An important message here from Amy, the daughter of a recovering alcoholic who would like to share her story about her dad and his battle with alcoholism and the effect it had on her family. Amy highlights how opening up and talking about problems and getting help from others and the support of family and loved ones can be so important when struggling with personal issues and problems.
Amy would like to share her story because if it wasn’t for the help from loved ones or the doctors her dad probably wouldn’t be here. It is so important for every single one of us to talk about our problems.
(Please note names of family members have been changed as requested)
Hi, my name is Amy and I am the daughter of an alcoholic. My dad last year gave up drinking and decided to get help for his illness. I would like to share my story so I can help others in my position.
This is my story:
It’s been one of the hardest things ever having to post this because it’s a part of my life I wanted to keep to myself and I don’t think I have ever actually dealt with what happened. On 24th February 2019 in the early hours I received a phone call from my younger sister Cathy telling me our dad had fallen down the stairs at my aunties house and had been rushed into hospital because he stopped breathing. I felt like my world had just been torn apart. For those who don’t know I am the biggest daddy’s girl ever and my worst fear is something happening to my dad, so as you can imagine my worst fear is coming true. My brother Stephen, sister Cathy and Helen came to pick me up and we went down to QMC.
What we were all about to witness changed all our lives forever. One by one we went into the resuscitation room where my dad was. I remember my auntie telling me that it was bad and that he had broke his nose, his eye was swollen, his back was cut and he was passed out. I walked in and burst into tears. It didn’t look like my dad and it just broke my heart seeing him like that. We stayed for as long as we could but about 7am we came home as he was being moved onto a different ward. This was just the start of a very long journey we were about to go on.
2 years ago my mum and dad broke the news to us that they were going to separate. My mum moved out and my dad started drinking. My parents have always drunk together so it was just the normal, nothing seemed out of place. Until it started happening every day, my dad would have bottles of wine or beer and vodka or rum at the weekend and he just never knew when to stop. It started to get quite bad, I was very distant with my dad and decided to kind of move out to my ex boyfriends house because I couldn’t deal with seeing my dad like that. He became distant with us and certain things we did would play on his mind and we’d always be falling out over silly things. For us it was hard. He was depressed. It started to get bad around Christmas 2018, he wouldn’t come home Christmas Eve and ended up walking in the house Christmas Day morning around 8am absolutely smashed and he just carried on drinking all day till the evening when he started to become argumentative again. January 2019-February 2019 he was at his worst, he wouldn’t admit that he was depressed and he wouldn’t admit that he had a drinking problem, even after his fall he carried on drinking.
The week after his fall he had an argument on the Saturday night with my sister Cathy and seriously upset her. He hid the rum that he was drinking and lied to her saying he wasn’t drunk. We said we were ashamed of him, we didn’t speak to him and he knew deep down something was wrong. On the Monday he went to his first AA meeting and has continued to be sober and we are about to celebrate his first year sober.
I’ve never truly opened up to anyone about this as it has taken me a very long time to get a relationship back with my dad but I am so proud of him, more than anyone could imagine. He has been through the worst 2 years of his life and has made his life better in the best way possible. He got the help he needed and he survived the darkest days all because of support from his family and friends and most importantly he got the help he needed. It’s been a struggle and it couldn’t have been easy admitting he had a drinking problem or that he was depressed but it saved him.
I’m sharing my story because if it wasn’t for the help from loved ones or the doctors my dad probably wouldn’t be here. It is so important for every single one of us to talk about our problems.
Amy daughter of Keith a recovering alcoholic
Agencies providing advice, support and information
Action on Addiction:
0300 330 0659
Range of abstinence based treatment services for people with severe dependency on alcohol and drugs. Residential care, day treatment, outpatient counselling and community services. Projects in SW London and Liverpool and Bournemouth areas.
Adfam: 020 3817 9410
Supporting families affected by drugs and alcohol. Provides publications for families (free for family members and friends) and details of local family support groups. Adfam works with family members affected by someone else's drug or alcohol use. Adfam does not run a support Helpline.
Al-Anon Family Groups:
0800 0086 811
Helpline providing support for families and friends of problem drinkers, whether the person is still drinking or not
Alcohol Change UK: www.alcoholchange.org.uk - website includes online directory of local services.
Alcohol Focus Scotland (Area served Scotland): www.alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk - Telephone information, advice and other services for people concerned about their own or someone else's drinking. Details of where to get counselling and support
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
0800 9177 650
Over 3,300 groups in the UK. Help drinkers to stay sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. Fellowship of men and women share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism
0121 622 8181
Aquarius is a unique charity based in the West Midlands that has over 40 years' experience supporting individuals, families, organisations and communities to overcome the physical, emotional and psychological harms caused by alcohol, drugs and gambling.
Since its inception in 1977, Aquarius has used evidence based research to shape services that enable them to work with people and challenge the behaviours which lead to the use of drugs, alcohol and gambling. In 2015, Aquarius joined Recovery Focus, a national Group of charities inspiring recovery nationwide.
cgl - Change Grow Live
Offer a range of services including Alcohol service which supports adults and young people to understand the risks their alcohol use pose to their health and wellbeing, and support them to reduce or stop their use safely.
0808 808 2234
National Drug and Alcohol Helpline for people in Wales
0300 123 1110
I information and advice about alcohol
National Association for Children of Alcoholics:
0800 358 3456
Helpline offering information, advice and support to children of alcoholics and people concerned about their welfare
Central Office 020 7234 9740
Scotland 0141 332 0121
Charity and housing association which has been helping people overcome drug and alcohol problems for more than 40 years. Residential, prison, community and specialist services run across England and Scotland.
020 7697 3300
Recovery Focus is a national group of charities, who are all highly experienced in providing specialist support services to individuals and families living with the affects of mental ill health, drug and alcohol use, gambling and domestic violence across the country.
Richmond Fellowship: 020 7697 3300, www.richmondfellowship.org.uk - Provides residential care counselling and support, as well as rehabilitation and work skills, to men/women who are recovering from emotional disturbance, addiction and mental health problems. Run a national network of over 104 projects and work schemes
Salvation Army: 020 7367 4500, www.salvationarmy.org.uk - Runs homes for the treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts
To enable people with serious problems related to drug and alcohol misuse, mental health and learning disabilities to lead more independent lives by providing high quality community services. Running over 100 projects nationally, ranging from residential rehabilitation centres to drop in counselling services, needle exchanges, phone advice services and individual community workers
Young People: For Information about alcohol and drugs check out information at www.themix.org.uk
Information and advice about sensible drinking
UK Smart Recovery runs a network of self help/mutual aid meetings where, through open and confidential discussion participants help each other and themselves with recovery from any kind of addictive behaviour. Also online community of meetings. The purpose is to help individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviours to gain independence, achieve recovery and lead meaningful and satisfying lives.
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