I was 11 years old when I had my first alcoholic drink. My dad, God bless him, was a veteran who suffered from what we now call PTSD. He took the edge off with a drink or two just about every night. He would hand me his glass and tell me to take some. His justification was that children in other countries drank wine because the water wasn’t pure. He was my dad and I trusted him, so I drank a few sips (and more). I found that it felt really warm and calming. It took me to another place that I enjoyed. Dad said it was okay, so it was!
Then there was my mom and her Valium. She was a very anxious and nervous type of woman. She had lost 7 children at early ages. All of my siblings died of unusual but natural causes related to my mom’s gestational diabetes. I was the 7th born and the only one who survived to grow up. Her anxiety made me anxious. Couple that with the fact that death was all around me at a very young age and frightened me. At five years old, I wondered how I would die and when, instead of dreaming about who and what I wanted to be when I grew up. My world was one of uncertainty and fear, so mom shared her Valium with me. Between the alcohol and Valium, I was feeling weightless and carefree. After a while, a doctor gave me my own prescription and I lived on them.
At 14 years old, from the alcohol, benzos and the anxiety that surrounded me, I fell into depression. My parents farmed me out to a shrink who gave me tricyclic antidepressants plus benzos. I felt horrible. I had morbid and disturbing dreams and felt like I was being held captive by the medicine. I managed to keep my grades high and was in special classes for those with very high IQ’s. I was in the orchestra, chorus and played piano. Music became everything to me in a world where I felt as though I was being suffocated.
That’s how it began for me. It later progressed to enormous proportions. We will talk about that in future blog posts. If this sounds like how you started, it’s not all that uncommon. Many begin their addictions at home from an early age.
A word to the wise for parents, grandparents , aunts and uncles: LOCK UP YOUR MEDICATIONS AND KEEP THEM LOCKED. DO NOT PLAY DOCTOR AND OFFER THEM TO ANYONE!
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