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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought we could use a thread about alcoholism.

My father, Michael, is a functioning alcoholic 4 days a week, and a raging alcoholic 3 days a week. He's tried to quit before, but it never lasts. He once quit for a whole two and a half months, but he had to start up again because he was getting too fat
(don't ask, I don't know). He refuses to admit that he needs to quit, yet he always says things like: "I am such a f***ing alcoholic," "Why do you let me drink this much?" "I'm gonna die soon," and "Just don't be a drunk, like your dad." Now, he's a pretty nice drunk, most of the time, but he was violent when I was in high school.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, look out. These are the days that he does not drink. Without the alcohol cushion, he's one of the biggest *******s that you will ever meet. He hangs up the phone on people if they don't answer his questions right away, he pours his drinks on the floors of restaurants if the waiter filled it up too far, he snaps at people for no reason, he expresses nothing but an absolute bitterness for it all, etc. (I could go on for hours, possibly days, but I'll spare you.)

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, he's drunk. From breakfast till the time my mom is finally able to drag him off to bed at two o'clock in the morning, he is dirty, rotten, stinking, slurring, yelling, stupid, falling-down-on-the-floor drunk.

On Sundays, during football season, he's a mean drunk, unless his team wins, which they rarely do. For the rest of the year, Sundays are his recovery days, and he's usually pretty grouchy, but he's tolerable as long as you don't take him off his couch.

For the past three years, he's lived in New Mexico, and his alcoholism hasn't affected me. It hurts me that my mom has to deal with him, but it's the role she chose for herself, and I try to respect that. My Uncle Mikie (Michael's best friend) died of a heart attack, last August. Over the past year, I've noticed that I've gradually developed feelings for Michael again. I haven't cared for him since my teen years. Once in March and once last week I said "I love you" to him. I don't know if I meant it or not, but I'm a very honest person, so I think I must have. I haven't even called him dad since I was fifteen, and now I love him?


I'm actually worried about Michael. He has all the signs of alcoholism, and many of the signs of brain and heart damage. The past two times I saw him, we got blitzed together. Yeah, I know, it was in bad judgment and bad taste. I needed to, for some reason. You have no idea how confusing it is that I care. He almost strangled me to death once, and bought me a pizza the next day, when he sobered up. As if that would make it all better! He's never even been willing to talk about it, and lives in complete denial of the multiple times when he nearly killed me. Now, I need some gimmick to deal with his drinking.


I thought if we could help each other deal with the pitfalls of veg*nism, maybe we could do the same with drug abuse (yes, alcohol is a drug). I'm not looking for kind words or hugs; I want to hear your stories. Everybody has at least one alcoholic in the family, so post something about them, or yourself. If you have any solid advice, please post that as well, but please don't patronize with feeble attempts at comforting, when you know those who grew up the way I did have heard all those lines before.
 

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Not in the family but the daughter of one of my godmothers. She´s 45 now, turned yellow and all that could help and is discussed is a liver transplant. But I doubt that it would be a solution, because she didn´t stop drinking even after a couple of times bleeding nearly to death or spending a week in coma. Sad story, which effects my mother quite a lot.
 

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My dad is a alcoholic though maybe not as much as yours.

I can't really tell because I cut all ties with him several years ago.

Has he considered the AA or something, counseling ?

I think alcoholics use alcohol to keep the problems they experience away.......dealing with the bottle is dealing with the problems.

Like his guilty feelings over how he treated you ?
 

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My father was a problem drinker. Probably not quite a full-blown alcoholic, but not too far from that. He was also definately a "rage-aholic," always filled with rage, mean and nasty when he had a few drinks.

I'm not sure what to suggest--maybe AA for him and Al-Anon for you.

One thing you might consider is that your father is an addict, and rather than think of having him stop being an addict, you might have to think in terms of getting him addicted to something more positive. Like maybe some sort of sport. One of the guys in the local AA group got into bicycling. It turned his life around. he lost 100 lbs in 9 months. He now rides 100s of miles each week, works as a mechanic in a bike shop, has a tandem bike ("a bicycle built for two") he rides with his new girlfriend, etc.

Just one idea, but sports would help your father keep his weight down.

BTW, have you ever seen the movie "Affliction" (I think that's the title)? Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Willem De Foe(sp?).
 

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Adult Children of Alcoholics proved helpful to my mother. That might be beneficial to those with groups in their area.
 

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Adult children of alcoholics was very good for me. AKA Alanon. It sounds like a really unhealthy relationship. You have to wonder why people choose to treat themselves this way.

I'm also a recovering alcoholic/problem drinker. I was never a drunk in the way your Dad is, but I used alcohol to 'feel normal' balance my moods, and raise my self esteem. And it was definitely a problem. I know that to change, you have to do the work every day. If you don't replace alcohol with something better, you're just dooming yourself to fall back into it. People give up drinking, but they don't find anything better to do to fill in all that drinking time. They don't work on their issues. They don't 'change.' That's why it doesn't work.

Anyway, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I suggest finding an alanon group that's right for you and learning to work on your own issues. Remember there's really nothing you can do to help your dad. He has to help himself. Nobody can make you change, you have to WANT to change.

B
 

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my sister in law is an alcoholic and her fiance is a drug addict. they rive me nuts.

i went to alanon and didn't find it very helpful--it was basicly the watered down councelling that i went to in college. All about boundaries and stuff. since i knew about codependence and how to avoid it, i really didn't need the group.

what i found more helpful was spending time with recovering alcoholics and drug addicts at specific AA/NA meetings. I was taken by a friend in AA to a special meeting where friends and family could come to learn about the addiction from the addict's perspective.

That is what i found to be *really* helpful.

Also, there's nothing wrong with caring for a person. that's actually a good thing. I certianly wouldn't say that you shouldn't care for him. He is your history, and your present, so there is something deep in you that is connected to him. Honoring that is not a problem. Concern for his health and well being is real, unconditional caring--which is something that we actually strive for.

the difficulty then is how your relationship should be formed, since he is an addict and has no intention of not being an addict. Alanon or councelling may help determine appropriate boundaries and actions in his regard.

For my husband and i, we use a lot of avoidance. We don't visit his sister often, we don't call or write to her. When she's interested in real sobriety, we're willing to help. We care for her (them actually), and we hope that they get better. But we won't be a part of their drama and madness.

When we are around them, we expect them to be sober. if they aren't sober, we leave. It's a boundary that we made.

when we are around them and they are sober, we limit the amount of time we have together--2 or 3 hours, usually in a group social event (whole family is present). We also stick to certain subjects: work, pets, weather.

We dont go deep because they can't. As another poster wrote, they use the bottle to push away or hide from their real problems. When they want to do the real work, they'll get better. But, we can't force them to do it. We can only act rightly and encourage them to make the right choices for themselves.

In my case, the most important person in this relationship is *me*. i need to be healthy or i'll get sucked into the mess. I don't need that. I need to be healthy. So, i work to stay that way. Sometimes that means just staying away. And sometimes it means guarded time together. But either way, i'm very careful about my needs and boundaries.

Also, i try not to be flustered around her. She tries to scandalize me to her family. For instance, she knew about my tattoo before her family did. But, i'm not ashamed of it. So, she said "what about your tattoo?" or something like that at a family gathering--and i said "i need to get it re-inked soon"--not the reaction she was looking for. She tried to shame me.

She also "outted" my vegetarianism before i was ready. THankfully, i had enough information on hand and my parents are cool. She wanted to watch me squirm, but didn't get any satisfaction. I simply told my parents that i was working it out, being very mindful about what i was eating and why. . .and that if it wasn't working i would go back. No problem.

It's her game, i don't play it.

I hope this helps anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Cougar

I thought we could use a thread about alcoholism.

My father, Michael, is a functioning alcoholic 4 days a week, and a raging alcoholic 3 days a week. He's tried to quit before, but it never lasts. He once quit for a whole two and a half months, but he had to start up again because he was getting too fat
(don't ask, I don't know). He refuses to admit that he needs to quit, yet he always says things like: "I am such a f***ing alcoholic," "Why do you let me drink this much?" "I'm gonna die soon," and "Just don't be a drunk, like your dad." Now, he's a pretty nice drunk, most of the time, but he was violent when I was in high school.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, look out. These are the days that he does not drink. Without the alcohol cushion, he's one of the biggest *******s that you will ever meet. He hangs up the phone on people if they don't answer his questions right away, he pours his drinks on the floors of restaurants if the waiter filled it up too far, he snaps at people for no reason, he expresses nothing but an absolute bitterness for it all, etc. (I could go on for hours, possibly days, but I'll spare you.)

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, he's drunk. From breakfast till the time my mom is finally able to drag him off to bed at two o'clock in the morning, he is dirty, rotten, stinking, slurring, yelling, stupid, falling-down-on-the-floor drunk.

On Sundays, during football season, he's a mean drunk, unless his team wins, which they rarely do. For the rest of the year, Sundays are his recovery days, and he's usually pretty grouchy, but he's tolerable as long as you don't take him off his couch.

I thought if we could help each other deal with the pitfalls of veg*nism, maybe we could do the same with drug abuse (yes, alcohol is a drug). I'm not looking for kind words or hugs; I want to hear your stories. Everybody has at least one alcoholic in the family, so post something about them, or yourself. If you have any solid advice, please post that as well, but please don't patronize with feeble attempts at comforting, when you know those who grew up the way I did have heard all those lines before.
I come from a long line of alchohalics, my father could be your father, right down to his name! The way you are feeling is not unusual, as a child of an alchohalic you will go through bouts of loving and hating Michael. It's not unusual to feel love for our abusers, after all he is your dad.

In my situation my father was not only an alchohalic, but emotionallly abusive. I found the only way I was going to stop being abused was to sever ties with my father. I was tired of seeing him drunk, I was tired of being made fun of, I was tired of not knowing what personality would walk through the door. I have spoken to my dad 4 times in 8 years. Everytime I think he's going to improve he ****s on me, I'm tired of being **** upon. I read the book "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward. I also joined adult children of alchohalics and went to counseling. I benefited more from one on one counseling than group counseling, I clammed up in a group. It's been hard to heal, but I was only able to heal without my dad in my life.

If need someone who understands, you may PM me.

Alison
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of my best friends is an alcoholic. All he does is sit at home, drink, and smoke pot. I'll occasionally go over and smoke pot with him, what with me being a big pot head and all, but he really depresses me sometimes. His mother's inability to bring herself to throw him out of the house is the only reason he's not a homeless wino. Poor, poor friend o' mine.

rigmarole
 

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I have a brother who's an alcoholic. I think the worst time was a couple of years ago when he kept calling family members to pick nasty fights. My twin sister and I decided to drive down to his place to see if we could talk to him, he considers us his favorites. When we walked into his house he didn't answer when we called his name, so we went up to his bedroom. We found him face down in bed with a gun shot wound to his head. The gun was laying next to him. My sister ran out of the room screaming. I walked over to him and put my hand under his nose, he was still breathing. I picked up the phone and called 911. After I got off the phone I called downstairs for my sister to come up. You could hear her wailing down there. By the time the ambulance and police came my brother had come to. It was a superficial wound to the head. I guess the gun slipped when he pulled the trigger. Anyway, he refused to go in the ambulance and he reeked of scotch. Once we got him in the ambulance I stayed in the back with him. We were about a mile up the road when he suddenly bolted up and tried to get the back door open. The EMT and I struggled to pull him back, but when he jumped out of the moving ambulance all I was left with was his shirt. He rolled on the ground got up and ran into the woods.

I'll have to tell you the rest of the story later on I have to jump a shower right now before I'm late.
 

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My uncle WAS an alcoholic, that is until he died 2 years ago, alone in his office after a drinking binge - internal bleeding from alcohol abuse for most of his life. His children wrote him off many years ago, both daughters married and never acknowledged him as the father. We took care of him as best as possible, and chose the "better" times to be with him, i.e., when he wasn't slurring, falling down drunk. Mind you, he was never a mean person, didn't have a mean bone in his body, but he was addicted to alcohol.

I have a friend/business associate now, that is also an alcoholic. I go out with him and we sit at bars for 8-12 hours (I always refrain from overindulging when we're together) at a time, and I always offer a lift home, or invite him to crash on my sofa. I can't stop him from drinking, I can only offer safety when I am around him and he's drinking. I am an enabler, I know, but an alcoholic will not stop until they are ready to stop. And, if all I can do is make sure he gets to his own place or isn't on the road at night, that's what I'll do. He too is a wonderful person, puts himself out for everyone else, and isn't generally abusive or mean. I was with him this weekend and I asked him who he told his problems to? He stopped for a minute and said "nobody."

My mother always has been a problem drinker and so has my father. Both people that over extend themselves for the better of others.

I don't know where I am going with this, just sharing my experiences as you requested with alcoholics. In my experience the alcoholics I've known are givers to the extreme. They lay themselves out on the line for the good of everyone else, and I think they soak up everyone else's sorrows to find they can't deal with their own so they drink to get numb, or to sleep, or to quiet their minds.
 

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I grew up in an alcoholic household. My mother, father, and brother were alcoholics (well, my father still is.....my mother and brother died). Nobody got violent really, but there was a whole lot of arguing. My mother even lost her license from a DWI. Both my parents' fathers were alcoholics, so unfortunately they took after them. My father still drinks....even though he has 2 bad ulcers. He's been in the hospital a couple of times because they started bleeding; then he stops drinking for a while, but he always goes back. For reasons I won't get into, I still live with him, so it's still a huge annoyance for me. I just need to accept the fact that he won't change, and if he starts arguing with me that it's the booze making him nasty and not to take it personally. I'm definitely way too sensitive. But thank god he loves all our animals. I've gone to a couple of alanon meetings, but I didn't really care for them. I have a good book that I started but never finished called "Codependent No More" by Melodie Beattie (sp?). Someday I'll finish it hopefully. Anyway, Cougar, here's a
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cougar,

My father died an alcoholic and my adult son is one.

In my experience, it does not matter that you love them or want them to change. *They* have that ability if they will use it, but no amount of hoping and trying on anyone else's part will amount to anything--as an almost universal rule.

What concerns me most in your story is that *you* are feeling the effects of this toxic situation! If you have a genetic predisposition, you cannot afford to begin getting drunk either with him or by yourself!

Also, the various psychological crap left from being a child of an alcoholic is itself a serious burden. At 54, I am *still* dealing with it--every day!

Several mentioned Alanon. If you're not going, by all means GO!

Finally, with his history of violence toward you, you are foolish to give him the opportunity again! (Because of my past professional life, I have seen too many people who have been seriously hurt or killed by violent drunks!).

In other words, certainly you should care for him--but from a safe perspective while you work through *your own* situation and begin to feel comfortable "in our own skin!"

Don't let your father's problem become a permanent obstacle for you--the only life he should be able to screw up should be his own, and he must take some real steps to clean up his own life before all the love and care in the world can make a longstanding difference.

All the best,

David
 

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My dad is an alcoholic, though he's been sober over 13 years. He started drinking when he was young...you know, he had the kind of parents where they let you have a beer sometimes. He drank A LOT. Once he got so drunk he went in the wrong house, and fell asleep there - I think he got in trouble for illegal entry.

He told me that you have to WANT to get better. His doctors told him he wouldn't be around much longer, and he got a reality check. He went to AA meetings, and is doing well. He wanted to be around for us. Of course, he still wants to drink, but he knows that he can't - one drink turns into 10, turns into 20, etc.
 

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My grandparents were alcoholics. They made my father's childhood hell, and even after he moved out. His father embarassed my parents at their wedding, and after, for years he would call our house (I remember this) and start trouble. They just hung up on him. My parents went for months, years even not talking to them. I think my parents reacted properly by just avoiding them. But then the Dr. said they would die very soon if they did not quit. They quit just like that. Weird.

Neither of my parents are alcoholics, but I did grow up in a volitile household where you never knew if my dad was in a good mood, and everyone alters their life to adjust to this one person. Then the next day they are super nice and you feel guilty for being so angry with them. From what I hear, similar to what children of alcoholics go through. I understand having conflicting feelings toward a parent, and wondering if they will ever change.
 
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