This I Believe

Samantha - Smyrna, Tennessee
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction

At the age of sixteen, I got a phone call telling me that my father had liver cancer. He told me that it was caused from all the acid in his stomach, but really it was from years of alcohol abuse. My father had lied once again about his problem, a problem that now has turned into a disease. He was an alcoholic and started to bring my oldest brother down the same path. The guy that was my role model, the 3.7 G.P.A. in high school, the one I ran to when I needed a shoulder to lean on, even the guy who beat up my boyfriends when they cheated was following in my father’s footsteps. The next thing I remember is going with my mom at 6:00 AM on New Years Days to bail that role model of mine out of jail because he was picked up on the side of the road for public drunkenness.

Then it hit me: why am I really staying sober? Is it because I wanted to make my mom proud, be the one at the parties that remembered everything, or is it because I didn’t want to turn into my father? Staying sober has such a bigger meaning to me than people might think. Being sober means I’m keeping my promise to God and my family when I told them I wouldn’t drink, keeping the promise to my school work by being able to remember everything I have done and able to work on my school work at any point in time, my promise to my workplace of being able to be there everyday in the right frame of mind and without a hangover, and most importantly the promise to myself to not stoop down to my dad and brothers level and survive off of alcohol alone.

In college and in high school staying sober is different because of peer pressure. Because of peer pressure, it is hard to go to parties or hang out with friends because 98 percent of everybody I know drinks, and so this kind of pushes me away from the social scene. Being by myself most of the time or being the designated driver means more to me then having crazy pictures or waking up in the backseat of my car. I would rather be made fun of by not drinking then be the one in the casket while everyone around me is sad because I thought I would be able to get in my car and drive home. So this I believe, I believe that being and staying sober.