The Friday after my father came back from his 2nd rehabilitation – one week after he came home, he had 11 beers left in the fridge. Can you guess how many he drank?
While I was completely expecting him to drink 5 beers on Friday night and the remaining 6 on Saturday night, I woke up to quite the surprise. ALL 11 BEERS WERE GONE! The empty box was thrown onto the counter as if it were a trophy for him. From having gone out Friday night myself, I asked if he had anyone over that could have assisted him in drinking the 11 beers. My father replied with a simple “no” as if nothing had happened at all. I was quite disgusted.
Also to my surprise, I found that when I was throwing out some garbage in the trash can in the kitchen, there was an empty pint of whiskey. Words can not describe how I felt. I was beyond disgusted and beyond disappointed in him. How could he do this? Why is he drinking this much again? Like most things, my girlfriend was right and I should have listened to her instead of thinking that one drink could lead to eleven beers plus a pint of whiskey in a few short hours.
There were no migraines to speak of. He was not working and had not been around distraught customers. There was NO excuse for any of this! He seemed happy the first day he walked in the door one week ago. He seemed better, I should have trusted my gut last weekend.
After my dad’s “first trip to rehab”, he quickly went back to work. He tried to get back to a “normal” schedule as soon as possible. He obviously was not an alcoholic!
Wait a minute? After years of drinking and months of binge drinking on his “leave of absence”, one three day tour of rehab is what makes him go back to work? After all of his “migraines” and sleepless nights, three days watching other people makes it go away? Everything is back to normal again because “he is not like those other people”? What it looked like was my dad’s “migraine” problem is gone, he can sleep through the night like a baby and can still drink whenever he wants because other people were worse. Right?
The reality of it was that it did not add up! He acted like one minute he was bad enough to go to rehab, the next minute he was too good for rehab. Did not need it, there is not problem at all. I knew better and things do not work like that. What he was trying to do was prove to my mom that he was right, he did not need help and he did not need rehab.
Boy was that an understatement. Going back to work only caused him to complain about “migraines” and how much he hated his job. I bet you can guess where he was every day after work.
Drinking every day is not wrong, it is just a daily routine I guess (sarcastic tone).
In the middle of my father’s medical leave, or vacation, as I called it, my grandmother (who lived out of state) became ill. My mother ended up staying with her for the duration of her recovery, which was about two months. With my mom gone, this left more responsibilities on my father’s lap. This left my father in a state of self pity as he was “incapable” of taking care of the daily chores by himself. At this point, with no one in the house, he started drinking heavily.
My mom became worried about him and called my uncle and I so we could occasionally stop by the house. My mom tried to not involve me at first, but one day she could not get a hold of my uncle. So, I was a little in the dark about what was going on.
The first time I went over there, my father was listening to one sappy country song on repeat, completely drunk at 1:00 in the afternoon. He smelt like whiskey and vomit, his eyes were bloodshot as if he had been crying all night. He then began to tell me stories about his life like he was trying to convince me to be proud of him. He seemed embarrassed that I saw him in his state. He could not stand up, he could not walk, he was slurring his speech.
After a couple of hours of telling me stories about his past, his life and his experiences he told me “your mom wants me to go to rehab, so I’m going to give it a try”. This made me feel a little optimistic as it seemed like he wanted to stop drinking, that he realized he had a problem and was willing to address it. That optimism did not last long.
I never knew my father had a problem with “migraines” until about five years ago. My father claimed that these “migraines” were the reason he could not sleep at night. In fact, he claimed that the “migraines” were so bad that could not work.
So, he started taking days off work.
On his days off, he would sleep in and then get back on the couch to drink away his “migraines”. He still stuck to his story that drinking helped get rid of his “migraines”. His story grew into this: the migraines would keep him awake at night (which is why he could not sleep) and he “had” to drink more so he could get rid of the “migraines” so he would be able fall asleep.
I would like to point out that my father worked at a place that had strict and specific attendance policies. So, once he started getting in trouble for taking so many days off, he started using his vacation days one day at a time. His vacation days quickly ran out and my father was running out of ways he could get off work.
This is when he decided take full advantage of his “migraines” and use them as an excuse to take take a medical leave of absence from his job. Funny thing is, he never spoke of “migraines” during his whole four months off of work. Why? I do not know. But, I am pretty sure it was because he had free reign to drink all day…again.
I stayed under the assumption that my father was a just a “normal guy” until i was around sixteen or seventeen years old. I believe that it was during my junior year of high school when I started to really think something was wrong.
Around this time, my dad lost his job. It seemed that everything during this time period was a little extra stressful. Of course it was stressful for both my parents as my mom had tried to work as much overtime as she could and my dad would stay indoors all day working on his resume and applying for jobs. Oftentimes, doing all of this with a glass of whiskey right by his side.
As time passed, my dad started to get more used to the “at home life” and slowly started developing new sleeping habits. Sleeping habits that led to new drinking habits. Slowly, he started staying up later and sleeping in later. He would also start to have the occasional mid-day drink when he would watch television.
During this time claimed to have trouble sleeping. He would tell me that he did not know what was wrong, he would just toss and turn until he gave up trying to sleep, so he retreated to the couch. Of course this “retreat” included having a few drinks. He claimed that the drinking helped him to fall asleep.
I feel that I really tried to avoid the issues at home the best that I could. I started working a part time job, I played baseball, spent time with friends and even started a band with my friends. I did all that I could to avoid home like it was the plague.