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Alcohol

I am 17 and i like to have a drink with my friends on most of the weekends, this usually ends up getting drunk and having a good time! My dad died 4 years ago as he was an alcoholic and my mum says i need to watch what am doing as i may turn into one too, i don't think i will as i am sensible, sometimes i often drink when i'm stressed out aswell, i often sometimes worry tho. x 
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Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for finding the courage to write to me.

It sounds like getting drunk and having a good time with your friends helps you relax at the weekend. However, I can hear that your mum is worried about the amount you are drinking, and it sounds like this has made you start to question yourself too. It’s really brave of you to stop to think about what’s happening and to ask yourself if there might be a problem.

I imagine that losing a parent to alcoholism wasn’t easy for you. It sounds like you and your mum know all too well the negative effects that too much alcohol can have on someone’s physical and emotional health, as well as how hurtful it can be for family and friends when someone’s drinking is out of control.

According to the drinkaware website, you are more at risk of becoming an alcoholic yourself if your parent was addicted to alcohol. Perhaps this is why your mum is extra worried about you at the moment. Has your mum said what it is that makes her think you need to watch your drinking? Is it the amount you are drinking, or changes in your behaviour, or is it about your wellbeing? Maybe you could talk to your mum, acknowledging her concerns about you and letting her know your own feelings around this. If talking to her is difficult, maybe writing a letter could be another option.

Maybe you can think about the reasons you are getting drunk at the weekends. Perhaps it is something that you just like to do or maybe there could be a pressure from your friends to do this. Do your friends know what happened to your dad? Do you think they would be supportive if you wanted to change your drinking habits?

You talked about drinking when you’re stressed as well, and that concerns me. Using alcohol to cope with stress can quickly lead to feeling dependent on it. It seems like it would be helpful for you to think of other ways to help you cope during stressful times. Drink aware have got some good advice on the link between alcohol and stress.

Perhaps talk to a counsellor at Childline would give you the opportunity to explore your situation, so they could listen and support you as well as tell you about you to any other services that could help.

I hope that this helps.

Take care,

Sam

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