As children of alcoholics, it can be difficult having an alcoholic father who is actively drinking, especially with Father’s Day coming up on June 21. A father is supposed to be someone a child can count on for support and turn to when there is nowhere else to go. These matters can grow complicated for children of alcoholics, who tend to feel left in the dark when their fathers care more for the drink than their children due to being wrapped around in selfishness of their disease.
Dealing with the Alcohol Father
Children of alcoholics struggle to have an accurate depiction of an adequate and true father. As if dealing with an alcoholic who is actively drinking isn’t difficult enough, holidays can be particularly rough because they are known for indulging more! So how does a child who is struggling with an alcoholic father deal with his raging ways during the holiday? With Father’s Day coming up, your alcoholic father may be in need of several situations being defused, so be careful not to add stress to an already heated situation and be on the lookout. For example, a scenario where you are having a simple family dinner can easily escalate into chaos if a statement is misunderstood as judgement and an argument erupts. An alcoholic often blows conversations and topics out of proportion, so beware by keeping on your toes.
Looking back at the hole in the family
Father’s Day can emphasize the fact that there’s a missing piece to your family, which can be devastating. This goes to show how addiction is a family disease. Alcohol hasn’t just impacted your father’s life, but it has branched out to affect yours and the entire family. This Father’s Day could be filled with joy and freedom, but alcohol has got your father wrapped in a life of vicious tirades of lies, manipulation, and deceit. There is hope for your loved one when you encourage them to reach out by seeking help for their alcoholism. Alcoholism is an actual brain disease, not a moral dilemma. This means that your father hasn’t deliberately been trying to fail you as a father but rather has been suffering from a true illness that requires treatment.
What you can do
This holiday should show you how valuable it is to have a father who could and should be present in your life. If your father is active in their alcoholism, you should be open and honest by expressing your concerns about his drinking. In a loving, caring, and concerned way, you can express how you feel he should seek help. Tell him how you feel he should address the issue by seeking help through attending12-step fellowship meetings, reaching out to a treatment facility, or going to an outpatient service.
The main point of Father’s Day is to appreciate your father. Even though children of alcoholics may be frustrated with their fathers for not having been present during important moments in life, you can still enjoy the present moment to the best of your ability. Try to see that your father isn’t a bad person but rather sick with a disease and in need of treatment for an actual illness. People can and do recover from the grips of alcoholism every day when they are willing to put in the work on themselves.
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