My dad, my hero
It has taken me many, many years to understand my dad and his addiction (as much as I can). Over the years it’s been hard, it’s been a roller coaster of a ride and still is. It’s emotionally and mentally draining. Some days are harder than others, some days I don’t know what mood he will be in.
My dad has been drinking since he was 16, he’s now 67. At first, he started off with a few drinks with the friends, then came the drinking after work, then on a weekend as he’s worked hard all week, then to help with the pain (from an operation gone wrong, which caused other health problems)
From there it just spiralled out of control and before he knew it he couldn’t stop, he was addicted. He was drinking from the moment he woke up to the moment he fell asleep. Now he doesn’t really leave the house unless it’s for more alcohol.
When he does leave the house (on very rare occasions) to go somewhere other than the shop. He must have a good amount of alcohol in his system. It’s the only way for him to be comfortable enough to leave and to help him put on a mask of being the life and soul of the party, to be the funny, joking man that makes everyone laugh.
I used to think it was so easy for him
Along the way I’ve tried to save him, I’ve slipped into the parenting role, I’ve become a therapist between him and my mum, I’ve argued with him, I’ve wished for it all to be over with, I’ve wished that he wasn’t my dad, I’ve asked him to stop but more importantly I had forgotten that he was more than ‘just an alcoholic’. He’s my dad, my hero and I love him more than anything. He’s my hero because even through the drinking he’s been there to support me, guide me, love me, teach me and he’s the strongest man I know.
It can’t be easy being controlled by an addiction. It’s not been the easiest relationship but it’s made me who I am today. I look at my dad’s addiction in a different way now. I used to think it was so easy for him to give up and that he was just choosing not to, that I wasn’t enough. I now know that this isn’t true.
I’ve learnt from @sarah_drage that my dad didn’t choose this, no one does. He simply can’t just stop, it’s taken years, some therapy and following people like Sarah and Nacoa to help me understand and finally be okay with it. I still have days where I’m heartbroken for my dad and I wish it was different, but I’ve accepted it’s not and that someday the addiction will kill him.
I’m just glad I got a chance to understand it (as much as I can) before it was too late, which has helped improve my relationship with him.
It’s ok to ask for help and talk about it.
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