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Old 11-29-2010, 08:02 AM
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Hello:

I am Numberseven. I am sister to an alcoholic. Itís my oldest brother. I am the 7th one in the family, hence, my username!! I believe he has been an alcoholic for many years, as I look back. He has always been a bully and very radical. Heís lost a few jobs because of his drinking over the years. Now he is retired. He is divorced (because of alcohol) and has 4 grown children. After he was divorced, he lived at our Motherís house with her for 12-14 years and paid nothing. He was asked to leave the house 3 years ago because the house was purchased by a brother right before it went into foreclosure.

We have been taking turns hosting Christmas and this year is his year to host. We have heard nothing about this event yet and over the weekend heard from another sister who is rather upset because no one else has checked with him about when it will be or where. We told her it was not our job to watch over him and make sure he is doing what he should do.

I come here because I am frustrated with his actions and the way he sort of expects that other people will pick up the pieces for him. Or Iím frustrated with the actions of my other sister who thinks we should ďtake care of himĒ because he has been poor most of his life. His poorness has been a result of his alcoholism.

Iím not sure where I should be posting and seeking tips from others in the same situation, so please advise. Iíve never attended a meeting.

Thank you.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:02 AM
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Hello numberseven. Welcome to SR; and btw you _are_ in the right place
While you wait for more replies to your posts you might want to take a peek at the sticky threads we keep up at the top of this forum's page. Up there are some especially helpful threads along with other resources selected just for friends & family members of alcoholics.

You don't have to face this alone. By coming here and attending Al-Anon I've learned that there is hope. Hearing from others about how they manage under similar circumstances helps me live a much better and less chaotic life. I'm glad you decided to stop by.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:33 PM
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Numberseven,
Clearly you are welcomed to post here on SR. I have found that SR offers loving support and comfort each of us needs and deserves. We gain strength and confidence. We learn that we are not really unique, and we find hope for ourselves by the understanding, encouragement and help offered here. SR is a "we" program, where we come together for mutual help. SR accepts us for who we are.

You wrote, "We have been taking turns hosting Christmas and this year is his year to host. We have heard nothing about this event yet and over the weekend heard from another sister who is rather upset because no one else has checked with him about when it will be or where. We told her it was not our job to watch over him and make sure he is doing what he should do." Maybe, just maybe, she wants her family of origin to be together for Christmas, and that was where she was coming from. Maybe she, also, feels the frustration of your alcoholic brother and his lack of concern of planning your traditional Christmas gathering.

If I was you and wanted the traditional Christmas gathering this year, then the best bet would be is for your other siblings and you to plan the event. I wouldn't expect your
alcoholic brother to take on this responsibility.

An expectation is a premeditated resentment. The higher the expectations, the lower the serenity. I try to keep my boundaries high, my expectations low, and my heart
open. Learn to give from your overflow rather that from your reserve. This is self care, we learn to let go of burdens we were never meant to carry. Learn to ask, “What is the best thing for me?” It is futile to spend time trying to figure out what makes some one else tick. Learn to live with the “disease” that comes when you stop something and practice new behavior, the feelings will pass. Anger can be constructive in telling me that someone else is stepping on some boundaries that I need to enforce. The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is in how you use them.

A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step.

On the Steps:

Willingness comes from the pain, the healing comes from the steps.

Step 1. Surrender
Step 2. Sanity
Step 3. Serenity

There is a difference between “relief” and “recovery”.

Steps 1-3 bring relief
Steps 4-9 bring recovery..
Steps 10-12 maintain it…

Steps 6 & 7:

Step 6 Be willing, Be ready and let God do the work

Step 7 Humbly ask (acknowledge who I am in relation to God)

Recovery is a program that is meant to be worked with another and with God.

**********************************
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:10 PM
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Hi.

I think alanon would be a great thing to do for yourself. You can't control or manage any of your siblings but you can find ways to keep your own peace and serenity.


The Serenity Prayer is.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


You can't change your brother, or your sisters response to your brother.

What can you do to have a pleasant Christmas? I wouldn't put my chickens in the 'poor, alcoholic, bachelor that has not made any contact on the subject with only 25 days to go' basket. You can't make him make plans but you can make your own.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:23 PM
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Hi NumberSeven to Sober Recovery (SR).
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:29 PM
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Welcome NumberSeven
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:50 PM
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Thank you all. This is very frustrating. Phoenix - your words are interesting and frustrating at the same time. When you say we could plan Christmas and not have him in charge of planning - that feels like we would be bailing him out. Sister is heavy into enabling him. She feels we are 'down on him' because he is poor. He is poor because he has put drinking ahead of many many things in his life. She also feels he has/had no choice in the alcoholism because our Dad was an alcoholic, but got himself clean and sober and stayed that way. If we did go ahead with planning without him, I'm sure we would be bombarded with nasty letters, emails and phone calls. This has happened before.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:14 PM
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You might consider it as bailing yourself and your Christmas out.
Take him out of the equation and do what gives you the Christmas you want.
Relying on an alcoholic is one of the riskiest things I know.
Sure, he should do his part but shoulda, woulda, coulda generally just frustrates me and wastes my time.
I don't like to be around people (family included) that I consider toxic to my satisfaction in life.
My sister is an alcoholic that throws great get-togethers and parties.
I hate them and try to avoid it as much as possible.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:12 AM
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That's a good way to look at it also - bailing myself or the rest of us out. Thank you.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:41 AM
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I would also consider making a different holiday plan all together, maybe make some plans at your house. Invite your family to come by after they do other things, state very calmly and clearly that you do not want his alcoholism to throw a shadow on your day.
I do not feel that is bailing him out. It almost seems like, if everyone goes to his house and plays jolly, then he is being enabled. Surely, no one wantes to have a crappy holiday, so...they are bound to pick up the pieces for him.

Why not just boycott? Make your own damn plans, and if any of them ask why/what, just be CALM and direct. I do not want my holiday to be stressed because of someone else who wont address his disease.
I choose to have a happy holiday.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:02 AM
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You guys are getting the gears in my head to spin. So, if we go ahead and make alternate plans without him in charge, any suggestions on how we handle the mean, ugly, sassy mouth that is sure to follow because he wasn't given his "turn?" Is it okay to just say directly to him as long as he active in his drinking, he is not responsible and cannot be counted on to take care of these things, so we went ahead and did it on our own?
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:13 AM
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I have read on here before that "expectations are premeditated resentments".

Relying on an alcoholic who is not dependable to host the family Christmas sounds like a premeditated resentment. And resentment is a sure way to squelch the "Merry" out of your holiday.

I hope you find a solution that works for the entire family and keeps your Christmas Merry.

gentle hugs
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Old 11-30-2010, 10:48 AM
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Well, we have now found out that one sister who is enabling him very much has taken care of the holiday arrangements on his behalf so that it will appear he has done this.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by numberseven View Post
Well, we have now found out that one sister who is enabling him very much has taken care of the holiday arrangements on his behalf so that it will appear he has done this.
numberseven,

if this is too personal, then do not answer,
how do you feel about spending christmas with him (alcoholic brother) and the rest that goes with it?

i am a recovering alcoholic, and my holidays are drama and alcohol free.
I hope yours is the same.

Beth
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:21 PM
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I don't feel bad at all about answering. I don't like being around him because a lot of the time he is rude and obnoxious, but we are pretty good sized crowd, so I can avoid him or his crap. He's usually mellow because by late afternoon, he will be pretty full.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by numberseven View Post
I don't feel bad at all about answering. I don't like being around him because a lot of the time he is rude and obnoxious, but we are pretty good sized crowd, so I can avoid him or his crap. He's usually mellow because by late afternoon, he will be pretty full.


that is cool numberseven.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:47 PM
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Thank you. All of you who have been answering have been awesome in helping me see things differently.
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