Life of Me: Wet Blanket

by - September 06, 2011

When it comes to my alcohol consumption or lack thereof, I've been called a wet blanket, party pooper and lame. I rarely drink, and when I do decide to turn it up it's not much.

Sure there have been times, mostly in college, when I drank more than I should have and did things I shouldn't have, but those times were few and far between when compared to the frequency with which other college kids were/are getting hammered.

I can't say that my decisions are based on lack of enjoyment. I enjoy the taste of alcohol. What I don't enjoy is that feeling of losing all control of whatever situation I happen to be in.

I've only been in an out-of-control situation once.

A few of us went out to a bar one night. I had one drink... and ended up in the emergency room.

I don't remember much from that night other than being scared out of my mind for no reason. And I'm not in any hurry to repeat the experience.

Then there's the fact that my biological father is an alcoholic. I've grown up watching him get increasingly worse when it comes to his habit. I can't say that he struggles with it because he doesn't actually fight against it, but it has given me this sense of awareness when it comes to drinking.

He's the type of drunk who will forgo buying food for his family in lieu of buying a case of beer for himself, and maybe a pack of cigarettes. He pops his first top at lunchtime or earlier and when he runs out, he drives himself to the store to buy more. I've seen the way he influences my siblings, treating them as his friends instead of his children, using them as drinking buddies and letting them pretty much do whatever they want when they want to do it. He gets crazy when he drinks and even violent. While he's never raised a hand to me, he has to some of the people I love the most.

I refuse to turn into him. I'm terrified that I will.


It should be noted that I do not consider my biological father my dad. To learn more about the amazing man who fills that role. click here.

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  1. I've been there, Ashton. I hit the booze hard for nearly 30 years. One morning I woke up with my usual hangover and decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I quit alcohol, drugs and cigarettes cold turkey on the same day in June 1992. I have never used any of them since, not one sip, not one a puff. It hasn't been a struggle either because I discovered that the greatest high of all is always being in control.

  2. It's a very traumatizing thing to watch helplessly as someone you love completely self-destructs. What's even worse is knowing that you have to witness it and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. I can tell you one thing though; if you are strong enough to not have followed in his footsteps this long, you won't ever. You will not turn into him because you know the price and it's too high. You will not turn into him because you know better. Period.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. My father is an alcoholic as well and it has basically consumed his life and left no spot in it for I know how tough it is and how hurt you feel. I also know about the fear of becoming "like my father". I like you drank in college and now I rarely drink. I just find it more relaxing to know that I can have one drink ... enjoy it and be done...without any major issues arising from it and honestly sometimes I even say no to the one drink because I'm so over the days of just drinking to drink.

    I've been in social situations where people felt awkward because I wasn't drinking. I think in reality they were just feeling awkward about THEIR drinking. I think the more you don't drink around them ... the easier it becomes for them to accept.

    I once had a senior partner at my law firm ask someone if I didn't drink because it was against my religion. I least she didn't automatically assume I had a problem.

  4. Thank you all for your kind words.

    @Shady: Congratulations on being sober for so long! That is truly an accomplishment :)

    @Lydia: I keep telling myself that, but I truly only have to look at his life to know that I don't want it.

    @Shia: I rarely drink just to drink anymore. There are times when I crave a drink to relax or when I want something special with dinner, but that's about it.