Living with Alcoholic Father: What You Can Do
It is not easy to live with anyone who is an alcoholic, especially if it is your father. How many times can you count when your father told you something or did something and the next day had no recollection of it? Do you wait until he has had his first drink before you begin a conversation with him? How many times have you gone over the 20 signs of an alcoholic; how many did your father have? These are all things that any son or daughter will experience when they have a father who is an alcoholic.
Stress is Good for No One
Oftentimes, you may find yourself wondering or even stressing out about what you can do for your father. You ask yourself, “how can I get him help?” Maybe you have even sat down with him and urged about him going to a rehab, after just asking and not getting the results you desire. You and your family could say “we are leaving right now unless you stop drinking”, but if the addiction has existed for a long period of time, this will most likely change nothing. Sometimes, he may stop for a short while, but as soon as your father feels like things have settled down, he will pick up the bottle. The fact of the matter is that no matter how much pain you can show or how much punishment you can try to enforce, he will always be able to hide his guilt, shame, embarrassment, and other feelings by drinking more.
Stressing over trying to get your father help will not do you any good. As much as any son or daughter would want to get help for an alcoholic parent, you cannot help them until they want to change and get help. This is a situation where in nearly all cases, persuasion or force does not work. The best thing that you can do is to get help for yourself. Try to learn about alcoholism, learn how to behave around your father, learn about enabling, and listen to other people’s stories and situations.
Where to Get Help
Now you may wonder where you are able to get help. Getting the appropriate help will depend on your age. There are several support groups that deal with alcoholism and families. The first thing would be to contact your local health department and ask them for these support group contact details. Nearly all cities will have two popular groups known as Al-Anon or Ala-Teen. Both of these are highly recommended and have been designed to help the families of addicted loved ones. You can go to these meetings and meet family members and even friends who have loved ones that are alcoholics. These are people that are in the same situation as you are in. You will be able to meet other people who have an alcoholic father as well. Many of the people at these meetings have been going to them for a long time and have a bit of experience and knowledge about how to handle these tough situations. These people will listen to you and give you the best advice that is possible. They will give you useful information on your father’s addiction, how you and others may be enabling him, and what you should say or do in differently in daily situations.
One Step Closer
A support group will not force your father to stop drinking, but they can make a world of a difference. If your other family members can attend these meetings, they too will be able to understand alcoholism and together you can all get on the right path and try to move things in a positive direction. With the right actions, the eventual goal will be to refuse any type of enabling and hopefully get your father to become one step closer to change.