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Scared that my dad is an alcoholic

(6 Posts)
WhatToDo123 Fri 19-Jul-13 00:22:33

I'm crying at the moment, I shouldn't really be on mumsnet because I'm not a parent but I need help.

I'm 18 and I'm scared that my dad is an alcoholic - he will never go an evening without drinking, ever.

He usually drinks about two thirds of a bottle of wine, sometimes a whole bottle. He is never violent or angry when he drinks, and he doesn't really get 'drunk', he just goes quite sleepy and falls asleep at the table or on the sofa, wherever he's been drinking.

I can't explain why it upsets me, it just really does and I cry when I think about it. I've spoken to him about it lots, and he says he understands why I'm upset but I really think he doesn't - when I try and have a proper discussion about it he is either in denial about how much/how often he drinks, or he tries to turn it into a bit of a joke.

I just wish I could have one night where he doesn't drink. sad I don't know why I'm so sad about it, because he never is horrible or anything after drinking, so it doesn't really have a negative effect on me, it just scares me that he seemingly can't have one night of not drinking.

What do I do? sad

SunshineBossaNova Fri 19-Jul-13 01:44:43

Hello Whattodo, you're welcome on here whether you're a parent or not. I'm not either smile

I don't have any advice (I'm sure someone will soon) but didn't want you to think noone was listening. Big hugs xxx

swannylovesu Fri 19-Jul-13 01:58:00

hello whattodo. my dad is an alcoholic. he drinks around a litre of vodka per day. its the hardest thing in the world watching our first superhero in self destruct mode. i recently wrote my dad a letter detailing how i loved him and how scared i was that i would lose him and my 2 ds wouldnt get to know him. He has promised to see someone, whether he has or not is anyones guess. sorry i can't give u any advice really but i'm always here if you need to talk.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Jul-13 08:36:34

What you're describing may or may not be dependency on alcohol. Heavy habitual drinking excused as 'a few glasses of wine to unwind in the evening' goes on in a lot of households these days. I lost a good friend to liver damage so I know how damaging it can be. Its not surprising that you're upset.

The difficult thing to understand here is that, however upset or worried you are about someone else's behaviour, there is not very much you can do to change it, especially if they don't think there is a problem. His choices are not your responsibility. Doctors will look patients in the eye and tell them straight.. 'you drink/eat/smoke too much and you have to stop'.... and, even when presented with the prospect of ill health or premature death, they don't take any notice.

You don't mention a mother or other members of the family. It's more important here to look after yourself - even if that sounds selfish. What support are you getting about your concerns? Is there anyone you can talk to? Have you heard of an organisation called Al-Anon which is for the families of people who abuse alcohol?

misskatamari Fri 19-Jul-13 09:37:14

I really feel for you whattodo. Whether your dad is an alcoholic or not is hard to say but he definitely has a problem with drinking.

Believe me I know how horrible this feels - my mum was an alcoholic, which I became aware of when I was about 11. It escalated when she took early retirement when I was 14 and ended up depressed (would never admit this) and began drinking heavily. It tears you up inside watching someone you love so much hurt themselves, however if there is anything I have learnt over the years it is that unfortunately you cannot fix someone.

You will try, as even though you end up having the same conversation again and again you think that "this time it will work", but unless your dad accepts he has a problem and wants to change nothing you do will work.

I know that is probably the last thing you want to hear, but from years and years of living through it that is what I have learnt.

I would encourage you to try to speak to your dad again and encourage him to cut down on his drinking, as it may be that he isn't an alcoholic and is just a heavy drinker. You may have to accept however that this won't make a difference.

Are there other family members you can speak to about your worries who can offer you support? It can be very lonely dealing with this on you own and just being able to share your worries can help you immensely to cope with it. I wish you the best of luck.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Fri 19-Jul-13 09:40:53

What do I do?

As Cogito says, you look after yourself.

You can't change him : his choices are his own. They are bad choices, but he is the only person who can decide to change, if he wants to. Clearly, he doesn't want to: you have already spoken to him about how upset it makes you, and he has not changed his behaviour.

What you need to do know is make sure that you have all the support that you need, and that you feel free to engage in things that are good and healthy for you : your studies, your friends, your interests and hobbies...

Do you have good friends to go out and have fun with, and to speak to when you are feeling down? A counsellor at school that you could go speak to when you are feeling troubled? Trusted family members who have shown they can listen to you and respect you? Turn to them.

You may also want to contact your nearest branch of Al-Anon, which is a support group for family members of alcoholics.

Be kind to yourself.

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