Monday, April 19, 2010

An Interesting Conversation with Dad Last Night…

“When did your morals start taking a backseat?” dad asked me last night during our medication ritual. “You had such strong morals and an acute conscience as a child, teenager, and young adult.  I could trust you with anything.  You worked in the pharmacy with me for years around all those drugs and never took any.”

I sat for a long minute and thought hard.  Nobody had ever asked me that before in such a way.  This conversation culminated from my and dad’s experience yesterday with my telling him I had stolen his watch a few weeks ago – my attempt to get more beer.

“College,” was my reply. “I joined a fraternity and discovered alcohol.  I remember getting a fake ID so I could buy beer.  I felt so terrible I was breaking the law, but the alcohol and getting drunk was more important.  I would do anything for a drink.  I was a miserable person and wanted to do anything to feel better.  Alcohol was my Soma.”

“But you wouldn’t steal even then,” dad said. “You always had one of my credit cards and used it responsibly when you were in college.”

“Alcoholism is a progressive disease,” was the only thing I could think of for a reply. “My morals got worse and worse the longer I drank.  I needed more and more alcohol to get the same effect a six pack of beer would give me in college.  It’s an expensive habit and when you made me quit drinking, I was drinking 24 beers a day.”

Dad wanted to know all about Sunday’s AA meeting and what drove me to call him and confess to stealing the watch.  Dad worried deeply that by taking the alcohol and money away from me that it was the reason I had been driven to steal for my habit – that he has been part of the problem all along with the decline in my morals.

“I would have died if you didn’t step in,” I told him trying to reassure him he did the right thing by cutting my off. “I had no self control.  I would have drank myself to death.”

“Well, I am a determined son of bitch most days,” he said in his defense chuckling. “I was determined I could fix you.  That I could save your life and give you a good home.  You would have been a homeless wino without me.”

“I’m a work in progress these days,” was all I could say of an often used AA phrase. “It is ultimately up to me, though, whether I stay away from alcohol or not.  You can’t fix me as much as you want to.”

Dad thanked me for my candor and told me goodnight after we completed Maggie’s food ritual.  It gave me much food for thought for the rest of the night.  I lay in the bed for a long time last night thinking about morals and having a conscience and how it was so easily lost to my addiction.  I don’t want to resort to stealing watches from my father just to get drunk.  I want to be sober.  I want so much to be a good man like him.  Work in progress was my conclusion.  I am just going to keep trying.  When I fall, I am going to get right back up ever onwards. 


Beth said...

Addiction causes us to abandon everything to get our fix, be it alcohol, drugs, sex, food. People who do not battle addiction do not understand that it is a disease, not a moral weakness. You answered well, I thought. You understand how to do it and are continually working on staying sober. Keep on doing just that -- we're all here to cheer you on!

Anonymous said...

i really liked what you shared and what beth shared in her comment. it makes much sense is a senseless disease. i agree so much what you said about being to busy causes thins to get screwed up. i know for me it does. i have an eye appoiintment in a few weeks that i am dreading someone getting so close to me b ut i really need glasses to read and the pair that i had broke so i need to go and due to my medicaid card i need to go to someone i have not met before so that is kind of taxing to my brain. i need to get glasses because the pair that i had broke. i will pray that your appointment goes smoothly. take great care of yourself today. i am going to go to walgreens. liz

Sharon said...

What a wonderful, open and honest conversation you and your Dad had. And it says a lot for him, too, that he was just as open about having this kind of a dialogue with you. Rather than having a knee jerk reaction to your confession, he thought hard about it. Maybe it shows that he truly wants to understand and know you on a deeper level than he has before. I think this is a great step in your relationship with him.

Leaking Moonlight said...

Thank you Andrew for sharing such personal stuff. (You are brave.) Your candidness and insights today have helped me understand things in my family. I appreciate what you had to say and how you explained things.

forsythia said...

Posts like this is why you have so many loyal readers. You are not afraid to be completely candid and honest. You have no idea how helpful this is to others. You deserve some sort of award. I'm giving you the "Samuel Pepys Award." In case you never read any of Sam's "posts" in an English literature class, he lived in London and kept a diary for a decade in the seventeenth century. He was famous for his wit and candor.

Lena said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for being so honest.

Hap Joy Free said...


My sons father stole his entire college fund, $20,000 to feed his addiction. We found out 3 years ago. To this day, he has not repaid one cent. Nor apologized.
Luckily, God saw to it that he won a scholarship, and to a top tier school.

Thank you for taking the responsibility that he didnt. I appreciate your humility. Im proud of you, as always.


justLacey said...

We are all works in progress. I am impressed that your confession caused your dad to take a look at his actions and how they affect you at this point. I think the whole episode was a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Fall down seven times get up eight. ~ Japanese Proverb

Marsha said...

Does he EVER just praise you without first shoving your face in the mud?

He has nerve asking about morals. I mean really...

Now he's your savior?


Andrew, you made a mistake. We all do. You CHOSE to give the watch back because it was the right thing to do.

I applaude you for that!

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Be proud of what you've done to maintain your relationship with your dad. Sometimes we have to bite the bullet. He would have figured it out sooner or later. And your guilt would have eaten you alive!

Right now I'm worried that today has been too much for you. Can't wait to hear from you tomorrow.

Love ya,