This Morning | The Children of Alcoholics by Joanna Abeyie |
According to The National Association for Children of Alcoholics there are 2.6 million children who live with an alcoholic parent.
“You are not alone. Many families keep alcohol problems a secret, so sometimes it can feel like you are the only one. 1 in 5 children in the UK live with a parent who drinks too much. This means other people you know at school, clubs etc. may have similar problems, and may be trying to hide it.” – Nacoa
This Morning made history on Monday 5th December, when it became the first programme to film inside an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting. Journalist and Director of Hyden Talent; Joanna Abeyie, opened up about her father’s addiction to alcohol. Due to Mr Abeyie’s unpredictable behaviour, Joanna expressed that, “Growing up i felt anxious, ashamed and vulnerable.”
Even though she has great relationship with her dad and he gave his blessings with sharing their story. She revealed that her dad was still struggling with alcoholism till this day, and that she has moved out of the family home to block the “negative emotions” and is moving on with her life.
The segment ‘My Mum..the Alcoholic’, shows Joanna interviewing a 17 year old student “KC”, who cares for his mother with alcohol addiction. He mentioned one day things will be fine and the next day it could be a different story. He told Joanna about the not so good days, he said she would become aggressive, almost zombie like and that she had slammed a door once, which resulted in the handle coming off. KC said he blamed himself at times, suggesting maybe because he wasn’t doing well in school or wasn’t the person she wanted him to be. He later concluded that his mum’s addiction is indeed an illness.
“Alcoholism is the most serious form of problem drinking, and describes a strong, often uncontrollable, desire to drink. Sufferers of alcoholism will often place drinking above all other obligations, including work and family, and may build up a physical tolerance or experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop.” – drink aware.com
Joanna also mentioned that KC would purposely stay behind in school to avoid going home, currently he is studying at a Theatre College and he is doing well with his grades. Joanna was then shown at an anonymous AA meeting where the attendees expressed themselves on alcohol abuse, by saying;
- “It’s a killer illness, before it kills you, it sends you mad!”
- “My marriage fell apart, that was the first thing to go, then my driving license .. maybe because i was a drunk mother.”
- “We’ve got bank robbers in here, bank managers, bakers, doctors, nurses..all colours, different religions. But we are all the same, we have the same illness.”
Carers who are faced with the challenges of caring for their parent with any substance abuse, sometimes do not seek any advice or support. As NACOA pointed out, it can become a family secret for a long time. Please get the help you need, additionally you can contact your local carers centre , Carers Trust’s Babble or get in touch with Carers UK Adviceline.
Good luck and stay strong!