It’s Ash. Are you ready? I’m not, but too bad.

We could start it all from where it began, but I think it’s deeper than that. That’s part of the recovery process, in the long run, figuring out what really started the addiction. It’s not the first time you popped a pill. It’s not the first time you realized you couldn’t stop.

No, what really effects your addiction is what lead you to it in the first place.

I swore up and down I would never be like my father. A classic story of course. Dad is an alcoholic, likes to beat on his wife and kid. I’ve never touched alcohol other than the odd glass of wine at the yearly gala. That’s because of dad.

My dad was a cop, and they actually do have a higher rate of substance abuse or domestic violence than you’d think. Sometimes all people want is a power trip, and being a cop gives them that chance. Of course, I do not hate cops, not at all. But having that position means you are ripe for abusing it. Just like dad did.

He was a pretty okay guy when alcohol wasn’t involved. But when he’d had a few drinks, it was all downhill from there.

I saw him fade away. He was strong and capable, and alcohol tore at him like nothing else. A few drinks and he was the Hulk. He was a monster with no self-control. From the time I was 12 until I was 16, he managed to fracture my mom’s jaw, break her arm, break my rib, and cause countless bruises or invisible injuries.

Once I turned 16, I was too big to push around, and I wouldn’t let him hurt mom. That just made him angrier of course. He broke our stuff instead. It didn’t matter that I needed my laptop for school or that those were library books. Who cares that mom used those dishes to cook the dinners he demanded. All of them ended up shattered regardless.

My trauma is, like I said, basic. I wanted nothing to do with dad as soon as I turned 18. I could say that all those injuries we sustained made me want to be a doctor, but that would be a lie. I just wanted out of this situation and to live a better life.

 I wanted to be able to provide for my mom later on, once she got the courage to leave my dad. So I went to school and got good grades. I applied to med school, and I passed with flying colors. I did my residency, I moved onwards and better, and I didn’t have to deal with my dad.

Family dinners at Christmas didn’t count. Dad had to be on his best behavior when I brought Lisa around.