From the December 1944 magazine.

A Father Looks Through His Son's Eyes

If we non-alcoholics, who have seen this alcoholic disease take possession of one who is dear to us, could change places with the alcoholic and through his eyes get his outlook on life, I believe we would be appalled. If we could feel ourselves slipping away from everything that to us seems worthwhile--if we had become dishonest--if we had come to lying and cheating and stealing; if, as from afar through the haze, we could see our lives disintegrating, although those nearest and dearest to us tried to plead and reason, tried to save us--and steadily, unrelentingly, the mist thickened into fog, and through the fog we watched other people going about their daily routine, doing their jobs with disgusting regularity, while in the distance our homes and our families moved away, away, continually away until they were gone, completely gone; if we could know the all-aloneness of the alcoholic then, I think we might begin to understand how sick, mentally and physically he is.

It goes without saying that we non-alcoholics want to be of help, but always our attempts seem to end up with the alcoholic drunk, for he, alarmed by his own behavior, has surrounded himself with a wall of self-justification behind which he takes refuge, and every effort we make to be of help is, in his eyes, simply an assault upon his only defense. Is it any wonder then that we fail to get his cooperation, when to cooperate would be to help us tear down that defense? Is it any wonder he gets drunk?

-- Bill S.'s father, Wally

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!