One of the people I'm very glad to have "met" through this blogging thing, Miss Paz, asked some good questions in one of her comments to me. Therefore, I am answering them in their own entry:

How do you feel about your father's alcoholism? Does/did that affect how you think about yourself?

Basically, for me, the answers to those questions are inter-related. At first, it made me terrified. I didn't want to ever drink for fear of becoming an alcoholic myself. That's not to say that I completely stopped drinking. I do drink alcohol on occasion. There was a period of a couple years where I didn't drink at all. I'd gotten really sloshed on one horrifically memorable Halloween and blacked out. That had never happened to me before. Yeah, so I was a tee-totaler there for awhile. Now alcohol really doesn't have much appeal for me. I'll drink the occasional Diet Coke with Absolut Vanilla or a Corona with lime and even that is rare.

When it comes to men, I'm skittish about them drinking. Marvin the Martian - the one man I've loved in a romantic sense - was a raging alcoholic. I understand my predisposition to becoming involved with alcoholics and I try not to. I find myself analyzing their behaviors and drinking habits. I'm hyper-sensitive to their drunken behavior.

I've read a couple books about alcoholism - is it an illness or a behavioral issue - that whole debate. Personally, I think children of alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics themselves. Now is that genetic or is it a learned behavior? I really don't know. Honestly, it doesn't matter. Just so long as I don't become an alcoholic myself. That's what matters. His need for alcohol caused so much pain. I never want to put anyone through what he put the people who cared about him through. I'm not merely referring to the dying part. He was 49 years old when he died. I have no idea how old he was when he started drinking but suffice it to say, there were plenty of years where his drinking affected his life and those around him, including my mother. Including me.

His alcoholism is still an integral part of who I am. It always will be. I don't know if that answered your questions Paz, but I gave it a shot. (Pun intended, of course)
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