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Old 11-06-2003, 05:25 AM
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Dr. Phill

I just have to say.....I could feel the people stirring in their seats yesterday during the Dr. Phill show....
When he made that Statement.......
THE BIGGIST MYTH IS THAT AN ADDICT HAS TO HIT BOTTOM....
If you watched the show, you know he put alot of the A.A.
and alanon beliefs in question. I was dumb founded...speachless.....
I thought to myself....Oh Dr. Phill that better be correct, cause you may have just screwed over a huge, huge..part of the..population.
So many people have turned to those step's, clinging with their lives.....my god I shutter to think of the affect of the words he spoke....
anyone else have any feed back on that...
What I have learned through all of this is to keep an open mind and before I take anything as concrete information inside my sore brain. I tose it around out their, mull it over...and make come to my own conclusions..

what is your feed back?
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Old 11-06-2003, 05:35 AM
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Hi Sally.. well in my humble opinion I tend to agree with Dr.Phil. Though I was getting close to bottom I didn't quite get there before realizing the error of my ways and needed help. I think this is true for many but surely not all... I guess like someone mentioned it depends on what your "bottom " is. I could see the references to our program but didn't quite understand what you meant by putting our beliefs into question.

Now if you mean the intervention and the fact we have to do this for ourselves and typically no intervention will work and STICK until the person is ready, then yes. I had mixed emotions on this as I want to see the kid get help but obviously doesn't think he needs it. I feel the desperation of the parents and see perhaps this as their last chance to get help for their son which is admirable. Will it work? Dunno. I'll be interested in finding out what the end result will be. But when we can't make the decisions for ourselves as mentioned on the show, perhaps, in some cases it's all family have to turn to.

Was a good show.. taped it and looking forward to part two.
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Old 11-06-2003, 05:54 AM
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Me too

well, it scares me....what he said....
because the biggist problem of being a co-dependant is the rescueing......letting go....
we have come to believe that we cannot control the addict....
I too am humble and in no way...proclaim to have all the answers or even be solid in my convictions...(open mind)
I found the show also very helpful...and it kind of scared me also.
because with my A.....I went in search of help in the beginning for him....I so much believed what Dr. Phill was saying about....They can't think for themselves....and I couldn't believe that we we're expected to sit back and let our loved one's hit bottom...
In horror....alot of us have laid awake, dreading that phone call in the middle of the night.....or waiting to find that person deceased.
We have felt hopeless, and I feel like I have done all I can to help my A.
but their comes a point where like Dr. Phill say''s...row for shore.
In order to keep my own head above water.....I have had to let go and help myself..
I in no way proclaim to have all the answers....and am just rolling with the waves....
I am very interested to hear everyones opinion on the show.
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Old 11-06-2003, 06:16 AM
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I actually went home from work yesterday..not feeling well and caught this show. My heavens..it could have been me and mine up on that screen. I can bet..with great probability that that boy will walk off that set and never look back. He is going to believe that they are just "ganging up" on him. He won't sit there like a good little boy and take what they have to say to him. He will lash out at his mother foremost..because she is his softest spot. Make mom cry and you have an instant in...get dad pi**ed and he will tune out...harangue on the younger siblings and they will fold like cheap paperplates....It is now just a major power struggle...the parents won't win...and the kid will lose.
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Old 11-06-2003, 06:24 AM
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So sad.. because we all in our different way's understand the pain, hardship, and turmoil addiction causes.

I love looking in from the otherside as the alcoholic in my family. I hope it does not irritate anyone I pop in on occassion. I love the perspective you on the otherside of the fence have to offer.

I take my program very seriously and I work all the angles to ensure a happy, stable homelife for myself and all my family members.

But I tend to agree with LMom... until he's ready it just ain't gonna happen. As heartwrenching as it is. But perhaps given the two choices jail or rehab, he'll choose the one that will get that seed planted as Jon say's.

*hugs* and thanks for letting me peek in over here.
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:16 AM
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Chy, I, myself, appreciate your popping in here. I think its commendable that you are interested in seeing the other side.

Last night, for the first time, I went to my husband's therapy group on "family night." I was the only non-A there. At first I felt a little self-conscious, but they included me in everything, even had me go through the same exercises the As did. It was fascinating. I think we all learned something from listening to each other's situations and perspectives.
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:47 AM
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I'm sorry I missed that episode, but I went to the website and here are some quotes I find especially interesting:

"Do you see that you cannot rely on his thinking in any way?"

Has to hit bottom: "That myth has probably killed as many people as any mistruth I have ever heard," exlains Dr. Phil. "It is absolutely untrue. Because bottom may be six feet under. He's ready for help now, because he's still alive, he's still using and there's still hope to turn this kid's life around."


“You're sitting there and arguing with him, you might as well be talking to a wall because you're not talking to him, you're talking to the drugs"

Although I know and understand and agree that we cannot or control anybody or make them stop drinking, can we really just sit around and take care of ourselves and do nothing else? I am really, really having trouble with that concept.

In a way, even if an alcoholic does not have any other diagnosed mental illness, it seems to me they are actually mentally disturbed for whatever reason. The mental health people say that the mentally ill need an "advocate"--such as a family member that can speak for them, help them negotiate the medical maze to find the most appropriate treatment, and help them make decisions, maybe even help them manage their daily affairs. But we here with alcoholics are just supposed to do NOTHING but "take care of ourselves" and hope that our mentally impaired people will use good judgment and make appropriate decisions??!!! That just doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:28 AM
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I think ol' Phil has a semantics problem. Not everyone hits the gutter before they can start to make a comeback, but everyone does hit their own personal bottom. That is simply the point below which THEY are not willing to sink, and that is different for everybody.

I found it very interesting when I read the recap of the show on his website (I couldn't watch yesterday), the way he outlined the intervention program. In spite of that dramatic statement meant to lure in viewers "The Biggest Myth... etc.", inside the outline he (or whoever wrote it) is very careful to talk about preparing the family for it NOT to work.

It certainly makes sense that an intervention scene could be a "bottom" for some people. I mean... if you have ANY self esteem left at all... how embarassing. How shocking to know that's what everyone thinks of you. I hope this television appearance will do it for this young man. There's something to be said for public humiliation. It also makes sense that a few weeks away from the drug in a rehab, would clear the mind and make the person more receptive to recovery information. Yet just as many people relapse who have walked out of rehab centers as have used AA or tried to do it all on their own.

I just hope if anyone here is thinking about staging an intervention, they are also thinking of getting a professional to help them. There are so many ways they can go wrong. NOT just that the addict will not go for treatment, but damage to the self esteem of the interveeners and actually increasing the psychological leverage the addict has in the household. www.intervention.com

Phil has another day to cover this subject. Lots of times he makes those big statements to lure us in only to turn around and show us the flip side. It's a marketing technique. He's getting people to watch his show. Somewhere on this site is a post that lists the relapse rate after a "sucessful" intervention (one that results in getting the addict into treatment). I haven't been able to find it yet, and I particularly wanted to because the writer cited the source they found it in. At any rate, as I recall the rate was very close to the same as the relapse rate for everybody else. So at least we know it doesn't HURT. Doesn't hurt the addict, anyway.

An important thing to remember though, is that the decision to become sober or clean always, always rests inside the user. An intervention is an attempt to present them with information and support in the hope that they can be swayed with reason and love. That's it. It's also important to remember that if it doesn't work, it's not the family's fault.

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Old 11-06-2003, 09:14 AM
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Wow......first
Chy....definatly appreciate your imput....

Ma ma Weasel.......you took the words out of my mouth.....
Those thoughts went through my mind also....regarding them being mentaly ill .....
I wish they would change the Laws....so that our......loved ones ,...instead of being burried, or jailed....
could be evaluated as Mentaly ill or dependant on a substance....and a danger to them selves and society.....could be taken AGAINST their WILL.... and put into a rehabilitation centre.....
why sould we let mental ill loved ones....kill them selves,others,

I too find it disturbing, although I understand it....too just take care of ourselves in our program and let the person.....hit bottom..
I think that we need other options..... we need.....the laws to change so that we can take action.....and help our loved one's.
and I guess this all fall's into the catagory of Enableing .....
We need the legal system to back us up......
of course this opens a big can of worms..... that is just endless.....

This is my Idea.....I think that if a person is suspected of being...addicted to the point where their mental stability is affected....they are deemed a danger to themselves...or society..(drinking driving) . A certain number of Family members willing to state legaly that they deem this person...sick...addicted...mentaly ill.....Sign a serious legal Doc.
Have them picked up.....incarsarated....and taken to a mental healt facilty.....and evaluated...and directed into the rehabilitation centre which is needed.....It should be law......
How many....addicted people are in prison, dead.....
we need to change things to protect everyone....
but again.....It is a free Country.........and this may be a breech of our bill of humane rights....
but again if our spouses are violent.....a danger....you...call ...he is incarsarated , charged....jailed... which is...not really dealing with the problem.

why not change the system..........

regards Sally
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Old 11-06-2003, 09:24 AM
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I am fairly new to this board and the program. I am still a bit confused about "hit the bottom". The only actual bottom that I can see that would be everyones bottom would be death...and I don't think thats what we are talking about.

Chy..you mentioned you were close to bottom but hadn't reached it. Could you please explain to me what that means? What else were you willing to go through...but didn't... because you realized you needed help?

Isn't "bottom" when we stop our destructive path and get on the recovery road? Wouldn't an intervention then be someones bottom sometimes? For some it wouldn't be.......maybe it would take jail, homelessness or even loss of life. The addict ultimately makes the decision in all cases.
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Old 11-06-2003, 09:41 AM
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I have mixed feelings about our laws about the mentally ill. Of course, the civil rights of all us are extremely important. And we don't want to end up with a Communist Russia-type system where they locked away in "mental institutions" those the goverment didn't approve of. And earlier in the US's history, the mentally ill were misunderstood and some times hidden away or locked up out of sheer ignorance. And yes, they, too have rights. I don't want to deny anybody their rights (although I am frequently accused of that at home).

I don't know what the answer is, but there is something seriously amiss with a system that waits for people with impaired judgment, brain damage, etc. to suddenly have brilliant insight and go obtain appropriate treatment. Granted, some of them do voluntarily get help, but there are certainly an awful lot of them running around out there who don't ever get there, and we all pay the price for that.

I fully agree that it's important to take care of ourselves, and I definitely do that. I always have, even before I was involved with A. Even when I was a single mother sacrificing to raise a child on a small salary and with no help, I found ways to do nice things for just me. But the advice to take a bubble bath or go to a movie when you are living with a lunatic leaves something to be desired.

I have heard some alcoholics tell their stories where God called them to get their lives straightened out, and they did. That's wonderful. But what if God doesn't always speak to us like we expect? What if He sends a kind, loving friend or family member to help guide a disturbed person? What if God speaks to the non-A, who says, don't bother me now, I have to go take a bubble bath?
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Old 11-06-2003, 10:50 AM
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There are already laws in place to stop people from behavior that hurts others. If an addict steals from you, you can have him put in jail. If the court is made to understand that the problem is addiction, often the addict will be remanded to treatment instead of jail. That, if I understand it, is what is happening in the case of the boy on Dr. Phils show. Behavior that endangers other people is illegal. It's also still illegal to commit outright suicide in the U.S. If a family can show that a person is a danger to themselves... they can be committed to treatment. That treatment has about as much chance of ultimately succeeding as leaving them to their own devices, but at least if you're talking about someone who is using lethal doses daily, a rehab can buy you few months. Anyway... those laws are there. But it requires a lot of proof to have someone commited for a reason. It simply can't be made easy for someone who just doesn't like someone else's behavior to have them locked up for it. That would mean my friend's could have me locked up for stupidly funneling money toward Dino's drug problem. And their friends could have them locked up for bailing me out when I did.

Lunatic is a big word. If you really do live with one of those, you do have legal recourse. When Dino was roaming the streets buying crack and learning to steal, it was a rehab issue. And it was go or be forced to go by his parents. He went. It took several tries before the dent happened. And it wasn't the treatment I would have selected that finally seemed to take... it was what he selected. Now he smokes pot, drinks a little and gets mean, irritating and slothful. Those are bubble bath issues. Either I tell him to get lost or I deal with it. There are no laws against his hurting my feelings. Should there be? Then there would have to be a law against hanging around with someone who hurts your feelings.

Hugs,
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:11 AM
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Totally just my opinion here.....Dr. Phil has a confrontational style that pleases people. Bottoms can be made worse by continuing to dig. And the Courts order people to AA and Al-Anon in hopes of saying, "You've gone low enough." Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

So I don't take his approach as opposing the 12 Steps. I know when I came to Al-Anon, I first thought that I wasn't suppose to mention the drinking problem ever again. Later I realized it was a case of when, how, and managing my expectations that made the difference.

My other opinion about his approach is that he's a bit naive. One show I saw where they sent the girl to rehab is an example. I know people whose kids have been in rehab 4 and 5 times! He acted like the problem was fixed.

Interventions do work sometimes. But the rate of success isn't convincing.

Anyway.......just my 2 cents.

I still do enjoy his question, "How's that working for you?" That's very "programesque"!
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:19 AM
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Incognito,

In answer to your question I guess for me I saw my bottom coming at me like a buldozer and just knew if I didn't do something, I was going to get sicker, my excuses would get worse, I'd live in denial all my life and my family and hubby would have to throw in the towel and let me be as there wasn't anything they could say to help me quit.

I knew I was bad off, and saw how easy it would be for me to get much worse, lose my job, endless hangovers, the just screw it attitude, and for me the lonliness and self hatred was stifling!

I maintained my job without passion, managed my household like a rightious bitch, and made any excuse to drink, and any excuse to be hungover. It was enevitable I'd loose my job, my hubby and kids, my self respect, not to mention my life.. I saw it coming clear as day.

So I am grateful I found the strength and willingness before I hit my bottom, to get off the rollercoaster and seek out the person I used to be, happy confident, loving and passionate about life. I see her just down the road, because my family here and in the rooms have shown me the way.
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:40 AM
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can of worms

wow.....did this open a can of worms or what...

Yes it is true...the legal system...doesn't always work for us..

I guess it all comes down to Step#1

and yes maybe even if we did force people into rehab.....they still may not recover...

so it really is out of our control...ultimatly....I put my hands up.....


I understand how frustrating the suggustion of taking a bubble bath may have been.
when I first went seeking help for my A..who I thought was going to die...was killing him..self tears in my eyes I asked what can I do to help him....and IF THE RESPONCE HAD OF BEEN JUST GO TAKE a bubble bath I think I would have jumped out of my skin..what I did get was a response somewhat similar they said......LET GO....TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF.. I remember how dissipointed I was...I couldn't accept that I was just going to do nothing but sit and watch my A indirectly kill himself and destroy our life world ext.
but.....
sometimes....when our world is crazy...living with our A...we need to be reminded to continue to take care of ourselves..Our Basic humane needs , sleep, eat ext.taking care of our own mental health,
we may need to a time-out from the craziness and take some time for our selves, it may be meditation....for some, it may be walking,or for some it may be having a BUBBLE BATH....

regards sally
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:40 AM
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Chy, thank you for your very honest input.

My A b/f found himself hitting his bottom, quite similar to where you were at when saw yours coming at you. Admitting himself into inpatient rehab was very spontaneous, he decided just after a few hours after I saw him/talked w/him and I haven't been able to see him or talk to him since (13 days now). I know what he's doing is best for him, I just don't know what it is that he's going through which causes me to worry about him.

Seeing your posts give me a little insight to the 'other side'. Thank you.
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:58 AM
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Incognito et al - I'd like to reiterate something that has been said already, but which seems to be getting lost in the debate and I hope this will help to clear up the confusion around the term "hitting bottom." What Chy experienced, and the point that she stopped, was the bottom for her. It happened very similarly for me. I saw where I was going - I was having heart and other health problems, I was in terrible debt and my credit was ruined, I'd been in the hospital for overdoses, I'd put myself in terribly dangerous situations in parts of town that I normally wouldn't go into during daylight hours, I had such self-loathing I couldn't stand being in my own skin, etc, etc, ad nauseum. That was the bottom for me - the point that I stopped. Some people have sought help before the point that I did, and some still continue on to even lower lows. I think the confusion here stems from the fact that there is a belief that an addict has to be either dead or very close to it, and/or to have lost everything that is precious to them in order to work their way back to the light and that's just not the case. The bottom for me was when I came out of denial, admitted I was an addict, and sought help for my addiction. It's the same for all others. How far down we each go varies from individual to individual - what the bottom is for one is not the same for another, but what we all have in common is that the bottom is the point where we stop.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:25 PM
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As uninformed and "new" as I feel about alcoholism, I do agree w/Margo that everyone's "bottom" is a different place, it just so happened my A b/f saw his bottom at a similar place as Chy's.

He has a plan for his future, which includes me, but he saw that w/the drinking, he wasn't getting anywhere near to putting his plan into action...roaming w/his job, coming home because he missed me and had other plans for employment and housing that didn't pan out, back on the road because he needed money and it gave him shelter and food, back home to me when finally it hit him that he was basically homeless and jobless, no means to put his (our) future plans into action. He told me that if he didn't take this path (rehab), any other path would only lead to his destruction and losing me, and he didn't want this to happen. Keep in mind, I've never given him an ultimatum, I didn't feel we were at that point of our relationship where it was fit for me to do so and I'm thinking I was truly unaware how much of a problem drinking (or not drinking) was for him. When he revealed to me that he was committing himself to rehab and I was one of his reasons, it really scared me. I don't want to be his reason, or be responsible for him getting sober. I'm wholly supportive and will continue to be supportive of him and his sobriety, I'm just scared that if I'm his reason, what happens should he drink again? What happens if he and I find we will have no future together? Will I be to blame?
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:26 PM
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Thanks Chy and margo for your responses. Basically what you are saying then Chy is that WAS your bottom..you weren't willing to go any further. The internal light turned red and said STOP! I am happy that you made the choice to find yourself again. Recovery is a great choice!!

I saw first hand while I was in jail that there are many mentally ill people in jail. I was one of the few women that wasn't on daily anti-depressant drugs while I was incarcerated. I would say 95% of the woman were. I am not sure about the men as we were housed separately.
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:52 PM
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Dear all, I didn't watch the show , I havent been to Dr.Phil's site...I have been where a"codie" can go because what I was doing wasn't working for me....
I am talking Al-Anon!
I went because I had tried everything else I could think of, and read about.....I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.....All the things I'd read about, all the things I tried, all the prayers I'd said just weren't working...No one I loved so much could see what they were doing to themselves or anyone else....Physically I was a wreck....emotionally I couldn't go any farther, spiritually I was down and out.....I became willing to do anything but live the way I was.

My WORKING the Al-Anon program gave me back my life....which I had turned over to other human beings who were as sick as I was...my self-worth, my self image, my well being, my spirituality ALL depended on what someone else was doing, thinking, saying, or not doing.ECT.,Ect.

I will not give up loving the alcoholics in my live....but I will not condone, or except unacceptable behavior either...I don't know the anwser to most of the questions that this thread has bought up... TODAY, I do know the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions work for me and they work for thousands of members of A.A. All I have to do is be willing to do the simple things the program asks me to do.

Yes, maybe Dr. Phil has a program that works for him...I am glad! Maybe intervention works for some.....If anyone of you has a plan you think will work and want to try it please be my guest....only have one reguest, come back and tell us if it worked..

A message for Chy or any one who is in A.A, N.A. or any other 12 step program that is working to recover....Please come and share whenever you'd like....I need to know you are there and you that are making progress...I need to know not only for me to keeping believing in mircles but I need to know that the 12 Step programs will be there if and when the people in my life choose to change their lives.

You all are mircles in progress....living, loving, and learning just as I am.
God Bless.
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