Name: Brooke Madisyn Snyder
From: Plainfield , IN
Addiction Awareness Scholarship
Grandpa. This word is often associated with a fun and loving family member that is your best friend through childhood and someone you know your whole life. For me addiction took away that part of my childhood and turned grandpa into an addict. My grandpa has suffered from alcoholism from before I was born and would still affect my family to this day.
In my grandpa’s lifetime he has had seventeen DUI’s and this impacted how I grew up with a grandpa. From a young age I remember not seeing him for long periods at a time and then him being there alot all at once. Being young I did not understand why my grandpa was so inconsistent with seeing my family and I. As I grew up and learned more and more the memories started to make sense. Three memories have impacted me on a great level. The first being when I was only 7 years old. One of the times my grandpa was on a visitation release and at my house he had a heart attack while over. I remember having to go stay at my neighbors house for a while, and my mom and him went to the hospital. Later that night my mom came home, but never did we go see my grandpa in the hospital to check on him. Later I would come to find out this was because he was in jail and had to be in the jail hospital while he recovered and being so young I did not get to see him. Not long after that he was released from jail and he came to live with us. I didn’t quite understand why grandpa was living with us for so long and I thought he had his own house since he used to not come around so often. Him living with us was good. For a while. But the biggest way that addiction impacted me was while he was living with us. My grandpa was watching my sister and me one night when he had to run an errand. He took us with him to Indianapolis to an apartment complex, and left us in the car while he ran in and came back. He placed a bag into the glove compartment and then we went to McDonalds. Being so young we did not think much of the errand but soon after that Grandpa no longer lived with us and we all thought he moved out. The older I got I learned that his errand was to get pills from one of his friends and my parents found out he took us along and they no longer felt comfortable with him there. This would impact me as I grew up and it only stayed the same. Most recently he got a DUI 2 years ago and I would go to argue for my younger cousins. All I wanted from my Grandpa was for him to be around for my cousins childhood and not miss certain parts like he did mine. Addiction is a disease that he fights everyday and is something that I know I have to watch in myself. I have had three surgeries and after each I do not take the prescription I instead use over the counter medicine because I fear hurting my family like I got hurt. This had strained my relationship with my grandpa because of a disease that needs more understanding.
Addiction is something that is a fight each day and there needs to be more help for addicts like my grandpa. Addiction impacts family everyday in all different ways and bringing light to the subject will help those suffering. Addiction is a real disease. And addicts need those to fight for their sobriety along the journey with them.