Monday, September 24, 2007

More about alcohol.....

This started as a comment on Goldenbeers very moving post about alcoholism but got too long so I've turned it into a post! I'm so sorry about your cousin GB.

My dad became an alcoholic very late in life, late 70's he was, after my mother died. He was always a very mild mannered quiet man and all that changed. The things he did while drunk would probably be unforgiveable in most people's books.
We went through the "intervention" process but it didn't work. (Involves a kinda counselling where the family detail all the problems and after weeks confront the alcoholic and present them with an ultimatum). At his age he had nothing to lose by keeping drinking, no job, he didn't drive, no spouse to walk out on him etc. etc. We tried lots of places for help, treatment centres etc. all unsuitable for a man his age.
I know someone who works in an off licence says old people are in in their droves during the day buying drink. There's no help for old people with alcoholism as most treatment centres involve "work". And AA don't offer help unless the person is admitting to their problem. I was always expecting to find him dead at the end of the stairs. In the end he ended up in a home, where he lives now. But his mind has gone and it's a shame he's there because he was an extremely healthy, fit person otherwise who walked miles every day to keep fit. At least where he is now, he is safe and clean and very well looked after.

I don't drink myself. Maybe I'm afraid I'd have those tendencies. As the builders I used to work with loved to say: Kickly horse, kicky foal.....


  1. Thanks for the post Ash, it's tragic that your dad's life changed so much, it goes to show that we should never take anything for granted, that a man who was so fit and healthy could fall so far down into himself in his 70's. Strange things can happen to people when they lose their partners, as you get older it must play on your mind that your wife or husband could die before you. If you dad is a typical irish dad he must have kept his grief repressed when your mum died, and that meant he was unable to help you and any siblings you have with the loss of your mum. I'm glad he is safe now, and as for the things he did when he was drinking, that wasn't your dad doing that, it's hard to let it go, but that's the only way to be free of it.

  2. Thanks MW, everything you've said is spot on. The good thing is we (my siblings and I) were all adults when this was going on. Imagine how hard it is for young kids of alcoholics.
    And all the things he did while drinking have been forgotten really, I just wonder will the grandkids, who he may have hurt with things he said, forgive and forget as easy.

  3. I'm amazed at the discussion that's been kiked off here by GB's post. More than I've ever had face to face with people over the years. The anonymity of here seems to bring out the honest and confessional in all of us.

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