Tuesday, July 17, 2018

It Was Never About The Drinking

Credit: Ray Colon
When alcohol abuse corrupts relationships, the troubles are many and the solutions are few.

The person with the drinking problem is often not the one who has to deal with the problem.

We used to do it just to get nice. It was part of the seduction.

With the children tucked into their beds, you’d change into something sexy. Over some drinks, we'd talk, laugh, and share what was on our minds. The cocktails were no more than rewards at the end of a difficult day, a way to dispel inhibitions, or just a part of unwinding. Nothing complicated. No deeper meaning. It was as simple as that: grown people doing grown up things.

It was never about the drinking… until it was.

Looking back, I can’t pinpoint the moment that it all went wrong. There were signs – some now seem obvious; others indistinct – but none of them prepared me for what has become of my life. This life requires that I take on a new set of roles: cop, counselor, caretaker, and pseudo mom.

Everything has become more difficult since you left us. Oh, your body is still here, so your children can see you, but the rest of you, the parts of you that they need are somewhere else. You are preoccupied and thoroughly devoted to Jim Beam. Your attention is given to finding every possible nook within the house that can accommodate a hidden bottle. Some places that I have discovered so far were ingenious. You must have given these hiding places a lot of thought.

It was never about the drinking… until it was.

The soft approach, tough love, empathy, anger, and guilt have all been used to counter the effects of this demon. That’s what people like you call it, right – a demon? It makes you do things that you do not want to do. It has a power over you that you cannot repel. The demon is at fault.


I don’t believe in your demon. I won’t recognize the existence of your imagined fantastical entity which you claim spurs you to action. There is no external force. There is only you.

You say that everyone else is to blame – me, in particular. You’ve said it many times, but that doesn’t make it true. Believing that it is true gets you through the times when you are lucid enough to care about such things. I understand.

What I don’t understand is what you will say to the girls when they are old enough to know that, to you, they mattered less than the next drink.

About the Writer

Ray Colon is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on It Was Never About The Drinking

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By Ray Colon on August 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

Hi Askcherlock, Thanks for your comment. I suspect that the years of healing that you speak of do not begn until the situation has been resolved in some fasion. When you mention that people outside of the family did not know about your father, do you think that they had clues? This is a part of this ordeal that has baffled me. I've had to drive off some of her friends who were contributing to the problem by their enabling actions. They may not have been present for the worst of it, but they must have witnessed enough to know that there was a serious problem.

Children do get caught in the middle and that's the most tragic aspect of all of this. The years that they are young cannot be replaced once frittered away.

A friend of mine has suggested that I attend Alanon. I've never done anything like that and I don't know if it would be worthwhile. Do you have any experience in this area? Thanks, Ray

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By Ray Colon on August 19, 2010 at 09:33 pm

Hi Melody, thank you for your prayer. I do know some people who have decided to make a change. They attend meetings and talk about their experiences often. I think that the sharing helps them to cope with the disease. When they speak of hitting bottom, most had lost almost everything before their mindsets changed toward recovery. Unfortunately, by that time, anyone who cared for them had long given up, so they carry that burden around with them still. Ray

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By Theresa H Hall on August 30, 2010 at 02:23 pm

I'll support you from the East Coast with my prayers and good thoughts. Well written and touching, too.

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By Ray Colon on August 30, 2010 at 02:53 pm

Thanks, Theresa. I debated myself for hours trying to decide whether or not to post this. In the end, I decided that I needed the release that this forum provided. The support has been awesome! If this post can help others who are having similar experiences, as you suggested in your review, that's all the better. I thank you for your kind thoughts. Ray

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By Briselle on September 12, 2010 at 08:55 pm

My parents were both heavy drinkers and so was my first husband. For a long time I thought that the drunken parties and fights were the norm. I even gave the booze a bit of a hiding myself for a while - but then it occured to me that this really wasn't how I wanted to live.

Was I just one of the lucky ones who doesn't have it in their genes to become an alcoholic? Or am I just strong and determined enough to face up to my demons and defeat them?

Stay strong, Ray. I'm sure your post will speak to many people.


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