In this article I want to give you information about the concept of “alcoholic”, but apart from that I would like to let you read some of my own experience about our family, what we lived with a father who was an alcoholic, what it does to a family, about how we deal with it. interacted. I also hope that some people can gain recognition from this and be reminded that they are not alone.
What is an alcoholic?
Alcoholism is an addictive disease caused by long-term and persistent drinking behavior. It usually starts with an occasional drink in the pub or at home and many people also consume alcohol to suppress certain feelings and thoughts. In the longer term, a person’s health, work and social life are increasingly affected by alcohol. At a certain point, the alcohol user and those around him also notice that the drinker’s behavior is changing. The drinker’s behavior is under the influence of alcohol, which can cause the drinker to become more selfish, to respect himself and others. neglect, exhibit aggressive behavior and develop memory disorders.
Studies have shown that alcoholism can be hereditary , the child can be genetically vulnerable to alcohol abuse, but it can also be determined by social disorders.
Our father, officially our stepfather, was already drinking when he moved into our home. That was about 15 years ago. At that time he drank a few beers a night, but we didn’t notice anything at the time. He worked, did fun things with his family, but at the time my mother met him he was already a bit depressed and according to him he has always been sensitive to that, he also lost his father at a very young age and he could not cope here. handle it well, so he started drinking to ease the pain .
What is going on?
After he lived with us for a longer period of time, we started to give him occasional warnings that he had to be careful with his drinking behavior, this was still a bit of a joke at the time, but with a serious thought behind it. Of course he didn’t take this seriously because he wasn’t an addict and never would be. Yet we have seen him slowly turn into an alcoholic. He drank more and more to achieve the same result and also turned more and more into himself. Every weekend in the pub, sleeping on the couch at night, no longer feeling like doing things with his family and at some point you always saw the bottle next to him. Eventually he ended up on sick leave due to an accident, during which time he drank all day long and became increasingly depressed. Ultimately, he never went back to work. He also neglected himself more and more, his eating became worse and after a while my mother was able to cook for herself after a long day of work. My sister and I also took care of the housework outside of school.
Alcoholism can break a family, tear it apart, cause a lot of pain and create a constant feeling of powerlessness for those living with the alcoholic. Our family was very affected. Our mother was constantly frustrated , we could no longer really talk to her because she was always busy with her husband. Because she could no longer talk to him, she expressed her frustrations to us and went to the pub more often to forget the situation. My sister and I tried to do everything we could to get him to stop drinking, talking a lot, yelling, crying, running away and so on. We both left the house early because the situation was unbearable.
On the other hand, we loved him very much, he was very sweet, caring, never aggressive , but unfortunately he also had little self-confidence and that also made reaching for the bottle easier for him. When I lived on my own, the worries for him and our family were still present every day. We were all sad because we felt powerless over the alcohol. Sometimes my father would call just to say something nice, but he could also call crying and say he was going to kill himself. Of course there was also a lot of talk about divorces and our parents even split up twice, but we were all so crazy about him and we still hoped that things would work out one day, so in the end he always came back.
He knew he had an alcohol problem, but he would never admit it. Yet he went to rehab and received detox treatment. Detox refers to the period of detoxification when one is in the process of withdrawing from alcohol . We continued to support him, visited him a lot and eventually he came home again. We were proud of him and saw a good future, but we also saw that things could go wrong again.
He remained in rehab for a total of nine months, this was a difficult period for him, the desire for alcohol remained, and all his feelings and emotions returned because the alcohol could no longer suppress them. He often sat at the table and was very quiet. He was also in therapy and given medication for his mental condition, but to no real benefit. The weather became nice again and everyone went to the terraces again. He managed to drink colas for a while, but when we came back to the pub after a day of shopping to pick him up, it was already too late. Everyone who knew him looked at us helplessly and he was heavily drunk. My sister started crying and got angry and he laughed at her.
From bad to worse
From then on things went very fast, he lived with us for a long time, but the contact between him, my sister and my mother deteriorated. We were all very unhappy and afraid for his future. I wanted to be with him more and more and persuade him to stop drinking, but this was no longer possible. We finally found him on the floor in the morning and this was followed by his first official hospital visit for alcohol abuse. The doctors said that his liver could no longer process alcohol properly and was irreparably damaged, he had cirrhosis.
Liver cirrhosis is caused by drinking a lot for years. This is a condition in which the normal structure of the liver is increasingly destroyed, causing scarring. Ultimately, the liver can no longer do its job because the breakdown of alcohol now precedes the breakdown of other toxins in the body. It develops gradually, cannot be cured and is often fatal.
Life or death
When he visited the doctor he was given the choice: “Do you want to live a few more years (about 6 years) without alcohol and spend a few more beautiful years with your family or do you choose alcohol and live a maximum of another year and a half? years?”
He chose alcohol and my mother sat next to him crying at his decision.
He became increasingly ill and had to go to the hospital more and more often, he also forgot everything and his personality changed drastically. Every time his liver had a difficult moment, he became aggressive, including towards my mother, and nothing or no one could do him any good. We finally arranged a house for him to live in. My mother collapsed and my sister had already left home. We still loved him, saw him more often in the pub, but he was very sad. He missed us and we missed him too, of course, but he also knew that he could no longer be cured and he could not stop drinking. For us it was a helpless watching of his death. I often called him to tell him I was going to a concert or to talk about music. He liked that.
The last visit
He no longer wanted to and could not take care of himself. For example, we sometimes paid his rent, took him groceries, but there was no point anymore. There was alcohol everywhere and he lived on that too. Our last visit to him was with my sister, we made arrangements to have dinner with him that week for Christmas, but we both had a bad feeling. We finally visited him at Christmas, but it was already too late, he had died from alcohol abuse.
After his death we missed and still miss him. However, a burden has been lifted. We are not afraid every time the phone rings that something is wrong with him. You do fall into a hole and you suddenly have to think about yourself again.
What are you doing then?
- If possible, talk to each other a lot, understanding is very important.
- If necessary, seek professional help; you can be referred quickly through your GP.
Alcohol really does damage more than you would like…