Thread: Help please

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    1

    Help please

    I have a father who's been an alcoholic for a very long time. He went 14 years without drinking, 5years ago my sister passed away n he began drinking. Ever since then hes been in and out of a deep depression. Hes seen psychologist, hes gone to aa. We have tried to do interventions. Hes been arrested like 3 times now. N hes stops n the he goes back. I just don't know what to do anymore i'm loosing my mind. What can i do. Now he just got arrested again. Should i just leave him or help. He doesn't listen to me or my sister n noe he's begining to be violent n has suicidal thoughts toward my little sister and its really affecting her n were both just stuck in this horrible situation, please help!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Southern California
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    Anna, what a tough situation. I can tell you love your father very much.

    First, your wellbeing and your sister's have to come first. Period. If he has to be in jail for you to be safe, so be it. Don't feel guilty. You didn't create this, it's not your fault!

    Please go to the main site at spiritualriver.com and read the article about helping a family member who's an addict. It's right on the top banner. There are other articles in the archives which may be helpful if you want, as well as posts on the "helping addicts and alcoholics" thread. Specifically, I suggest you look for posts there from Erin. Her mom was an alcoholic who has now passed. She had to make her peace with letting her mom drink after trying everything.

    I am a recovering alcoholic and not an expert. My opinion is that you have tried and tried and you may have to let go. I wish that weren't true but you must take care of yourself first and foremost. And DON'T feel guilty if you choose to let him live with the consequences of the mess he has made and stay in jail.

    Many people also recommend Al-Anon as helpful.

    Good luck! He is lucky to have a daughter who cares so much. You are a good person.

  3. #3
    _Erin_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Michigan
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    776
    Hi Anna,

    I can relate to some of what you say and how you feel. My mom started drinking after my dad passed away in 1991. She was never arrested, but she did drive her car into the ditch a few times. She was also diabetic, so she was able to tell the cops that she had a "sugar spell" and get off scot-free. My mom was too proud to ever admit that she had a problem, even after she lost her job, had her heat shut off in the middle of winter, and even lost 2 toes and had quadruple-bypass heart surgery because the alcohol was causing her diabetes to spiral out of control. I suggested AA to her, I did the yelling and screaming and crying and begging, etc., and even tried the intervention route. I couldn't get her to stop drinking. She continued to drink right up until her death this past January. Man, it really, REALLY SUCKS to watch someone you love just self-destruct - I totally feel for you! There are a couple things I learned through my experience, though.

    One - Your dad will not quit drinking until he is ready to quit. It doesn't matter how much effort and energy you put into trying to keep him from it. HE HAS TO WANT TO QUIT - plain and simple. For your own good, and your own sanity, try to understand this. You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. (That's a little something I picked up from Al-Anon!) You and your sister are not to blame, and he is not your responsibility. He's a big boy, and he has to take care of himself. You have to take care of yourselves. I agree 100% with Carol - if he needs to go to jail in order for you two to be safe, that's what needs to happen. Lots of alcoholics have to hit "rock bottom" before they are willing to even consider change. They have to lose everything in order to appreciate what they had.

    Two - Remember there is a real person underneath the alcohol. Your dad is hurting. He doesn't know how to cope with his feelings other than drinking. He isn't drinking because he wants to act like a jerk. He's trying to escape his real feelings. I don't mean that should be an excuse, but I fell into a state of thinking of my mom as "just a drunk" for a while. I felt really guilty after she died because I forgot how much fun she was before Dad died! I'd just hate to see that happen to you. Please remember, even if God forbid he does commit suicide, there is nothing you could have done to stop it! You have already tried everything you can. People have to want to help themselves before they can be helped.

    Three - No matter what your dad is doing, you have to take care of yourself. I'm one of those people who would suggest you checking out Al-Anon. I went for a while when Mom was still alive. I got some very helpful ideas. They don't tell you how to get your family member to stop drinking, they teach you how to take care of yourself. They teach you how to care about your dad without trying to predict or control his every move. They'll teach you that you can set boundaries with your dad, so you can still have a relationship without feeling used or abused. I still talk to a few of the friends I made in Al-Anon. If nothing else, you will be able to tell your story to a group of people who understand exactly how you feel and can relate!

    I suggest letting your dad deal with his own messes. I don't know how old you and your sister are, but go somewhere safe. If you live in your own place, take her with you. You need to do what you need to do, because he's going to do what he wants regardless of whether or not you try to stop him.

    I hope you come back and let us know how things are going often. I'm very happy to listen anytime you need to vent, and so are many others here! Take care!!!

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