For some reason, my family seem to be prone to problems with drink. Maybe it’s nurture, maybe it’s nature but whatever the reason alcoholism crops up over and over again.
I remember my Grandad, a huge bear of a man with a similarly huge appetite for a drink. Sometimes it was scotch, sometimes it was wine, sometimes it was home brew, but it was always something. At the time he seemed like great fun, always playing with us like one of the kids. My dad who chose to leave home at 16 tells me it wasn’t always quite so much fun.
My brother spent many years surviving on more vodka than anyone should have been able to drink. Eventually it cost him his job, relationship, mental health and self-respect.
Then there is me.
For all those people who think “we” should just get a grip and stop, please believe me when I say it doesn’t work like that. We think we should stop too. We hate the ruined relationships, the failed jobs, the missed opportunities and the sheer damn waste of a life. We’d do anything to change it but for some reason we can’t.
I guess some people will put this down to being weak willed but we’re not. Me and other alcoholics I’ve known have shown huge fortitude in achieving great things. Sporting achievements, career achievements, being there for others in the most difficult of circumstances…but always the need to drink comes back.
I am therefore I drink.