My father relapsed...hard. How can I help him through this? (super long, but needed to understand the context)
My father is 50 years old & has been dealing with substance & alcohol abuse since his early 20s.
He was able to kick his cocaine habit 19 years ago, but that's also when his drinking took on a whole new form.
When he's sober, he's a loving & kind man, proud to be a single father, creative & charismatic. He could easily befriend anyone & you'd find it difficult to point out a flaw. When he's drunk however, I shamefully admit that he is the worst person you could have the misfortune of coming across. He becomes aggressive, impulsive & chaotic. He spews nasty & hurtful insults towards everyone in the house as he stomps & stumbles back & forth through out, slamming some things while breaking others. He calls family members to insult us & them while proclaiming his greatness. If I didn't eventually learn how to keep my distance & block him out during his binges, I think we would've fought a lot more than we already have (yes, it's gotten so bad I had to literally fight him).
Thankfully, we have a very honest & profound relationship. We've talked several times about his childhood traumas, his ambitions, his failures, how these could be underlying causes for his alcoholism & how professional help could be a main tool for him to get sober.
These are conversations we've had since I was 10, but for some reason it only sparked something in him last year. He went from drinking all day everyday to not touching a single glass of alcohol. He started reading a new book every week, learning about & working on wood carving projects. He started budgeting his disability checks, saving up money & paying for driving classes to get his license back. He started caring about himself & his image. He was doing amazing, more than amazing, he was perfect. He was finally being the father & man I would cry & beg for as a child, but something happened.
I wasn't there, so I really am clueless as to exactly what went down & how, but he left with my grandmother to run errands & I stayed at home caring for my grandfather. Normally, the roles would be reversed, but since he had a driving class, we switched roles that day & I regret it so much.
He came back 2 hours later SHAKING with anger. He walked around in circles chain smoking cigarettes in the backyard, yelling about how my grandmother is ungrateful, incapable of loving, she's the devil, disgusts him, makes him sick, the list went on & on. I thought if I tried talking to him, he'd calm down but he would just turn on me instead. He yelled at me about how my grandmother said disgusting things about him, myself & our overall existence & relationship in this family. He then went to his kitchen, grabbed all items my grandmother ever bought & proceeded to throw them in the trash.
Mind you, he's completely sober up until now. Not a drop of alcohol.
The yelling & chain smoking cigarettes/walking in circles thing goes on for a while. I'm trying to talk him down still the whole time all of this is going on. He's ranting & ranting when he finishes with "then she doesn't want me to drink?! how?! HOW?!". I just stared at him, told him I loved him & though I know it's hard, it would mean the world to me if he didn't cave in & drink.
"YOU THINK THAT MEANS ANYTHING TO ME? YOU REALLY THINK THAT MEANS ANYTHING TO ME?"
This is the first time in my 29 years of life that me telling my father something like this brought out hatred & rage. I can normally calm him down, give him a hug & he remembers that his daughter loves him & all is well.
He threw his cigarette on the ground, grabbed his bike & left. He came back hours later, completely intoxicated, drenched from the rain & you could smell him from a mile away.
This was 3 days ago & this whole situation has been on loop since. I found more than 7 empty bottles of red & port wine on our kitchen table today, where he insists they stay so "our family can have something to talk about". He's been stomping in & out of the house, slamming doors, spewing insults, the list goes on but none of these are what worries me.
He came in my room the 1st day, talking about leaving. He's done this before, so I thought he was just venting. After making sure he made it to bed at night, I relaxed & didn't think much of it... but he brought it up again the 2nd day, a lot & in more detail, though very broad & secretive with said details.
I've been really worried as to what "leaving" means to him, so even though he hates me right now, I've been trying to get him to talk about it.
He's super incoherent, so a lot of my attempts to talk are met with insults, a cold shoulder or non-related answers, most not even directed towards me but possible "spirits or people he may see"? (he hasn't said this himself, but his behaviour suggests he feels other people around him, as his speech & behaviour isn't that of someone talking to themselves, but to others).
He says he's "not disappearing to commit suicide, but he wants to be left alone to travel by bus & visit certain family friends", mentioning a family friend that actually lives a mere 15 minutes away, so it makes no sense. He's been sticking to this reason for the past 3 days, altering it slightly but I still don't have a good feeling about this. The only times he's approached me with some sort of coherency was to give me what's left of his money saying "it isn't much, so save it", telling me how & when he does certain household tasks & to remind me he "won't be a bother for much longer".
I've told my aunt (his sister) & she thinks it's another breakdown & he's acting out the way he normally does but something feels different to me, I don't know why.
Could anyone possibly give me any advice with this situation?