Notices

Please Help - Insight?

Old 09-12-2008, 03:31 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Please Help - Insight?

Hi, I'm new here and would really appreciated any help. While you might be of the opinion "someone is drunk because they drank too much alcohol" I wouldn't be writing if I felt this is the ONLY explanation. And yes, I realize it sounds like denial on my part.

Background:

I come from a family of social drinkers and all is well for the most part. I have a sister who is now of middle age with no family of her own. She has always been a social drinker and you might call her a "seasoned" drinker. Reason I bring this up is that she now has absolutely NO tolerance for alcohol anymore.

I've spoken to her first thing in the morning, she's pretty much fine but you can detect a slight slur. Fast forward a few hours and she can be completely intoxicated before noon or into the afternoon. It is so bad half the conversation is incomprehendable. I personally have been a social drinker & have consumed alcohol consistently over several hours and have not gotten as intoxicated as her. We are close in age and close in size.

This all started happening a few years ago. Our mother passed away almost three years ago and I would say its gotten worse since then. The best way to describe her now is she's either (a) sober & almost completely devoid of personality, quiet & its obvious she does not want to socialize, seems very unhappy, (b) completely intoxicated, volatile, arguementative, rambling, cannot speak or (c) passed out completely.

Another bizarre thing - she on occasion talks (actually argues, rants, yells) with herself. It really is weird to see; somehow it just doesn't seem like typical drunken babbling. She's very angry, there's some type of conversation going through her head. Its obvious someone is "there" with her, there's been a few times where I think she sees things that just aren't there. More often than not when she does speak, everything is coming from left field, whether its accusations, questions or comments. Try as you might you cannot make any sense of it.

As well she stumbles and/or falls quite a bit now. The reason she often explains as "I'm really tired". Now might be a good time to bring up the fact that she completely denies everything. I won't go into detail, I'm sure you can imagine, EVERYTHING is denied or explained away with completely lame excuse, ie. "I was just kidding", "you really like to embelish things, you always have" etc. etc.

It is my opinion that there are 2 issues maybe going on. Of course there is the excessive consumption of alcohol but there's just something niggling at me that there's something physically with her that has this alcohol affecting her different. Its like she can't handle ANY alcohol; as soon as she starts drinking, very quickly she is intoxicated. ALWAYS.

She has recently developed an unfounded fear of going to a doctor (a dentist) as well. She'll say "I know, I know, I've got to go" but she won't. I can't help but wonder if some type of physical or testing will pick up on a reason why her body isn't processing alcohol like it used to.

Again, am I making sense to anyone? Has anyone ever heard of a heavy drinker/alcoholic that cannot process alcohol any longer due to some type of medical condition? Liver? Pancreas?

I need to add - there was a time when we were very close, we still are to some extent except there is a good deal of resentment built up between us on both our parts. To sum it up she's pretty much always the victim and feels that I feel so much "superior" to her or something so if I try to help her I'll get "you think you're so much better than me". There was a time when I didn't have anything to do with her. It was sad to a certain degree but I didn't feel the tension & aprehension I feel all the time now. I actually felt relieved, weight lifted off my shoulders, no more turmoil. She is very difficult to be around and it seems she can't partake in a family dinner, one of my kid's birthday parties or just an ordinary get-together without being completely sloshed; there was a time when she might come & not drink but eat and go home.

Recently my father spoke to her and from what I understand, this is all my fault. My father has seen her in this condition a couple of times, other people have noticed too, but it is me who has seen her like this the most. I need to get the point across just how very intoxicated she can get. I don't understand this! Its not like a teenager who has drank the first time. She gets VERY drunk and VERY quickly.

I am 99.99% sure there are no drugs involved and yes, I've considered something like scizophrenia (hallucinating, self talking, etc.) but I am sure this is not it. During the week she doesn't drink as much & functions normally with her job & all. I just feel there's something else going on.

I apologize for my rambling. If you've made it this far, I thank you. I just really would like some advice from an outside party and any insight, suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated. I think this is my last effort as I am getting angry and fed up and for my own sanity, I am "this close" to just walking away.

Thank you again.
06211966 is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 04:08 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
smileyologist and lord of bees
 
RK2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: mourning smileys near you
Posts: 2,508
Maybe the reason she doesn't go to the doc is because she is scared what they might tell her. I know that's what kept me going for a long time, but actually it's the best thing I ever did.

I think every person on this forum would probably recommend she gets to a doc as soon as possible. The news might not be as bad as she's expecting you know, the human body is very tough.

I wonder if your sis is drinking maybe to escape from some sort of social anxiety? Like when you mention she has no personality when she is sober, what if she doesn't want to be introverted like that and hates that she is - hence she avoids social situations if at all possible and drinks if she has to be at one to get through it.

Social anxiety can be very crippling in tons of ways and contributes to all sorts of other problems - alcohol abuse included. It's one of those conditions that often goes untreated as the person suffering doesn't even have the inner confidence to handle all the processes that lead up to a docs appointment. She'll push people away - not because she 'wants' to but to protect herself from becoming anxious around those people.

I'm not a doctor (I am so not a doctor ) but I really think it sounds like your sis is suffering from that, from what you've put in your post. If you want I can try to look for some links and info on self-help stuff for social anxiety, just let me know if that would be of any use and I'll put it in a PM.

Thinking of your sis. Chin up BTW, she can get better if she wants to, and with your support it will be easier than without. Thanks for posting.
RK2007 is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 04:52 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
Rusty Zipper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: my room in ct.
Posts: 58,110
welcome to the family...

it sounds like sis is get'n to advanced stages of alcoholism...

everything you described, i went through, and more!

there is a way out for sis if she wants it...

for you, try not to get too engulfed in it, it can wear you down...

good wishes!
Rusty Zipper is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 05:42 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
 
Horselover's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 6,608
Well I know my personality changed dramatically when I drank towards the end of my drinking career. I would argue over absolutely anything. I didn't get violent, but definitely argumentative. I know someone else that is very close to my Mom and he gets extremely argumentative after the very first drink. It can happen, but I haven't seen that in the case of a social drinker only with an alcoholic such as myself. Maybe there are medical reasons for your sister. A doctor would be the only person that could say. Good luck to you and welcome to SR.
Horselover is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 06:48 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Toomutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Littleton, Co.
Posts: 3,317
In my experience as an active alcoholic, I would see things that were not there at all.
One night my husband came downstairs to my screaming, I thought our home was under attack. I can remember seeing all these men in the yard, heading toward the front door. My husband ran down and ther wasn't anyone there except one man coming to the door to talk to my husband. In my drunkin mind there were atleast 2 dozen of them.

I hope your sister will see the doctor soon.
Toomutch is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 08:48 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Old & Sober Member of AA
 
Jersey Nonny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nursing Home in Brick, New Jersey
Posts: 5,174
During the week she doesn't drink as much & functions normally with her job & all.
In my non-medical opinion, your sister is most likely a funtioning, periodic alcoholic. I started out in my teens as a social drinker, then to a weekend drinker, eventually to a daily drinker/drunk. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, and the only "treatment" is total abstinence.

It would certainly be advisable for her to see a doctor...preferrably one who is alcoholism knowledgable...not all are. Prolonged and frequent drinking can, of course, do a lot of physical damage. For that reason alone she needs a check-up. Also, if she decides to try to quit, it's a lot safer under medical supervision.

Only your sister has the right to label herself "an alcoholic"...and, hopefully she'll be able to come to that realization soon. In the meantime, you might find it helpful to check out some Al-Anon meetings which are for friends and family members of alcoholics. You'll find a lot of support and helpful "insight" there from folks who have experienced situations similar to yours.
Jersey Nonny is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:37 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Thank you all for your kind words & encouragement.

I think its obvious that there is a problem. I was really hoping to be able to go to her with something along the lines of "aaah - haa!! I found the reason why you're getting so drunk, its because of ______________________, you're coming with me to the doctor right now". Know what I mean? Instead of playing the "you're an alcoholic card.

If anyone else has any thoughts, please do mention them.

As well, I believe my next step just might be an AA or Alanon meeting.

Thank you again.
06211966 is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 11:48 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Old & Sober Member of AA
 
Jersey Nonny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nursing Home in Brick, New Jersey
Posts: 5,174
Instead of playing the "you're an alcoholic card.
Oh, I wouldn't do that...it would probably just put her on the defensive. Instead of her thanking you and viewing it as an intervention, it might feel more like a confrontation.

As I said before:

Only your sister has the right to label herself "an alcoholic"...and, hopefully she'll be able to come to that realization soon.
I think this is my last effort as I am getting angry and fed up and for my own sanity, I am "this close" to just walking away.
If you feel her drinking is having an adverse affect on you, perhaps it will be possible to "detach with love"...although it isn't always easy to "hate the sin, but love the sinner."

She'll say "I know, I know, I've got to go" but she won't.
Is there a physical reason she thinks she should see a doctor? Maybe you can put more emphasis on that than the actual drinking. Alcoholics in denial about their alcoholism aren't ready to admit they have a problem; so, of course, they'll find every excuse in the book to explain away any of the accompanying behavior...it just might occur to them they'd have to do something about it.

Your consideration of Al-Anon or AA meetings is still a good idea.
Jersey Nonny is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 12:09 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eh? :)
Posts: 1,410
I don't want to give medical opinions...such a fine line here, eh?...but isn't it true that when the organs are no longer able to function as well as before drinking, that we can't tolerate as much alcohol without feeling the effects? The liver just can't filter as well?

Also...could be that your sister just isn't being as honest with the sheer quantities that she's imbibing...or isn't even aware herself how much she's had.
dancinggirl is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 12:42 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
bona fido dog-lover
 
least's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 99,740
As sad as it may be to you, to watch her go downhill, you can't do anything for her. She has to admit she has a problem and want to recover. I strongly urge AlAnon for you so you can have the support you need to keep your own sanity while your sister seems to be losing hers.

I will keep you in my thoughts. Be good to yourself and know when to walk away.
least is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 01:27 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by dancinggirl View Post
I don't want to give medical opinions...such a fine line here, eh?...but isn't it true that when the organs are no longer able to function as well as before drinking, that we can't tolerate as much alcohol without feeling the effects? The liver just can't filter as well?

Also...could be that your sister just isn't being as honest with the sheer quantities that she's imbibing...or isn't even aware herself how much she's had.
Finally.....I've got a lump in my throat. This is what I was thinking. And this worries me a great deal.

It worries me for 2 reasons:

First: because if this is true, there's all kinds of things with this - she's once again a victim, she's once again ruined her life (I feel as though she's made poor choices in the past, now this one could be irreversible). I'm sad and at the same time getting mad - why would she do this to herself? She knows better.

Second: If she's drinking more than I think, I'm done, I'm lost. I seriously WILL NOT know what to do. I drink myself. Sometimes with gusto, sometimes not (just depends on the social situation). So who am I to lecture????? I just think I know my limit and I just quit and/or go to bed. See what I mean now? "I just think I'm so much better than her".

I already know what to do don't I? I need to go to that Alanon or something right? I am so angry, so frustrated and feel so helpless. It just seems like I can never say or do the right thing. Every decision I make is wrong - for both her and I.

I wish she could help herself and I could be there to support her, like a cheering squad. Whats really sad is I know for 100% certainty she would not be there for me. I swear, I'd do it for her.

Sorry for the babble again, but I want to share just one story that happened about a week or so ago.

I woke up in the morning, was having my coffee and I had this sick gut feeling - like something was bothering me. I asked my husband to get up with me to talk as he was lazing in bed while I was sitting there fueled by caffeine and emotion.

So we started talking about her; I kept saying "I just don't know whats bothering me - why am I so upset about this? Tell me why I'm upset". He tried, did alot of "I dunno" and as we talked I started to cry and out it came, I said "its like I lost my sister just like I lost my mom but she's still alive...........sometimes I think she'd be better off dead if this is how she's going to be".

I know, I know - don't tell me - its the most horrible thing I could have said. I know this and it made me cry worse. But, sometimes it feels like watching some kind of death in slow motion or something. With death its final, you can or cannot morn, at least the option is there. This is like being stuck in limbo or something.

I don't know what to say, I don't know what to think, I don't know what to do, I don't know where to go with this.

I am genuine in saying thanks for your advice and thanks for listening. I know everything sounds like babble but its just so emotionally charged my writing.
06211966 is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 02:27 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eh? :)
Posts: 1,410
Aw hon, have you checked out the other sections of this site that are for family and friends of alcoholics? I'm so sorry you're dealing with this...I've never been a family member of an alcoholic...I'M the alcoholic. I do know this, though, that I would never be honest with others about the amount I was drinking...I also didn't KNOW the amounts I was drinking because I was a black-out drunk. Also, don't take what I said about the liver as fact, I'm sure as heck no doctor, it was just something I'd heard. Please check out the family and friends section....you'll get so much support there for what you're feeling/experiencing!!
dancinggirl is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 02:35 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Oh thanks, I went & checked - I see the section now.

Would it be bad conduct if I just cut & pasted my original post there with an explanation that it was suggested to me?

I'm just not sure what is proper etiquette. Don't want to be a "whiner" on day one if you know what I mean. I'm already feeling that I'm being just that and don't want to step on toes before I've gotten "comfortable" here.
06211966 is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 02:37 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eh? :)
Posts: 1,410
Hahaha....ah, hon, if we all stopped when we could be construed as whiners, we'd never post!! That's the whole purpose of this site, to let it out with people who understand.

I'm sure you can cut and paste if you'd like...I have really no idea what the etiquette is here.
dancinggirl is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 02:42 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Old & Sober Member of AA
 
Jersey Nonny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nursing Home in Brick, New Jersey
Posts: 5,174
Would it be bad conduct if I just cut & pasted my original post there with an explanation that it was suggested to me?
It wouldn't be out of line at all.

Don't want to be a "whiner" on day one if you know what I mean.
We actually have a Whiners Anonymous thread here which has absolutely nothing to do with alcoholism/addiction...just a place to vent...and often good for a laugh. Feel free to read/post, as the spirit moves you.

Jersey Nonny is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 02:45 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
bona fido dog-lover
 
least's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 99,740
You're NOT whining and you're NOT babbling. You're letting out your pent up feelings of sorrow and frustration. It's so hard watching someone you love destroy their own life. But if you are ever to help her, you must be healthy yourself. Please do get some support for yourself. I will keep you in my thoughts!

:ghug3
least is offline  
Old 09-12-2008, 03:14 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Awww, thanks - you're all such nice people.

I'm going to give it whirl and cut & paste there. Ya just never know right?

Not that I was expecting anything less from this forum initially but just wanted to say my thanks again. I do sincerely appreciate it all.
06211966 is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:57 AM.