“Why can’t you see what your drinking is causing you?” this was the constant query I asked my son only to find out that neither do I knows the answer. Many of us do not understand why or how other people react differently to alcohol.  It was after losing him I discover why.

His initial decision to take alcohol was voluntary, maybe to get along with his friends, to belong and be cool. Until he probably reaches the point where his brain lost the ability to resist an intense impulse to drink despite harmful consequences.  Alcohol can affect the brain in ways that foster compulsive use and quitting is difficult, even for those who would like to. Research explains why some people need much more than good intentions or willpower to break their drinking.

The guilt he felt over his disobedience to the rules we have made him drink more to numb the growing unworthiness he had for himself. I know he wants to listen to us, I know he is a good son.  The last time he cried on me, he said he felt like dying. I cannot believe what I was hearing from him. I never knew then that alcohol is a depressant.

Compounded with our feelings of frustrations towards what was happening to him and the alterations in the way he handles his emotions, no wonder he felt that way. Alcohols ability to disrupt part of the brain that controls his emotions is altered somehow. He craves for love and understanding more than I ever know. Now I see why most people who had problems with drinking succumb to self-pity.

Probably if I had understood all of these things when he was still around I could have done things differently. More than loving him, I could have equipped myself with a better understanding of the disease of alcoholism that runs in our family. I felt sorry he never tastes the grace of recovery his father enjoys one day a time. But there is no way of changing the past. I can only trust the promises of a loving God that he will keep my son from all the hidden dangers of alcoholism this time.

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