My dad is a fraternal twin with my uncle Paul. Paul died last week at the age of 64 of all sorts of issues but whatever they were they were complicated by Paul's addiction to alcohol. Addiction is a disease. I have seen all the email forwards and read all of the hard-hearted things that people have to say to someone like me who insists that addiction is about more than just "quitting cold turkey". It is an illness and it is a terribly destructive one at that. Families affected by alcoholism are turbulent, often crazy-feeling, and kids raised in those households enter life with two strikes against them 1. that they were raised in an unstable environment and 2. their parents aren't there to provide the kind of safety net a normal family provides.
Alcoholics need to be intervened upon by friends and family and put through treatment. Yes, I've seen the stats and they are, forgive the pun, sobering. But sobriety without a program is not real sobriety. Would you believe me if I told you that to this day I am convinced that George Bush's actions and decisions were affected by his untreated alcoholism? He exhibits many of the symptoms of what we call being a "dry drunk"... what kind of man would he be if he were in a 12-step program that led to his truly being "in recovery"?
If you or someone you love is in the midst of addiction of any kind do yourself a favor and intervene. There are websites that show you how to do it here's one. Denial is more than just a river in Egypt. Paul was intervened on many times and none served to break his addiction, but we can all rest knowing that we tried. It shows just how powerful the drug of alcohol is that not even family and grandkids can get you to turn around.
I loved (love!) my uncle Paul. He reminded me of Paul in A River Runs Through It not that my dad was any kind of Norman but Paul definetly insisted on raising the crazy-bar at every turn. He was bigger than life, as many alcoholics are; but you knew that in the glint of his eye he gave a crap about you and the world. God bless the memory of Paul O. Enstad