Friday, 13 April 2012

Me being serious for a change.

Every now and again I write a more serious post. It doesn't involve buttons and fabric, it has no pictures of painted cupboards or fluffy kittens.

This is not a difficult thing for me to write about as I have had these thoughts in my head for many years. They are not painful thoughts or even sad thoughts, they are now just thoughts.

Why am I writing this post today?

There are 2 reasons these feelings have come to the forefront of my mind of late and have made me feel like jotting them down, so to speak.
Firstly, I have a friend who has reached a milestone and I want him to know how amazing he is and what a difference it will make to others. Secondly, I know someone who is possibly feeling the same as I did 10 years ago when this all happened to me.

I lost my dad when I was 30.
People of my age have to face up to the horrible fact that losing a parent is going to be part of life and will quite possibly be the first awful loss one has to cope with.
The thing is, the grief is not normal, textbook or as straight forward when that parent was an alcoholic.
I need to make it clear that my dad didn't die due to his alcoholism but that has no bearing on how this changes ones grieving process.
The thing is, having an alcoholic parent is a burden. This may sound cruel and I don't mean it to sound that way but it is the truth in my opinion. It may not be a physical burden as such but what it is,is a burden of worry. If you have that person in your life you worry, if you cut them out of your life you worry.
I decided to keep my dad in my life and just cope with the worry. I chose to accept him for who he was and enjoy his company. I knew not to expect anything from him (there is little point in that) but just to 'get on with it'.
I knew that he loved me and he knew that I loved him.

This is not going to be everyone's story and obviously there is a lot more to it than I have written here today. I could write a hell of a lot more.

The grief is a hard one to explain and deal with as it is mixed with a very strong sense of relief, maybe you only realise this fact a bit further down the line. As a child of an alcoholic you are always waiting for something awful to happen whilst they are alive so this feeling of dread is lifted, well more than that, it just goes away.
During my grief I just let my feelings happen and I didn't think about anything in any great depth. I didn't let any feelings of guilt take a hold because I am sure an alcoholic parent feels guilt all the time and to take that feeling on is not your responsibility.
The mind is a wonderful thing and ten years on I seem to only remember the good bits. I think this happens to everyone.
These are the good things I remember.
All our Family holidays.
The fact that I 'got' him and he 'got' me.
The talent he had and how I was so proud of his work.
Doing the crossword with him every Tuesday when I was playing truant from work.

If he had stopped drinking I am sure the memories would have been better and there would probably have been lots more of them.

Sorry to be so serious today but I have had a bit of a sleepless night with all these thoughts in my head and my blog is so important to me for so many reasons. I thought this the best place to put pen to paper.

I will leave you with some of the reasons I was proud of my dad.

I will be back later and I will be back to my usual silly self, I promise.
Thanks for reading. X

Posted using IPad and half my brain.


  1. My husband's mother died 12 years ago now. she was an alcoholic as well. I totally recognise those feelings of relief - he felt them too. It was several years before he was able to be realistic about her and come to terms with who she was without the alcohol, good and bad. I have come to learn that grief never really goes away. It is more like the sea that comes and goes like the tide, each time a little different. With love x

  2. one of the things I love so much about your blog, is your honesty, I feel as if I know you and have to remember that we haven't actually met. I feel the same about blogging it is really important for me to write things down, so I know how you feel. i have not experienced the loss of a parent, could only imagine how this must feel, but what you have said makes me think you are a very wise Mrs Betty indeed. So i will just say that and send you a hug xx

  3. Oh my goodness.
    I just recognise each word you have written down here.
    My dad died 6 years ago, me being 3 months pregnant
    of my first child, i was to late to tell him.
    He was an alcoholic for 40 years but had been clean for
    5 years when he passed.

    My mum passed last February.
    She was an alcoholic too.
    I have been afraid something awful would happen to her for
    the last few years and it did, she died because of her
    addiction, suddenly...that's terrible.

    The way you wrote this post...i'm impressed.
    I have read it four times.
    Thank you.

    This happening to me can only make me strong
    and makes me live my life in another way they did.
    But it brings a lot of grief.
    It brings a lot of thoughts indeed.
    Just thoughts.
    And it will for the rest of our lives i think.

    Thank you for being serious for a moment,

  4. very true "not painful or sad thoughts, just thoughts" grief is a strange old journey and it is good to know a decade helps you deal with it better! Great thoughts, thank you for sharing x

  5. wow your dads paintings are beautiful,how nice to have something like that.My dad was,well suppose still is a alcoholic.He used to drink a hell of a lot for many years,I love my dad to bits but he wasnt one of those dads who would show you how to ride a bike etc hes a very old fashioned dad.I have fond memories of dancing to frank sinatra with him,maybe it was the huge age gap im 25 and my dad is 75.He detoxed for months last year but my brother thought it was kind to sneak him in the odd can! something for which I will never forgive my brother for,But never the less hes my dad and I wouldnt change him for the world.Good on you for posting something like this xx