Over my struggles with my father, I have found out that it is better to help myself to deal with the struggles that I have gone through in lieu of my father’s drinking habits. I had spent a lot of time and energy trying to get my father to see that he had a problem, however, he continued on like what I said does not matter. This angered me for a little while because my father always resisted my attempts and I only wanted him to stop drinking so he would be able to live a long and healthy life.
But, after I realized that I do not have power over the situation, I decided to move on and help myself deal with the feelings of anger and distress over my father’s actions. If I am not able to help him, I will at least help myself deal with the ugly truth that my father will never be the same until the day he decided to opt for a healthier lifestyle.
So, my advice for people who have to go through a similar situation, is to try and not let the alcoholic in your life’s problem affect your own life as much. Each day, try to make your life better and do not let yourself get down if you can not get through to the alcoholic in your life.
One of the most important things I learned with my journey dealing with my alcoholic father is that I can not help him, my mom can not help him, my whole entire family put together will not be able to help him. He has to be the one who wants to commit to helping himself, or he will never fully get out of this state of mind.
I have realized that the more people who tell him he needs to get help, the more he will resist. Basically, if he is convinced that he needs to get better and go to rehab, he may try to go to rehab, but will end up right where he is right now. If this happens, he will never fully get over his addiction. However, if he makes a commitment to himself, this commitment will be more sincere and he will have his own desires to change his life for the better.
It is a hard thing to deal with an alcoholic. I feel that if he will continue to do what he pleases no matter how much my family and I beg and plead for him to stop. With that said, I have realized that I might as well try to help myself overcome the obstacles that result from dealing with an alcoholic and let him find his own path to recovery.
For reasons I do not know about, but can probably guess, my parents decided to separate about three months after they moved into the new rental house. So, my dad moved into an apartment by himself and my mom and brother stayed at the new house they just moved into.
Around this time, I was having financial problems myself and decided to move into the rental house with my mom and brother. Every so often, my mom would tell me to call my dad or go check on him (he lived a few blocks away). Even though I called my father frequently, she still told me to do these things.
I would always call him, but rarely visited because I did not want to visit him in the state he was in. I went over his apartment only a few times and every time I did go there he was intoxicated or on his way there. Plus, all he wanted to do was talk to me about his relationship problems with my mom and I did not really care to hear about them.
The only good thing that came out of my father moving into an apartment was that he was the sole bread winner and needed a way to pay his bills. This is good because he did go to work every day like clockwork. He would even boast about how he could get through a whole day of work with a giant “migraine”.
Soon enough, my dad’s “migraines” caused him to start missing work, again. This time my dad paid more attention to his company’s attendance guidelines so that another medical leave of absence did not have to become necessary. This lasted until the house my parents owned started to go into foreclosure.
Naturally, my dad took this as another excuse to drink. He claimed he was a “victim” of the trending adjustable rate mortgage that everyone was buying into around the time they bought their house. When it came closer to my parents having to leave their house, more of his excuses were pouring in.
About a month before my parents had to leave their house, my dad took yet another leave of absence. This time was because he had to “prepare” for the foreclosure by doing “paperwork and such” and finding another house. I am actually surprised to say that all of this happened, meaning my parents found a rental house to live in. That took a week.
As for the rest of the month my dad had taken off work, he took full advantage of the couch when my mom was at work. When it was time for my mom to come home from work every day, my dad was very unproductive in helping her get things together. So, to prepare to move, my mom packed up their things and organized a garage sale with very little help from my father. My father, who took off work to get these things done.
Moving day came, I was surprised to see my dad was sober. However, as soon as everything was in the new house, and before a thing was unpacked, the first thing he did was sit on the couch with a glass of whiskey. Some leave of absence to get things done!
When I got older and my bedtime was later, I became more aware of my father’s drinking habits. Since I did not have to go to bed so early, I noticed that my dad refilled his tall cocktail glass more than a few times a night.
I started to question to myself whether this was considered normal. As I thought about answers, I thought about my friend’s stepfather, who I knew to be an alcoholic. My friend’s stepfather would openly drink several drinks, even through the daytime. He also demonstrated erratic behavior. I remember thinking to myself “my dad is not like that guy, my dad is not an alcoholic.” In comparison to my friend’s stepfather, my dad seemed normal.
So, there was my answer. My dad was not an alcoholic, he just had a few cocktails every night before he went to bed. It did not seem like anything to worry about. My dad went about his every day life, just like everyone else. He had a steady job ,never missed work, never acted like a different person, never went to a bar, he was never abusive, the list can go on about how his drinking did not seem to effect his every day life. The list can go on about why I did not see that he did not have a drinking problem.
All I knew is he was not like the alcoholics like I saw on TV and he was not like my friend’s stepfather. To me, he was not an alcoholic.
My father used to come home from work every night, eat dinner with his family and retire to his favorite chair in front of the television. This was his relaxation time. A relaxation time to unwind from the daily grind with a glass of whiskey.
I never thought of this as any different than a daily nightcap or just one daily drink. In fact, looking on it now, he probably drank more than the one drink I initially thought.
All I can remember is the tall cocktail glass with ice in it. Just one glass. It never occurred to me that this glass could be refilled. It is not like there were beer cans lying around to make me think “dang, he drinks a lot” – the single glass could easily be refilled without my notice.
For one thing, I did not notice because he would drink when was getting ready to go to sleep – when I could not keep tabs on his drinking, even if I wanted to or paid attention enough to keep tabs on his drinking. For another thing, I did not notice that this was a bad thing. I thought my dad just had one drink a night, I never thought of looking for signs that he was an alcoholic because I thought one glass of whiskey a day was normal.
As an elementary school kid, I was too young to understand the concept of habits or alcohol abuse. It was not until later in my high school years that I realized something was off about him drinking so much. I was much older when I realized, I never saw it coming.
Hi, my name is A.L. Concord and my father is an alcoholic.
Yes, that’s right, my father is the alcoholic. I’m just a normal kind of guy who has had to deal with the emotional distress that comes with having an alcoholic in your life.
The funny thing is, my dad has not always been an alcoholic. From the time I was born, up until a few years ago, my dad used to be the type of person who would enjoy life. Let me tell you a little about how he used to be.
My dad would wake up early every morning to get a head start to his day, even on his days off. He was a very caring person who always put his family and friends first. It was like he could not wait to have a good time or do something with his family and he always made sure that everyone around him was having as good of a time as he was. He was a great person and everyone in his life felt proud that they knew him.
Unfortunately, all of those things that I spoke of have dissolved away slowly over the past few years. This is exactly what has encouraged me to be here today. To share my experiences with you.
I am not writing about my experiences because I think I have had it worse than others or writing because I think my life is awful and I want people to feel sorry for me. I am writing because of the exact opposite reason. I am simply here writing this blog because I know what it feels like to lose someone close to me over an addiction to alcohol.
I know that I am not alone here. I know that there are people out there dealing with similar situations as mine, or situations that are worse than mine. So, I have decided to reach out and help those who are dealing with the alcoholic in their life – to let them know that they are not alone and encourage them to speak up about it because those who deal with alcoholics are hurting too.
If you have dealt with or are currently dealing with an alcoholic, feel free to share your story or comment on my post, so others can feel like they are not alone either. We can take on this together.