Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

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Freed Roger
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by Freed Roger »

tlombard wrote:Addiction scares me. I think that's why I can't even drink a beer by myself at home. If there isn't somebody else drinking with me then I can't even finish one if I open it. I still have two beers in my fridge from the night of Game 5 of the NLCS in 2012 after a friend's bachelor party when a drunk friend insisted that I not leave the two beers left in our bucket after I called a cab because he passed out at the last bar. At this point I'm holding on to them in there just because.

I've had one uncle die of an overdose. One my family couldn't get to clean up and he eventually took of for California and was never heard from again until we found out he was dead in his 40s a few years ago. And then another uncle who is finally cleaned but ruined his life with drugs and being in and out of jail because he was stealing to feed the habit. My dad is also a functional alcoholic. In my mind I have the fear that drinking alone will lead me down that path and I just can't do it.

But get me in a bar with people drinking and it's on if I'm in a good mood. If I stay away from shots I'm fine but once people start buying shots, I will drink too much. I really need to start going to another bar where I don't know everybody so well and aren't always buying shots.
two weeks into my dry month. I do miss all the venues for drinking (I'm a beer only guy-FWIW). But mostly I miss the beer or two at home on a weeknight. Especially this time of year. Lately, I'm working on our house every spare moment and into late evenings, unwinding with a beer would be awesome. Was tough to not buy Schafly's Stout Bout variety pack at the store. I could walk to Side Project new place, but damn it -not yet.

I'll wait until i get a full month done for any major observations. So far, nothing major happening. I do think, like your experience - whatever you associate your alcohol with is the hardest thing to break it free from, (in your case, a bar with friends - me chilling out at home)

needless to say, no plans to barbecue anything for the next couple weeks - because that would be no fun and food would likely turn out like crap (timing would be off).

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JoeMcKim
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by JoeMcKim »

I'm not a person to prone to addictions in any way. Don't ever lose control where I go hog wild, after about 6 beers or so it I don't like the way it makes me feel and I usually cut myself off. Almost all of the time that I drink it's just 1 or 2 beers with dinner.

Gashouse
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by Gashouse »

Freed Roger wrote:
I'll wait until i get a full month done for any major observations. So far, nothing major happening. I do think, like your experience - whatever you associate your alcohol with is the hardest thing to break it free from, (in your case, a bar with friends - me chilling out at home)
I did a dry month last year, and I noticed I slept better. Less getting up in the middle of the night to pee. Better quality of sleep, esp since there were no nights when I had 3-4 instead of 1-2. No occasional mild hangovers, so early weekend mornings became my favorite time - wake up feeling good, get some exercise and enjoy some time before anyone else is up.

Freed Roger
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by Freed Roger »

P.S.A. -been doing some reading to supplement personal observation. JUUL and ecig devices have quickly addicted untold # of young people to nicotine. Millions.

The carcinogens aren't there like with smokes, but the dosage of nicotine is well beyond tobacco products.

Plenty of info out there, but here is some.
http://www.center4research.org/the-dangers-of-juuling/
The impact on the developing brain is also of great concern. Brain imaging studies of adolescents who began smoking at a young age had markedly reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area critical for a person’s cognitive behavior and decision making, leading to increased sensitivity to other drugs and greater impulsivity.[3] The amount of nicotine in one juul pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. Since teens often use multiple pods in one sitting, they can unknowingly become exposed to unsafe levels of nicotine that can have immediate and long-term health consequences
I've been checking in with my kid frequently on this. Has tried it for sure.
Is she addicted? Hard to say. I'm not going to fool myself that someone who is addicted to something will not lie about it, especially when it is so easy to conceal and accessible. it is definitely an issue with her group of friends. Ones that have tried kicking the habit have struggled. Kids with smartphones, their networking capabilities to get back on it is powerful.

Throwing nicotine withdrawal symptoms into the challenge mix for kids sounds awful
anger/irritability, anxiety, depression, impatience, trouble sleeping, restlessness, hunger or weight gain, and difficulty concentrating

I am starting to realize that parental and authority prohibitions and ad campaigns are not going to do the job. This seems like something kids would need adult help with combating, and kicking the habit.

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Jocephus
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by Jocephus »

artie certainly looks different

Gashouse
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by Gashouse »

I have some questions for the GRB collective wisdom:

What is your experience with providing support for someone working through alcoholism and a 12 step program? What did you learn from that experience that you wished you knew at the beginning?

My brother-in-law went into the tank for the first time last summer after his wife (my wife's sister) figured out that he was drinking a lot more than was apparent. Getting up in the middle of the night to drink, drinking in the morning, etc. He had withdrawal symptoms, including the shakes and a sore liver. He's in his early 40's. While he was in the tank, their two boys stayed with us for a little over a week so he could dry out a little more and they could work some things out without two energetic 6- and 8-yr old boys running around.

In January, he decided he wanted to see if he could have 1-2 and control himself. That didn't go well. I'm unsure of the timing, but sometime shortly after this, he took his sons on a previously planned ice fishing trip on a lake about 5 hours away. I don't know if/how sober he was on the drive there and back. They were renting an ice shack that you can sleep in and they had taken all the food you need for the weekend - so no need to run into town to get food. He either took beer or stopped to buy some along the way. We suspect he ran out and made and excuse to go into town to get food, but to really buy beer. He left the kids in the ice house by themselves to run this errand. He ended up putting his car in the ditch while he was out (assume it was at least in part because he probably wasn't sober) and he ended up being gone for 1.5-2 hours. With 6- and an 8-yr old in an ice house 2 miles out on a lake. In January. In Northern Minnesota. The boys got so concerned that they left their ice house to go knock on a door of a "neighbor". Not good.

We were supposed to go on a ski weekend with this family about 2 weeks after this incident. We found out about it a week after it happened as we were starting to figure out last minute logistics for the next weekend. We backed out for a few reasons: 1) we were pissed at him for endangering his children/our nephews; and 2) he really needed to concentrate on fixing himself and his marriage - not go on a ski trip. Back to #1, my wife is a teacher and therefore a mandatory reporter; and she was sure that if she found out one of her students experienced something like this, then she would be required to call child services.

He couldn't get a refund on one of the cabins we rented, so instead of swallowing the sunk cost and focusing on making things better with his wife, he convinced his parents to go on this ski weekend with him. His parents knew full well about what happened and for some odd reason, don't think leaving 2 boys on the ice for 2 hours is a big deal. On top of this, both of his parents have had siblings die of alcoholism, so not only is not their first rodeo with someone struggling with alcohol, they clearly did not teach him to be careful because he very likely has a predisposition to alcoholism. So eff them.

While they were on their way back from this ski weekend, my other b-i-l (wife's brother) and I went over there to help the sister kick her husband out of the house. She packed some clothes for him, put it in the other car, and didn't let him in the house. She was seriously considering divorce at that point and started contacting attorneys. In the process, multiple attorneys and therapists assured her that she made the absolute correct move to kick him out of the house at this point due to his actions.

In large part because of this, he finally started taking things seriously to at least go through the motions to get himself better and he's about finished with some out patient rehab. She has let him back in the house, and for at least a little while, they were in separate bedrooms. I don't know about that now, and it's not my business. So, he's making some positive strides, but on the flip side, he continues to do some really selfish things. The place where he works is closing in 2 weeks, and he doesn't have a new job lined up yet. Nonetheless, he's using his pending unemployment to schedule a trip for himself (and his brother) to go hiking in Utah. And he has to spend he has to spend much of each weekend on local adventures. He says some fairly dick-ish things to his wife (as has been relayed to us). They're also going away on more weekend trips (skiing this weekend), so I don't know why he thinks it's OK to spend money when he's about to be unemployed with only 6 weeks of severance pay. He also found out about losing his job in January, right about the same time he started drinking again, so the job situation is not new news.

I think he was a genuinely good person in the past, and I liked him. But he seems to be doing a whole bunch of stupid stuff right now. We have not seen them in person since the January ice fishing incident. Staying covid-isolated has helped with excuses, but we're still pissed about things that happened and don't really want to see him. I can forgive him for making a mistake and wanting to try to socially drinking again (except it was by himself while he was doing a house project). I think his timing was incredibly stupid, though. I'm having a much harder time looking past the selfish and dick-ish things he's been doing since he stopped drinking again. We don't really have a desire to see him anytime soon, but with warm weather here, there won't be any good covid excuses, even if we aren't vaccinated yet, because we can stay outside. Meanwhile, his family continues to think the ice-fishing incident was not a big deal and don't understand why he was kicked out of the house. So they think his wife's family is overreacting to the situation and just want to brush it under the rug.

I believe people deserve multiple chances, but I'm not seeing any evidence of remorse or understanding of the danger he put is kids in. And it seems like his family is reinforcing this mindset. Meanwhile, my s-i-l seems to be drinking this kool-aid. We think it's mostly because "moving on and putting this behind them" is the current path of least resistance.

By the way, several years ago, we were at a large event for families at a nature center. It was his responsibility to watch the young kids for a handful of minutes while the other three adults did something else (I don't remember what). In that time, he managed to lose my then 2 year old and did very little to help find him when we came back and asked where our kid was. It took 15 minutes to find him - SCARY!! - and my idiot b-i-l was just kind of like "oops, sorry." My wife still hasn't forgiven him for that.

I'm fortunate in that I don't have a lot of experience with friends or family getting to that level of alcohol abuse, and it has never been someone I normally see on a regular basis. But of those handful of experiences, the marriage has not lasted. Sometimes it ended immediately, and sometimes is ended a handful of years later. Maybe this is SSS. I don't know, except that I don't know of any couples who have made it through a period like this.

I want to be the best person I can be in this situation, and I don't know if it's showing him support as he continues to comes to grip with his alcoholism and hope that family is able to stick together; or it's better to try to get my s-i-l out of this marriage as soon as possible.

So back to the original questions - I'm sure many of your have had friends/family go through these situations. What was your experience? What did you learn? What did you wish you knew at the beginning?

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haltz
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by haltz »

I don't get emotionally invested at all in someone else's recovery. I'm five years today, and although I don't go to meetings, I get pulled aside or called on the phone by friends or coworkers or blasts from the past who say they're ready to make a change, stop drinking and doing drugs etc and can I help or give advice, basically informally sponsor them at least in that moment.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this, but to sum it up now I just tell them to get a therapist or go to meetings or get medical intervention or all of the above and I stay out of it. When you start to feel responsible and have skin in the game for this thing that you can't control it quickly gets frustrating and disappointing and almost anyways ends the same way. It basically doesn't matter what you do, he probably won't change. Maybe he will and it sticks this time but probably not - and if he does stop using that's when the actual work starts. In that same way, your sister in law should do what's best for her and the kids given the current situation and not think that doing one thing or another will force or influence a different outcome for him. Just be there for her and maybe encourage her to go to an alanon meeting or see a therapist herself.

On a related note, one of my good friends that I've known since 8th grade called me to make an amends the other day. It's not his first rodeo and he's got about 6 mos under his belt this time around and is working the steps again. He borrowed a decent chunk of change ($600) from me in college that I honestly don't remember and said he feels bad about it and sorry that it's been a theme in our relationship that I bail him out financially. Then he told me it was up to me to tell him what he should do about it. Of course I told him no big deal, I honestly didn't remember and not to worry about it, he can buy lunch sometime soon or whatever. Then I start thinking about it after I hang up the phone and I realize he asked me to bail him out financially and I did it again. For some reason I'm having a hard time letting it go.

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cardinalkarp
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by cardinalkarp »

Gashouse, I definitely agree w/ what haltz said (btw, congrats on 5 years haltz). Being about 3 1/2 years sober myself, trying to navigate someone else’s journey through sobriety is nearly impossible. Going off the things you mentioned it sounds like this guy isn’t actually truly getting sober for himself, he’s doing it because the normalcy of his life is being threatened and honestly that RARELY keeps an addict sober for long. He’ll likely do what it takes to get some semblance of his life back, and slowly begin to “socially drink” (which will NOT work for an alcoholic) and fall back into the same terrible behavior. The only time I’ve seen sobriety work is if the person themself wants to get sober (and personally, it doesn’t sound to me like he’s at that point).

It sounds like the treatment center he was in likely had him attending some meetings but from what you describe doesn’t really sound to me like he’s taking things very seriously. He’s still exhibiting the same behaviors prior to drinking (just possibly not drinking) and that’s just not going to get things done.

If you’re wanting to reach out to him the best thing for you to do is offer your support (as long as he seems to be doing the right thing). But at the onset of his sobriety he needs to be going to as many meetings he can, look for the similarities he has w/ those in the meetings, find a good sponsor, and start working the steps.

Gashouse
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Re: Addictions -drugs alcoholism etc

Post by Gashouse »

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspectives, and congratulations on sobriety!

Every situation is unique, and I'm not foolish enough to think that anyone here will have a silver bullet for me, but you're thoughts are definitely helpful. Like haltz (I think) said, our primary focus is trying to support my wife's sister, but it's hard to know if that support is better towards helping her salvage her marriage, even though there are red flags; or if it's better if she cuts bait sooner. Maybe I/we owe it to her to give her husband another chance. But there continue to be enough lies and deception that it's hard to give him that grace.

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