(Closed) Intervention for alcoholic friend?

posted 5 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
4328 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

@lovejewel:  Unfortunately there isn’t much you CAN do for someone who doesn’t want to help himself. 

You can voice your concerns all you want, but expect for him to get defensive and offended. He may recoil from you as his friends for a while, and avoid you. I know you are addressing it from a place of concern, so if you feel like it’s a problem, tell him so. That will at least get his wheels turning about whether he does have an issue or not. Maybe he’ll recognize it in time, but have reasonable expectations. It might help you to assemble a group of friends together who feel similarly, so you are more credible.

Good luck!

Post # 4
Member
9956 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

But if someone doesn’t think he has a problem, what can you do?

Sadly, nothing. 

Change is ALL about the person who has problem, recognizing that they have a problem (the first thing that they teach in Al-Anon to family & friends… is you cannot change anyone… you can only accept them for what they are… now)

I loved my first Husband desperately… for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till dealth us do part… and then too I pledge thee my troth.

He was a binge drinker when I met him in University… and 30 Years later, not much had changed.  I couldn’t take it any more (the drinking, the low self esteem, the self-loathing, etc) so I gave him fair warning and left

In the end, booze killed him.  He died at 53 years old of Cancer of the Pancreas and Cirhosis of the Liver… he had a ton of potential as a man when we hooked up at 20, but it all was washed away in the ensuing 30 years.

Sad.

Our marriage didn’t work out because of his issues (he was an abusive drunk) but I loved him faithfully… I’ve learned how to move on (I’m engaged to an incredible man, which is WHY I am on WBee) but I don’t kid you, after 25 years together, and kids, I certainly miss my Ex.  There was a lot pain in our marriage that didn’t need to be there… these were choices that he made.

If things had been a lot better, we might still be together, and he’d still be alive.

In the end the Pain he brought, engulfed a lot of people… His Family (parents, siblings, aunts & uncles, cousins) and our immediate family too (me, kids, inlaws etc) there was a lot of love surrounding him, but he failed to see it.

I know that we all grieve… intensely in painful silence.

In the long run, you cannot change anyone… they have to make these choices for themselves.

 

 

 

Post # 5
Member
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Nothing, unfortunately.  He needs to figure it out on his own.

Post # 7
Member
9956 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

@StuporDuck:  Thank you.

Sometimes I feel I grieve alone… it isn’t cool in life to grieve after someone you divorced (even if the Divorce really was a SCREAM for help in the dark emptiness of human fraility)… and it certainly cost me financially, emmotionally and the fact that some of our kids are still bitter and estranged from me today.

BUT I consider myself lucky to be alive (the abuse towards the end was horrific).

I am especially lucky in that I met a wonderful guy… and got a second chance at life in my 40s.

Mr TTR and I have been together going on 7 years, we will be married later this year, and I couldn’t WISH or DREAM for a better partner.  I am truly blessed.

 

Post # 8
Member
4328 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

@This Time Round:  There’s nothing wrong with greiving for someone you GAVE a substantial chunk of your life to. You tried to make it work. He didn’t change. But it doesn’t negate the fact that you loved him when you were giving it your all. You love who you love, regardless of how flawed they are. Just because the marriage ultimately did not work as you envisioned it would when you married him does not mean you are not entitled to grieve. Let yourself have those emotions when you need to. If you don’t, they will be destined to haunt you. 

I’m sorry your children are disillusioned by the circumstances. Hopefully some time and maturity will help them forgive whatever “errors” they think you made in the process. 

Post # 9
Member
9956 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

@StuporDuck:  Just seeing your reply now… thank you for your kind words, they meant a lot to me.

 

Post # 10
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Speaking as a wife of a recovering alcoholic, there is nothing you can do.  I went through a lot of therapy and group meetings to be told over and over that there is nothing you can do if they aren’t willing to put the time and effort in themselves.  This is especially true if the person is in denial.

That being said, my husband was in denial for a LONG time.  Then all of a sudden, he hit his low.  This triggered therapy, a treatment program, and long term help.  I think hitting his low is what sent him over the edge.

I hate to sound negative, but maybe that’s what needs to happen before your friend will be willing to change?

Post # 11
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Like everyone else has said, there’s nothing you can do and if you attempt to intervene, it will not go well at all.

I am an alcoholic, at least *I* think I am, most of my friends don’t.

I don’t wake up drinking and I don’t drink every day, but it’s my go-to when I’m sad, stressed or just having a good time with friends.

Where my problem manifests is in my lack of control. I can’t have just one drink, it’s not worth it to me. If I can’t get a good buzz, I just won’t drink. And don’t dare try to confront me when I am drinking because then I’ll completely shut you down and close myself off. My mom and my sisters know this from experience.

I had planned to quit a couple of months back, but then my Daddy died in May and I just could not be without my crutch. I still feel like I need it, but I’ve decided to make health my first priority and I am trying very hard to quit because it’s like a craving that I can’t get away from. I’ve joined an online support group because I don’t like AA, perhaps your friend can find an alternative if he’s ever ready.

I hope your friend does recognize that he has a problem soon and decides to get help for himself. If he does, he’ll need you all for support.

Post # 12
Member
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

My only suggestion is have a conversation with them. Like others have said there is nothing you can do unless they want to help themselves BUT for your own benefit and peace of mind at least have that conversation so you can say you tried.

My ex BIL was a HUGE part of my life for many many years. My sister and him started dating at 13 (i was 4) and they married at 23 (i was 14) They divorced when I was 18. So for over half my life he was there and he was one of the most amazing people i have ever known. Alcoholism ran in his family and while i knew he always had a thing for beer it was never more than a couple a night. When my sister left him i think he was heartbroken and things went downhill from there. He drank more and more finally switching to liquor. Him and my sister kept in touch so I knew when he lost his job, his car and was living at his then girlfirends house things  had gotten really bad. I was young and consumed in my own little world that while i knew he was struggling I never once tried to reach out to him to let him know that even though she left him we still and always will love him.

He passed away this past March and it was news I never ever ever expected to hear. He was 35, He had cirrosis of the liver and while the details are around his death are sketchy i feel so much guilt for knowing that there was something wrong and i never made a move to try and help or reach out to him. I know that even if i did things may have not ended any differently but at least I wouldnt’ have the guilt of not trying ya know?

have that conversation…even if it leads nowhere. for your own sake.

Post # 13
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Do not try to have an intervention without a professional to lead it. It is a very emotional process and you and your friends are too close to the heart of it to lead an intervention and end up successful. It is too easy to let emotions run away with you, and end up arguing and fighting rather than getting through to that person.

You may want to consider some Alateen or alanon meetings for yourself and your friends. These are similar to Alcoholics Anonymous but geared towards those close to the alcoholic rather than the alcoholic himself/herself. You may be able to learn some coping skills in these programs so that you can best maintain your own mental and emotional health whilst your friend deals with his problem (or doesn’t deal with it).  Your local AA should have references, or try your local hospital.

Post # 16
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@lovejewel:  

You’re right. He drinks to numb the pain. He is lonely and broken and alcohol is the only thing that understands him and comforts him.

With alcohol, all the hurt and loneliness gets pushed aside for just a little while. But make no bones about it, alcohol is a depressant and after a hard night of drinking, he does wake up in the middle of the night and think to himself, wtf am I doing? I know I need to break this cycle and I will. Then he falls back to sleep and the day before repeats itself.

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