I know someone who is an alcoholic: a big-time alcoholic (it is not Willy Dunne Wooters).
I asked this person: Will you see a doctor? No.
I asked, Will you see a therapist? No.
I asked, Will you go to Alcoholics Anonymous? No.
I asked, Will you go to some other kind of rehab? No.
Because I believe the reason for the drinking lies in depression, I asked, Will you take an antidepressant? No.
Even if the person had agreed to take any of these steps, none of them would provide simple answers. You can't get a regular treatment that stops alcoholism. You can't have a surgery that stops alcoholism. You can't get a vaccination in the arm, a shot in the butt, a lecture from a doctor, a prescription filled at the pharmacy . . . .
The truth is that even if an alcoholic goes to rehab and sees a therapist and goes to AA, the only true treatment for alcoholism is willpower. I do know of the existence of a pill that people can take that will cause them to become violently ill if they partake of liquor, but what if the person doesn't want to take the pill? And if he does want to take the pill, then is he going to take it everyday for the rest of his life? All the therapy and AA sponsors and antidepressants in the world will not stop an alcoholic who wants to drink. The person has to want to stop and then do whatever it takes to keep away from the next drink.
"Hitting rock bottom" is supposed to be the answer, but some people seem to hit rock bottom and then bounce back to drink another day.
Willpower: a fleeting desire that is so hard to capture and exercise.
Infinities of love,
So hard. I don't know what to say about something I haven't been cursed with. Addiction is a monkey that rides on someone's back after being invited for the ride. I don't feel superior because I haven't bumped into my monkey, just very fortunate.ReplyDelete
Same here. No superiority. Just concern for those who are addicted.Delete
Sadly, some never reach the point of ever truly wanting to try to change their lives...and addiction is so difficult even for those who want to break free. I had a friend who didn't manage to get sober despite her sister and mother having her committed once, losing jobs, and her saying repeatedly that she wanted to. She didn't get serious and dedicated to changing her life until she lost custody of her kids and her husband left her. She finally did, though. Went to school, became a nurse, and is now close to her kids and a grandmother many times over. She relapsed a couple of times--but only briefly, thank god. It is a horrible disease. Not much anyone can say. All I know is she told me that not enabling--tough love--is the only thing that made a difference to her (mad as she was with people at the time).ReplyDelete
I was married to one and lived with two (one was a dry alcoholic who should still have gotten some help)...not sure why I was a magnet for them because it was not in my family. No magic pills or easy answers. It is up to the person to decide. Can't make them quit. They will sacrifice everything...including the love of every person in their lives to keep drinking. Some finally reach "rock bottom". Some never do. Breaks your heart. But I learned the hard way--don't sacrifice your own life to their drinking. I mean, you can. But it doesn't accomplish anything and often just helps them to keep on the same path. They can take you down with them. The hardest part for me was...love doesn't conquer all. Sometimes you have to let them go and just pray for them, I guess.
*from the heart...hugs*
I refuse to sacrifice myself on the altar of someone's alcoholism.Delete
Addiction is a terrible disease and without the will power to stop, whatever it is, eating too much, drinking too much, taking drugs, it will eventually kill you. :(ReplyDelete
Maybe you could buy him the Russell Brand book "Recovery - Freedom From Our Addictions" it has meant to have helped many people. He was an addict himself.
That's a nice suggestion. I love Russell Brand. He's more than funny. He's very intelligent.Delete
Painfully familiar. My mother was an alcoholic. After her stroke she had nearly ten months in hospital without any. Within an hour of coming home she was on the phone ordering some wine for home delivery.ReplyDelete
This person didn't drink for almost six months earlier this year because he was in jail. One month after getting out, he was falling down drunk.Delete
This is a hard one. My dad struggled with alcohol. Doctors think it was drinking whiskey that caused the throat cancer that took his life.ReplyDelete
I wish there was a medicine to treatment alcoholism. Jilda works at a rehab place as a yoga therapist and they have mixed results. Some they reach, some they lose.
It would save so many lives and so many families if a treatment other than willpower existed. Willpower is one of the most difficult things to have.Delete
I too have no answer. My family also has the susceptibility to alcoholism gene. My father said if he drank, he would be an alcoholic. At the end of his life, when he was able to hold a glass, he did drink, excessively. So much of my extended family is alcoholic. Sad existence. But then, every life is choices. I find it hard to waste sympathy on bad choices, and especially to be an enabler.ReplyDelete
My mom had two brothers. She said both were alcoholics and that alcoholism is a disease, as if it were an excuse for their actions. I agree that it's a disease, but it's not an excuse to continue.Delete
That is quite sad. But you can't make someone change their life. They have to decide that on their own.ReplyDelete
He has to want to stop.Delete
Hi Janie - it is definitely a disease ... and as Martha mentions it is really up to them. It is a choice ... but once down the road a difficult one to overcome - but possible with will power. I do hope all will be well ... HilaryReplyDelete
I hope so, too. For some period of time, at least, this person will not be allowed to drink. I don't know how long it will last.Delete
This is a tough deal to see someone you care about slowly go down that rabbithole and not come back. A few of my cousins died of cirrhosis of the liver-their father, my uncle through marriage, was an alcoholic. I actually believe it can be genetic so some in the family have that predisposition to addiction and others, in the same family, don't. The environment can make a play as well whether it be a dysfunctional household or the wrong friends. It, sometimes, only take 1 person to offer a drink (or whatever) and they are hooked. My hubby came from a severely abusive household where his dad was abusive and an alcoholic and the mom didn't help her kids. My hubby is fine and so is his sister but their one brother is an alcoholic while the other is as well along with cocaine and other drugs. They have no clue what has happened to him but fear he has died. Anxiety, depression does run in the family. My ex's brother literally drank himself to death and was found in bed at the age of 61. He was a good man that didn't believe he was and let the demons of his mind take hold. The amount of beer and bottles the family took out from his apartment was staggering. the hard part are the family members left behind with feelings of anger, sadness, wondering if there was something more they could have done. My heart goes out to the people around the alcoholic because they refuse to get help normally or, if they do, they go right back to it once they are out of rehab. it is a very sad state.ReplyDelete
I agree with you that alcoholism can be something that "runs" in the family, and some family members are bound to get hooked while others can have a drink and stop or aren't interested in drinking at all. This person's father is also an addict, but of a different kind.Delete
It'd be nice if they came up with a pill that could somehow increase one's willpower. That way, people could stop being addicts, or lose weight, etc. Nice to dream, I suppose...ReplyDelete
That would be wonderful.Delete
This is why I won't treat addicts, not even if their stated goal is sobriety. Oh hon, keep setting limits. That's all you can do to "help". And the "help" will be met with anger. So you must take care of you.ReplyDelete
Addicts are so manipulative.Delete
Addictions of all kinds are jail by another name. Willpower is the best tool available to break free, but, as you said, hard to come by and fickle as heck. I hope the person you know can change for the better before he causes himself serious medical harm. We lost two people in my husband's family to alcohol, one at 48 and one at 55.ReplyDelete
He's already caused himself serious harm.Delete
I'm sorry to hear that. Ugh.Delete
Addictions are hard, no matter which one.ReplyDelete
I always think you need to eat but smoking, drugs or alcohol is not need to live. I have taken meds and be on strict diets for control of my illness since I was 14. By the time you get to 75 or more you say why, what for, why am I doing all this, I am still sick !
Life is hard and some of us try to do our best and some don't or can't or won't.
Sorry to hear about your friend, The alcohol in my family was my dad. I think addictions genes are passed on not always the same addiction.
cheers, parsnip and badger
Yes, I think the "addictive personality" runs in families. This person's father is an addict, but not addicted to alcohol.Delete
So sorry you're dealing with this, Janie. Sometimes you need to let go and remove yourself from a toxic situation to regain your own peace of mind. My father was an alcoholic, and whenever I tried to talk to him about it (no one else would voice it), he'd blame everything else but his own choices. In his mind, the hard work it would take to make any change wasn't worth it as much as his next buzz.ReplyDelete
I am removed. I care and I always will, but I have successfully removed myself.Delete
No one I know is an alcoholic, but my brother is a compulsive gambler who just disappeared 50 years ago. One of his kids committed suicide. There are many forms of addiction that can ruin or even end your life!!ReplyDelete
X is addicted to gambling. It was horrible, but not my problem now.Delete
My uncle was an alcoholic he passed away 2yrs ago from cancer, my brother in-law has a drinking problem as he can drink around the clock for days on end but he no longer drink & drive which is something. Alcoholism is a terrible condition that isn't easy to treat.ReplyDelete
This person no longer drinks and drives.Delete
I've often thought that alcoholism and drug addiction is more like a demon. It's like it takes over the person's life and turns them into a whole different being than the person we love.ReplyDelete
Exactly! It changes the personality completely.Delete
Alcoholism is horrendous. It destroys relationships and families.ReplyDelete
I hope this person finds their way.ReplyDelete
UGHHHHH sorry dear. It really is awful when you know an alcoholic and want to help them, but can't. Hugs to you.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry, Janie! :( My father was an alcoholic and only quit when he was in a severe accident and confined to hospital for several months. That was the jolt he needed - literally! You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. Just take care of you. Have you considered checking out an Al-Anon meeting? I never did that, but sometimes, moral support can be helpful. Wishing you and your friend all the best! ♥ReplyDelete
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