Alcoholism Is A Selfish Member Of A Family

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.


About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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40 Responses to Alcoholism Is A Selfish Member Of A Family

  1. annieg421 says:

    Wow. A very powerful and well written piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said. My father was proud to say he made 30 years sober before he died.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Honest, raw and open. Great post Barb. It does affect the entire family.
    My Ex Partner refused to see he had a problem, even when he nearly killed us behind the wheel of a car. Everyone knew my BIL was an alcoholic, but my sister didn’t acknowledge it until after he died (massive heart attack at 54).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Petra says:

    What a great piece. I noticed how you shift from “you” to “we.” It is a perfectly placed change as you and your reader join sides. Very clever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is well written. Nobody has any problems without it being a family problem. The worst part of it is, if everyone is an alcoholic, there is very little support for someone who seeks sobriety. It is similar with someone quitting cigarettes or bad food habits.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A painful lesson that has to be lived rather than taught. Beautifully written post (again) Barb!

    Sorry to interject an aside here but I’ve just finished rebuilding my blog and somehow lost your comment in the process. Sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Coleman says:

    Very powerful, Barb! I was particularly struck by the enabling part of it, as that struck home.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lorriedeck says:

    Very true. Alcoholism affected many in my family. I drink very little because of that…I’m afraid that I too, could fall victim. It affects the whole family; including extended family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bluestempond says:

    Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Josette says:

    What a clear picture these words paint to describe alcoholism. Thank you so much for sharing xo

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great piece!! I lost my dad almost a year ago to alcoholism! It was definitely a family member you dreaded to see every day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I can totally relate to that, having been on both ends of the disease. It is thanks to seeing my mother and living with my mother (and father, too…a weekend warrior) that I knew when I was too far down that road. Thank you for reading this and commenting.


    • Barb Knowles says:

      Today is Day 2?? Congratulations!! That’s awesome. One day at a time, one minute at a time if that’s what it takes. You have given yourself and your daughter (I just checked out your blog) a gift.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. gwennym says:

    Absolutely true from beginning to end. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Samantha says:

    That was very beautifully written. I am a little over two months sober. Do you allow reblogs? If so would I be able to reblog this on my page?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m new to this school (of sorts) of alcoholism. I’m a “family member”. It’s hard, but I’m tough, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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