The Pain of My Inheritance

The Pain of My Inheritance

Some people inherit houses, or trust funds. Me? I inherited alcoholism.

My old man was a drinker. Socially. Antisocially. Asocially. He wasn’t a drunk, mind you; he never came home sloppy, or with lipstick on his collar, or with an urge to lay into me and my Mom. He was a pretty good dad, actually…he just enjoyed a beer or two or twenty along the way.

Alcoholism stems from two sources: genes on one hand, environment on the other. Obviously, Dad handed his boozer gene down to his one and only Son. He also taught me to Drink: taught me that Drinking was a thing people did when they got home from work. Or finished mowing the lawn. Or woke up in the morning.

So yes, I got the double alky whammy from Dad…the genes and the example both…and I suppose in some ways I never had a chance. Until I got alcoholism treatment. And it showed me that inheritance only works if the inheritor assents to it. At that, believe me, was the most important lesson I’ll ever learn.

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