Namenlosen Trinker — Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny since August 1992
I was born in 1950, the first of six children. I picked up my first drink in August 1966 at the age of sixteen. Twenty-six years later, I finally gave in and surrendered to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. If I had settled then for the best that I could possibly have hoped for, I would have seriously short-changed myself.
I cannot blame my drinking in any way on my upbringing. We came as close as anyone I know to having a non-dysfunctional family. I've always known that my parents loved me. I've always loved my brothers and sisters and known that they loved me. While my parents both drank, as did most of my extended family—my mother was one of six, my father one of ten and I have something like 70 first cousins—there was not a great deal of alcoholism among them. My brother Doppelganger is in the program. I have one cousin I know about in the program. A few of my aunts drank too much—two of my three uncles died young, before I was born, and the other doesn't drink—but quite a few married alcoholics. For example, Aunt Al-Anon married a distant cousin of Lois Wilson's and was probably the worst case among my extended family. More about her later.
More significantly, this extended family mine was a post-Prohibition family. They were very much what Bill W. referred to as "wets" (as opposed to "drys"). The strenuously objected to the idea of government telling them when, where and how much to drink, let alone whether or not to drink at all. This may have had plenty to do with the organized church1 within which I was raised.
I am a Swedenborgian. Both my parents, all four of my grandparents and all eight of my great-grandparents were or are Swedenborgian. Considering that this religion was only started in the late 1700's and that it comprises fewer than 100,000 people around the world, this is quite remarkable. There are very few of us who can say that.
1 I am intentionally distinguishing here between religion and organized church.