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Alcoholism

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatriotsReign, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    I realize this may not be the appropriate forum for this but was hoping our mod's would allow some leniency because it's a topic that touches all social issues. And I'd like to read comments from this group if that's ok.

    I found out this morning that one of my co-workers and friend committed suicide on Wednesday. This man had been sober for a long period, but started drinking again about 18 months ago. We had many good talks before he started drinking again.

    At a recent company meeting, he pulled me aside and said, "Whatever you do, don't ever convince yourself you can drink again!" He went on to tell me, "I started out being normal, but it kept getting worse and now I can't stop....and the saddest part is, I don't even feel like trying to stop."

    This man will never know that by dying, he is helping me and probably others. Sad as that may sound, it's true.

    Those of you who aren't alcoholics will never know or understand and I'm grateful you don't. In AA meetings everywhere, you hear the phrase "Alcolism is cunning, baffling and insidious..." and I have that to be true....especially today.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  2. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    Sorry, for your friend and the family left behind. We don't know the demons that others have to battle.....
  3. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    You're right about that and thank you Philly.
  4. cupofjoe1962

    cupofjoe1962 Rookie

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    I am sorry for your loss PR

    I have been down that road and it is not a pleasant road.
    I lost a couple of friends to suicide before and after I got sober.

    We are not talking about skid rowe guys either.
    A couple of these guys had everything to live for....

    One guy had a owned a successful company, made a ton of money and he
    picked up. He bounced in and out of detox & finally took his life
    while at Highpoint.

    The sad thing is we talked about suicide a couple years earlier.
    A mutual friend had taken his life and left a beautiful wife and a couple
    of great kids. He also had a owned a successful business.

    We talked about how we would never do this.....
    Less than five years later, he was gone.

    I have been sober 16+ years and every now and then the thought
    enters my head that I could have a couple of beers. I do know where
    a couple of beers would bring me....... Right back to the drugs.
    I pray every day that I donn't pick up. I don't worry about what it
    would do to me, I worry about what it would do to my family.
  5. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    I pray neither you nor I go down that route CoJ. The strange part is that although drinking may appear to be the easy way, it's actually the hard way.

    My life is much easier when I don't drink.
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    I am sorry for the men who committed suicide - I am sorry for those who knew them - I am most sorry for the people who loved them.

    I come at alcoholism from the "other side," the family side. The damage it does to a family is beyond telling. There are many, many things which occured in my life due to alcoholism which I will never speak about and which I will never, really, recover from.

    Much like a dog who's been beaten cringes at the sight of a raised hand or the sound of a loud voice, women and children who've suffered at the hands of an out-of-control alcoholic will always cringe at the same things - no matter how far removed they become from the time, place and person.

    It becomes instinctive - because it once meant survival, it remains survival.

    Life with an alcoholic places so many demands on a person - even in times of sobriety those demands do not lessen. I'm told that most women, if their husbands are late coming home from work, either don't even notice - or if they do, they are unconcerned. The wife of an alcoholic or a recovering alcoholic immediately begins preparing for the worst case scenerio. An accident, a night spent in jail, a night spent with some woman met in the bar, or - even worse - he'll come home - and he'll be loud and he'll be mean and he'll do some unspeakable damage to her or the children which he will either forget or deny in the morning. And, chances are, if he does remember or acknowledge, he will blame her or the children. And she, who has become just as sick as he, will agree.

    Everything good in a family is easily tainted by alcohol abuse. Christmas, Easter, birthday parties, childbirth, vacations, dinner, breakfast, school functions, sports functions - they all fall like dominoes after one too many martinis. They are not anticipated, they are dreaded. They are not to be enjoyed, they are to be gotten through.

    Can I accept that it is a disease? Yeah, I can. But only to a point. Just like cancer and lung disease and heart disease, a person has a choice as how to deal with it. Alcoholism seems to demand that everything else stop - a recovering alcoholic must be coddled - he mustn't be "triggered," he mustn't be overburdened. Which leaves, once again, family members, who may be equally unprepared to deal with whatever stress is occuring, alone again.

    People worry about second-hand smoke all the time. They demand that no oen smoke in their home when their children are present, but they don't often refer to second-hand alcoholism or how dangerous it is to those subjected to it on a regular basis.

    I am aware of groups like Al-Anon and AlaTeen but it's been my experience that they're hit or miss and if you find a good one you're lucky.

    What saved me and my children was a wonderful stranger - the kind that God sends - A female psychologist who started a support group for battered women - and who took a special interest in me for some unknown reason and who, over the course of time, convinced me that I would die if I did not leave and that I not only could but should get the hell out. If I could not save him I needed to save my children and because I needed to save my children I need to save myself because my children would not survive without me.

    I had thought that his demons were our demons but it turned out they belonged to him alone.

    That does not mean that his demons did not leave scars on all of us.
  7. Texxx

    Texxx Rookie

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    I'm very sorry to about this loss and to hear a story like this. It sounds like the guy just couldn't find happiness with the bottle or without it unfortunately. I lost a childhood friend to suicide about two years ago from depression issues that I could never fully understand. Suicide is always the worst way to hear about someone's death. It's hard to accept.
  8. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Great post MrsP...and I'm glad you took the time to share this.

    In AA, it said alcoholics are like a tornado. We tear apart all who made the choice to be near us...and often, some who had no choice. It is true that people get hurt by our actions and by our sickness.

    Not all addicts/alcoholics have a mean or violient streak, but there are enough of them/us. The people that are damaged by alcoholism most often did nothing to deserve what they got. So I understand your feelings about "coddling" the recovering alcoholic.

    In my opinion, what it comes down to is that a person beginning recovery MUST do whatever they need to do to stop drinking. That is more important that family or friends to us. And that's because if we don't stop, there is no family or friends. From your side, it may appear that (dying) would be the fairest solution and I understand that 100%.

    I guess the worst part of being close to an alcoholic is that even upon beginning recovery, it's still all about them. We are selfish by nature, I'll admit that. But if we don't change at some point, we'll either be dry-drunks or we'll start drinking again and die.

    Living with an active or recovering alcoholic is not easy. But I know a lot of people who recovered (as in got better, not just stopped drinking) and have lead amazing & loving family lives. I even know some who worked hard on their issues while their spouse did nothing. Anyone who has lived with active alcoholism also must get better as no one comes out unaffected by this crap. I know it's not fair, but people like yourself also have a responsibility to do something about their sickness. Yes, living with an alcoholic makes everyone sick and in need of help.

    I'm glad God put someone in your life who has helped you. But you still had to make that decision to take action and that took courage on your part. I hope you never have to deal with this sickness again. It sounds like you've had more than your fair share.

    BTW...coincidentally, I watched a movie last night called "Buck" which was a documentary on the real horse whisperer. He and his brother were beaten daily as a child by his alcoholic father. He talked about the pain that caused him for years. But he also spoke of how he would not allow that to be the path he chose. Honestly, I think you'd love the movie as I know you also love animals. I think it was on HBO. It even got me teary-eyed more than once. I never watched a man who knows himself as much as this man does.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/m...sperer-and-now-movie-star.html?pagewanted=all

    ‘Buck,’ Inspiration for ‘Horse Whisperer’ - Review - NYTimes.com
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  9. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    Sorry for your loss Reign. Prayers and thoughts go out to his family and friends. There is always room for this type of discussion on this board IMO.
  10. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    One of the things I admire about people is that they forget about partisanship bs when it comes to things like this. I appreciate comments from anyone regardless of pov...and likewise people like yourself do the same when they offer their condolences.

    Thanks Scout...much appreciated.
  11. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    One of the things people loved about this man was his bigger-than-life Texas personality. The man was 62 years old and was as buff as any 25 year old. He had hands as big as any I've ever seen and a smile to match. He also enjoyed riding his Harley with friends.

    My company isn't a large one and over the past year, one person died of cancer and 4 others who I all know well have gotten some type of potentially fatal cancer.

    As I write this, one is fighting Leukemia and another is fighting a fatal form of throat cancer. I've never witnessed this much death & sickness in my work life.

    I guess there's no sense in trying to figure it all out. Life isn't always gentle, that's for sure.

    Sorry for the blog-type post....
  12. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #11 Jersey

    One of the things which always worries spouses of alcoholics is their children's greater chance of also becoming an alcoholic, I think.

    One would think that growing up abused would make the abused person much less likely to abuse but that's just not true, unfortunately. In fact, the opposite is true.

    Alcoholism has some genetic properties - although I suppose it's hard to tell where heredity and enviornment break paths.

    When my children drink, I worry. I understand that some drinking is fine - but the truth is, I'd honestly prefer it if they never touched the stuff. They're pretty sensitive about my feelings and they know I'm extremely uncomfortable with drunkenness - and that I'll simply leave any situation where it's present.

    I also wonder if it's the alcohol itself which causes suicide, or if it's the accompanying depression - and which comes first, the depressive personality or the addictive personality or are they one and the same?

    I've seen many suicides over my lifetime - the first being when I was about 7 years old and the policeman across the street shot himself in the head in the front yard on Christmas morning. My youngest son has lost 2 very close friends to suicide and I've been on multiple ambulance calls for suicides where I either knew the victim or the family of the victim.

    It's a terrible thing for the family and friends - absolutely the worse kind of death there is. It's one from which they never really recover or gets over. Being totally honest, I think that some family members of an alcoholic or drug addict who commits suicide somtimes secretly wished that the person would die (only because it seems the only way out for all of them) and then, when it happens, the guilt becomes unbearable. It's as if your despair caused it to happen and the death is your fault.

    Addictions are terrible things. I try to find pity for those afflicted. I fail sometimes.
  13. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Definitely runs in families, but agree tough to tell if it's environment or genetic. But I will say I'm the only one of 4 children who became an alkie.

    Can not imagine how that must feel or how I'd feel/worry if I had kids. Even though we know that people will do whatever they do no matter what we say, it's so hard to "put it in God's hands" or "let it go".

    I can only speak for myself. I felt "different" as far back as I can recall. I struggled with many things socially as well. I believe I was an alcoholic from the first time I got drunk at 15. I don't think alcoholism is about alcohol abuse as much as it is the under-lying issues.

    This is the first time I've experienced suicide. I've watched people drink themselves to death slowly, but never this. Sad your children had to deal with suicide...very sad.

    So do I MrsP...so do I. Probably less understanding from someone like me, but it's difficult. My mother just got sober 18 months ago at age 77. I never thought she'd do it, but she has. I used to hate going over to visit my parents, but I did almost every week. I'd see the drunkenness in her eyes and it made me want to scream. I felt like I was starting to hate her...and there I was, just like her...I should have understood, but I couldn't because I was too close to her.

    I do understand that very well.
  14. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sorry for your loss PR, since he had been a recovering addict and it would have been something you guys had in common, it must have been very painful to see him sink back into his addiction and then take his own life.

    Feel very bad for his family and all they had been going through and what they are going through now.
  15. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    We have a strange connection. No one would recognize another walking down the street. We don't know each other, other then tidbits we remember from threads. Yet, we find ourselves defending one of our comrades when they are attacked from the "other" side. Then, when real life tragedy hits, we are all there for that member, regardless of who they are or what their beliefs. Never feel that you can not post in times of need. We will always be reading and offering support.
  16. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm deeply sorry about your friend, PR. We lose far too many people to the disease of addiction. And, those like you, who one day at a time stick with sobriety I know are inspirations to those who want to do better. Had your friend not had his period of sobriety he might have died sooner. So, for all the loss the fellowship suffers, each person it loses thanks to that fellowship got extra time on this earth. If your friend's death is a powerful enough reminder to keep even one other sober, then he did not die in vain.
  17. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sorry PR,
    Have it my own family.

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