My Dad(7 Posts)
Forgive me if this is long, I just wanted to write all of my thoughts down and get some advice.
My dad is an alcoholic. I've suspected it for a while but is only in the last 6 months or so that his drinking is out in the open when my mum, sister and I came home from a weekend away to find him drunk. He has suffered with depression for a long time, he doesn't always take his anti depressants properly and he drinks when he is feeling down. He works from home all day every day, so he drinks when everyone else is out at work.
At first, my mum cut his drinking down to only one night a week. They used to drink both nights of the weekend. He showed improvements but they didn't last, and he basically spent the entire month of July drunk. When my mum found this out, she told him he could only drink on special occasions. For 3 weeks he was a new man, his old self. Then a special occasion cropped up, and the day after he was found asleep on the sofa with an empty glass of wine. We were due to go on holiday a week after, so mum essentially turned a blind eye and it was awful, he was drunk all holiday, and when we got back they basically went back to their old drinking habits of drinking all weekend. Then on Friday just gone we came home to him drunk again.
My mum gets very upset, she cries and says she just doesn't know what to do. I've told her my dad cannot drink anymore, that he has an addiction and he needs to cut it out completely, but she just says that there is no point him doing that because he will just drink behind our back and that she thinks there needs to be another way of fixing this where he can still drink socially. I don't think there is a way of doing this.
I live with my parents with my 2yo DD and she is becoming more and more aware by the day, but we have nowhere else to go. My DD adores her grandpa and I don't want her to grow up thinking of him as a drunk. There was an incident once when he fell asleep at his desk with my DD on his lap as she'd wandered in to see him, and she got stuck between him and the desk. Luckily she screamed out and I heard her and ran down, but it horrifies me to think what could've happened if she hadn't been able to scream out for me. I know it's not his fault, I know he's not well. I just want my dad back and I don't know what to do. If anyone could give me any advice I would be really grateful. Thank you.
Have you tried Al-anon? I have heard of people who have had support from them.
In my experience, it is extremely hard to be around an addict. They may not mean to, but they lie about how much they are drinking etc, and it destroys everyone around them. However, I don't actually think you can change the addict. They have to want to change themself.
Good luck. I'm sorry to say you will need it.
Move out. It's a toxic environment for your DD and you're blurring the consequences for your parents.
Sounds like your mum has a problem too if she's joining in the drinking.
You can't do anything to change them. Nothing you do, nothing you say will make any difference except to drag you further into their mess, so you have to protet yourself and your dd.
Nothing you or your Mum say will make any difference to a drinking alcoholic. Attempts to control him are doomed and will probably only make him attempt to hide his alcohol. It's completely counter-intuitive to not help people you love dearly, but you must not protect him from the consequences of his drinking. He will only stop when he wants to, and cushioning him stops him from hitting 'bottom'.
I'm a sober alcoholic and nothing stopped me until the pain became unbearable, and I got help for myself because I wanted to. And my life is completely unrecognisable now (in a good way!) so there is hope.
You must do whatever you need to do protect yourself and your daughter from this. Being around an alcoholic is painful, baffling and thankless. Al-anon may be a good place to get support for you, and maybe your Mum.
Just giving it up for a bit won't help your dad as it's not addressing why he feels the need to drink.
You and your mum can only help so much but it's down to your dad to do the hard work. He has to want to do it.
You do have my sympathies though, living with an alcoholic is horrible and confusing. I agree with others about moving out
He also needs to be careful about stopping without getting any help, it can be quite dangerous depending on how much he drinks.
Can you get him to go to his gp?
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