Growing Up With An Alcoholic Parent Taught Me Strength

Growing Up With My Alcoholic Father Taught Me To Turn My Struggles Into Strength

The amazing part about life is the ability to turn your struggles into strength.


Ever since I was a little girl, I struggled with having an alcoholic as a father. Hell, there's even a baby picture of me with my dad hammered in the background.

Our family never could go out and do a normal family activity like everyone else did because my dad was too drunk to go. I grew up being the oldest of four, having two sisters and one brother, so I always got the shorter end of the stick, while hearing my mom complain about how she couldn't handle my dad and his drinking. Growing up I watched as alcohol turned my dad from this wonderful fun-loving man into a mean bitter drunk.

As most families don't experience having an alcoholic as a parent, I did and still do to this day. Being so young and seeing your father drink until he couldn't sit up straight was embarrassing and hard because when my dad was drunk, he was mean and didn't care who's feelings he hurt. It was routine for my dad to come home from work, sit down at his desk and crack open a beer until he would reach relief from his life.

I remember my sister and I being young teenagers and our dad pulling us out of our room giving us a lecture in the hallway until we cried or my dad being drunk and screaming at my mother telling her how horrible she was. When my dad did things like this you couldn't say anything to him simply because you would pay for it verbally if you did.

I do not envy my father for being more involved with alcohol than his family because this has made me spiral into the direction of becoming a determined young adult.

After my parents' divorce, my mom was relieved because she no longer was trapped in a cage with an alcoholic, and unfortunately, I was relieved too. In many ways, I thank my father for being an alcoholic because I've learned that alcohol is not the answer to solving your problems.

My dad was always unmotivated when he drank and I saw that as a young kid and teenager, this is when I made the decision that I would strive to achieve my goals so I wouldn't have to turn to alcohol when I felt low. I am 19 years old and thus far I am in my second year of college, receiving good grades, paying tons of bills, and working a full-time job while maintaining a life outside of all the chaos.

I love my dad very much and although he is an alcoholic, he made me focus on the future and not let the past disrupt my chances of being successful.

Pain and struggle will always be a part of me somehow when reminiscing but I've learned how to take those struggles and the felt pain and turn it into strength. I hope that someday my dad will have the strength to turn away from alcohol and have the chance to enjoy life like he once has before.

I want my dad to be able to experience what is perceived as a good and happy life, to share success with my siblings and me, and to be there to watch us succeed and accomplish something that makes us all proud. I know my father experiences pain and uses alcohol as a filler to drown in his sorrows.

Strength comes from my struggle. One day my dad will find strength from his struggles, too.

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9 Things We All Did In Middle School During The 2000s

We're all guilty of it.

Middle school. The most embarrassing years of my life. I look back at my pictures and just wonder why in the world would I do that? Why did I look like that? How did someone let me do that? But to be honest, I wouldn't want it any other way because I wouldn't have something to look back on today. Just about every middle school girl can relate to this:

SEE ALSO: 15 Food Items Every 2000s Middle Schooler Was Addicted To

1. Getting "married"

I don't know about you but I took my "marriage" very seriously. We had a 25 cent ring and everything. We called each other "wifey's" to top it all off. Believe it or not, we even had a wedding video. It was pretty legit. Then I found out she was also married to another friend in our friend group. It was a sad breakup but we worked through it and she's my best friend to this day.

2. Duck lips

The legendary duck lips. The bigger the lips the better. I went through a phase where I don't think I ever took a picture with my teeth showing. Why did we think this was cool? I wish I knew.

3. Atrocious wardrobe

Sophie shorts ring a bell? I think I had one in at least every color. Oh and don't forget about my soccer ball ones that I just HAD to wear to soccer practice. What about tying your shirt to the side or tucking in the front of your t-shirt to your shorts? For some reason, this was a long-running style. I am not sure how.

4. Forward messages

Those messages were so annoying yet fun. If I didn't forward those I swear I thought something was actually going to happen to me.

5. Learning everything on the bus

From bad words to inappropriate anything. You learned what things were and where things came from. I learned more things on the bus than I ever did in school.

6. Festivals

They were the best thing to do on a summer weekend. You couldn't miss it. Although no on really rode the rides or played games. It was basically a giant get together for your side of town with a bunch of middle school drama.

7. Awkward mirror selfies

Don't lie, we've all taken them at some point.

8. Edited pictures

There were edited pictures with irrelevant words surrounding our faces. Or writing the words "BFF's" around it to make sure everyone knew that you guys were best friends. At some points, I would actually have people like my status for me to make them an edited picture. Consider yourself lucky if you didn't. Pic Monkey was my life.

9. Webcam pictures

What're you doing tonight? Oh, just taking pics on my webcam.

SEE ALSO: A Playlist Of A Middle Schooler From 2007

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Wessel

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