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My father is an alcoholic. He spends all money on alcohol and never pays school fees. I have siblings of a school age, and it seems I am the only one concerned about their education. My mother, on the other hand, understands the problem we all go through. My parents normally argue, but father never pays attention to my mother. He is the type that believes he is always right and does not want anyone to overpower or even put more sense to him. My father has always been very rude, and he never takes time to listen to whatever we might want to share with him. He also seems to be under the influence of his friends who take advantage of the situation to spoil him completely.
I wanted to talk with him at least to tell him how I feel. Given that I am the first born in my family, I supposed that he may listen to whatever I want to share with him. Approaching him, I did it in a sober way while he is sober. In my action plan, I had to be smart. All I needed from him was to change and stop drinking. This, I supposed, would work out, because I wanted to put all the senses to his mind and let him know that he had to take part in education of his children. We would sit down as a family and agree on everyones mode of conduct and limits that were to be keenly observed since his behavior was embarrassing to us and the neighbors. I understood the problem with alcohol addiction and in this case gave him enough time to change his behavior. All this was to be achieved in a span of 8 months. This was to be fulfilled given that I had the support of my family members and even the neighbors. The morale was so high, and I knew that I was going to make it. The results I got were positive and encouraging. He slowly managed to change and gave his family priorities that we had never enjoyed.
I had to understand the reason he drunk excessively. He managed to lose himself when intoxicated and hence avoid the depression that he was going through in his life. He used this to push the burden over to the family, and this was the way he used to ease the burden. I had at all cost to avoid arguing, because I knew that I would never win and would make him clam up in any future talks. I also feared getting physically hurt. I did not want to appear nagging or even accusing, because this would make him feel disrespected. I placed it as a request coming from his loving and concerned child. I made sure that I was consistent with whatever I said to him. This really helped me since he knew that I would do certain things that I promised him. We had much trust in him given that he did whatever he promised us. This was so encouraging and finally made the family depend on him. At some point in time, I had made my mind that I would also drink alcohol some day. What kept me refrain was when I remembered everything about him when drunk and I never liked it.
It was difficult to ask him to change. I felt very nervous considering the way he acts rudely. I feared that he would feel angry and even beat us all. It proved to be difficult, but I had to press on and make sure that he at least reduced the amount of alcohol he consumed.
The response we got was very encouraging. For the first time, he managed to share his thoughts with us and told us the reason why he used to drink. He was undergoing depression at the work place. As a family, we discussed this, and this has enabled him to improve a great deal. There is a reduction in alcohol drinking, and I think he followed it through to date.
I did everything I could to end the drinking at the state it was. There would have been a better way to do it. It would have been better if I approached him shortly after an alcohol related problem occurred, for example after a serious argument of which drinking played a major role. I should have shared with him that we were concerned about his drinking and be with him in getting help. I would have also gathered information of the local treatment options in advance and even organize an appointment with a treatment organ. Getting strength from the extended family to confront him as a big group would have been a way of finding strength in numbers.
Doing things differently apart from the usual way is a challenge to everyone. As for me, I would balance and see both the positive and the negative side. I would start by making a plan that I will stick to. This will guide me on the change journey and even think of it as an adventure. Setting goals is a way to go. Then it is advisable to break them into small, specifically defined and measurable manageable steps. Changing behaviors is done one at a time. This is due to the fact that unhealthy behaviors develop with time and require time to be replaced with healthy ones. Asking for support is a way that will help me much. This involves accepting help from those who care for me and this will strengthen my resilience and commitment.