Name: Mikayla Marie Kelca
From: Bluffton, South Carolina
My Dad’s Perseverance through Addiction
Seasons In Malibu Addiction Awareness Scholarship Essay
Throughout my life I had always had a strong family. They are my rock, always. There were things that had always been, I never thought much about them. Things that I never realized were a problem, because they had always just been; I never told anyone because I didn’t realize it was a struggle.
My dad was someone I always have looked up to, he was hardworking, strong, loving and seemed faultless. He is a great father, but like everyone he has his struggles. I never knew this, probably because he was good at hiding it, but he suffered from Alcoholism. Alcoholism is a mental illness that causes the brain to crave alcohol.
According to my mom, this affected him in his younger years and before he had kids he had been treated, and got better. He got back on his feet, God had convicted him, he was in church, he started a business, got married, and had three kids. He was doing well, but sometimes people slip. He started drinking on special occasions, or vacations. His family had always looked down on two people; My grandfather and my dad. My dad’s siblings always made him feel smaller or lesser than him, even in front of us. My aunt Karen would say that “he’s living up to his expectation of being an alcoholic.” or “Mikayla, your father needs serious help.” My dad was bullied by his family, just as my Grandfather was. Every Thanksgiving for years of my younger life, two topics were brought up: politics and how much my dad is a horrible addict. To be honest, he didn’t even drink everyday like most alcoholics. I believe that the bullying of my Aunts and Uncles towards my dad was the cause of the increase of his addiction. At home, my dad would have a beer every once in a while, for a football game or a poker night with the guys.
Around my 8th grade year it got progressively worse. He would start drinking at home more often, and would have too much to drink. He would “say he doesn’t even like beer, he just craves it.” it was hard to believe him when he would say that, because in my logic I would think, “why is he drunk then?” he began to drink at my brother and I’s sporting events, and tournaments.
Last October, we went to Florence, South Carolina for a soccer tournament. The tournament was so much fun, we ended up winning the whole thing. After our games, the team would hangout or find fun things to do. We went to eat after our first two games, where we all just hung out and had a great time. We watched the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Georgia Bulldogs. The Florence fair was happening the same weekend, we were in town, so we decided to all go to the fair. It was so much fun, the rides, and weird food combos, and the pretty lights. I had driven with my friend Rachel to the fair so parking wouldn’t be super crazy. We were there
till about 10:30 when I got a call from a local number. “Hello, is this Miss Mikayla Kelca?” I answered the question “Yes, it is.” the kind lady on the phone replied with “This is Alicia From the Hilton Garden Inn, and I’m calling about your father.” still confused I responded with “Ok?”. “Well he is at the bar right now, and had too much to drink, would you mind coming downstairs and helping him get to his room?” she responded. I Told the lady where I was and I’ll be there as soon as possible. I turned to Rachel and pulled her aside. I told her I had to leave because my dad wants me back to the hotel. She nodded, and told everyone we were going to go back to the hotel and drop me off. I returned to the hotel to see my dad still at the bar, with the same lady
who called me behind the bar. The lady asked if he wanted anything else and my dad responded with “No, I think I’ve had too much.” she pours him a small glass with what I presume was a whiskey, and says “You sure?’’ my dad pulled out a 20 and went to hand it to her. Furiously I grabbed his money and said “why would you pour another drink after he told you no? I’m pretty sure over-serving customers is against the law.” I put the twenty in my pocket, and brought him to the room. My dad falls asleep, and I quickly call my mom to tell her the story. Crying in the bathroom, I now realized why my brother stopped allowing my dad to take him to tournaments. I would always hear faint arguments between my brother and my mom about it, but I never wanted to admit that my father had a problem.
He had always struggled with it, but my mom was good at hiding him from us. I felt hurt, betrayed and angry. I never told anyone except my family about this. Not even my closest friends know about my dad’s problem. I decided to start doing research about Alcoholism and the genetic patterns of it. I remember flying out to California, and talking with my aunt at dinner. My dad and my uncle Brian had gone to go pick up sushi. My aunt, sitting across from me, starts the conversation by saying “I feel so sorry for your family.” confused I responded with “Why?”. She starts to talk badly upon my dad, and his problems and every single mistake he has ever made. I decided to stand up for him by saying “What makes you different from him? At Least he doesn’t bring up every mistake you have ever made, especially to your kids.” I had Shocked my aunt. She sat there, I’m assuming reflecting on her own flaws. I then got up and went to my room. My dad has always been one of my idols, he works hard, he goes to church and truly loves God. He’s a good person, but every good person has a fault which is what makes them human. Addiction has affected me negatively before, but now I understand that I can’t judge others for it because everyone suffers from it. I choose to refrain from alcohol, because of my father’s addiction. This disease has been shown to be genetic throughout my family. My father has been getting better, he had a dental surgery which made him refrain from alcohol for a few months. It was a struggle, but it changed his habits. He is strong. I want to have his strength, because he preserves through everything.
Few months ago, my dad suffered from two misdiagnosed heart attacks. The doctors had told him he had esophagitis, a condition with extreme acid reflux, the reality was he had two heart attacks. Five weeks ago, he felt shortness of breath and decided to go into the hospital. He was rushed into emergency triple bypass surgery. This was eye-opening for my dad. He went from working all day to sitting in bed not allowed out of the house. He went from eating steaks and heavy red meats to eating soups and more vegetables. I was at dinner with him a few nights ago and he told me, “This experience is my new testament. The pastimes of drinking, smoking are over, now I need to be selfish, and think about my health right now.” This statement settled with me, because he’s changing. I’m sure he will have ups and downs through this time, and I’m also sure there will be temptations. I also have the faith in him that he will push through. My father is my idol, someone I look up to. He is a fighter, hard worker, and he’s the
His whole life, people tell him he’s not as good as they are because of his mental illness, and yet he is still a great dad. He was always looked over, and yet he’s still very successful. His business is thriving, his family is happy, he is strong in his faith, and now he is taking back his addiction and overcoming it. People every day suffer from Addiction and Alcoholism, and have similar experiences as my dad. Some people never persevere and make it to the other side because they had been looked down upon. We need to change society, and make others realize that this is a mental illness. We need to educate others that we need to help those with
this fault, instead of looking upon them as they are lesser than worthy.