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H82017

will I ever be completely happy again?

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So I'm 17 years old, it's 1am and I'm at college tomorrow but I often struggle to sleep since my dad passed 2 months ago, very suddenly and unexpectedly. To Give some context, He has always struggled with depression and anxiety and became  extremely depressed after he and my mother split after being married 20 years. She was his world, his kids were his world, he loved the life he had created and we were his priority. However, sometimes his ill mental health would take over, and he would become an aggressive man when drunk which he hated, and this lead to the breakup. He turned to alcohol when down, and this really became a massive problem after the breakdown of the marraige. He would drink because he couldn't face reality. Of course though, he was my dad, a fighter, a loving, caring, compassionate man who didn't want this life for himself and his children. He tried to get help many times, and was unfortunately let down by the NHS who would pass him to and fro from the alcohol team to the depression team, each saying he had to sort the other problem out first before they would help him. When he was in hospital, they detoxed him and let him out within 2/3 days, instead of giving vigorous psychological help to sort out the root cause of this abuse. The point I'm making is that he tried with all his will to get better, and depression would simply take over his entire being. The alcoholism got really bad and after about 2 years of this on and off, his skin colour began to change ever so slightly. 'To be expected' I thought to myself. 'We'll just have to BEG the doctors to take him in again... and it'll all be good again, I'll get my dad back, another fresh start' (we had begged and begged the NHS to section him, they said he had the ability to make his own decisions and they needed consent. But how can a person with a legitimate chemical imbalance make logical decisions?) I went to his house on Christmas. What i saw Walk towards me was like nothing id ever seen before. His skin colour had RAPIDLY and dramatically changed to a yellow, he was increasingly confused. 'He must've had a HEAVY night last night' I assumed. But this was different. Something really clicked in me and I thought If we didn't get him in hospital soon, I'm going to lose him. So, on 27th of December, I went round to see him. I knocked. He didn't answer for a while. He eventually came out of the front room, stumbling. A gaunt, thin, nimble, weak, old-looking man came literally struggling to walk, struggling to see. He managed to make his way to the front door. He couldn't find the door handle. I'm trying to explain to him where it is. Meanwhile, my nana rings the ambulance. 'He's pissed' I thought. Suddenly he collapsed against the door and hit his head. I ran into the house, waited for the ambulance to come as he laid unresponsive against the door in my brothers arms. my brother eventually let go of him, and I sat down. Naively I thought to myself 'it's me, his little girl, he'll respond to me'. 'Dad, come on dad' I said. No response. Alls I could see was a skeletal man, something I'd never even noticed due to the thick baggy clothing he had worn always, and his big dressing gown. I didn't know he was this ill. As soon as he was in the ambulance, they found out he had collapsed mainly due to very low blood sugars as he had mentioned he struggled to eat (a key symptom of depression). He began to talk in the ambulance, saying he was so sorry. But my dad still wasn't in there completely I knew it, he wasn't himself. I still thought though- he is safe now. I'll get him back. Turns out, He was diagnosed with acute liver failure and all of his organs failed as a result. He died one week later after been put in an induced coma. I thought my dad would be here right now, instead I didn't even get chance to properly say my goodbyes. He was my best friend. We were so similar, he was my closest family member by a mile off. But I didn't help him enough. I played the victim that he wasn't there for me as a dad, when in reality he was the victim of an illness. Guilt is torturing me, when I'm not feeling so guilty I blame other people. I have had some good days, and then a wave of mainly complete sadness and despair just hits me again. What I want to know is that can life really be truly happy again, if someone who was such a major role in your happiness is gone, forever? I am really struggling to see this as a possibility, but I want to make him proud, I just can't see it ever happening. Even if I ever feel happy again, will I ever feel whole? Complete? 

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I am sorry you are experiencing so much pain from losing your father. All those emotions, anger, sadness, guilt and more are normal it seems, but who can ever be prepared to deal with them? I took care of my grandmother and I thought about death frequently, but despite her deteriorating condition I could never be fully prepared for death until it finally happened. I felt so empty, and the image of her lying on the couch is always in my head. She had become so fragile and pale over the years. I think to myself, did I do enough? All my life I have felt disappointed in who I was, but helping her gave me joy. I felt selfless. I felt complete. I feared death because she was such an amazing human being. To think she'd disappear completely is still mind boggling. I hope she is out there somewhere, but I have no answers and I will always wonder. I question whether or not I am in denial, but I suppose none of it really matters. The people we love are gone forever, and it hurts so much. I am sorry. Death feels like the worst experience in the world.

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Dear Friend,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your beloved and cherished dad. I'm so sorry for your pain and sorrow. I hear you. I know its an awful time right now. Everything you are saying and feeling is all part of grief's terrible journey. I'm so sorry because I know its hard to deal with all the emotions and questions. From what you said, I think you did the best you could with the information you had. Of course, we always look back and hoped that something we could have done could have changed the outcome. I desperately want to bring my dad back too.

I've talked to friends and everyone is so different in how they process grief. I think with more time, we will be able to rebuild our lives. The hole in our heart will always be there but the pain will hopefully be less intense. I know that is hard to believe right now. Try to take care of yourself the best you can. Thinking of you. Sending you lots of love and hugs.   And if you need any additional supports, please reach out. There are good counselors and support groups out there.

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21 hours ago, new133 said:

I am sorry you are experiencing so much pain from losing your father. All those emotions, anger, sadness, guilt and more are normal it seems, but who can ever be prepared to deal with them? I took care of my grandmother and I thought about death frequently, but despite her deteriorating condition I could never be fully prepared for death until it finally happened. I felt so empty, and the image of her lying on the couch is always in my head. She had become so fragile and pale over the years. I think to myself, did I do enough? All my life I have felt disappointed in who I was, but helping her gave me joy. I felt selfless. I felt complete. I feared death because she was such an amazing human being. To think she'd disappear completely is still mind boggling. I hope she is out there somewhere, but I have no answers and I will always wonder. I question whether or not I am in denial, but I suppose none of it really matters. The people we love are gone forever, and it hurts so much. I am sorry. Death feels like the worst experience in the world.

It really does feel like the worst thing I have ever experienced. We can always beat ourselves up, and I am assuming this is normal too, but we did try nonetheless. In my family some didn't, and I would guess that you had family members like this too. I'm sure they appreciated what we did, whether we think it is enough or not. Thank you for your reply, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother :( 

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15 hours ago, reader said:

Dear Friend,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your beloved and cherished dad. I'm so sorry for your pain and sorrow. I hear you. I know its an awful time right now. Everything you are saying and feeling is all part of grief's terrible journey. I'm so sorry because I know its hard to deal with all the emotions and questions. From what you said, I think you did the best you could with the information you had. Of course, we always look back and hoped that something we could have done could have changed the outcome. I desperately want to bring my dad back too.

I've talked to friends and everyone is so different in how they process grief. I think with more time, we will be able to rebuild our lives. The hole in our heart will always be there but the pain will hopefully be less intense. I know that is hard to believe right now. Try to take care of yourself the best you can. Thinking of you. Sending you lots of love and hugs.   And if you need any additional supports, please reach out. There are good counselors and support groups out there.

Thank you so much and I'm so sorry you have also lost your father, grief is the worst emotion in the world. I suppose it inevitably has to become less intense, that is hard to imagine though you are right. Sending lots of hugs to you :( 

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My dad was also an alcoholic. I lived with him for years and watched him destroy himself. Once he broke his hip while drunk and point blank refused medical care so I had to look after him for two whole weeks before he finally allowed the doctor to get him an ambulance. I was bringing him water and food and pain killers and something to go to the toilet in. He drank heavily for about 6 years while I was living there. from the age of 17 to 23. This was around a bottle of vodka a day, sometimes more.

I once found him passed out nearly dead. Turned out he had a hole in his stomach caused by alcohol abuse.

He was very emotionally abusive when he was drunk. No one would do anything about it because he refused help. He was in and out of hospital for years. One day I refused to buy him drink and he went mental calling me every name under the sun. So I turned over the coffee table in a fit of rage and walked out. I still visited him but couldn't live there any more. 

 

But eventually he was persuaded by a social worker to go into a home  which was usually for mentally disabled adults when he became so weak he could hardly move. He had broken a lot of bones because he had osteoporosis due to a poor diet. He had also developed insulin dependent diabetes. He was by this point living with his 85 year old mother who was unable to cope.

He eventually got out of the home a couple or years ago. dried out for about 18 months. It took a while but back at my granny's house he was soon drinking heavily again under the stress of living with her, she was getting to the stage where she needed a lot more help. He died last June. went into a diabetic coma. I got the phone call at work. I knew he wasn't long for this world but it still hit me hard. I went to see him in the hospital but he was unresponsive and his eyes were rolled back in his head. In all honestly he looked like someone who had been starved to death and his skin was yellow. I had seen him 2 weeks before and he had looked pretty bad but nothing like this. The last thing I said to him was, "Goodbye dad." because I knew that was it. I had seen him in bad states but this was the end. After he died the following day the doctor asked me if I wanted to see him. I wonder still if I chickened out or whether it was the best thing to say no. It was bad enough seeing him gasping for breath.

What children of alcoholics need to deal with is the guilt. Could I have done more to help him. No probably not. He probably would have died a lot sooner if it wasn't for me. I saved his life by just being there for the first few years during his severe alcoholism. I called the ambulance dozens of times. I had an emotional breakdown after I left his house because of the guilt. But I could not cope with it any longer.

I grieved for him and still think of him every day. I don't blame him anymore. I just wish things could have been different. He was a good dad when I was a kid and he taught me a lot. Like how to name all the planets in the solar system starting from the closest to the sun. He was a brilliant cook. He was a very intelligent man. Even after years of drinking he knew more than most people will ever know. 

The thing is, take it from me. I know about the guilt. Don't blame yourself for being angry with your dad because of his illness. It's normal a reaction. He'll understand. 

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Thank you for your reply, it was nice hearing from someone who relates. My dad was also an amazing man, his only weakness was his bad coping mechanisms. I'm sure he would have understood, because I too was struggling like you were after this going on for so long, ending up on medication for anxiety and insomnia due to all of life's stress. I still can't bare the thought of him feeling so helpless and alone, like nobody cared, and that everyone else just played the victim. I guess we were ALL victims to this situation though. I'm so so sorry ahout your dad. You really did a good job, helping him for as long as you could, until you literally couldn't cope. If there is such thing as an afterlife, he would be very grateful. Much love. 

5 hours ago, rowan said:

My dad was also an alcoholic. I lived with him for years and watched him destroy himself. Once he broke his hip while drunk and point blank refused medical care so I had to look after him for two whole weeks before he finally allowed the doctor to get him an ambulance. I was bringing him water and food and pain killers and something to go to the toilet in. He drank heavily for about 6 years while I was living there. from the age of 17 to 23. This was around a bottle of vodka a day, sometimes more.

I once found him passed out nearly dead. Turned out he had a hole in his stomach caused by alcohol abuse.

He was very emotionally abusive when he was drunk. No one would do anything about it because he refused help. He was in and out of hospital for years. One day I refused to buy him drink and he went mental calling me every name under the sun. So I turned over the coffee table in a fit of rage and walked out. I still visited him but couldn't live there any more. 

 

But eventually he was persuaded by a social worker to go into a home  which was usually for mentally disabled adults when he became so weak he could hardly move. He had broken a lot of bones because he had osteoporosis due to a poor diet. He had also developed insulin dependent diabetes. He was by this point living with his 85 year old mother who was unable to cope.

He eventually got out of the home a couple or years ago. dried out for about 18 months. It took a while but back at my granny's house he was soon drinking heavily again under the stress of living with her, she was getting to the stage where she needed a lot more help. He died last June. went into a diabetic coma. I got the phone call at work. I knew he wasn't long for this world but it still hit me hard. I went to see him in the hospital but he was unresponsive and his eyes were rolled back in his head. In all honestly he looked like someone who had been starved to death and his skin was yellow. I had seen him 2 weeks before and he had looked pretty bad but nothing like this. The last thing I said to him was, "Goodbye dad." because I knew that was it. I had seen him in bad states but this was the end. After he died the following day the doctor asked me if I wanted to see him. I wonder still if I chickened out or whether it was the best thing to say no. It was bad enough seeing him gasping for breath.

What children of alcoholics need to deal with is the guilt. Could I have done more to help him. No probably not. He probably would have died a lot sooner if it wasn't for me. I saved his life by just being there for the first few years during his severe alcoholism. I called the ambulance dozens of times. I had an emotional breakdown after I left his house because of the guilt. But I could not cope with it any longer.

I grieved for him and still think of him every day. I don't blame him anymore. I just wish things could have been different. He was a good dad when I was a kid and he taught me a lot. Like how to name all the planets in the solar system starting from the closest to the sun. He was a brilliant cook. He was a very intelligent man. Even after years of drinking he knew more than most people will ever know. 

The thing is, take it from me. I know about the guilt. Don't blame yourself for being angry with your dad because of his illness. It's normal a reaction. He'll understand. 

 

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Don't worry about it. I have no one who understands how I feel. I got blamed by people for buying my dad drink. When they didn't understand that he was basically blackmailing me in to doing it. I was a young girl, and basically under his thumb. He encouraged me to drink with him from a young age. 

 

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On 11/03/2017 at 0:23 AM, rowan said:

Don't worry about it. I have no one who understands how I feel. I got blamed by people for buying my dad drink. When they didn't understand that he was basically blackmailing me in to doing it. I was a young girl, and basically under his thumb. He encouraged me to drink with him from a young age. 

 

The Thing is though, when they are addicted, they NEED it, to the point where withdrawals can be more life threatening. You're not to blame at all for that at all!

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