In desperate need for help with dad's alcoholism...
I just joined this forum today, in the hopes of moving toward a direction where I can get a hold of my life (in relation to my dad's drinking).
I will be turning 27 in a few months, but as long as I can remember my dad's drinking has always been out of control. Some of my oldest memories of growing up were of holidays/weekends where my dad spent days and nights sprawled out on the couch or floor after passing out from excessive drinking. According to my mom and other family friends who knew my dad long ago, he's been living the same lifestyle ever since before she married him.
My dad was always the primary source of income in our house over the years, and having a good job he always managed to take care of the household expenses. Over the years, however, his drinking has gotten worse and worse - not to mention his inability to hold down a job. He supported me through university, and when I graduated things definitely took a turn for the worse. In the past 5 years, he has gone from a very promising and stable position (for about 7 years) to jumping from one job to another to make ends meet. Needless to say, that great job was put to an end due to the drinking. I remember any time anyone brought up the topic of his drinking, he would become very combative and say things like "how can I have a drinking problem? I'm the one paying for the mortgage!" or some other reference to his financial household duties. He has never once admitted he has a problem/addiction...eventhough our family has nearly been brought to its knees as a result of it.
As far as I can remember, he's always been a weekend drinker...who unfortunately would often times drink all day from when he got off work Friday afternoon, and then all of Saturday and Sunday and then either call in sick Monday morning, or he would muster the energy to make it to work (of course, smelling of alcohol) often times only to return home early in the day due to some unknown reason. He, of course, would never admit any incidents or problems at work directly resulting from his drinking. He has also shown signs of strange and erratic behavior on occasion, where he has been known to pick up and leave for undetermined amounts of time with no sense of remorse or accountability afterwards. The one thing that we all know about him is that he finds it difficult to cope with any form of stress. Any time there was a loss of a family member, an illness or the like..he always returns to his drinking habits.
I'm sure nothing about this is new for those of you living with an alcoholic family member, however my issue is this: As I am getting older, I have become overwhelmed with concern and worry over the future and what it holds for my parents. I fear that I may never be able to live with myself for deciding to move out, as long as I know my parents are depending on me for financial support. However, at the very same time I really just don't know how to get through to him, since he does not seem to grasp just how quickly things can change for him. I do not want him to feel as though I am choosing to abandon him or that I am selfish. I really don't know what to do anymore...I find myself losing sleep and often times in a depression over this. I feel extremly helpless, especially when I consider how my mom is almost non-responsive about the whole thing. When you look at it, she has been the one suffering the most as she is usually the target of his drunking verbal abuse tirades...and I know how hard it has been on her. But I also have a sense of unease because she has also been a source of confusion for me. One day, she will say how fed up she is and that she will not take it anymore. The following day, she will drive him to the beer/liquir store to buy more drinks. I feel that we have been enabling him for long enough. We often change, cancel and re-arrange plans based on the drinking to avoid embarassment and uncomfortable situations occuring. perhaps, somehow we were hanging on in the hopes that he would someday change, but I think its time we opened our eyes to this. If it were only a question of coming together to manage our household expenses, I think it would be fine. However, the fact that we are constantly dancing around the issue just angers me even more. And of course, all the while he sits there sipping his drinks. I feel as though I am ready to walk away from the household altogether if he is not ready to acknowledge this issue and accept some help.
I'm just tired of being weighed down by this ... but where do I go from here?
Hi, I am an alcoholic (sober). You do need to move out. Your dad will only continue to drink if you are there to support him. Take your mom with you if you want but get out of there. Your dad needs help and he is the only one who can help himself. He will never get to that point with you supporting him and your mom running to the liquor store for him. Try going to a few alanon meetings. They will guide you. We will be here for you also. You deserve life without a drunk dragging you down all the time. You go girl ! Let us know how it goes. May God bless WendyJones
I have to agree, it is time to move out, and ask your mother to go with you. Prepare yourself for her to say no as he has been her whole life, and from her mind set she may not think she can survive without him. I understand that out of a sense of family you have chosen to stay as these are your parents and in reality it is more to help your mom that you have taken on this burden. However; you are going to be 27 soon and it is past time to start your own life and unintentional as it may have seemed at the time you enabled the situation. I do recommend that once you have moved out you seek some counseling through AL ANON or a counselor as you are going to need some help to adjust as well. Once in your own place you are going to go through a massive range of emotions and that is because so much of your free time, whether you realize it or not, has been centered on them and dealing with an alcoholic is very time consuming and emotionally draining. I wish you the best of luck and keep us posted on your progress. I give this advice because I am married to an alcoholic and understnad all too well what you are going through and what your mom is going through. I have my reasons for staying and my story is on the board, in the begining of my relationship it was much like your mom's but due to an accident my husband was in things chaged dramatically and now there is a whole different situation goin on. I know what point I was at before the accident and I knew it was time to get out, but things changed and now I have to see my situation through to the end. You have a life to live and you need to live it.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.