According to Chou, her mother died after giving birth to her so her dad raised her by himself.
“He worked from 5am as a catering cook for a hotel till 9pm at a sushi restaurant, standing all day,” Shou wrote. “No matter how hard his job was, he never complained to me about it nor showed any signs of exhaustion. He always made sure I was fed and sheltered no matter what and bought everything I’ve ever wished for.”
Chou said that she was too young then to notice and understand what her father was going through at the time.
“He was worn, lonely and sick,” she recalled. “He heavily drank most days till he blacks out/throws up. He would drink in the morning, during work and even driving. He was depressed.”
At times, Chou would catch her dad breaking down.
“He would often tuck me to sleep since I couldn’t sleep alone at that time. When he thought I was sleeping, I would hear him crying softly and talking to my deceased grandfather’s funeral picture, saying he won’t make it and he doesn’t want to do this anymore.”
Chou added that her dad would try to hide the pain by often smiling at her and saying everything was fine. She lamented how her other relatives have simply dismissed him as “an alcoholic and a drunkard.”
Looking back, Chou realized that her father reached his breaking point at the time when he would drink at least 12 cans of beer a day or drink alcohol until he blacked out.
“Depression was just eating him and like some Asian households, we never talked about mental/emotional issues. He just drank it away till he doesn’t feel pain anymore.”
It was a turning point for Chou’s father when he was pulled over by a cop for the third time due to speeding while driving drunk.
“He was put in jail for 2 days and had to mandatorily attend AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) for at least a year. My father was put in a cold turkey and it was really hard for him at first.”
Stopping her father’s alcohol intake abruptly resulted in him occasionally crying because he didn’t know how else to cope with his depression.
“After seeing him like this for the first time ever, I began to tell him everyday that I love him and give him a hug. We were both so awkward at first lol (as you may know, us Asians are not good at saying “I love you”). But it did gradually help him get more motivated to become better for himself and for the family.”
At the time, Chou’s dad was still working hard to support the family. He would go to work from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and then attend counseling at the AA.
“He’ll come back home and go straight to the fridge, as a usual habit, but this time to get barley tea! I could tell that my father was losing weight and looked so much healthier. He had really bad cravings for sweets though since he couldn’t get that sugar from alcohol haha.”
In 2017, Chou’s dad finally graduated AA, with the cold turkey approach resulting in him being sober for 548 days straight.
“Not anyone can do it. But he did and I am so freaking proud to be his daughter. I was never lonely for not having a mom like everyone else because of this man. He is humble, kind, and most of all my one and only father who loves me. Thank you for reading this far and I hope you’ll be able to tell your dad you love him if you haven’t yet.”
Chou relived the proud moment recently as a late Father’s Day post in a bid to honor “all the dads who would do everything for their family! 💙”
NextShark has reached out to Chou for further comment.
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