About three months before I came into the program I had a week where I was working alone (I love working by myself, go figure) and I stumbled upon a podcast called Fatherless By Suicide and it really struck me. Not only was it a well produced, obviously emotional podcast comprised of interviews with men who had lost their fathers to suicide, but there was an echo in the stories. My father is alive and well and is not an alcoholic. Most of his family, and therefore mine, are alcoholics and most have died either directly or indirectly from alcoholism, but my father is somehow the one who buys a twelve pack every two years and the reason that he never had to throw them out because they were too old was thanks to yours truly. Anyway, needless to say I could not relate to my father having committed suicide or even being dead, but rather I saw it more from my children’s point of view. I was not suicidal but I was in despair over my drinking, as I had been for many years. Would I end up like many of the fathers talked about in this podcast that I was listening to? Would I get so desperate to stop the freight train of insatiable oblivion in my head that I would go to such extremes? Would the temptation to defuse the atom bomb inside of me win at some point? And more to the point was not drinking in such quantities day in and day out for years and years just a slow pull of a trigger. Was I not watching the bullet leave the barrel and millimeter itself toward me day in and day out? I would argue yes to that. My uncle, the brother of my non-alcoholic father, drank himself into liver and kidney cancer and his father did the same. This is scary stuff. The scariest thing about it is that that bullet hasn’t gone anywhere, it is still in front of me, suspended in the air, still for the moment but staring at me even if I can’t see it. I would do well to remember that.

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