March 1, 2008, I lost someone very dear to me. This person was my dad. He was more than a dad to me, he was my friend.
My dad wasn’t a perfect man, he did the very best he could to be apart of my life since the beginning of mine on April 13, 1978. One of things I will always cherish is, he would talk with me and share stories. (which I think is a family trait)
There was something my dad had been battling with ever since I’ve known him. This was alcoholism. Now from me knowing my dad, he was a functional drinker. In a sense he had it “Under control”. While in his addiction he maintained a stable job for over 25 years in which he retired from. However, there were a few situations were he had seizures behind this addiction.
One time, while I was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, I return to find my dad in the hospital.He fell down a flight of steps at the Main Post Office back home in Philly. These steps are marble. When he fell, it was head first.
While in the hospital, he was connected to a bunch of tubs, and talking gibberish. This was the very first time seeing my dad in the hospital and learning why he was there. That was also the first time I learned how this form of addiction can cause medical conditions.
About a year or so later, same thing again. My dad had to be hospitalized. Had another seizure but this time, he was having trouble walking. He had to under go Physical therapy before beginning discharged. This was very heartbreaking for me to witness. It was like teaching a child how to walk. But he was my dad. I stayed to help, because he was my dad.
This last time in the hospital, he could not be released without supervision because of the falls and head injuries. I signed up, because he was my dad.
To go back to when I mentioned my dad always talked with me. During those times of drinking, my dad shared with me some of his hurts. When expressing them, I could tell he was angry, felt used and was tired of people. Especially when he was told by a few all they have done for him.He was able to share even more stories with me when he retired from his job.This is when, his drinking became uncontrolled.All he had was time, but nothing to do with it.
There was stories he shared when he’d express how he himself tried to help others out and he did. But in his time of need, there was no one to be found.
I too had shared a few of my dads battles. Especially an alcohol addiction.Felt I had it “under control”. I wanted to take care of everybody because in a few chapters in my life, I had steady work.So I shared whenever someone needed help.
It was when I was laid off work a few years back, the depression kicked in and my drinking became “uncontrolled”. I felt the world was against me. I couldn’t catch a break. Couldn’t provide for myself and my kids. It was like a dark cloud followed me for years. No matter how hard I tried to shake it, it wouldn’t go away.
So, my outlet was drinking. I convinced myself, I was cool. I’m not bothering anybody. I’m grown I can do what I want no matter what anybody says or thinks.
There was a gentleman neighbor I had a few years back. He was a drinker. I lost touch with him. Some how we made contact. When we did, for a whole week straight we drank. He called me in the morning, had a ride to pick me up. We went to the liquor store, got what we both drank.
Throughout the week hanging out with him, this gentleman would hardly eat anything. And he was drinking liquor. FYI every drinker knows before you drink any white or dark liquor you have to put something on your stomach.
I was trying my best to make sure he would eat. I’d clean his house and everything. On that 8th day, I decided not to hang out with him. It was becoming too much work trying to take care of a grown person when I could barely take care of myself at that time.
On that 11th day, I got a call from the driver who came to pick me during me and the gentleman’s drinking week. This person informed me that the gentleman was found in his apartment, unconscious. He had falling and hit his head, and he had passed away.
Here’s my point:
I GET IT NOW…After hearing he passed. I said out loud, “Man I don’t even want to drink anymore”. I was supposed to hang out with him for that week to see what I was doing to myself. Because the whole time I’m trying to get him to eat and fix his place up, I wasn’t even doing these things for myself. And the rate I was going, I had to bare witness of the outcome.
I didn’t get it the first time, placed in a situation to learn and received a message. I believe I didn’t really pay attention to the message because the person used to show me the message was my dad. I was so heartbroken that I felt a part of me died too. I was too focused on my pain.
I prayed to God asking him to remove the taste of alcohol out of my mouth. He did. It has been a little over two years now for me…Alcohol free. I realized never needed it anyways…When you ask God something it will be added upon you…