Those with a drinking problem should join Alcoholics Anonymous

Dear Editor,

Family and friends are affected by alcohol. Alcoholism is a family disease. Compulsive drinking affects the drinker and it affects the drinker’s relationships.

For example, I once lived on the East Bank. One night, my father and I went to buy food.  I was riding on the back of his motor cycle when we were hit by a car. We almost ended up in a trench where we could have drowned. I was 9 years old. Both the driver and my father had been drinking alcohol.

What’s alcoholism? The American Medical Association recognizes alcoholism as a disease that can be arrested but not cured. One of the symptoms is an uncontrollable desire to drink. This uncontrollable desire to drink led my father to abandon his family. He chose alcohol over us. When he left our home, he created a void and an emptiness in us. Because he chose alcohol, he wasn’t there to guide or direct our lives.

Because of his drinking, he never had the time to teach me to play cricket, even though he played professional cricket. Because of his drinking, he never visited my school or attended a PTA meeting. Because of his drinking, he never had the time to teach me about life and growing up. His drinking was more important than me.

What do we know about alcoholics?

Alcoholics are obsessive and compulsive. Obsessive is when people depend on alcohol so much that they become convinced they can’t live without it. Compulsive is when people try drinking on weekends or drinking only a certain drink, yet they end up getting drunk even though they promised themselves that they wouldn’t. It’s the nature of this disease that alcoholics don’t believe they’re ill.

Today, I don’t drink alcohol because I don’t want to become an alcoholic like my father. I don’t drink alcohol because I don’t want to choose alcohol over my family. Because I don’t drink, I’ve the time to play sports with my children, attend PTA meetings and teach my children about life and growing up.

If you think you may need help controlling your drinking, Alcohol Anonymous can help you. Alcohol Anonymous is a free programme to help people who have a desire to stop drinking. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a desire to stop drinking. I’m a member of AA because it helps me not to drink.

 

Yours faithfully,
Anthony Pantlitz

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