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Alcoholic Father

Hi guys,

So a bomb was sort of dropped on me today. Turns out my dad is an alcoholic and also suffers from depression. I guess I was never really in the know because apparently he’s been sober for most of my life. But it looks like he’s relapsed pretty hard for a few years recently. bad enough even for him to driving under the influence. And I’m a complete novice at being the son of an alcoholic. My parents still live together. Have been married for 30+ years. And as someone just trying to make his way in the world, trying to be a successful independent son, I can’t say that I’m all too aware of what goes on behind the scenes. I learned from my mother that he’s not abusive, and not self harming. But he most definitely cannot control his drinking. And he makes bad calls while impaired. During our conversation/intervention today he’s even said things like: I’ve gone to AA, it works. It also makes him feel shitty that he has to hide stuff like this from family and work. But he’s definitely convinced that the alcoholism is stronger than him. So although it seems like nothing horrible has happened, it’s still a concern for me now that I’m aware. I guess I’m just asking for any tips or anything to help get him going in the right direction that I personally can do. It seems so over my head because he’s the one that taught me the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Without his parenting I’d prob be just like him. So it makes it hard for me to see him being controlled by something he’s so knowledgeable on.

TLDR: Dad’s an alcoholic and medically depressed. As his 26 yr old son, is there anything I can do? Should do? Because I feel so foreign and so lost to this scenario.

Thanks everyone!

1 Like

Hey @Lee!

I’m so sorry. My dad was a drug addict for 30+ years and is just now 2 years sober. Growing up with him being in and out was rough but also him and my mom are still married and have worked through it together. It’s a really shitty feeling when someone you love is battling addiction because at the end of the day, it’s their decision. I would encourage you to just keep supporting him in whatever ways you can. It’s important to take care of your mental and emotional health too. It’s a good thing to remember that addiction is a disease and it’s a hard one to shake. There is no real medicine out there except willpower and support (AA, rehab, family, counseling, etc). Just remind your dad that you’re there for him.

Hold Fast,

Hey friend - You are so kind to react with thoughts of how to help your father and to credit him with teaching you about the danger of drugs and alcohol. Your heart must feel broken for him and his struggle right now.

The only thing I can suggest is to encourage him to return to AA meetings. It’s got to be brutal because as an “old timer” in the program with so many years of sobriety I imagine it’s really hard to walk back into a meeting again. But remind him that he will be among people who will REJOICE that he has returned and not judge him for picking up the drink again.

I don’t know what the covid-19 status is where you are but I know around me they are sadly turning people away from meetings because they have to have such small numbers right now. Both of my parents are in recovery and they have been doing phone meetings a bit. But I know it all has been taking a toll on so many people who are trying to stay sober.

And I’m sure you know this but I still feel like I should say it anyway: you can’t make him get sober again. So if he doesn’t please don’t feel even a shred of responsibility. It’s good to encourage him to do the right thing, but ultimately only he has the power to make that choice. It’s not on you.

Be well friend - hang in there. :heart:

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