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Inherited Sickness

Updated on April 15, 2011

  flowing through
and throughout
  polluting a life
with or without
disfiguring judgement
       fear on the increase
  I've seen this before
watched personalities
       twisting and changing
            running like the river
     of alcohol through veins
  instilling the belief
that more is required
  to get through a day
     as darkness transpires
  but the darkness is
caused only by this
  and to partake of
     yet one more drink
       would lead me to think
             you've lost all control
       or the illusion of such
   of mind, body, and soul
is it still not enough
     that you're breaking me
            and yourself, at that?
giving in once again
            to fluid deception
    those lies being whispered
do you really accept them?
   when you lay there helpless
 do you despair in your head?
                do you feel that you're better?
          do you realize you're dead?
and dragging the rest of us
    down with you, beside you
  as we watch your eyes glaze
and the slurring of speech
and the multiple ways
    that who you are changes
            with every sip of that shit
    every time that sweet bottle
crosses paths with your lips
a day passes you by, sadly
       and my heart drops each time
             because it passed me as well
        and I'm unable to cry
   I've seen enough of this hell
with your son, my brother
      for you see, this curse
           it runs in the family
  from your bloodline...

My Father


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    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      My main brush with alcoholism was my aunt Annie Laurie, Mother's younger sister. We didn't see her all that much, but to see her drunk was enough to put the fear into me and I disliked the smell of her breath. Her several husbands were also alcoholics who were quite disgusting to a youngster like me. Mother was a teetotaler and Dad, being German, occasionally had a beer, but not at home, though he kept some blackberry wine and a bottle of cognac in a high cabinet. He would very occasionally have a glass with his favorite treat - cheese, & the stinkier, the better. I figured he needed something to kill the smell. :-)

      Then when I was 12, my parents had a Christmas dinner for friends & served eggnog, with real bourbon in it. It was warm weather, as it often was there on Christmas, so after dinner they took their guests out to the farm, 15 miles from town, to fish; leaving Nellieanna to clean up the dinner dishes. Well, she did clean up, all right! She finished off the leftover eggnog - yum - and as she was going back and forth from the kitchen to her room down the hall (where she was writing a short story for a contest) - she was taking glasses of the eggnog or whatever else she could find of an alcoholic nature, along to her room to sip while writing. Of course the writing did NOT benefit from her first - and only - drunken stupor. I managed to find all Dad's wine and cognac and took care of it too.

      When my parents came home, they told me they found me unconscious across my bed, with my face "black". I never did understand that, but I had no memory of it past the last trip down that hall which kept getting longer; so that's all I know about that phase of it. But I know that I NEVER EVER EVER wanted to feel that way again. I detested being "out of it", unable to think and move normally, so nauseated with my head throbbing - the entire experience was a bomb. I didn't touch anything alcoholic again till I was in my 40s, and then, only very moderately. I enjoy and have a glass of wine if I want it, but it's no big deal either way. I still despise & resist anything which makes my brain numb.

      It could hardly be a worse way to try to "resolve" problems, which I think many people imagine doing. So much better it would be for them to perceive it as what it is: - adding immeasurably to the problems while delaying their real resolution and weakening their own resolve and ability to deal with them.

      This is a powerful poem, Ben. I am aware that it is a gripping problem and task-master for many folks and I realize that we all have our "escapes" at times. But one with such devastation in its path is especially sad. I hope your father goes back on the wagon. Goodness - 20 years sober is quite a record! And good for your brother. Hope it lasts!

    • Bumpsysmum profile image

      Bumpsysmum 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      I have been unlucky enough to have been beaten by two men who drank, they said it was the drink that did it not them! OR it was my fault they drank and did it! Really!! :-)

    • aylee95 profile image

      aylee95 6 years ago from Honolulu, HI.

      I read your earlier comments and am happy that your brother has been sober for that long now! ^^ However I wish you luck in your dad and will pray for him.

      My father used to drink A LOT. But when my older sister was born he was decent enough to stop his extreme drinking for the family and am very happy that he did. And so although I can't really comprehend the feelings of living with a alcoholic, I know someone who got beat by her dad when he was drunk, so your poem really makes me think.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Dear Benny,

      This is one of my favorite pieces of your work. No doubt because I can relate so well.

      I had a choice of following in the footsteps of my Alcoholic Father and Grandfather. I did not.

      Instead, I chose the role of enabler in the footsteps of my Mother and Grandmother. It hasn't been an easy road either. I have chose relationships that were/are quite unhealthy. Even at my age, I still have a lot to learn.

      Having addiction in our life, whether as the user or not, is a struggle no doubt. I'm glad you wrote about this for yourself. I feel bad that you are suffering because of this. You are young and bright and talented. I pray that you will find your way to overwhelming happiness that you can't even imagine yet today.


    • Bumpsysmum profile image

      Bumpsysmum 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      I managed to avoid this despite being a heavy drinker some years ago, a friend pursuaded me I was on a downhill slope and I slowed down, now I don't drink at all and I'm thankful for that. Great piece :-)

    • BenWritings profile image

      BenWritings 6 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

      Acer - that means a lot to me, and thanks for always putting in your two cents on my work. Yeah my brother and dad are both alcoholics, and it seems I have missed the curse, but I have to suffer watching them.

      Randy - thank you for that. Even though I don't believe I inherited it, I had to put up with my brother's extreme alcoholism for 2 years until he finally "beat it". He's been sober for like 3 months now, but now my dad has resumed his own addiction that he had beaten for 20 years.

      Phoenix - that is wonderful to hear and thank you!!

      Nikki - Thanks very much, and yes it really impacts the family of those who do it GREATLY.

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 6 years ago from Louisiana

      powerful piece here, i felt the emotion, the blood running through you in these words, alcohol addiction is one of the worst, and as all addictions it doesnt just affect the addicted it affects the people around them, those closest to them. and it really does change a person, and usually turns them into someone no one likes. i hope he finds the help he needs. great poem i loved the style.

    • Poohgranma profile image

      Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

      This is magnificent, as per your usual work. It will ring true in too many ears, but a sound that needs to be heard. God, I hope someone does.

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 6 years ago from Near the Ocean

      I'm sooo with you on this one. My bloodline as well. My grandfather sobered up right before he died of cancer. My Dad stopped drinking when they said he had six months until he too would die of cancer. I love my beer and I love my wine, but its kinda like having a pet rattlesnake when you know your allergic to snake bites.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      As a person who also cannot drink,never did,because alchoholism is rampant in our family and also have a brother who's fallen off the wagon,this poem simply reminds me that I'm only helpful to myself and to help my brother help himself and not by the way,from a swamp rat to a backwoods fellow,I'm from SW Louisiana,your immense grasp of naturalist elements put me in awe of your work,now go to FaceBook and status this post so I can like and share it:-))