Alcoholism sneaks up on you. It becomes rooted in your family and winds its way through your DNA and out of your mouth and into your words. It branches out of your fingers to pick up the glasses and bottles. It blossoms in your brain to affect your decisions and perceptions.
It leaves its leaves in your conscience like spiked thorns that prick at you, but its sap smooths the edges over and allows you to think that your actions are one thing and not another.
It breeds from generation to generation and is watered by the approval of family, friends and social groups. Its heavy aroma blocks the disapproval of your conscience and that of others.
Its insidiousness allows you to hurt yourself and others and flourishes in your feeble attempts to control what can’t be controlled.
That is, until the day that the sap begins to dry up as you face the reality of your actions and their effect on others. As family members realize that alcoholism has been allowed in and enabled.
And then the day comes where the roots are upheaved by the desire for sobriety. The spiked thorns are revealed by opened eyes and conscience demands a change in behavior.
A look in the mirror finally shows the tendrils of the disease and then the beginnings of their withdrawal into the body and brain and the healing to be rid of them starts.
Responsibility replaces irresponsibility, decisions are clearer, love is allowed free reign and the mirror becomes transparent.
Alcoholism is a selfish member of a family and affects each member of a family. The roots try to take hold again and again, but we must be vigilant.
Sobriety is also selfish, as it must be to keep the pull of addiction at bay.
Sobriety becomes that which we hold dear and celebrate with all the selfishness we can. And with our loving need to remain sober for ourselves and our families, we use our experiences to share with and help others to focus their selfish need for sobriety.