Alcohol has destroyed so many beautiful things in my life, including myself. I have witnessed the destruction of my parent’s relationship and I have watched the people I love slowly drink themselves to death.
My journey with alcohol began at a very young age, and like many others, I was drawn to it. I was surrounded by people that used alcohol to numb trauma, to celebrate, or to just forget about life itself. I come from illness, from moments of regret, from loss and separation.
I had every reason in the world to drink. To numb my traumas, to celebrate my victories and my losses, and to just forget about life. So that’s what I did. I used alcohol to cope with the reality of my life and it literally destroyed me.
I damaged my spirt, my heart, my mind, and my body. I allowed this liquid poison to dictate my life, to control me. It was like my spirt left my body, I was no longer human but a fragile shell, empty and easily broken.
To this day, I am not really sure what saved me. Or how I had the power to overcome such an addiction. But what I do know, I can look at alcohol critically and see it for what it really is. I can look at my family and see how alcohol has played such an incredible role in destroying it.
My family has suffered so many losses to the effects of alcohol. I have watched my father bury his brothers, one by one. I have seen the young men in my family perish. I have watched my own mother suffer from her addictions and have heard oral truths of my fathers.
Alcohol brings out the worse in people, it creates suffering, and exploits all that is good. It is and continues to be a colonial weapon. A substance used to distract and demise populations.
So many people I love have been stolen from me. Their lives only half lived, and their legacies often distorted by the bottle.
But I am here to tell their stories, to represent them in good light and to bring awareness of the destruction alcohol has brought to my family, to my community and to my nation.
Msɨt Nokma’w (All My Relations)
Jasmine LaBillois, Eel River Bar First Nation