I must have been in denial, I never really saw the signs. But regardless of what I did or didn’t see, alcohol was quickly and surely taking over your life. Looking back I wish I did so much more to help you; to help mom. Even though I was an adult, she protected me from knowing what was really going on with you. A few moments she let a detail or two slip that made me wonder, but that was about as far as it got.
How did I not know? I know I could never have made you stop drinking, but maybe I could have helped you want to stop. Addiction is scary and you should never have had to deal with this on your own.
Then one day it just became too late, too late to help you, too late to help mom, too late to help myself. I got a call that no child should ever have to receive about their parents – you were in the hospital, after being found unresponsive after yet another bender. But this time, the doctors weren’t sure if you would ever wake up, function or recover at all.
Now not only has alcohol taken away the man I knew and loved, it has also taken away your future. Believe me when I say I was angry. Angry that you could be so selfish to do this to yourself, and leave me hurting.
I do know better now, that you were not doing anything to hurt me, mom or even yourself; you had no control over what was going on – you were in far too deep. And by the time I could help you, I wasn’t able to.
I thank God that you were able to recover and so much better than any doctor had ever imagined. Physically, you picked up where you left off; but mentally, you couldn’t remember conversations, how much mom relied on you after she became sick and ultimately that you were never to drink again. You were diagnosed with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, but if I were to ever mention it to you, you would fight me on it. You said that it wasn’t true, I was lying or you plain just ignored me.
Now, I am even angrier than I was before. So much responsibility fell to my shoulders. All I wanted was my Dad back, but instead I gained another child. Someone I had to watch over, protect to the best of my abilities and slowly watch deteriorate.
How much fight does one person have? I have fought so many battles, but yours was one I could not fight. That was yours and yours only. Addiction is a horrible disease; watching you fight your way out of the hospital I truly had hope that you were going to be a success story. But with all stories, that’s all it was, just a story that never got its happy ending.
I know you are not hurting and that the alcohol took the pain away when you were here. But know that I am not angry anymore, I am saddened for what could have been, but also joyful for the many years you were on this Earth and that I had the ultimate pleasure of calling you “Daddy.”
I love you Dad,
Unfortunately my Dad will never get to read this letter as he passed away March 2017. He died with a blood alcohol level of almost double the legal limit and hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is common in people with alcohol addiction as their bodies cannot regulate temperature properly. They can easily overheat, even in the coldest of Canadian winter temperatures.
Are you worried about your or a loved one’s drinking? Contact The Farm today at 1 (877) 353-2777 to see how our alcohol addiction treatment program can help you regain control of your life.