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Not Dead Yet! Make the most of family life.

He might not be to everyone’s tastes musically, but it can’t be denied that Phil Collins has an honest streak that is admirable.

Speaking in recent days about his mid-life struggle against alcoholism, the sober-again singer has pulled no punches and spared no details.

Having resorted to booze for breakfast, he ended up in intensive care where he faced questions pertaining to his will and whether or not his affairs were in order.

The most revealing aspect to a tale that almost turned tragic, however, is the impact that his drinking has had on his home life (he has two sons, aged 11 and 15).

It is this that struck a chord here, for it is not just the rich and famous and those living on Lake Geneva’s exclusive shores who encounter such troubles.
Indeed, research published last summer revealed that drinking among the over-50s has become a ‘hidden middle-class phenomenon’, to quote a recent article in The Telegraph, while the number of over-65s admitted to hospitals in England and Wales due to alcohol specific disorders increased by 40% between 2007 and 2014.

Young people, when it comes to drink and drugs, are (in general terms, as there are always exceptions and, as adults, we should never be complacent) no longer those most prone to indulge to excess.

Yet this doesn’t mean that damage isn’t being done.

Phil Collins is open and honest about the impact that his drinking had on his children in his book, Not Dead Yet, which documents his struggle against alcohol addiction.

Not all can talk in such terms, but it’s not an uncommon scenario.

Not Dead Yet perhaps, but how much has he missed out on as a result of his drinking and, perhaps even more importantly, what are the long-term implications for his two sons?

As keen as he might be to make up for lost time, Phil Collins did leave it quite late to reclaim his place in his family.

This is a situation that we encounter here from time to time and one we understand all too well.

It’s so important that, as parents and adults, we make time for our children and families, while we still can and before it’s too late.

For our own benefits? For sure, but also (even more importantly) for our children, for their security, their identity and their sense of belonging.

Families are so important and parents – dads in particular – need to be there, focused, committed and without distractions. Drinking, working too hard, not being there and missing out, it can all take its toll. Just ask Phil Collins.

Quite simply, it’s impossible as adults to have it all and the more we can focus on our families, the better it has to be for all involved, both now and in the future.

He might not be to everyone’s tastes musically, but it can’t be denied that Phil Collins has an honest streak that is admirable. It’s time now to learn from his mistakes.

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