There was an incident at home that prompts attention before hope appears. Horatio has been staying at my father’s house more days than not. This is good for two reasons; he isn’t allowed to drink there and it provides a way to watch his binges. When he disappears to his house for two days and comes back bleary eyed, we know what he was doing. Horatio isn’t as devious as he thinks. Or is it that he has determined we’re oblivious?
A couple of weeks ago he came strolling back to my father’s house after one of his two day vacations. Still drunk from the binge, he attempted to make breakfast for my father. Clearly he was intoxicated, but my father did not reprimand this behavior. Instead, he quietly ate the half burnt/half runny “scrambled eggs.”
I couldn’t understand his rationale for disregarding Horatio’s state of inebriation. After discussing it with him, the only explanation is that he was at a loss for words at that moment and didn’t know how to react. In hindsight, he knew he shouldn’t have tolerated what happened.
The next day, when Horatio sobered up, my father didn’t hold back in giving him a verbal lashing. I arrived home a few days later, at which time Horatio and I discussed the event. He didn’t deny any of his behavior because he had already been confronted about it. This allowed for an open and honest talk about alcohol.
At the end of the conversation, I made sure that the ground rules were reiterated. There would be absolutely no alcohol in my father’s house. This includes any alcohol in his blood. He will not be tolerated and will not be allowed to stay if his BAC is greater than 0.00. If this means he must sleep in his car outside of the house, then so be it.
At the end of the conversation, my siblings began showing up. The evening would be filled with fun loving childish games as our 7 year old nephew tugged on our arm to get us to play soccer and launch rockets high in to the sky.
The weekend continued this way with museums, kite flying and such. As we were all interacting I was noticing something that I hadn’t seen in a while. As I watched Horatio, I could see a little spark of fire in him. The light had been smothered by alcohol for the past decade, but it was flickering and gaining strength in front of my eyes. The more that Horatio let himself go and enjoyed being with people, the less he thought about his addiction.
It brought me hope that Horatio would one day overcome his lustful relationship with alcohol. It’s obvious that he enjoys being sober more than laying on his couch unconscious. There are many more relapses in his future. He is fighting something that is greater than him at this current time. It will be a remarkable day when he is able to harness and kindle that motivating factor that I have seen in so many of you that I follow. The entity that is defeating him will be overcome by his strength, igniting a lifelong abstinence from alcohol.