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Colonel J
Jan 3, 2008

Dude is 55 and I'm pretty sure he's going to kill himself with alcohol. He didnt drink from 2000 to 2015, and restarted hard in 2016, until he was forced by his job to go to rehab. Now he's out of rehab and suffers from severe anxiety; he's a shell of the man who raised me and it's driving me crazy. I have no idea what to do. I feel like confronting him would just add to his anxiety. He basically begged a friend of mine to give him a sip from his beer. Im sure he's going to start drinking in secret.

It killed his dad, and now the cycle is repeating. I like to drink too and am scared it will pass down to me, but I feel like I have infinite self-awareness compared to the man, and right now am focusing hard on not losing my dad to this poo poo. What should I do? What can I even do aside from watching the trainwreck happen?


Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

I used to self-medicate with alcohol until I got sick of being a fatass and talked to my doctor. Ciprolax/citalopram are pretty ok I guess.

Does he like the taste of tea? The oral fixation / habit is tough to break and I found decaffeinated tea to be helpful.

He's not going to stop drinking unless he wants to, unfortunately. Does he want to?

Feb 14, 2008

All David...all the TIME!

Could you do stuff with him where alcohol isn't an option?
Sorry you're dealing with this.

Jun 18, 2009

My recommendation is to find some Nar-Anon meetings in your area. It's helpful to see you're not alone and other people have loved ones they struggle to help. I've worked as a substance abuse counselor, and the hard truth is your dad is the one who needs to seek help. Just as he's powerless over his alcoholism, so are you.

Edgar Allen Ho
Apr 3, 2017

Speaking as a recovering alcoholic, if he doesn't want to quit, he won't. At best he'll hide it from you.

Do you actually know whether or not he's drinking?

FWIW, anxiety is a symptom of alcohol abuse and withdrawal, and it can take a long time for it to fade, especially if you've abused and then relapsed before. You don't go to rehab and then come back perfectly normal. I found it helpful to get back into hobbies that I'd stopped as drinking took over, like working out, writing and reading, anything works. If you're used to spending your free time getting drunk then it's hard to find other ways to fulfill that time without giving your brain a chemical kick.

I only drank hard for a year and a half, ended up in the emergency room with a possibly-lethal BAC. By a few days after I was feeling good enough to start living normally, (I was tired and anxious but more or less functional), but it takes a lot longer for you to feel 100%. If you're a career alcoholic and end up in rehab for an extended period I can only imagine the time it takes is even longer.

Edgar Allen Ho fucked around with this message at May 20, 2017 around 21:34

Dec 30, 2012

Colonel J posted:

I like to drink too and am scared it will pass down to me, but I feel like I have infinite self-awareness compared to the man
That infinite self awareness will fade as you drink. Going to AA meetings or AlAnon meetings can help you help yourself and as a happy side-effect will help you deal with your dad.

On the airplane they have you put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you. I would focus on that same strategy here.

Nov 24, 2007

I'm out of a rehab for alcoholism too. There are a lot of people going through what you are.

People have suggested going to support groups for family/friends of alcoholics which is great advice. To add on to that I would suggest speaking to your doctor to get a referral to a psych who specialises in drug and alcohol counselling, not to help your father but to help yourself. Your probably not an alcoholic but they will be able to teach strategies to cope with the emotions that come from this.

You gotta be selfish when it comes to this because relapse is more often than not the norm.

Focus on keeping yourself sane and just be open to forgiving your father when he is ready to quit drinking.

Feb 12, 2015
The fairy of forgiveness has removed your red text.

There are support groups for people in your position:

See if any of the above meet in your area.

You need to understand that it is not your responsibility to fix your dad, any more than you could cure his cancer if he had that.

What you need to do is to break the cycle and ensure you don't become an alcoholic yourself, as you obviously have the genetic potential for it. I would advise not drinking at all. Can't get hooked if you don't partake. The big danger of people in your situation is that you start drinking to cope with the pain of your dad drinking, and thus the cycle continues.


Oct 5, 2006


I don't have anything new to add because suggesting al-anon was what i was going to do. Just echoing the advice, both my parents are alcoholics but the closest thing i can get to admitting it is "yeah i got a problem but ill die soon anyway". Thats when i gave up.

Like any other psychological disorder the ability to rationalize the problem away reaches absurd levels, and all you can do is make yourself feel better.

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