Chuck N. Tells His Story

They say that alcoholism is a multi-generational family disease. My family is proof.

My mother did not grow up in an alcoholic home.  One of thirteen children, she grew up during the depression.  Her father worked long hours at multiple jobs to keep his family together.  Once he brought milk home for the children.   Milk he had found at a good price and purchased.  Two of the children (including my mother's twin) died from the milk, which was not pasteurized.  Later, my grandfather took his first day off in years.  Went rabbit hunting with friends, stepped out of his car at the field, and dropped dead from a heart attack.

My mother later said that nothing had ever gone right for her.  At the same time, my father was also one of thirteen children in another part of the country.  His father was a successful farmer with land, investments and a good life.  All was lost in 1929. 

My paternal grandfather had enough left to move the family (11 children left at home) to Denver and by a house at 10th and Kalamath.  He set down on the front porch of that house and started drinking.  That is all he did until he died in 1962.

My parents met and married after World War II and I was the first of four children.

I believe, today, that my father's main issue is that he never forgave his father.  He was determined that he would never fail his family financially and he never has.  My father is an alcoholic and a rageaholic. My mother was an al-anon who never got help and who died an alcoholic.

Growing up, the only emotion I ever saw freely expressed was my father's rage.  As I grew into a young man, my emotional life was the same as my father.  I raged without knowing why.

I married a woman who was both an alcoholic and an adult child of an alcoholic.  She had a son by a previous marriage. He is now in his late 20's both an alcoholic and a drug addict. We have a daughter who was born in 1984.

I remember holding my daughter when she less than a month old.  I held her and taught myself to tell her that I loved her.  Words I never heard growing up; words that were very hard for me to say.

When my daughter was four, my life was getting worse all the time.  My relationship with my wife was not good.  My relationship with my stepson was even worse. I became very frightened when I perceived oy relationship with my daughter going the same way.  Hers was the first unconditional love I had ever known and I did not want to lose it.

This was my Al-Anon bottom and I sought help. 

When I sought help, I knew nothing about Al-Anon, alcoholism, or my own circumstances.  Growing up as I had, my means of protecting myself was to block out all of the horror, fear, and pain.

What followed that first meet was years of Al-Anon meetings, step work, being sponsored and sponsoring, and a variety of service work.   There are many stories from that period.  It is through these program activities, and others, that we attain some level of recovery.

Life is not perfect for me today. However, I do have a strong and loving relationship with my daughter. More importantly, I have grown to know and love myself.  Al-Anon has given me the opportunity to experience the full range of emotions.  I am no longer limited to rage but can be angry, joyful, and happy, etc. as appropriate to the situation.

If you just stumbled on this page but believe that this program might be for you, please join us.  The only thing you have to lose is your misery.

Chuck