A little while ago, I sat down with this woman to talk about her life. She told me that her story was a bit sad and bitter, and for a moment, I did not believe it. It was after when I realized that she actually meant it, she meant it when she said there was no happy ending. It was hard to understand, but at the same time, it was all crystal clear. Her mother was an alcoholic. She died when se was only 61 years old, and left a family full of memories and love behind (Arango). That woman is my mom, and that alcoholic, the most generous and toughest person I know, was my grandmother.
There are innumerable stories like mine, stories about shattered families, and broken homes, stories about alcoholics and their struggle. Alcoholism is a disease that not only affects the alcoholic, but also the people who surrounds them. It is just as hard to live with alcoholism, as it is to live with an alcoholic. It is a disease of uncertainty— it ends up taking away the life of the one who suffers from it, and destroys the people around him or her. “If you have alcoholism, you can’t constantly predict how much you are going to drink, how long you’ll drink, or what consequences will occur from your drinking” (Mayo Clinic Staff). This is one of the reasons why relatives of alcoholism become co-dependent. Co-dependency is development of a dependency on the necessities or wishes of another, in this case, the alcoholic, and it is a very common psychological condition among those surrounded by addicts (Arango). For co-dependents and alcoholics, there are several support and coping systems, like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), and Al-Anon. The sad thing is, an alcoholic never recovers. They may be able to get sober, and remain sober for as long as they live, but the wish of having a drink in their hands during a difficult situation, or the feeling of needing to escape from this world and never come back will never go away.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that may be caused by heredity, several psychological conditions, or influenced by social and environmental factors. It affects one out of ten Americans (Kilbourne), and it may lead to long-term problems, such as health issues and personal instability. Among the several risk factors that may lead to alcoholism, media is a determining one because it promotes heavy drinking by targeting a vulnerable audience without showing the actual struggles of an alcoholic, and this substance abuse may eventually lead to the development of the disease.
Our genetic buildup is the map that dictates what our life is going to be like; it is what makes us human beings. It defines our hair, eyes and skin color, how tall we are going to be, and what we are going to suffer from. Genetics can define if we are going to suffer from dementia, or a heart disease, or alcoholism, for that matter. There are several genes that can trigger alcoholism, and they can be inherited through many generations. If a relative of ours has suffered from alcoholism,...