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New here...and the short version hopefully..but am i being naive?

Old 04-20-2020, 07:27 AM
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New here...and the short version hopefully..but am i being naive?

Hello Everyone,

I have been reading on this site and forum for days. I am so impressed with the contributors and their brutally honest insights that I have read.

So with that said, I will share my story.

I have just become aware within the last few weeks that my son is an alcoholic. Two times (that I know of in the last year) had been taken to the ER because his wife said he was unresponsive. His daily drinking, I think has significantly increased within the last 3 weeks. I knew he drank and sometimes drank a lot but had no idea. He lives in a different town so I am not in touch 24/7. He is a doctor and early 30's. He has a wife that also has issues, herself which could contribute to some early marriage struggles. There is also a baby on the way. He is not dependent on me, in the least. But at this time due to the virus pandemic, he was the new kid on the block at work and has been furloughed with much debt he has accumulated, choices he and wife have made. He also in the past has had depression, which has run in both my family and his dad's.

As of this weekend, he took himself to the ER for epigastric pain for which he was admitted with several diagnoses for which I will venture to say are due to his chronic drinking.

So this is VERY abbreviated version of the whole picture.

So with this hospital admission, he has been without alcohol and under the doctor's care for his acute physical issues. I am hoping that he has been told by his doctor and also his awareness of his situation that he has problems and has admitted to such. He has verbalized to me he has a long road ahead of him and he will do what he has to do to get his physical and mental self in a better place. Baby steps.

Needless to say, I have spent hours and hours and hours of reading on alcoholism and what that whole life entails, from both survivors and the non-survivors' stories from individuals' own and family stories. I know I can not fix this, it's not my fault....I have sought out and currently waiting on an Al-Anon meeting place (at some point ) to become involved.. I am also a baby nurse and have had experience with baby moms addiction issues. I also had a daughter who had lots of issues in early adolescence and early adulthood, with drinking and mental health. She has turned herself around

So here is my most likely non-answerable question. Has anyone had experience with this situation to where the individual (my son) has faced the issue and admits he has a problem and has said that he will take the necessary steps to become one that no longer drinks after the FIRST eye-opening experience? He has been told he has liver and pancreas issues. Am I seriously being too naive? I just want to know maybe that there is a possibility that that scenario exits? I do know its not the norm.

Again, I do not mean to dwell on this. This does not fix the situation. I just want to know if there is hope. In all my readings, I have yet to read a survivor story that after the first really bad taste of reality that that survivor quit and stayed sober without relapse. Maybe I have not read enough of those stories yet.

I hope this all has made some sense and appreciate any insight at all.

Thank you ahead of time and be safe in these crazy times
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:23 AM
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I didn't even have to think very long to come up with the names of two friends who each have over 30 years of sobriety and both of them never relapsed after attending their first meeting of AA.

There are no quick fixes but there is always hope, especially when accompanied by action. A good action for you would be to immerse yourself in a recovery program designed for loved ones of alcoholics. Also participate on the forums on here for additional support.
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:47 AM
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I'm going to tell you what you know already. Everyone is different. It helps to have a 'good' upbringing, by which I don't mean affluent, but the sort of FOO that has instilled self-esteem. It's not a magic bullet, but it does mean the A has an idea of the person they'd like to be.
I personally took many years to stop drinking altogether, but I wasn't in the acute situation your son has found himself, and I'm pretty sure if I had been I would have been able to stop drinking earlier through sheer fright.
I know it's hard to stand back, but there isn't much you can do. He has some great personal incentives to get sober, and some medical reasons to stick to it, but time will tell.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:06 AM
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luvflowers…...There is hope. I would like to remind you, that, the kind of stories that you want to hear, will not be found, in numbers, here on this friends and family forum. True...that we have thousands...yes, thousands of real life stories....however, the majority of people arrive at this forum in a crisis with the alcoholism of their loved ones.
Very few people come here with the first evidence of their alcoholic's drinking. It is most common to come after a number of years...like 5...10...20...30...40..plus years.
I worked with many alcoholics in a medical capacity and in counseling capacity in the past. I was around many of those who were connected to AA. So,I can say that there are millions of alcoholics around the world who have stopped drinking and gotten into life long recovery,,,(It is a life long process)….at every step along the way,,,,,from the 1st. "scare",,,,to advanced physical and emotional damage....."The elevator can stop at every floor"...…

If you were to go to an open AA meeting, or attend a conference of Alcoholics...where you can actually see thousands of alcoholics, in recovery, gathered in one large arena...it would assure you that there is hope.

***Since you make mention of depression in the family, I would suggest that any treatment that he might seek be one that embraces the concept of dual diagnosis. There care be other co-occurring conditions...and it is imperative that Both (or, all) conditions be treated.....as, just isolating one condition for treatment is not likely to have much success.

If he is a practicing doctor...he, likely has good health insurance...I wonder if he would consider to go to rehab in a really good dual diagnosis facility...?
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:25 AM
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Glad you joined us. Yes, as everyone has said, there is hope. There is also no crystal ball, unfortunately. I would suspect that a high percentage of people who are admitted to a hospital with injuries directly related to drinking will swear off drinking forever. Just like someone who has serious withdrawal or even hang overs.

However, it's impossible to say who means it and will carry on with getting the support they need (as dandylion mentioned, rehab for a dual diagnosis would be helpful) and those that simply feel better once discharged and carry on drinking.

He may have been using alcohol to medicate his depression, it's a common theme, it's also a terrible drug to use for depression!

So it's a wait and see thing really. Hopefully he is open to your input and will try rehab.
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:18 AM
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Thank you one and all for your comforting but forthright words. He has in the past been on medication for depression and I mentioned it to him last night. He is aware he has many issues that need to be addressed to get him back on the right path. I also, before I even posted, know that everybody is different and has different outcomes based on all so many variables. I did get the gist of what everyone's post to my message has conveyed. I am currently trying to also take care of myself so that I can further support him emotionally as the need arises. I am so very grateful for all that has been suggested and stated.
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Old 04-20-2020, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by luvflowers View Post
I am currently trying to also take care of myself so that I can further support him emotionally as the need arises.
Taking care of yourself and healing are the best things that you can do for him. :~)
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Old 04-20-2020, 07:56 PM
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Luvflowers,
If your son has damaged his organs with alcohol then this is probably not his first eye opening moment, it's just the first you are aware of. There have likely been several experiences over the years. Hopefully having serious health issues due to drinking will be the thing that helps him realized he shouldn't drink ever again.
If it helps to hear my HS ABFF quit 2yrs ago and has been in recovery after one of those eye opening experience. She was caught drunk driving (not the first time and thank goodness she didn't harm anyone). I felt like I got my friend back after years of her being held hostage by alcohol.
I usually come on the forum to talk about the A's that did not recover but yes Luvflowers there is hope.
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Old 04-21-2020, 05:26 AM
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Thank you Gingerpeach for your response....deep down I will try to keep hopeful it's just going to be a long haul and sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. I will carry on.
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Old 04-21-2020, 11:38 AM
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Hi Luv, I hope you find lots of support here.

One thing that is not intuitive to those of us in relationships with alcoholics and addicts, is that stepping back from the situation is the absolutely the best thing you can do. Focus on your own problems (we call it, "your own side of the street"). Addicts and alcoholics need support from others like them and from professionals. Most of us do not fall in that category and even if we did, our relationship makes us non-objective in the situation.

You may not fall in the category of codependent; however, it is probably worth getting yourself to an alanon meeting and reading Codependent No More.

Please let us know how you get on and take care of yourself.
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