The Distance Caused by Addiction

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” —Bruce Lee

One of my earliest memories was when my dad took me to see my grandmother at my aunt and uncle's house. She gave me my first beer. I was three years old. After she gave me the beer, my mom showed up. She flipped out and ran everyone out of the house.

Since then, the times I would see my grandmother was a lot less. I would only see her now and then and sometimes at holidays. I wasn’t allowed to see her without my mom being present. This went on until my mom and dad separated when I was ten.

I think there is a special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren and there is more compassion and sympathy in that relationship. I guess this is because grandparents tend to spoil their grandkids and also because they don’t need to raise them. Unfortunately, because of her alcoholism, I never had this with my grandmother. Drugs and alcohol kept her from getting to experiencing having a grandchild in a healthy way. Alcohol took the place of the meaningful relationships I’m sure she wanted to have.

This is my story. So many people have stories about the loved ones who replaced them with drugs or alcohol.

After I turned twelve, I didn’t talk to my grandmother for 22 years… For those 22 years,
I thought about the relationship we could have had. Even as I went through my own struggles, it was so easy to blame her. Yet after figuring out for myself what caused my descent into trouble, I was able to get a better understanding of some of the things she encountered in life.

In the summer of 2016, I received a phone call from my aunt with the news my grandmother wasn’t doing well. For the first time in 22 years, I talked to her only to find out she had sobered up and turned her life around. She did it not only for herself but for her loved ones as well, including me. I wished it hadn’t taken me so many years to reach out to her. The following day, she passed away.

I know now that even though it took so long and so many years of unanswered questions, my grandmother left this world with answers to her own questions. She knew her grandson still loved her despite all the years of not knowing. Ultimately, alcohol will lead you down a road of regret and not knowing. It is a wedge between yourself and your perception of the love and happiness the world really has to offer.

If I had one piece of advice, it would be don’t cut off those you love who are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. Reach out, even if only to inspire them to work to better themselves. When they come around, assist them into treatment.

Please learn more about the Narconon program and how it could make a difference in the lives of your loved one.


Daniel Humphreys

While growing up in a country town in Mississippi, Daniel fell into drug addiction. He turned his life around and not only has become a better father to his young son, he now helps others who have the goal of becoming sober.