You never truly know somebody until they’ve picked up a glass or even picked up some illegal paper. In this case I’m talking about the glass. There’s typically a reason one goes for a glass, stress, PTSD, anger, enjoyment, all kinds of things. It’s the ones who go for the glass and can’t let go that are oblivious to the world that surrounds them. A solider comes back from war and immediately picks up the glass to escape all of the horrendous activity he/she experienced overseas, a spouse dies and the other picks up the glass to take away the pain, a top notch athlete learns he can no longer be a part of the sport he loved, so he grabs a glass and becomes angry at the world. A boyfriend cheated on his underage girlfriend so she goes out to take her mind off of things and one thing leads to another. Now she’s passed out in a strangers bed. A wife becomes addicted to the tall glass bottle to forget about her failing marriage, but as she’s forgetting about the marriage she’s forgetting about the two beautiful 4-year old’s she has. A soon to be father that still has growing up to do learns that he has a daughter on the way. This father is young and just wants to continue partying with friends. That father missed out on 3 years of his daughter’s life due to the partying, due to the bottle. That father is mine. The glass can ruin a person from the inside out. It’s like the Sour Patch Kids commercial in rewind, first their sweet and then they’re sour. There’s a story behind every glass, but there’s also regret behind every sip. Alcohol is never the answer.
I was obviously too young to be ashamed of my father and embarrassed of him. I personally am more affected now than I was when I was younger, I have a better understanding on what my father did, what he put my mother and the rest of my family through. I didn’t talk to my father for 5 years. I was angry at him for what he did 12 years ago. Alcohol ruined my relationship with my father. I was in the wrong though. Yes, my father made mistakes, but he made them 12 years ago he is a better man now. I wasted 5 years blaming my father for every little thing in my life that had gone wrong. Really the only person who had a right to be angry was my mom. My dad hurt her mentally. My mom forgave my father years ago it was my turn to. I didn’t forgive him for 5 years. Alcohol ruined my relationship with my dad for 8 years of my life and I was only 15.
The first time I listened to the song Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley and Allison Krauss I cried. I have no idea why I did, but it hit close to home. Not because of the affair or the war, but because it showed me how the simplest acts a person performs can lead another to the bottle. It got me thinking, my dad became an alcoholic when he found out my mom was pregnant with me. I then realized I cried because I blamed myself for my father’s problem. I knew I shouldn’t, but my father and my mother were great together before me. I had no choice, but to feel guilty. According to an article on Alcoholism Statistics, “An estimated 6.6 million children under 18 live with at least one alcoholic parent” (“Alcoholism Statistics”). That means almost 6.6 million people feel exactly the same way I did.
Children of alcoholics feel responsible for the problems of the alcoholic and believe they created the problem. According to an article by Choo and Shek, “Parental and familial factors, parent–child relationship quality or attachment in particular has been known to be one of the most salient determinants of adolescents drinking across studies” (Choo & Shek p. 1145). There’s many different statistics done that have shown that children who blame themselves for their parent’s alcoholism become alcoholics themselves for that very reason. That means that alcohol has an effect on almost every family generation. I’m going to be honest I have taken a few sips out of the bottle due to family. I never was an alcoholic I never even liked drinking, but my situation doesn’t justify or explain the other 6.6 million people’s situations. Alcohol destroys a family and should never be the answer. Over the past few years’ alcohol has increasingly become the answer. That 6.6 million is going to rise. Don’t let the bottle be the answer.
I’ve been going on about my family struggle due to alcohol, but I haven’t mentioned how alcohol manages my life now that I’m an adult and live on my own. I’m 18 in college surrounded by thousands of underage teens who think alcohol is the answer to everything. The answer to stress, happiness, fun. I’m one of those underage teens. Hypocritical right? I just talked about how alcohol is not the answer yet I sometimes fall into the trap of the glass. I have no excuse to do it. To be honest I drink out of the glass to fit in and to have fun. It’s sad that the world believes alcohol has to exist to have fun. You don’t see parents trying to stop it anymore, you see parents supplying it. I’ve lost so many of my friends to them becoming alcoholics. Everyone hits rock bottom at some point in their life, but not usually at 18. Knowing this I still pick up the glass. So, do I do this because of my dad, to have fun, to impress others, or because of stress? I honestly don’t know. According to the research on Reference, “6.9% of the U.S population is between the ages of 15-19” (“2012 Census”). That’s 21,321,000 teens. We’ll never know how many of those teenagers are actually drinking, but it’s scary to think about. What’s more terrifying is we don’t know how many of those teenagers are drinking due to family, school, or entertainment. Do yourself a favor, avoid the glass.
NIH. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2016. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.
Shapiro, Francine. “Effects of Parental Substance Abuse on Children and Families.” American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. N.p., 2014. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.
Valk, Joost De. “Alcoholism Statistics.” Alcoholism Statistics. YoastSEO, 3 May 2015. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.
“What Percentage of the Population Are Teenagers?” Reference. U.S. Government, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.
Management, Lansing Community College Web. “LCC Authentication.”LCC Authentication. AtoZ The USA, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.
Choo, Hyekyung, and Daniel Shek. “Quality of Parent-Child Relationship, Family Conflict, Peer Pressure, and Drinking Behaviors of Adolescents.” ProQuest. LCC, Feb. 2013. Web. 9 Oct. 2016.