There Is No One Stereotype For An Alchoholic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I want to say something about alcoholism to those who may not know but need toknow. I want to wipe away the stereotypical picture of an alcoholic, so I'llpaint a different one.

My dad has always meant the world to me. I used tolove spending time with him, fixing the car, playing a game, or simply watchingTV. But that all began to change about three years ago. It began to occur to methen that I no longer enjoyed being with my father and whenever we were together,we would only fight for stupid reasons.

He seemed miserable, and I'd worrya lot about him. I knew that he was unhappy with himself, so I'd try to help him.I used to say encouraging, motivating things to him, hoping that I could boosthis self-esteem and solve for him whatever problem he had, but nothing I said helped. Inever noticed the real problem.

Then last summer when I came home fromvacationing with my friend, I was told that my father was in the hospital, indetox. My mom said that he was an alcoholic.

I was mortified. It hurt meso badly that this disease was what had been eating away at my dad. I keptwondering why it had to happen to us, to him, to me.

As the weeks went on,I began piecing together what this disease, alcoholism (for it is a disease), hadmeant in my life. I realized that many things that I had grown to think of asnormal, were not. It was not normal that my father had always had huge bags underhis eyes. It was not normal that when I'd get home from school, he'd alwayseither be passed out in a chair in the living room and I'd have to wrestle him tobed, or he'd be passed out in bed with half his lunch uneaten. Nor was it normalthat there was always a half-empty glass of brandy by his side every day when hewas passed out. I always told myself, "He works nights. He's tired. He has jobstress."

Alcoholism never even crossed my mind. I was ignorant. All I'dever known about alcoholics was the stereotypical, violent, neglectful, sloppy,child abuser. Well, my father never hit me or treated my badly in any way, but heis an alcoholic and his drinking hurt me in ways unknown to even me. Alcoholismhurts everyone. It doesn't stop at the alcoholic.

Now things are O.K. He'sbeen sober for almost a year and he's religiously dedicated to AlcoholicsAnonymous. He is a victim of this disease that controlled his life and he'll befighting it until the day he dies, but he'll succeed in order to achieve theserenity that sobriety can bring. Life's not easy, but he tries. And, hey, withDad saying, "Turn it over. Let it go," every time I turn my head, things can onlyget better!


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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shapeshifter56 said...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 12:26 am
Your article is very well-written. I am sorry you had to go through that, but keep that positive outlook of yours! Things only get better from here on out!
 
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