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Topic Father is Drinking to cope Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By B_Street On 2018.03.27 18:04
Hi family,

My father was diagnosed with PD 7 years ago at the age of 45. Over the years, I have noticed that he has been turning to alcohol to “self medicate”.

He was pushed out of his company and forced to retire early about 3 years ago, and this is when I began to notice the largest change in his drinking habits. By no means does he wake up at 9am and crack open a cold one, but he drinks daily. The drinks range from a couple of beers to 4 or 5 large vodka drinks.

In social situations, he is not able to pace himself to match those around him and often ends up making my mom and I uncomfortable, leaving us to cover any awkward situations such as irrelevant comments, etc.

My dad and I have had a wonderful relationship and I have reached out to him numerous times regarding th situation. He is always defensive, stating that he feels better when he drinks and that others just simply can’t understand. He explains that he wants to live and do what he wants. I can’t begin to imagine how he feels day to day, and It all breaks my heart. I suggest he speak to a professional about it, but he refuses.

I am getting married in a month, and I am more worried about my dad drinking too much and doing something foolish than anything else. I love him dearly, but I am worried for his long term physical and mental health. I’m also worried about our relationship. He’s always been my best friend, but as time goes on it is harder and harder to have a healthy relationship.

Does anyone have any experiences similar to this one, or any advice?

Thank you!

By jcoff012 On 2018.03.27 19:47
Nice greeting! Welcome to the Forum!

You may be unaware of this, but Michael J Fox turned to alcohol for several years, too. If I might suggest you get one of his earlier books where he talks openly about it and how he learned to cope. If you think it is appropriate, perhaps you might suggest your Dad would find it interesting.

I cannot imagine that any competent neuro or pcp would approve of alcohol and PD meds, especially when the alcohol is to excess.

Right now my husband is walking around the park with our 8 year old grandson. I have a swollen ankle, so I am sitting on a park bench! My PWP is an amazing man... he is doing this after 1 1/2 hours of Rock Steady boxing!

I do have to feel sorry for anyone with a chronic condition..In a way, I understand the hopeless feeling that “I have this disease and it will only get worse...”

Try to be patient. I know it is hard. But, explain how you feel, too. Remember you love each other. Happy wedding!! Jane

By LOHENGR1N On 2018.03.28 20:10
B_Street, Hello and welcome to the forum. Some advice I can give you is to look up steps or stages of grieving. Pick one that you find helpful and copy it. Stick a copy in a desk drawer or night stand, one on your computer, even in the glove compartment in the car. Any place that is handy and easy access to. It should serve you well. It won't solve problems but it will help explain things that may be going on. As this is a progressive disease We keep grieving new losses. Many of Us go through the it's my life and I want to live and do what I want stage (Denial). A couple drinks daily can and does help create the illusion we're just one of the guys and have some control over our situation. I'd start with reading the grieving process while it won't cure what is going on it will give a bit of insight as to what is going on with your Dad, Yourself and your Mom as each of you try to make sense of behavior, reactions to and how you're all handling coming to terms grappling with this disease that has invaded your lives to some degree or other. Also it helps to see a reaction or feeling written down and to know it is normal to react or feel a certain way. Much as this forum helps you realize you are not alone and what you feel others also are feeling. Hope this helps

By B_Street On 2018.03.30 01:00
Thank you both so much for replying.. your insight is extremely helpful, comforting, and uplifting. I may never understand how my father feels, and his way of grieving is going to be different from mine, my mother’s etc. I will continue to remember this, to love and have compassion, and do what I can to help my father.

Thank you for your support. This really is a family.

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