Fathers’ Day has been celebrated on the third Sunday in June for years across the United States. In 1972, this day was set aside to recognize and honor fathers and to encourage families to come together to celebrate and thank the amazing fathers out there and show them the love, support, and appreciation they deserve. As a rehab center in Chicago, we’re aware that this day is extra special for the sober dads out there who managed to overcome their alcohol or drug use and enjoy the good things in life. If you’re celebrating Fathers’ Day with a newly sober dad this year, this one’s for you.
What It’s Like Living With Drug-Addicted or Alcoholic Parents
Living with alcoholic parents can be difficult. It can affect how you feel and behave, as well as other members of the family. Although the experience varies from person to person, generally speaking, a person who has a drug-addicted or alcoholic parent may experience the following:
- Anger towards their parent
- Sadness about their parent’s substance abuse
- Abuse at the hands of their parent, especially when the latter is drinking
- Worry for themselves, their siblings, or another parent
- Frustration when their parent is in denial about their problem or refuses to change
- Difficulty trusting or relaxing around others
- Responsibility for caring for the family or filling in the parents’ shoes, especially if the father is the only parent in the family
- Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety
Due to all of these challenges, young and adult children living with an addicted parent are more likely to:
- Struggle with anger towards their parent
- Try to stay out of their parent’s way
- Keep their feelings to themselves
- Keep their parent’s problems a secret
- Not speak up for themselves or ask for the care they need
- Harm themselves
- Miss school or struggle with keeping up with schoolwork
- Struggle to keep a job
- Struggle to maintain healthy relationships
- Take on adult tasks or grow up too quickly
- Act like they don’t care even if they’re hurting
- Argue or fight with their parent
Children of drug-addicted parents are also more likely to struggle with substance abuse themselves. Whether it’s due to genetics or learned behavior, those who have parents who struggle with a severe drug or alcohol addiction are at a high risk of developing one themselves. For this reason, among many others, professional care like our Chicago PHP can help individuals recover and reduce the risk that stems from their addiction.
Celebrating Being a Sober Dad on Fathers’ Day 2022
Growing up with a drug-addicted or alcoholic father can severely impact a child’s life, both in adolescence and adulthood. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children can experience increased, ongoing emotional difficulties and coping problems, including guilt, anxiety, embarrassment, difficulty connecting with others, confusion, anger, and depression. They’re also more likely to develop behavioral problems, including truancy, social withdrawal, suicidal behavior, violent or problematic behaviors like stealing, and more.1
With all this said, it can be easy for children to accuse their parents of not loving them enough to want to quit. However, very few people, if any, reach out for a drink or drugs with the goal of becoming addicted. There are many reasons why people start drinking or using drugs, and oftentimes, these individuals are convinced that they can stop whenever they want…until they can’t.
When one has the right support, recovering from a drug or alcohol use disorder is possible. And for some, the motivation to change your life can come from wanting to be a better parent. If you’re a father in addiction recovery who stuck with your treatment and changed your life, congratulations! If you’re the child of a father in addiction recovery, we hope that you’ve been able to rebuild your relationship with your parents.
Gifts for Sober Dads
Our Chicago addiction treatment center is familiar with the challenges of forgiving a parent who struggled with substance abuse. However, if you’ve managed to rebuild a relationship with a parent in their sobriety, we couldn’t be happier for you. If you have the joy of celebrating Fathers’ Day 2022 with your parent, here are some gift ideas for sober dads you can gift your parent:
- A customized sobriety memento
- Daily affirmations book
- A personalized Bible
- A personalized journal
- A sobriety calendar
- Creative classes or supplies for a hobby
- A vacation
- Personalized jewelry
Do You Need Help?
It’s never too late to be a parent to your children. With the right kind of help, not only can you recover from addiction, but you can create and maintain a sober lifestyle that allows you to enjoy your family. If you’re a mother or father who’s currently battling addiction, our Chicago IOP rehab is here to help.
We utilize evidence-based psychotherapy programs like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to identify the source of a client’s drug use and help them develop healthier coping mechanisms for stress, mental illness, and other challenges. We also help our clients reconnect with family members who were negatively impacted by their drug use – such as their children – through our family program.
- AACAP – Alcohol Use in Families