Ask Paul B: The Seeds of Alcoholism

Dear Ask Paul B Readers,

Today, I am introducing the first segment of interviews with “Peter P.” regarding his start of alcoholism as a young boy, his 39 years as an alcoholic, and finally his recovery and redemption from his disease. He is now a mentor, a leader, and advocate to many who suffer from the very same disease that he struggled with for 70% of his life. Here is our first “seeds” of his path to addiction in Peter’s words.

I can remember, as young as two or three years of age, people sitting around smoking, laughing, watching television and of course, drinking. I distinctly remember the smell of beer, cigarettes and always vodka, when my parents, friends or relatives would pick me up to hug me. I was shown much love at that age, and I really liked how they all smelled. It became part of my sensory system. When I would grow up, I would want to be (and smell) just like my folks and their friends. My oldest sister (by 11 years) would also reek of beer and wine when I was turning four or so. She too liked to smoke, but nobody ever seemed to mind. My folks were fun people, and all my siblings seemed to be on their own most of the time. Eventually, I too would be watched by two older sisters, who, as it turned out, developed the very same addiction that would ruin my middle sister’s life when she was only twenty-eight. Monkey see, monkey do, is a phrase that we are all too familiar with in my household. If only my parents had known how their actions, habits and attitudes were so closely imitated by my sibs and I. It’s just too uncanny how we have all followed down this tragic path of alcohol abuse, tobacco and drugs, notwithstanding. Odd how once you take that first step down an ugly path, you just continue to discover other substances to abuse. There was no gray in our lives. My family was either all in or not. You were either a “player” or a spectator. Only one of us took the high road. Actually, as you’ll find out next week, she saved my life.

ABOUT ASK PAUL B! … WRITE PAUL B! …

ASK PAUL B! usually appears on Thursday evenings, but occasionally appears on other days or times so the article might be introduced to new readers.

IMPORTANT LEGAL STUFF:
Advice is offered for general discussion. Any advice from a columnist or someone who has never actually met you is not guaranteed to be fit for your particular situation. While the advice might help send you in the right direction to find a solution to your problem, missing information or lack of specific dialogue might cause you harm, or delay a solution to your problem. Never use this advice as the sole replacement for advice from a physician, psychologist or other health professional or other professional. The information provided through any Arlingtoncardinal.com post or Ask Paul B! post is not a substitute for health, legal and other professional advice where specific facts and circumstances warrant additional personal attention. If any reader requires legal advice, health advice or other professional assistance, each reader should always consult his or her own legal, health professional, or other professional advisors and discuss the facts and circumstances that specifically apply to the user. Consider the topics discussed as a part of your overall experience for your pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Don’t hesitate to get help when you might need professional help.

The views of Ask Paul B! are not necessarily the views of The Cardinal — Arlingtoncardinal.com.