“I will never drink,” screamed little 7-year-old Teevee.
Hearing my father vomit in the toilet after a long night of drinking is a memory I will have eternally etched in my mind.
I wondered why anyone would drink so much that they would eventually have to throw up. It made no sense.
I couldn’t sleep those nights, feeling the tension and worry as my mother waited for my dad. In some instances, the nights would turn violent when he did crawl in the door.
My father was already a heavy-handed man who would make sure to remind me he was in charge with a swift slap to the face. Drinking only made his hand heavier.
I could and would not be like my father. I decided never to drink.
As you can imagine, this wasn’t easy when everyone around me was drinking. Peer pressure made it difficult, but not impossible. My friends didn’t make it hard at all.
“This is just what Teevee does.”
On New Years’ Eve 2009, at the age of 34, it all changed. My friend offered me a drink to bring in the New Year.
I said: FUCK IT.
It was a vodka sprite. I enjoyed the feeling it gave me and have come to appreciate a good cocktail since then.
A few years later, I didn’t have a TV, so I found myself at a bar watching a Mavs playoff game. Someone won the lottery and was buying everyone drinks. They just kept on magically appearing in front of me.
This was the first time I did feel too drunk to drive. I called a friend to take me home, which was only a block away. True story.
My babies never have to worry about me being angry or violent. At worst, I just tell terrible jokes and cry because I become an emotional basket case.
I did not repeat my father’s pattern. I did keep that commitment to myself and my daughters.