My dad has always been a drinker. I wasn’t aware of it fully until I was older and watching it. He was able to hold down a job, have friends, good relationship with my mum etc but he always drank, starting at dinner time.

It’s progressively gotten worse over the last 10 years. He would drink a bottle of wine at night, followed by a few gins. Which was fine, until he lost the ability to hold his drink.
He would fight with my mum and point blank refuses to acknowledge that he has a drinking problem. He has Parkinson’s too, so his balance is worse than normal and he falls over a lot.

Four weeks ago, it all came to a head and my mum told him if he didnt sort himself out she was going to leave him because she was refusing to put up with his drinking. We finally had a sober frank conversation and he agreed to go to AA.
He attended two meeting but wasn’t connecting to it. Turns out it wasn’t a meeting for a newcomer. I got him to the right meeting and he came away from it really good, connected with the guy organising it.

Later after the meeting he says that the guy who was running the meeting said he didnt think he was an alcoholic, only a heavy drinker and that it would be ok for him to drink beer. My head is going to burst because I know he’s lying to me.

He’s not been going out, but tonight, I saw that there was things in the fridge that I didn’t buy. So, confirming my fears, I went and checked his hiding places and he’s bought alcohol, he’s bought beers. I asked him about it and he lied to my face. Straight up lied and said that he didn’t go out.

For different reasons, I have access to his bank account. He did go out and spent money. But lied to my face.

I don’t want to tell my mum because I know it would finish her with him. I don’t want him to know I’ve been looking because then he will know that I know where he hides the drink.

I’m absolutely gutted and can’t talk to anyone about it. I don’t have anyone to talk to about it. I’m trying so hard to help him get sober and due to his Parkinson’s I live with him and my mum to care for him while she works so I can’t cut contact because we live together. I’m so stuck. I’m so sad.

  • listener

    Hi there,

    I am so sorry to hear what your family is going through. I can hear how devastating it has been for you to find out that your dad has been drinking after thinking you'd had a break through with him. It must be a huge disappointment after feeling hopeful that AA might help.

    You're clearly in a very difficult position, as you're caring for your dad and your mum doesn't know that he has started drinking again. I appreciate how much of a difficult position this puts you in.

    Unfortunately it's very common for people in recovery to relapse many times and it's one of the hardest things for family members to deal with. I wonder if having another conversation with your dad would be a good next step. There are resources on the Nacoa website to help with this, or you can get in touch with the helpline and they can help send you resources. Sometimes if the conversation isn't going well, writing a letter to your parent can be useful. That way they can read it in their own time without needing to respond immediately with defence.

    It must be so hard not having anyone to talk to about this. Do you have things that you do outside of the home that help you relax and escape for a while? Looking after your self is so important.

    Take care of yourself and keep talking whenever you need to.

    • abzi2021

      Sorry to hear about your position. I can somewhat empathise with you. My 70plus father buys alcohol and when it come he runs to the door and brings the bottles in bags. To us he will blatently lie. When i comfronted him once he sulked.
      This makes me mad.
      Speaking with Nacoa helpline helps. You cant change them but find ways to keeping cool.
      I am here if you want to talk.
      Take Care.

  • uniquemind


    I am so sorry you and your family are experiencing this. Always bare in mind, lying to protect the addiction and the need to abuse alcohol for additive purposes is a factor of alcoholism. Although, Please do not feel this is such a stigmatised topic you cannot reach out and speak to anyone. From my personal experience with parental alcoholism I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders if I spoke about it to people I trusted, But even now I get ashamed and embarrassed. Although admitting it yourself will give you peace and ability to accept the situation.

    The only person who can help your dad, is himself and if he is not fully committed to getting better there will always be interruptions in recovery.

    I hope this helps and always remember you are not alone.

    Kindest regards

    • bluefoxlovescake

      My mom is a liar,
      she lies when she is drunk, and when she's sobber,
      she is really good at lying,
      but not when she is drunk,
      she thinks she can, but she is can not.
      but she still thinks her that she can lie really well,
      but not when she is drunk,
      so she tries to lie ,when she lies, in a pool of puffiness.
      And it hurts...

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