I have a wife and a son…. I think I am an alcoholic because every week I drink, and then I feel sad and disconsolate, and beg God to deliver me from alcohol. I think that it is not good for my son to grow up watching me drink.

Right now I work far away, but I am thinking of bringing my family here and I don’t want my son to see me inebriated…. I never had a father, and I don’t want to be a bad father to my son. I want him to be a happy child and to be proud of me.

Dear Friend,

I know what it is like to have a father who drinks every day and gets inebriated much of the time. So I identify with the deep shame of having a father who is an alcoholic. I am familiar with the uncertainty and insecurity and anxiety that a child experiences when she does not know the condition that her father will be in when he comes to her school or when he meets her friend’s parents. I can still feel the shame. It is always there inside me, reminding me of what it was like.

I congratulate you for wanting a better life for your son and for wanting him to be proud of you. It sounds like you really care for him and want to change your habit of drinking. Begging God for His help is a great start, but conquering alcoholism requires more than just regrets and pleading.

My brother is an alcoholic, but he no longer drinks. Instead, he goes to meetings where he and other alcoholics encourage each other and work together to change their lives. In order to beat alcoholism, you too must find a support group for alcoholics and go to meetings very often. Are you embarrassed or ashamed to admit that you are an alcoholic in front of other people? That shame is nothing compared to the lifetime of shame that you will cause your son if you do not stop drinking.

When you pray, ask God to forgive you for all of the sins that you have committed. Ask Him to give you courage and determination to follow through with the action steps that will be required in the process of changing your life. And ask Him to go with you to the first meeting and to become your daily Companion. Find a church where the people have been changed by their relationships with Jesus Christ, and attend those meetings as well.

You need to get your support system well established while you still have time to yourself. Therefore, it may be best to acquire the habit of attending the meetings for several months before you bring your wife and son to live where you are now. Don’t put it off. Begin today!

We wish you the best,