Sober doesn’t Suck!is a safe place for people to share their stories of drinking, addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.
I recently received the following article from one of my readers who would prefer to remain anonymous. I’m proud to share her words, hoping someone will find comfort and hope in them.
If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.
My Dad’s depression set in shortly after I got married. While I know that the two events are not connected, it took some time to not blame myself for the downward spiral in his life.
Although I always suspected that he was drinking, my mom and my brother both seemed unable to accept that as the reason for my Dad’s disconnect from the rest of the family. It wasn’t until a few months later when we received a call from the local police, who had found him passed out in his parked car, with a bottle in his hand, that the rest of the family realized the kind of help Dad needed.
A few weeks later, he agreed to enter a rehab facility. A decision that made me unbelievably proud of him. However, a week after he came home sober, he was arrested for drinking and driving – it was Christmas eve.
After the drinking and driving charge, things rapidly began to spin out of control. At this point my mom moved out, and my brother and I took on the care taking of our dad. The next few months were a blur of phone calls from the police letting us know that dad was either in jail or in the hospital, as he had been found passed out in various places around town.
My Dad’s Drinking Was Out of Control
Early that spring, I gave birth to my first child – an event my dad wasn’t present for – and made a conscious decision to step away from the drama his drinking caused in my life.
For the past three years, I had only spoken to my dad sporadically. When he was sober, he was always welcome to be a part of our lives, but more often that not, he was more content drinking. Those three years continued to be plagued by calls from the local police, and countless trips to the hospital.
In December of 2011, my Dad made the decision to enter rehab again – this time it was solely his decision. I was so proud of him, and made a point of including him in our family Christmas celebrations. I decision i will always be grateful for, as he was able to spend that Christmas with his only grandchild.
Right after New Years Dad entered rehab and seemed to do great.
But it took less than 48 hours upon leaving the facility at the end of January for him to start drinking again.
This past April, I received a call on a Sunday morning that forever changed my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. My daughter and I were playing with Lego when the phone rang. When I looked at the caller i.d. my Dad’s number came up, but there was no one on the other end. When I called back, my Mom answered, and told me Dad was passed out and she couldn’t wake him up.
Typically, I would have brushed this conversation off, as we had done this countless times before. But something in my Mom’s voice told me I had to go immediately.
After dropping my daughter off at a neighbors, I quickly drove across town. Every part of my being told me there was something wrong, and I couldn’t get to the house fast enough. By the time I pulled onto my Dad’s street there were ambulances and police cars everywhere. My mom and my brother were on the front lawn in tears, and the paramedics were sitting by their truck. One look at my mom told me everything I needed to know – my Dad was gone.
My Fathers Drinking Took It’s Toll
It has been five months, and I still have a hard time believing my Dad drank himself to death. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t expect to see him or hear his voice. And not a day goes by where I don’t miss him.
I still feel incredibly guilty for not doing more to try and stop the drinking, not doing more to show him how much I loved him, and not doing more to include him in my daughter’s life.
I am not proud of many of the things I said to him when he was drinking, and more than anything I wish I could just give him a big hug and tell him how much I care. But I can’t, because he is gone.
Drinking tore my family apart. My Dad is gone because he couldn’t battle his demons, and I am left with an empty place in my heart because I wasn’t strong enough to fight those demons for him.