Yesterday’s entry on alcoholism caused more of a stir than I imagined.
All of your great comments helped broaden my understanding of why alcoholism is, as Taxman says, ‘a strange genetic curse.’
Having grown up in a family where alcohol was literally non-existent, I can’t begin to know what it’s like living with an alcoholic.
I do know that it means a cycle of profound pain and anger and disappointment and grief for those touched by it. And I’ve seen how that deep, in-your-bones brand of hurt bruises generations because it changes people and their relationships and their view of the world.
But here’s the deal.
Anytime learning about a topic takes me from a place of anger and judgment to a place of compassion and understanding, I feel like I’m growing a bit and doing my part to become a better citizen.
I wrote on this for one reason and one reason only: Because Neil Steinberg’s book Drunkard transformed my perception of alcoholism. This is a Very Big Deal, as Mom can attest. She was shocked by what I wrote because we’ve argued repeatedly (and sometimes rather loudly) about the alcoholism/disease thing over the years.
Beyond the small miracle of changing my narrow opinion about alcoholism, Neil’s book has me assessing our family history to determine if we’re at risk of allowing it to ruin our lives. It's entirely possible. And it is frightening.
Again, I can't imagine what Neil's drinking put his wife and children through. But his book helped me understand that alcoholism isn't about wanting to hurt your spouse or family, it's about your body and your brain making it damn near impossible to avoid hurting them.
And that kind of pain is simply unimaginable.
I am listening to: Starry-Eyed Surprise - Paul Oakenfold
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Relaxed
10 hours ago