Addiction to Alcohol/father relapsing

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Question
My father is a recovering alcoholic of 15 years.  For the past couple of years he has started drinking again.  He has been trying to hide and we (my mother and I) and he has admitted he has but said he stopped.  Recently, I have really noticed he still doing it.  He uses mouthwash all the time, he acts totally different, his friend is getting it for him and he goes outside either in his building or out in the woods to drink.  My mom is talking to me about leaving him.  I have a small child and it scares me to have my child around him, because I never know when he is going to drink.  One day he does, the next he is fine.  I don't know what to do.  Do i confront him, do i give him the option either stop drinking or me and my son will be around you?  I don't know what the best steps are to go about getting my dad back. What if he denies that he is? I am scared he will lie to me, get very mad for accusing him, or hurt himself for threatening taking my son away from him. What do you recommend?

Answer
Hi Katie

My name is Dave and Im an alcoholic

I cant really help the family member of an alcoholic too much. Of course your dad will deny it or else he'd drink in front of you and be open about it. But he's hiding it. In AA we'd say that he has no control over his drinking or that he has an obsession about his drinking....i.e. he cannot stop completely on his own.

If you did confront him its not likely that it would have much of an effect as alcoholics are indifferent about consequences. From step one of our twelve steps we say 'I am powerless over alcohol and my life has become unmanageable. This unmanageability presents itself as a lack of concern for consequences. Alcoholism is very baffling. Im not saying that you or your mother shouldn't confront him...that answer needs guidance from people familiar with your side of the alcoholic equation.

You need help from somebody in Al-anon which is a group similar to Alcoholics Anonymous but it is for the family members or friends of an alcoholic. You can get answers to your questions from someone there. You can easily google Al-anon and your town and find Al-anon meetings. It might be helpful to suggest your mother try one as well and perhaps she can get a better picture of the dynamic of a family with an alcoholic .

Here is a YouTube video of a well-respected member of Al-Anon in California. He's a Jesuit Priest and has a very good message. I'd encourage you to listen to Fr Tom's message and seek out more info.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjqp2rJoCO4&list=FLvYmx4ulLOR443ph0ES-1jQ&index=2


Hope this helps....

Dave

Addiction to Alcohol

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Dave K

Expertise

I'm an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and have been sober for over 8 years. I am only able to assist people with a desire to stop drinking or other fellow members of AA who may need an ear. I'm sorry...but I'm not qualified to assist you with questions about your relationship with someone else in your life with an alcohol problem. That is, for the most part, out of the scope of my area of expertise. I'm only able to assist the person suffering. I've read our "Big Book" of alcoholics anonymous many times as I have many of the other accepted literature in AA. I've sponsored a few guys and have my own sponsor. I'm more than willing to take your questions about your own problems with alcohol. I've had a strong spiritual journey of the educational variety and would be happy to share my experience strength and hope with you. If you think you have a problem with drinking we can talk. I work in the Health Care field and have researched many of the medical aspects of alcoholism and addiction so I'm comfortable with my working medical knowledge of addiction. Disclaimer: I do not represent AA nor am I a spokesman for AA. I cant and wont answer questions about alcoholics anonymous in any capacity that would have me explain AA's view on any subject. We neither endorse nor promote any outside interests or causes. *****Further: I must limit my answers only to the person who is suffering from alcoholism or who has a sincere desire to quit drinking.*****

Experience

Sober 8 years. Held many positions in my large fellowship. Secretary, treasurer, alternate general secretary, H&I visits to a local state prison, lead our fellowships book study for a term. Hold a Big Book study in my home. Sponsored a number of guys. Taken a few all the way through the steps.

Organizations
AA

Education/Credentials
Read the Big Book many times and attended book studies reading the Big Book cover to cover. Also the 12 and 12 cover to cover. I have an advanced degree in a health care field.

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