We in Davina’s Ark believe that addiction affects family members as much as the person in addiction. Our services are family focused. Each person in a family responds to the needs of the addiction that dictates the quality of their lives and in Kevin’s case they were no exception.
Kevin is the second youngest of five boys. He recalls a happy, contented and strict upbringing growing up with his mum and dad.
Eamon, who was to suffer from the disease of alcoholism, was the eldest in the family. Kevin can’t remember noticing drink or any problems associated with drink at home.
Eamon worked as an electrician and was hard working. He had two sons and was first to get married from the house. It was only then Kevin had noticed Eamon’s drinking, and the company he was surrounding himself with. Eamon found himself going down a road that caused him a lot of problems which contributed to his marriage breaking down and being estranged from his two sons.
Eamon would have been one to bottle up his feelings but he confided in his mum with whom he had a close relationship about his drinking.
Kevin describes Eamon as a joker, always helpful of others, a charmer and had the gift of the gab. It wasn’t too long before Eamon married a second time. Alcohol was very present in their home and they both drank. They had three children together and Kevin in his own words said “they saw things and experienced too much for any child”.
Eamon went away to work, he was always a hard worker, whilst doing big hours he seemed to be coping and providing for his family. The children had to deal with so much in that time. Eamon had stopped drinking for a full year.
Kevin recalls him looking so well at this time. Unfortunately this was to be the last time they seen Eamon free from alcohol and the control it had on his life.
The disease of alcoholism was progressing and things got really bad. On asking Kevin what the effects were to himself and his family, he answered “hard to watch”. As the drinking increased, communication decreased and Eamon’s behaviour was changing, at times out of control, often causing embarrassment to the family. Kevin recalls feeling angry at having to watch his parents in particular coping with the stress, worry and pain they were experiencing trying to control the uncontrollable.
Their dad had quit drinking himself because he felt he couldn’t preach or guide his son in giving up drink if he was doing it himself. All efforts were made to help Eamon.
Kevin talks about his mum going any lengths to help Eamon, all hours of the day and night along with endless prayers and masses she would have said for him. This caused tension in her own home. Many families describe this as a tug of war, torn between tough love and loving to the point of enabling the person in addiction.
Kevin talks about always living with dread, waiting on the next crisis.
To be continued.
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