The car ride home was pretty awkward. I knew I was taking my father back home so he could pick up right where he left off. My father continued to talk about the people, how EVERYone else had problems, and he was not like them, he did not have problems….right.
As we got closer to the house, my father asked me if I could stop by the store so he can pick up a case of beer. Really?
“Are you [insert expletive] serious?!?! You want me to stop and get you alcohol on the drive back from rehab??!” I said… Does he not remember everything that happened a few days ago and why I had to take him to the hospital?
I did not take him to the store, instead I pulled in the driveway and walked into the house. My father ended up taking the car and driving himself to the liquor store to bring back a case of beer…pathetic!
I could not even look at my father any more. Seeing him drink completely disgusted me. About every half hour, I would hear the fresh “crack” of a new beer. That night, he drank the entire case of beer he bought earlier that day.
While my father was at rehab, I felt relieved. However, I did not get my hopes up that he would come back and stay sober. I knew the drill. I knew he was not going to quit drinking, but at least I would get a few days of peace and quiet.
The day after I took my father to the hospital, my father had called me. I was afraid he was going to tell me to come pick him up. Instead, he was complaining about all the people in the hospital and how he was not as messed up as they were. He was angry that the doctors would not let him leave.
I was pleased that the doctor was not letting him come home yet even though I’m sure my dad was putting up a fight about it – he needed to get better and to realize he needs to stop drinking. The calls continued for the next few days. I just told my father that he needed to stay there and get help.
After 3 days of being in the hospital, my father called me and told me he has been released and he needs to be picked up. That was short, I thought. I was not surprised. I also knew things would not go well once he came home, I knew he would go back to drinking every day, all day long.
Not even fifteen minutes in the bed and my father started to talk about how he does not belong there and all the people around were completely “messed up”. In particular, he was blatantly talking about the man in the bed next to him – who simply had a broken leg by the way – saying that this guy was “pitiful and disturbing”.
This raised my embarrassment even more as the man in the bed next to my father was completely awake and could hear and understand everything my father was saying.
The next doctor came into his room and explained that they need to keep my father for evaluation for a minimum of 48 hours, but said that he will probably keep my father longer. FINALLY! Someone thinks he has a problem and is going to keep him here until he realizes he has a problem.
I said my goodbyes to my father and stepped out of the room with the doctor. I told the doctor that my dad is seriously messed up. I told the doctor that he drinks constantly and that my father will try to downplay his drinking. I mentioned that he has been to rehab before and when he gets out he drinks twice as hard and to be careful with him.
As I walked out of the hospital, it felt like all the nurses and employees were looking at me. It could have been my imagination, however, I knew that my embarrassment had come back. I tried to push my embarrassment away by thinking about how relaxing it was going to be at home for at least 48 hours while my father was gone.
As we arrived at the emergency room, it was pretty crowded and it looked like there was a bit of a wait. This meant I had to sit in public with my father, in the state that he was in, for a while.
Actually, we did not sit because there were no open seats available. I did not have a problem standing up against the wall, I just wished there was a seat available for my father who slowly started to slide down the wall, slowly. He did not stop sliding either. Slowly, but surely he ended up on the ground…not sitting on the ground, he was literally lying on the ground.
This was pretty much the most embarrassing moment of my life as my father was completely sprawled out on the floor in the emergency room. To make things worse, a gentleman who appeared to have a severe drug addiction stood up and told me “this s*** is embarrassing, put that guy in a chair”.
So, I reached down and had to lift my immobile father off the ground and into the chair where he passed out until he was called to be seen by a doctor. The doctor asked him a series of questions about why he was there and what happened. My father replied “I drink too much and I need help”.
The doctor asked if he was willing to go through treatment and to do whatever is necessary to stop drinking. My father said, “yes”. The doctor proceeded to admit him, put him into a bed in the ER.
One morning I had some errands to run with my girlfriend. As we walked out of the house I had seen that my father was passed out on the couch in the living room as usual. When our errands were nearly finished I got a phone call from my mother. When I had answered the phone she sounded very upset. She had told me that my father had called her and said that he was going to die and that he was sorry and goodbye. Unsure of what was actually happening, she asked me to hurry back to the house and take him to the hospital.
I got in the car and hurried back to the house to check on him. Even after what my mother had told me on the phone, I was not really prepared for what I was about to see. I walked into the house and my father was in rare form. He was right in the middle of what appeared to be him hitting rock bottom.
He was hunched over on the couch with his head in his hand. His other trembling hand was holding what was probably his tenth cigarette in the hour and a half since we had left. The thick smoke in the air was choking me and irritating my eyes. The entire scene was disgusting.
He was crying and basically hysterical. He was completely drunk. This was the worst I had ever seen him. It looked as if he had fallen again because the cut on his forehead was opened back up and there was a little fresh blood on his face, I also later found blood on the kitchen floor near the refrigerator. Perhaps he fell on his way to get more booze.
He looked up at me from the couch and could barely speak. He was crying pretty hard and slurring his speech just as bad. He said that he felt like he was dying and he asked me to take him to the hospital. He said that he was sorry for not being a better father and that “this was the end”.
I told him to get up and that I was going to take him to the hospital.
Although I was disappointed at my father for starting to drink after his second attempt at “rehab”, I never said anything to him about how I felt or how he should stop drinking after he acted like he did not want to drink any longer. So, the day’s went by and after his little binge, he fell off the wagon once again and was drinking every day…well every night.
Here was my justification for this madness. I kept telling myself “at least he is not drinking during the daytime”. I am not proud of this justification, but it worked for me at the time. I guess this was the part where I was still making up excuses for my father because he was still productive during the day.
As he would only drink at night, he would wake up in the morning and the first thing he would do after drinking a cup of coffee was to go to the store and buy more beer for the night. He would still drink about a 12 pack of beer on average a night. However, after his trip to the store, he would look for a job, eat dinner with my girlfriend and I when we would cook and he would even do the yard work.
This was all a shock to me because when he lived a the house by himself, he would have a neighborhood kid cut the lawn for him, he would eat bologna sandwiches every day and he would unproductively sit on the couch. This is when it occurred to me that maybe he did not go out of state so he could stop drinking, he just wanted to re-organize his drinking schedule.
The calls did not let up as the weeks passed by. My father grew more persistent about trying to get me to come and pick him up. The longer that was away from his house where he could drink freely the more the calls I received. I would get calls from as early as 7:00a.m. to as late as 10:00p.m.. He was trying as hard as he could to get me to drive to another state to pick him up.
He tried every excuse in the book for me to pick him up. From making up appointments that he had with doctors for his “migraines” – saying he could not miss the appointment, to trying to bribe me by offering me money. A few times, he mentioned how he was going to get on a bus that would take him home. He like to point out that it was an 18 hour bus trip that would drop him in a completely unsafe part of town, as if he was trying to make me feel guilty or feel bad about this. I knew he was not going to get on a bus and come home and I felt he needed to stay there and get better.
Apparently, I was not alone, he was also trying to get anybody that would answer his calls to come and “rescue” him. But, everyone else turned him down – they knew what was going on and wanted him to get better as well – as they did not want to be the one to pick him up and ruin his chances of staying sober.
In the beginning of the fourth week, his constant attempts to get me to pick him up suddenly stopped. Two entire days had passed by before I heard from him. However, when I did hear from him, I was disappointed to hear what he had to say. He had given me the news that he would be coming back home in just a few short days. He claimed that he felt great and his time away has shown him that he did not need to drink.
This time, I did not buy into his claims this time. I took everything that he said with a grain of salt. I was fully prepared for yet another failed rehabilitation. I guess that I would find out soon enough if my suspicions were valid.
The time was approaching for my girlfriend and I to move in with my father. A week before we moved in, my father had called and told me my mom was going to pick him up and take him with her. He said he was going to go down to my grandmothers house to get better. My grandmother did not allow drinking in her house so this would be like a type of rehab for him. He informed me that he would be gone for two months.
I thought he was serious about rehab this time because he came up with the idea on his own. Three days after he arrived at my grandmothers house, the calls started. My father wanted me to come pick him up. First, let me point out that my father did not have a valid drivers license because he failed to remember to renew it. Also, it was a 10 hour drive to my grandmothers’ house, it was not something I could do. It was not something I wanted to do. For another thing, my father wanted to go down there to quit drinking, I was going to let him quit drinking. I was not going to rescue him from the “hell” he said he was going through.
He would call me every day. Either with some excuse about how he had to go shopping for this or that (like he could not pick it up at a store in the state he was in) or how he had to do something at home. If I told him those tasks could wait, he would give me a list of things to do since he was not at home to do those things. Most of these tasks were not urgent and like I told him, these things could have waited until he got back home.
I would ignore most of his calls because I knew what he wanted me to do and I was tired of telling him that I was not going to come down there to pick him up and that my mom would be taking him home in in a few short weeks. This did not make him stop calling me. Every so often when I would answer the phone, I kept telling him that he needs to quit drinking, he needs to get better and that this is a good thing.
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).
While my father was in rehab, my mother had asked me to stop by and get the mail every couple of days. He had went into the rehabilitation facility on a Thursday afternoon, so on Saturday, I stopped by my parents house to pick up the mail. I took the mail into the house, laid it on the table and proceeded to clean up a little bit from where my father had been on his binge.
After I finished cleaning up and was getting ready to leave, I was taken by surprise as my father walked in the front door with a bottle of whiskey in hand. The optimism and hope that I had just a few short days ago, was gone.
He was just as surprised to see me as I was to see him. He didn’t notice my car parked on the street in front of the neighbors’ house. I immediately asked him what he was doing home. His reply was full of stutters as he was trying to come up with an excuse for his failed rehab attempt. He walked over to the kitchen to pour himself a drink as he tried to explain to me why his “recovery” lasted for two days.
“I did not need any help.”
“That place can’t do anything for me, the people that are in there are messed up.”
“You should have seen those people in there, I’m not like that.”
“Those people have problems, I don’t.”
That is when I left him to his whiskey. I was disgusted in the fact that he thought he did not have a problem, yet continued to pour himself a glass as he told me this. I was disgusted because I knew he needed help, yet he still refused to believe it.
On my way home, I called my mom to see if she knew about my dad leaving rehab. She was just as surprised as I was.