My pledge in your death, Is to continue to write

Looking back when I was a kid, you only ever really saw men in the pub, if women were there, they would always be accompanied by their bloke and kids were NEVER allowed on the premises. Some pubs even had little tuck shops, selling sweets from a hatch at the side of the bar, pacifying the kids playing outside whilst the parents drank inside. The pubs were dominated by guys drinking pints off loading their wows and drowning their sorrows, or in dads case celebrating his latest win for the darts team. Theres something called ‘Groupthink’ is a construct of social psychology which describes the actions of people who are more like to perform out of a desire to conform and a sense of loyalty to the group of which they are a members, Dad was part of this group.  Only in the UK is it acceptable and socially encouraged to drink on every occasion, if your feeling low “have a drink, drown your sorrows!” new baby  “wet it’s head” someone’s died “have a drink on the deceased’s memory” New house “lets christen it” your local teams playing, win or lose “lets get pissed to celebrate or commiserate” its Friday “you deserve a drink” got a new job, “lets go celebrate” fuck me even birthday’s, hen and stag do’s get strung out for a week nowadays, gone are the one night affairs people use this as an opportunity for a week long piss up. 

It’s no wonder that years later dads social drinking developed into dependancy, I see now how alcohol eventually stripped him of all his dignity, his identity and eventually his soul. The pride he once had, had long since gone drowned from years of looking down the bottom of a bottle, Alcohol became his crutch, his new mistress, he lived in the denial that without it he was nothing, he couldn’t socialise without it, he couldn’t live within himself without it, he couldn’t physically function without it and yet he couldn’t see that it was in fact the very same thing that was slowly killing and destroying him, not just inside but on the outside too. 

Alcohol wasn’t just destroying him, it was destroying me, his loved ones, those that once loved and admired him, pained at seeing what he had become, feeling powerless, knowing deep down that nothing you said or did would help, he had gone too far! And dad knew it too! I couldn’t see a way out, he had tried, he had tried many a time, but eventually, he gave up and had almost come to terms with his lot, his fate.  And so did we, this was dad, my dad, the guy who once turned heads when he walked in a room was long gone, replaced by a shell, hollow from the inside. As his daughters, we had to learn to accept that we couldn’t change dad, he was on his own journey and we had a choice whether or not we walked with him or walked away, we both chose to stay. 

Looking back i am sooo glad we did, i learned a lot, not just about Dad, but also me

Today marks the day
Since dad passed away, 
I still remember the day well
As clear as day
Those memories will never go away 

You made some life choices 
Some I will never agree 
You were who you were 
I could never change that

There is no denying
There were many times I felt like crying 
It was a tough journey
A heavy burden to bare
But we chose to stand by you 
And continued to care
Your death was not in vain though
There are many like you
Stripped of their dignity 
Identity, stripped of their soul
My pledge in your death
Is to continue to write
For all those unsung heroes 
Still in the fight
For all the families and friends 
Who despite their hurt and anger
Try hard not to walk away 
They are family 
And thats what families do
We stick by our own, 
binded like invisible glue 
For those still living on their wits end 
Please dont forget you 
You still count 
Try not to despair
They know you still care
Make a pledge to yourself 
Continue on your quest
Be the best version of you
Thats all you can do

Your life is not over
Make time to mourn 
But be the best version you can
And continue to learn
Appreciate what you have got
We are not here long
Live one day at a time
Continue to be strong 

Love Fordy x

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