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My son James

Posted by John G on 5 October 2011.

Hello all, I am a drinker but not an alcoholic.

I and my family are troubled deeply by the effects of our sons (James) alcoholism.

Many years ago James was a nice, normal young teenager, we can’t remember when he changed or started to change.

Before James was old enough to drink alcohol he did, I think at about 16 years old, when he was a bit older he would go out with his mates to the local club on Friday and Saturday nights, he would drink so much he would fall into a very deep sleep and could not be woken, eventually his mates got him home, he was not very nice to be near when he came in and would fall out with everyone in the house.

Very gradually James’s drinking and behaviour got worse.

Eventually he moved out and lived in a flat with his girl friend and things didn’t seem too bad.

Or so we thought.

The process of going from a drinker to an alcoholic took years and showed it’s self in things like crashing his car on the A38 and causing a major pileup, going into hospital for detox (at first about twice a year), then he had a seizure at work and fell off of some steps and smashed a vase with his face, which left him badly scarred, you would think that would have made him reassess his life and try to change…..wouldn’t you.

Because of the state he was in we allowed him to come and live with us, oh dear….

He did improve (not stop) for short periods about 5-6 months then he would relapse and the good periods got shorter.

I am missing out most of the very unpleasant and emotional things he put us and his brother and sister through, he made our lives a misery.

His visits to the hospital for detox were now about every 3 months, all he did was lay in his bed and sneak out to buy Vodka.

James finally agreed to seek proper help, we couldn’t force him he had to agree to do this because he was now 35 years old…..yes that’s about 19 years since he started drinking.

James said he had come to a point in his life where he really wanted to stop drinking and have a normal life; he was given a position in a prominent rehab in Sheffield.
He was there for about 15 months and did really well, he gave talks to other people and schools about what alcohol had done to his life and was going to train as a drug and alcohol counsellor.

Wow, we had our son back; he was now a bright eyed person who had a future, we were so proud of him.

He moved to an assisted flat in Sheffield, the flat was kitted out with everything he needed.

To cut a long sad storey short when James moved into his flat he started drinking again, not just a can of lager but straight onto the Vodka, we didn’t see much of him, he wouldn’t answer his phone or when he did he was going somewhere and couldn’t see us, but when we did see him he made sure he looked ok, so we didn’t realise he was back on the Vodka.

We think that all the time he was in rehab he was acting and the only reason he was off of the Vodka was because he COULDN’T get any.
James spent the next nine months or so going into detox more and more frequently, he went in again in April 2011 and was told he may not recover if he did it again.

The last time he came to us was Christmas day 2010 we were going to have a nice day together mum, dad, brother, sister and his girl friend, I spoke to him on the phone half an hour before they arrived and he sounded fine, alert. When they arrived he was so bad his hands were shaking uncontrollably and he couldn’t walk without help, the same happened on Fathers day 2010, he put his arms around me and said he loved me…I just wanted him to go away……now he has.

We blame ourselves and think we could have or should have done more, I suppose we could have done more latterly but the way he had been for so many years had numbed and conditioned us, we had become used to him being a drunken mess and repeatedly going into hospital for detox, it’s too late now, in the end of the day I don’t think WE could have done anything that would have changed the way my sons life ended, but I wish I could go back and try.

Now we are left with all the memories and it’s very hard after so many years to be able to recall any good times with him.

His mum is in need of help and neither of us sleep very well at all… close your eyes and James is there.

James died at the age of 37 years on the 1st July 2011.



13 May 2012

I dont know what 2 say but i need 2 say something. My husband is 26 and has jsut been diagnosed as alchol dependant. hes done the detox and is now on wk 3 of no alchol. If ever thers a story 2 make me as determinded as poss to help him make this work its ur story. We r parents r selves ( 2 girls. age 2 and 9) and its because of r girls my husband went and asked 4 help. I just hope he can make it work.

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