Compulsive Behaviours - Alcoholism

Essay by bartvanUniversity, Master'sA, December 2002

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This paper was done for a compulsive behaviors class. I was to pick a behaviour which I have had some connection to and write on it. I was to include at least 3 references with my paper. My topic was on my experiences with an alcoholic father.

Compulsive Behaviours - Alcoholism

My father was an early riser who got our breakfast ready while we were getting ready for school. But for himself he was very different, a cup of black coffee, a donut; and a cigarette. At night he sat in his lazy boy chair, watching sports or the news and eating Dutch chocolate or handfuls of fresh popcorn. He was drawn to things that he enjoyed like metal to a magnet. His indulgences, when I think of them now, seem like that of a child, unrestrained by shoulds or shouldn'ts. If he wanted to eat the whole box of chocolates, he did--with gusto.

And he schooled me in his enthusiasms, teaching me to swirl my melted chocolate into my ice cream, to grill cheese sandwiches, or to keep candy beside my bed. He was no more embarrassed by these excesses than he was by his gray hair (at age 40). Except for one: He loved to drink.

I'm not sure I knew how much until I hit drinking age myself, although there were several signs. Whether it was the strong smell of liquor when he kissed me goodnight after returning home from an evening out, the flow of alcohol at my parents' parties, or the array of rye and ice left behind after cocktails with friends (my sisters and I would taste the contents of each glass).

But my father also associated drinking with a bunch of things respectable people didn't do, and if John Doe down the road...