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lost my dad to alcohol


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Hello, I lost my dad 2 years ago to alcohol issues. I am 22 years old, male and I've been struggling to cope.

My story: My dad was never around for my family and i hated him for years, it was always my mum who did everything for me and my family. He was a violent drunk and attacked my mum in the past. He died 2 years ago on the 3rd of May 2013.

It was only at his death when I found out a lot of things about my dad. My dad didn't leave us because he didn't love us, he did it for the complete opposite reason, he loved us too much. He knew that his behaviour was unacceptable as a human especially as a parent. He stayed away and kept his eye on our family from a distance, constantly checking in with my Grandmother to see how we all were doing.

My birthday is on the 25th of February, on my birthday I rang my dad up. I was 20 years old and I wanted to make my own choice, I rang him to speak with him, get to know how he is and other chit chat. I asked if I could meet with him soon. I wanted him to be a dad regardless, and we had arranged to meet in 2 weeks from my birthday. We didn't meet 2 weeks later but it was planned, we would speak about arranging it with my Granddad.

I woke up one day at about 12 in the afternoon, I was staying at a friends house which was quite a distance from my home. I woke up and saw 8 missed calls from my mother, sister, friends mother, etc. I knew something was wrong. I rang my mum, and she told me about my dad.

A piece of me died as well and all I wanted to do was go home to my family and hug, cry, love them. Instead, I told my friend about the news and I was received with "my dad was never there, my dad was an ass" and I got this from his whole family. I was with his family for over 3 hours because they refused to take me home before a certain time. I was furious.

I finally got home, was greeted to hugs, crying and love and my body went into protective mode. I didn't show any emotion, I was looking after everyone else in my family. I didn't want anyone to worry about me because I was too busy looking after all of them. We all went out to the pub to celebrate my dads life, have a drink for him.

Later that evening, me and my sister went to see a family friend who were also my dads friends. Me and my sister went round and we spoke for hours about my dad. Me and my sister were drunk already due to the pub earlier in the day but our family friends had been giving us drinks too, mainly vodka. My sister was crying her heart out, the family friends were crying their eyes out but I wasn't. Finally my sister had had way too much to drink so we got her a ride home. As soon as she left, I went back inside the house and kept talking to the family friends. This was the point I started to cry because I had no family members around.

It took months later for me to cry again, it was whilst I was on a trip with the Princes Trust and I was speaking with (basically a stranger) someone who I had only known for a week. I was talking about my dad and I just collapsed and cried.

Ever since my dads death, I haven't been drunk. I have an occasional drink but 2-3 drinks are now my limit. I think that's a subconscious thing.

I wanted to put my story out there because over the years I have told myself and told everyone else that I am fine. It has finally come to a point where I am no longer fine. I decided to get in touch with a bereavement support to place an appointment. I was told that it's easy to talk about these things with strangers so I figured, why not? I contacted them almost 6 months ago and still had no reply back from them after telling me to wait 3-4 months for an appointment. I found this appalling, making somebody wait for help especially with such a subject as depression.

I'm not going to lie but just writing this has helped me out. It's been nice, like I am releasing something.

I thank you for reading my story and I hope this gives you an understanding of my story.

Thank you.

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aw I am so sorry about your Dad :(  .. because he had alcohol issues doesn't take away the fact that he was still your father and that you loved him.  Alcohol abuse is an illness.. just like any other illness.. and we don't stop loving people because they are sick... so why should your grief be any different because your Dad was perhaps sick from an alcohol illness. Your friends just don't understand and are probably very uneducated when it comes to grief and losing a father.  I understand your frustration and pain.. it's the same with me and I am old!!  I am 52yo and people think that since my Mom was 80yo, I shouldn't grieve.  Losing someone that we love is so incredibly personal.  It's different for everyone and it's different on who you lose. What I have come to understand is that you cannot take what people say as definite, it's just their understanding but doesn't mean fact what so ever.


Have you tried contacting any alcohol family related support groups, like ACOA?  Adult Children of Alcoholics.  Not saying your Dad was an alcoholic, noone has that right to diagnose but your own father and a doctor.. but these support groups are for people who grew up in an alcoholic environment. They can be very helpful in understanding your pain and frustration in how you may have been raised or how your relationship was with your Dad.  There is another group called ALANON... but that is more for spouses of alcoholics...but you can certainly check it out.   They have these groups everywhere... I'm sure they are in your area. 


As for your grief, my counselor says if you don't feel the sadness now it will come back.  It's okay that you couldn't be sad for the first two years.. it was just your body's way of dealing with it.. but now it sounds like you want to deal with it, and that's okay.  You will be like the rest of us being sad and going through this process.  I think you need to keep reaching out for support groups... not all of them respond, but you shouldn't get discouraged and stop reaching out.  There are alot of support groups out there.  


.. and I'm sorry about your Dad :(  At 22 or 52 it's not easy to lose a parent.  I'm glad you are here talking about it... cause we all certainly understand.


Hugs to you and prayers.

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