“Turn and face the strange” -Changes, Bowie
Two months ago, I lost my Dad to alcohol. He drowned in it slowly, painfully, and then suddenly. He died three weeks before he could walk me down the aisle at my wedding. He will never meet his grandchildren, never spend another holiday with his family, never have a chance to make things right.
That is his reality but that isn’t who he was. My dad was a lively man, full of music and full of love. He was a hardworking electrician, a skilled wood worker, and a proud father. My favorite memories from being real small were by his side. I remember making Thanksgiving floats with toys in the basement, listening to music before anyone was awake, searching for treasure rocks in the yard, and immersing ourselves in thunderstorms from the sheltered garage. I loved that man.
Watching him drown and transform into a man I didn’t know, admire, or respect over the last fifteen years has been heartbreaking but I never gave up hope. I knew he would beat this. We would create new memories.
His death forced me to wake up. Alcoholism is blind to potential, blind to love, blind to hope. If it can reach you it will take you. It will transform you into a monster before it destroys you.
Alcohol is a social lubricant with a violent twist. It’s availability, accessibility, promotion, and charm seemingly negate its risks. It is seductive, enticing, and celebrated for a reason. Drinking can make you feel relaxed, give you a false sense of confidence, and it can make normal activities seem more fun. It tricks you.
I want to unlearn what alcohol taught me. I want to experience what I don’t remember, what life feels like without booze. I want to do it in honor of my Dad, for all the life he didn’t get to live I will live double. One year without booze, starting on his birthday, November 1st. I’ve been told you can’t take a habit out of your life without replacing it with something else. This blog will be about that exchange. Exchange booze for a better life? I guess I’ll find out.