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Blew it

Old 11-13-2009, 06:28 AM
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Blew it

Well yesterday I said I had a good feeling about staying sober this time but obviously not. I blew it last night when my 9 year old son told me he had thoughts of suicide. Mental illness (an alcoholism) run in both my husbands and my family. My husband has OCD, I have bipolar II and we are both alcoholics. To hear my son talk like this broke my heart. I got teary and began to shake all over (not in front of him) and like old patterns I reached for a drink. The only lucky thing was that we didn't have much in the house so I didn't over drink but still I did drink. I'm taking my son to a psychiatrist asap but does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle crisis without reaching for a bottle? I talked to my family about the situation - thought it would help but I guess it's engrained in me to deal with problems with alcohol. I have to stay sober for my son and what he is experiencing. Any feedback would be of great help.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:42 AM
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Life is so hard. It just is.

Did the drinking help anything?
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:55 AM
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I think it is awesome that your son felt comfortable enough to come talk to you about something like that. I also think it awesome that you are taking action by taking him to a psychiatrist.

In one rehab I was at, they made us write a list titled "100 things to do instead of drugs" - I suppose you could substitute the word drink for drugs. When I was going to relapse, it was just going to happen and no list could help. But if I had even a minute control over myself, I found that my list did help somewhat.

I hope that helped...
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:56 AM
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When I feel the urge to drink because of problems I try to focus on the after effects and imagine how I'm going to feel about it tonight, or tomorrow morning. If all you think about is here and now, you forget about the negative consequences. As far as coping though, I'll smoke a cigarrette or go for a run or just take a drive. Anything to calm my nerves and give me a chance the regroup and think things over.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:06 AM
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Sorry to hear about what you are going through. I know it is harder when children are involved. For me, I had to realize that drinking was no longer an option. What once was a solution--or temporary solution--for my problems quit working. Plus I had to learn how to deal with life on life's terms--and not run away (which is something I was good at) or avoid what was going on. I had to have the desire to stay sober for myself first--although wanting to be a sober mom to my child was important too. No one else forced me to drink. No one else was going to force me to stay sober--although many would have if they had that power to do so. Dealing with family issues isn't always easy--especially when you throw alcohol +/- drugs in the mix. Taking your son to see a professional is a good idea. Maybe from there he will be able to give you other suggestions on how to deal with this situation. There is a solution, however..for combating alcoholism. You don't have to be a "prisoner" of your disease. You are not alone. Glad you are here. Keep reaching out. We do recover.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:07 AM
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Lizzie101 like you for way to many years alcohol was a solution for everything for me. In order for me to stay sober I had to find a new solution for life.

Where I found that solution was in the program and fellowship of AA. I have been through some tough times and not even thought of a drink as a result of them. I have seen people in AA go through divorce, bankruptcy, deaths, lose of jobs, failing health, even terminal illnesses and stayed sober thanks to the fellowship and program.

I spent a lot of years "solving" problems by drinking, today a drink never even enters into the equation of dealing with life.

Thanks to AA when one of my daughters was wasting away to nothing before my eyes due to anorexia instead of being/getting drunk to where "I" could escape from her life threatening problem, I was able to help not only to get her into rehab, but be an active, sober part of her ongoing recovery.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:22 AM
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I spent a lot of years "solving" problems by drinking, today a drink never even enters into the equation of dealing with life
Well said, Taz!

I remember a night when when I was fairly new to sobriety, and my husband had taken our two older kids to the local rodeo. One of my sons fell off the bleachers and hit his head, knocking him unconsious. I will never forget the panic that hit me when I got the call from my husband. I immediately started to shake and cry, panic and pray, all at once. I jumped in my truck with my youngest, dropped him off at my inlaws and navigated the back roads from our farm community to the town hospital on a dark, rainy night....several hours later, when my son got the all-clear from the doctor and we were waiting for his discharge papers, I started to shake and cry again...all I could think of was 'WHAT IF I HAD BEEN DRUNK??" How would I have handled it, been available to my family, DRIVEN, if I had been drinking.

After that night, when I still experienced cravings for alcohol, I would, as they say, play the tape through to the end....the way the night turned out because I was sober, and what could have happened if I had been drinking. It still has the power to stop me in my tracks.

Your little guy needs you and you are doing a great job getting him the help he needs. It's awesome that he trusts you so much to come to you with something that must be weighing so heavily on his young heart. Please, for your son's sake and your own, don't ever put yourself in the position of not being "available" because you are drinking.

Do whatever it takes.... and please keep us posted.

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Old 11-13-2009, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Lizzie101 View Post
... but does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle crisis without reaching for a bottle?
Early sobriety is tough. The only thing I knew how to do when problems arose was reach for a bottle. And that worked for a long time, right up until the point when it didn't. Then my problems just seemed to pile up and get worse. And I still had only one, now ineffective, solution.

I reached a point where I had only two choices. To paraphrase the Big Book, I could go on to the bitter end, blotting out the conciousness of my intolerable situation (my problems) as best I could, or accept spiritual help.

What I found by taking the 12 steps and recovering, was that I could deal with my problems. I still had them, but now I could face them.

So many people in early sobriety seem to think that if they just get these things in their life sorted out, then they'll be able to get sober. It doesn't work that way. I had to get sober and spiritually healthy before I could manage my problems.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:44 AM
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Hi Lizzie, I hope I don't sound like I'm minimising a problem, but kids can and do say some daft stuff; and although some would disagree with me, I think its fairly normal behaviour for a child to think about suicide at some point. Notice that I said 'think'! My daughter once shocked us at the breakfast table by telling us how she thought she'd react if she were raped! She was 9 years old and there was a news item on the radio about a local rapist; which is what triggered her response!

But with an alcoholic like myself, if I want to, I can come up with 101 alibis to drink and get drunk; and some of them would sound pretty good too. But I know adding alcohol to any problem will only make it worse and thankfully I've been shown a way avoid this pitfall.

I haven't read any of your back posts, so I don't know if you're working any programme or not, but AA has completely changed my attitude towards life and its problems for the better. Some of my problems are just 'evaporating' because I've broken the habit of what I used to do and am now just following the simple programme of AA.

Last edited by Tosh; 11-13-2009 at 08:53 AM. Reason: I hit the wrong button before finishing my post!!
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:25 PM
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I'm glad you're taking what your son says seriously Lizzie.

I was never good in a crisis...I walked numb through a lot of 'bad stuff' when I was drinking.

But now, after 2 years of not drinking I've been through a lot of bad stuff sober too...

The difference is I actually deal with things - I don't put them off, I don't ignore them or deny them...I deal with them...and I've managed pretty well, even if I say so myself.

Crisis is not fun....but I've learnt a lot about myself - I'm better and tougher than I knew - but I had to give myself the chance to find out.

I've learnt a lot about crisis too - drunk or sober I get through it - and I'd rather be sober because not only am I not hurting myself, I've learnt that by facing things, I've actually helped a lot of other people too

D
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:34 PM
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Lizzie,

I am so very glad that you are taking your son's words seriously and getting help for him.

I think the only way to get through a crisis is to get through it. I had a horrible crisis involving my daughter when I was about 3 months sober. I knew that if I could get through that crisis, I would be able to get through anything.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:59 PM
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It may just something he picked up from somewhere and doesn't have true suicidal ideation. Taking him to a shrink is a great idea, make sure they have a focus on child psychology. I understand with your family medical history, why you are concerned. Try using that sort of stuff as a reason not to drink.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:05 PM
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To think our child would think that way would certainly be a horrible feeling. Not to be harsh, but living with an active alcoholic mother would certainly not be conducive to feeling otherwise. I am not blaming you at all just pointing out for everyone's sake reaching for a drink is definitely not the answer. I hope that both of you get the help you need to overcome your individual problems.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:09 PM
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It's really wonderful that your child can come to you and share those feelings. I had many thoughts like that as a child and never felt comfortable enough sharing them with my parents.

I'm not an alcoholic, so I have no advice on how to cope without alcohol, but I hope you can forgive yourself and move on from your slip-up.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:11 PM
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This might sound strange...but when I feel upset like that sometimes the best thing to do is just lay down and cry. I get all of it out...and I usually get tired enough to fall asleep afterwards. Take care of your son and yourself.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:53 PM
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You had a good feeling about staying sober this time - your son's words are not preventing you but come to reinforce your intent and the implementation of your path.

Seek a programme of action because without it we don't stay sober.

Because it is spiritual, the effects will rub off on our nearest & dearest as we progress.
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