As a young child, around 4 years old, I remember being with my Mother and younger brother outside our Father’s Store. As usual we ran into people that my parents knew but there was one man that approached us that I distinctly remember. This man looked a little disheveled. His speech was slurred and he was hard to understand. I remember my brother and I hiding behind our mother because she seemed uncomfortable but she was kind to this man and tried to answer his questions. My mother tried to protect us from the uncomfortable situation however she was clearly unsettled by this strange man who approached us. Some time after that I remember hearing that the term “Wino”, and I immediately knew that that had been his problem. It was years before I got a grasp on what the disease of alcoholism was and how difficult it is to be cursed with this disease. Unfortunately it has affected my life in an earth shattering way. When teenagers start experimenting with alcohol and/or drugs it seems to them that it is part of growing up. It seems almost a ritual in our country that signals adulthood. If you don’t have the disease of addiction you usually cut back or stop the use of alcohol and/or drugs as you get older. If you have the disease of addiction it is a very different picture and can quickly change your whole life. MC thought that she was experimenting like most of her friends. For her however, the disease of addiction set in quickly and was devastating. I have been reading a letter she wrote to her father and I apologizing for all the things she felt guilty for. Reading this letter breaks my heart. In it she states, “Mom I’m sorry for putting you through not knowing if you were going to loose me or not @ the hospital because of my own selfish and stupid mistakes.” The disease of addiction contributes to feelings of failure and regret. She goes on to say that before she went to treatment she didn’t trust herself to do anything right and thought that she was doomed to continue messing things up and not being able to get things right. MC talked about the treatment program she was in at the time (she was 16) and the hopes that she had begun to have about her life. MC was realizing the seriousness of the disease and wanted to stay sober. MC at the time was even feeling that she could stay sober and move forward in life. It’s a long hard climb back from the active part of this disease and being in remission. Remission of the disease of drug and alcohol addiction is possible! People can recover and stay in remission from this disease for the rest of their lives but they always have to be aware that they have this disease and work hard to stay sober. It is a day to day effort to get and stay sober from the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction. It is not always possible to get this disease into remission the disease is that strong but it can be done. I pray for everyone suffering from this disease and their families. My hope is that as we begin to recognize it as the disease that it is we will be able to help more people.
Mother of MC Grayson