you stay out of it. Even if you bring up some sad stories I enjoyed reading your posts on this topic.

  3. sandra

    Alcoholics are just very selfish people that cause destruction and mayhem and leave a mess of emotional hurt for everyone to clean up when they die. Alcoholics are a waste of time and energy. They never take responsibility for what they have done and they walk away from it as if they have the right to simply say – oh well – what is done is done. No this is morally reprehensible. If you are a recovering alcoholic then fix the mess you have left behind before moving forward.

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