Charlotte’s story: “Often people don't realise how their drinking can impact their family”

Charlotte | September 2022 | 6 minutes

My dad started drinking from a young age and struggled with poor mental health.

Charlotte is pushing herself out of her comfort zone and doing a sky dive in memory of her dad for Alcohol Change UK on Friday 23 September. This is her story.

My dad started drinking from a young age and struggled with poor mental health. At that stage, I feel he would have felt in control of his drinking. However, he soon developed a problematic relationship with alcohol but was very much in denial. My dad met my mum and was able to mask his addiction to some extent, as well as keeping up a full-time job. After my parents had us, he was unable to commit to the responsibility of parenthood and his behaviour started to become more unpredictable. 

Since his passing, I have been able to reminisce on the good times we shared and the good qualities he had before he started drinking. He was a caring man, who had a lot of pride and was always making everyone laugh. He was aged 15 when he joined the Navy but after five years of service, he left. Dad went on to manage several clubs in various different cities.

After meeting the people who worked with my dad, I know how respected he was by those who worked for him. 

I know my dad did not choose this life and when we cleared out his flat, we could see how much he longed for the life he could have lived as he had photos everywhere of my brother and me. Alcohol changes people and often they do not realise the implications their drinking has on them and their family. ‘Addiction’ is what eventually led to my dad’s passing, which is ironic because in his eyes it was the only thing that was there for him in dark times.  

I want to share this story because I want to raise awareness around the stigma of ‘alcoholism’ and encourage people to get the help they need to prevent more needless deaths. 

I have chosen to do a skydive because it is always something I have feared to do.

Therefore, I feel it is important for me to push myself beyond my comfort zone to demonstrate to others that they can do the same thing in speaking out about their issues, which can be such a difficult thing to do.

Charlotte is fundraising for Alcohol Change UK and will be taking part in a charity skydive on Friday 23 September in memory of her Dad.

You can donate here

You can read more about the language used to talk about drinking problems, including the word ‘addiction’ and ‘alcoholism’, here.

If you are affected by a loved one’s drinking, you deserve support.

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