Loving an Alcoholic
Helena Dea Bala

Thank you for these stories. This one hit hard.

Alcoholism has run in my mom’s side of the family since the Civil War. As has secrecy. Now that it is showing up in the kids of my sister and my cousins it feels so much worse. I remember when each was born, innocent. I watched their pain deepen.

I am ostracized because I suggest rehab. What will people think? Probably the same things they think when they are arrested for DUI, when they don’t complete their court ordered community service so spend a week in jail, when Mom and Dad pay and pay for lawyers to get them off and they are sued for hospital bills when the truck rolls and their kid who was driving wasn’t hurt but his friend almost didn’t walk, again. Or when something happens even worse and a 22 year old dies and the family says it was from heart failure but everyone knows the kid aspirated on her own vomit, drinking herself to sleep as she did since she was 14. Too late now and always for what ifs. And nobody learns that the secrets are just as dangerous and addictive as the alcohol.