Growing up I guess I looked and for the most part acted like any normal little boy if such a thing actually exists. I played sports and ran amok with gang of wild but benign fellow latchkey kids. Sure there were things in my childhood that almost certainly had a role in shaping my future alcoholism such as divorce, family fracture, and addiction in the home but there was no lack of love and certainly no abuse. I can’t really point my finger at any of the classic conditions/events that serve as harbingers of addiction. It seems that I was born with this inner alcoholic, one that was outwardly affecting my behavior before I could count my years with double digits.
I can remember obsessing over alcohol even in elementary school, doodling pictures of xxx whiskey jugs and bottles. Why this is, I don’t have a clue. Around the same time, I can remember having a beer collection showcased by a full can of Billy Beer and a Grolsch flip top bottle. In retrospect, I think the collection was more of a ploy to justify raiding the ubiquitous teen stashes of alcohol and cigarettes always hidden about the neighborhood… you know, to show as trophies. I became very adept at this practice and drinking the evidence.
By the time I was in my tweens, I was running with those old enough to drive to the county line and manipulative enough to understand that being accompanied by a teenage girl to the country store run by a pervert was better than having a false ID. I always seemed to run with a much older crowd; I think I worked very hard at this not because I wanted to fit in but instead because that was where the drugs and alcohol were to be found.
By my teens, I was completely obsessed and even today cannot identify why or where I “became” an alcoholic. It is a question I often ponder. Can one be born an alcoholic, start out day one with a Grolsch in the machine?