Alcoholics Lie.

Data. We can find it easily today. The Internet has numbers and facts at our fingertips.

I did not cite my sources yesterday (forgive me Mrs. Cunningham. 8th grade term papers were not lost on me. Last night was long and the climb steep.) Most of my data was found crawling through CDC pages.

The thing is this: those numbers are flat out wrong. Those numbers are low. Frightening, isn’t it?

How do I know this? Because alcoholics lie. Because the children of alcoholics are often alcoholics and they lie too. Funny how that works isn’t it?

We like to make self destruction a family matter. There is also long family tradition that must be upheld. That too.

And there is this;

Growing up with alcoholics is Hell. You make do as a kid and one day, sooner than later, you realize that in that bottle is a way to erase that Hell. You self medicate.

And on and on.


The doctors asked my mother after my father died, “How much do you drink?”

“Oh, not much, two maybe three beers a night.”

I learned to stand behind her and signal frantically that she was lying. Doctors ignored my gestures and made their notes.

It was not until a friend recommended Dr. Plunkett here in Denver that any truth was told.

My mother answered his questions; by this time I had dropped the wild gestures knowing they were for naught.

Dr. Plunkett did an odd thing. He asked to talk with me privately for a moment.

We stepped out of the examination room and he asked me, ” How much does she really drink a night and how long has she been an alcoholic?”

Just like that. Data. Real hard data.

“My mother has been a heavy drinker since she was 18 years old. She drinks at least a case of beer a night, usually more and drank only scotch until I was in 5th grade. ”

He was nonplussed.

“That sounds about right. I want to run a simple cognitive test. I believe she has alcoholics dementia. If she is willing to go through a medical detox and quit drinking and use Thiamine therapy we may be able to slow the progression. ”

I had only been looking for a doctor who took Medicare. I found a doctor who was unafraid to write “alcoholic” on a chart; a doctor who saw my mother for who she is; a drunk who lies.

This is the beginning. But that right there is a lie. I can’t honestly say when it began.

My mother drank so hard for so long. It is entirely possible that the forgotten lunch money, the missed band concerts and school plays could have been more than just lack of interest.

It could have been the beginning.

The beginning of the end.

How about that? Maybe I have been living through my mothers death for decades.

Alcoholics lie, and data is half truth.

That is why I am going to write this down. That is why I am trying to sort this out now.

At her end I would like to be ready to begin.

To begin I need to have told the truth.

Because alcoholics lie and I am done.

This is the beginning:

Alcoholics Lie…

~ by Step On a Crack on September 15, 2011.

2 Responses to “Alcoholics Lie.”

  1. A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks


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