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Was my dad an alcoholic?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by primalclaws1974, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    My dad died a few months ago, and it has given me time to reflect. Dad had drank since he was a teenager. It was the main reason my mom cites she left him. He drank while my siblings and I grew up, and on through our lives. He became disabled the last 15 years of his life, and off and on was drunk nearly every single day. It didn't help my stepmom was drinking right along side him. I know frequency isn't necessarily the deciding factor on alcoholism, so what do you think?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  2. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Probably yes, I am currently in the same situation, my father had a disease which permitted him to retire earlier and now all that he does all day is drinking. There are very few days when he is sober and I believe he is an alcoholic, causes might be boring, the lack of money...
  3. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    Sorry to hear about your loss. It can't have been easy to be surrounded by alcohol from an early age on. I know, as I had to contend with alcoholic parents. Did your father die from an alcohol related disease?
    My parents are still alive, as both of them managed to stop drinking about ten years ago, but their health has been bad ever since. As a matter of fact, my father just had a brain seizure recently. And my mother needed a pace maker. They are not even that old yet. Alcohol abuse comes at a very high price.
  4. juliaintheclouds

    juliaintheclouds Active Contributor

    I would agree with the above poster, he was probably an alcoholic. If he was drunk almost everyday it sounds like he was using alcohol to self-medicate. It also sounds like it had a very negative effect on his life by ruining his marriage. It's good that you recognize this, being the child of an alcoholic you may have some predisposition to alcoholism as well and you can take precautionary steps to prevent it.
  5. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Your dad was quite certainly an addict. If someone is dependent upon a substance and just can't do without it then obviously that person is an addict. The fact that he couldn't stop drinking even after your mother left further proves that his inability to stop drinking was probably because he didn't see how he could cope without alcohol.
  6. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    Yes, your father [primalclaws1974], was definitely a addict to ethanol beverage drinking, especially if he did the habit almost everyday since he was a teen. It's sorrowful to see one's parent or any human die addicted to a drug. One of my older brother's college friend's father passed earlier this summer from ethanol addiction and due to his father's passing, he also lost his auntie and uncle a month later because they were depressed from his father's death.

    My father started drinking a lot for a little while when he was in Vietnam War, especially after he saw his friend died, so during one night he got bad drunk and crushed his beer bottle in his hand, which his peers had to get him away from drinking because they saw it had become a problem. He rarely drinks now, and only a beer or wine during certain occasions.

    We can only help people to a certain extent, beyond is up to their selves to pick up the reigns and resolve their problems.
  7. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Sorry for your loss. It's hard to judge just from a short summary but it does sound like he was a bit addicted to alcohol. If it became so much of a problem that it drove his wife away then it would seem that his priorities were a bit misplaced, possibly as a result of him getting his positive or soothing effects more from substances than his accomplishments.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Most probably he was an alcoholic with all those descriptions you have given.
    Sad to know what happened to him and hope the family are all okay about it already. It is hard to grow up in the family with such addiction and that there are times that the person who can really help them are themselves.
  9. ImMrCuriosity

    ImMrCuriosity Member

    Your father definitely was an alcoholic, based on how you described him. I imagine how hard it would be for you to grow up in a environment like that. But you're strong enough to keep going forward. And sorry for your loss.
  10. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    Thank you for all the responses. No, my dad did not die from alcohol. He died from a heart transplant that didn't take. His liver was actually in good condition, strangely enough. Yes, growing up with dad living at "the office" (bar) was not easy. There were times we even had to take his grandkids up there to see him. I am not trying to make him sound like a bad person, because it wasn't, but it was hard.
  11. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    In my book anytime a persons life or the people around him is affected on a daily basis because of alcohol consumption, has a problem and it could be alcoholism. Alcohol does have negatives effects on ones health and body. Cancer cells thrive on alcohol. You might not get cancer later, but the immune system will be weakened because of the ongoing alcohol use and fighting off cancer cells in the body that we had since birth. Cancer cells just didn't just appear one day. We've had it since birth and our immune system has been fighting it off all this time. Alcohol tips the scale into the favor of cancer cells and the immune system cannot keep up with fighting off everything that it encounters. It is then that other ailments and viruses become apparent and visible.
  12. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    I think that he relied on alcohol to get through his day. Yes indeed he was abusing alcohol because he had to drink every day. My dad used to drink when we were very young. He stopped drinking when we were in our teen years because he did not want to set a bad example. I ended up being a drunk at one point. If your dad did not have a problem with alcohol, he could have been content with a cup of coffee or a glass of water for that matter. May he rest in peace.
  13. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    I understand your questioning. It does sound like the behaviour of an alcoholic, to keep drinking even as his bad habit makes everything fall apart around him. It does not mean he loved your mother any less, or any of his children less -- and I know that could be a tempting thought, the idea that "But he should have changed for us if he loved us!" Chances are, he did not love himself enough to give himself credit to find happiness without the help of alcohol. Self-medicating can make a person lose his lucidity.

    Though to answer to muthoni: I know some alcoholics who really don't like the taste of anything but beer. Cannot stand the taste of water or coffee, happy with soda or juice, but bored with it fast. That said, they are happy with non-alcoholic beer now. But only after hitting rock bottom and choosing to get a new start.

    I'm sorry for your loss, OP.