Battling the Bottle

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  • #10796

    Boozer
    Participant

    Why can’t an alcoholic stop drinking? My brother is killing himself with drinking and can’t see it or will not admit to it. It’s tearing us apart. I don’t think I can watch much more of it.
    Original Code D28. Click here to see responses from the original archives. Click “to respond” below to reply.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Boozer, Sexual Orientation : ok, City : Painesville, State : OH Country : United States, 
    #39809

    Beth23164
    Participant

    I know it seems as if your brother can’t see what it is doing to him, but that is the power an addiction can have over someone. They risk their health, jobs, relationships, all of it, to feed their addiction. I come from a family of alcoholics, and the hardest thing to learn is that it is a sickness, and that until that person is ready to stop, they will not let anything get in the way of it. You might want to check out an Al-anon meeting or other support group in your area to gain understanding of what your brother is dealing with and also to get the support of other people dealing with addiction in their families.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Beth23164, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 31, City : Grosse Point, State : MI Country : United States, 
    #37224

    Betsy-L
    Participant

    As a recovering alcoholic of 13 years, I can tell you your brother has absolutely no control over his choice to drink or not drink. An addiction and illness – yes, illness – like this is overpowering. I agree with Beth that you should seek an Al-Anon meeting or talk to your family doctor. Try to be as supportive as you can and try to steer your brother to AA. There are those of us in AA who will come talk to your brother, but we need to be contacted. Good luck and God bless.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Betsy-L, Gender : F, City : Danville, State : PA Country : United States, 
    #29129

    Be-Be
    Member

    I am an alcoholic also my dad is one too. I reallized my problems when i started seeing him in me. There are two reasons why we can not stop. The fist one is that alochol is like anyother drug. The more someone drinks the more your body becomes dependent on it. When someone trys to stop there body reacts to not having it and most times it is easser to just have another drink than to deal with it. The other reason is that you become emotionaly dependent on it. When the person exsperences anything that is emotionaly hard to handle the find it is easer to just get drunk and not think about it. In the long run they can not deal with emotional situations so they tend to always turn to drinking to exscape. It is hard to quit. I did and I am always wanting to drink I know I can not but it is heard at times. I have told my dad for years many times he needs help but he will not lisson my advice is to be there to suport your brother emotional if he ever realizes, and keep giving small hints that he needs to quit, maybe one day he will.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Be-Be, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 23, City : Fort Walton Beach, State : FL Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #20377

    Colleen
    Member

    Depending on how long he’s been drinking, part of it is biology. His body is addicted to the alcohol, and requires a certain amount just to function normally. Then, the psychological reasons for the drinking kick in. He probably originally began drinking in social settings, like many of us do, in his mid to late teens. And perhaps he noticed that when he was drunk, whatever was bothering him about his life, himself…..didn’t bother him so much. So it became a cure for pain of all sorts. Why would someone want to feel, intensely, all of life’s pain when drinking dulls it or makes it go away entirely? That’s why he can’t see the problem, much less admit to it. For him, it most likely ISN’T a problem; it’s a solution. And as much as I hate to say it, there isn’t really anything you or your family can do to stop him from destroying himself. He has to come to the place where he sees his drinking as a problem entirely on his own. As the grandchild, child, and friend to alcoholics, I also say that there comes a point when you have to stop worrying about them, and worry about YOU. If watching the bottle take him truly is too much for you, then you have to walk away. You still have a life you need to live, and if you sacrifice it trying to save somebody who won’t or can’t be saved, then the bottle will have beaten you both.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Colleen, Gender : F, Age : 26, City : Lakewood, State : WA Country : United States, 
    #34724

    Andy
    Member

    Alcoholics CAN stop drinking, and many do stop drinking. However, addictions including alcoholism are a serious disease which is progressive in nature and characterized by denial of the problem and a tendency to relapse. I’m an alcoholic who has not had a drink in more than 20 years, but has had some problems with other substances in the interim. It is very difficult to break through the denial of the addict who is using; they will want to minimize the painful costs of their disease and discount the comments of others. Also, alcoholics can only recover when they themselves decide to do so; no one can ‘make’ the alcoholic stop drinking! (This also means that those around the alcoholic are not to blame for the drinking, anymore than they would be to blame for a loved one’s cancer or heart disease.) Alcoholics generally need continuing support to begin and maintain their recovery. The most successful tool for recovery is Alcoholics Anonymous, and I recommend it very highly. Many people find parts of AA not to their liking, but for sheer success in helping alcoholics to recover, no other program comes close. There are also resources available in many communities and on the ‘net to help families with INTERVENTIONS, which is where the family basically — and in a loving, rehearsed way — confronts the alcoholic about how his or her drinking is impacting THEIR lives, and how painful it is for them to see the alcoholic stuck in addiction. (This is not about blaming the alcoholic. It is about expressing one’s own experience and feelings and love and, often, anger, in a way that reaffirms to the alcoholic that his loved ones are concerned, perhaps upset, and supportive of the alcoholic’s recovery.) Intervention is something that is carefully planned, and often works best when it is coordinated by a healthcare professional, therapist or perhaps a clergy. It is often a wake-up call that ‘works,’ though. Former First Lady Betty Ford’s family did an intervention with her, and her famous recovery was a direct result. Finally, if your brother does not choose recovery, you can still help yourself, by contacting Al-Anon Family Groups in your community (white pages) or on the internet. Sometimes you need to establish healthy boundaries with addicts in your lives, and this is the basis for the concept of ‘detachment’ which Al-Anon and codependency literature discusses. As they say, ‘Detach with love, and when you can’t do that, just detach.’

    User Detail :  

    Name : Andy, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Disability : Hard of hearing, AIDS, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Unitarian, Age : 46, City : Oakland, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Retired lawyer, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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