Maybe your father has been drinking for as long as you can remember. Or maybe he only became an alcoholic the past year.
Every addict’s story is different and so is their recovery. In order to help an alcoholic father, you’ll have to let go of any anger over time lost and start thinking about time to be had.
The Right to Choose
Family members of alcoholics must accept that their addiction is a choice. At the end of the day, no matter how much someone says they want to get sober, it’s up to them to take action.
No amount of talking, yelling, crying, begging or anything in between will convince your father to change if he doesn’t want to.
This isn’t to say that all hope is lost and you should just give up on him; but it does mean that you should learn to let go of any negative emotions you’re harbouring over his addiction.
Instead, accept your father as he is. Realize that there is a difference between being angry at a person and being angry at their behaviour.
Accept that you can’t always help an alcoholic father quit drinking, but you can always love him.
It’s uncomfortable to confront someone about their drinking, but the best way to help an alcoholic father is to tell him exactly how you feel.
He may not respond the way you like, but for your own peace of mind, you have to do it. Sit down and tell him exactly how you feel. Let your father know that you love him and it’s because of your love that you want to see him at his best.
Even for functional alcoholics, drinking places a barrier between who they are and who they could be. Let your father know how much you believe in him and the active role you want him to play in your life.
Don’t use emotions as leverage. Put down your guard and be completely open. Don’t blame yourself for anything he says in response; you’re doing this as much for you as you are for him.
Don’t Support His Addiction
Many older parents who fall into alcoholism don’t have enough money to support their drinking. If your father often comes to you for money or simply asks you to buy alcohol, it’s time to put your foot down.
If the closest to rehab you can get him is cutting off his access to alcohol on your end, then that’s a step in the right direction.
No matter what happens, stay vigilant, stay honest and, most importantly, stay hopeful.