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Alcoholism as a Family Problem

Unfortunately, I have been surrounded by alcoholism all my life. Until the past few years, I didn’t realize just exactly how much this problem affected not only me, but my loved ones, and anyone else around me.

When I was growing up, my mother went through constant physical and mental abuse caused by my alcoholic father. I witnessed beating, screaming, yelling, and even lack of necessities caused by alcoholism. My mother pretty much tried to sweep this under the rug. She would always make excuses for his behavior. Not until I was in my late teens did I realize that alcoholism was the major root of many of those problems,.

When I married, guess what, I married into more alcoholism. My husband is a wonderful person and the love of my life, but he grew up in an almost identical situation as I did. He too, was one of ten children, dirt poor, and the victim of an alcoholic father.

Needless to say, neither of us could handle alcohol either. He was happy when he would drink, but once he started drinking, he could not stop. I was more depressed when I drank and would provoke arguments. Our children witnessed the affects of our drinking with our screaming and yelling, more then once. They did not experience the poverty which we did as children because of any drinking we did, but they did experience some arguments we had because of our overindulging. Today I regret this each and everyday.

Although the level of the issues our immediate family encountered because of our drinking alcohol were minor compared to what we experienced as children, they still did exist and had an affect on our family. Those Sat. outing we used to have weren’t worth the silly arguments we had when we would come home after drinking alcohol. Today I hope our children have forgiven us for any screaming and yelling they witnessed because of our childlike behavior when we drank alcohol. I still carry some of that guilt with me. I rarely drink alcohol now, and do just fine without it. I guess wisdom does come with age.

I feel alcohol problems run in families. My father was an alcoholic, many of his bothers were also. Although alcoholism didn’t affect my brothers & sisters, except for one of my brothers, who went for alcohol treatment, it does seem to be prevalent in many families, including my husbands. My husband has both brothers and sisters who have problems with drinking alcohol. They have gone through many family problems, including divorces. Of course there are other issues that cause family problems, besides alcohol, but many times if alcohol is prevalent in the family, it certainly contributes to the issue, I feel.

Alcohol can become a vicious demon that attacks and just doesn’t want to let go. I had a friend that was an alcoholic. She was the most erratic individual you ever met when she was drinking. Along with drinking, she was hooked on prescription drugs. Her behavior hurt more people and affected their lives, including mine, when she was on her drinking binges. When she was sober, she was the most giving person, you’d ever want to meet. She was quite wealthy and many times would buy extravagant gifts for the people she had hurt because of her behavior. Unfortunately, one can’t buy their way out of some of their actions.Today if I see that “former friend” on the street, I’ll turn around and go the other way. That’s very crude, I know, but that’s the way I feel about this individual, who caused so many problems for my family and me, just because of her uncontrollable drinking issues.By the way, I’m far from perfect, and maybe someday I will find a way to forgive this person.

Alcoholism is a disease that affects everyone and everything around you. It’s similar to other physical illnesses such as cancer, or heart disease. It’s affects can be just as devastating, in some cases even worse, and there is no fool proof cure available yet.