I Was Ten This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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All of my life my father drank, but that was never anything out of the ordinary at my house. He would come home, have some beers, get a buzz, and go to bed. Some days he would get pretty carried away with the drinking and become rowdy. Those were the days that bothered me.

In school, we started to study alcohol abuse and the effects of drinking. At first, I never related it to my father, but after a while I put two and two together. I began to realize that my father, my daddy, had a problem with this terrible substance.

I had never asked my mother or father about alcohol abuse. My father’s drinking was never talked about at our home. I think I was 12 when I finally asked my mother about my father’s drinking. She, of course, said he did not have a problem and life continued (just peachy keen), but it was not.

My father’s drinking kept getting worse. I never asked my friends to come over because I did not know what shape my father would be in. As I learned more about what alcohol actually did to a person, I began to be afraid of my father when he drank. Sometimes he acted like a totally different person when he was drunk. I was so embarrassed by him. I knew it was not normal for him to drink so much; my friend’s dads did not drink like him.

Finally, my father’s drinking got really bad. He was getting drunk every day and he didn’t act like himself anymore. My mom and I started to talk about my father’s problem because it was tearing our family apart. We tried to get him help, but he would not admit he had a problem.

After a rehab center and many AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings, my father was not much better, so my mother had to make the hardest decision of her life. She told my father she wanted to separate until he was better. This was definitely not easy for my family. My dad moved out and my mom, my brother, and I lived alone, without our daddy.

It was the greatest challenge I have ever faced. I had to learn that it was not my father who was bad, but it was the alcohol. I had to learn to forgive my father for causing us much pain, and I had to realize that it was not my father’s fault. I had begun to hate him and I had to learn to love him again. Eventually, I achieved all of these things, but I will never forget how much it hurt me.

After three months of being separated, my father was a totally changed man. He had a new job, new clothes, new everything. He completely changed his life-style. Most importantly he had been sober the whole time that we were apart. That may not seem like a long time, but have you ever lived with an alcoholic?

Since my father had changed and had been sober for three months, my parents got back together. I was learning to forgive and love him again. After a while we finally felt like a family.

To this day my father has not touched one drop of alcohol. He has been sober for almost four years – and counting! He has promised us that he will never drink again as long as he lives, and I believe him. I have completely forgiven my father and begun to love him again.

Just like my father, I will never drink. I know what alcohol did to my daddy and our family. I will never forget the challenge alcoholism has given me. Not only did I overcome that challenge, but I learned a lesson from it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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