Enabling vs Not Judging

Old 10-14-2014, 12:21 PM
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A.K.A Bri
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Enabling vs Not Judging

So, I'd like you guys' input...

My dad's 69th birthday just passed and because he was in court for a recent DUI, we weren't able to get together that day so I told him to let me know when he was available and I'd drop off a birthday present for him...

A little background on my dad... He's been a raging alcoholic since forever ago with no breaks or real attempts to quit except for when he gets hospitalized and has to stop for the duration of whatever medications would collide with the liquor. When I graduated high school in 2006 doctors weren't even expecting him to live long enough to make it to my graduation if he didn't slow down. Over the last few years he's developed liver cirrhosis and has to go to the hospital periodically to have his stomach drained. Still, he drinks. A lot.

So anyway, when I mentioned stopping by with a gift he said, "Is it brown and comes in a bottle?!" All he wants is a bottle of Brandy. Now granted, if I don't buy him one, he'll just continue to buy them himself like he has been. So, am I "wrong" for going go buy him a one time gift bottle? My thought process is that if liquor is where he finds comfort and without it he has unbearable pain and even the possibility of dying as a result of quitting, then who am I to be like everyone else who judges and interferes with what he's grown accustomed to? When I was at my worst, he never judged me and you could say "enabled me" when I asked but I don't blame him for my past bc with or without his help I was going to drink.

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Old 10-14-2014, 12:34 PM
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I don't think you are judging him if you don't enable him.

You aren't taking a bottle away from him with admonishments. You just aren't giving a tool of destruction.

a different gift would be MUCH more appropriate.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:03 PM
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My dad died as an alcoholic a few years back, he never admitted he had a problem, never acknowledged that his drinking caused any issues between my parents.

But whenever we'd meet he always insisted it was in a bar, so basically I needed to decide to either never see him again or sit and watch him drink during our conversation and increasingly get drunk when the conversation went by the wayside, and during our meetings I would share in buying the rounds.

My dad in my opinion was past changing, I needed to finally accept that was the way he was and make peace with myself that I nor anyone could have changed him, he was set in his ways and all hope was sadly lost.

When he passed away I never had any regrets, spending time with him the way he was looking back was better than never getting to know him.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:13 PM
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My dad is very similar claims he has a gift he can turn it off

he cant hes drunk everyday hes a raging alcoholic bit like denzil in flighht he chooses to drink lol

anyways last christmas i knew he would appreciate a bottle of hooch so i bought him a book on symbolism instead he said he enjoyed reading it

i wouldnt buy him drink as there are other things i can buy where judgement isnt called into it

B we have similar fathers
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:07 PM
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My mother is dying. She has lung cancer. She's been an alcoholic and a heavy smoker all her life.

I have no second thoughts about buying her cigarettes or a bottle of wine if that's what she most desires. She passed any possibility of saving her health by quitting many moons ago; she is literally on her deathbed. But she does drag herself out to the porch a few times a day for that glass of wine and that cigarette and - frankly - those are the happiest moments of her day. Her life is small and miserable the rest of the time, mostly confined to her bed.

I feel okay about that because she is already so far gone, and it sounds like your dad is too.

At this point, my only goal with giving her something would be to bring that little moment of happiness, and, well, cigs and wine make her very happy.

Your question made me ask myself - would I buy drinks for friends from work at an event, for a friend I knew was struggling with alcoholism? I think that I might buy a glass of wine for someone who wasn't an alcoholic, if we were out celebrating something about them (their birthday for example, or a work success). I can't think of anyone besides my mother for whom I would actually purchase a bottle of something for a gift...

Bottom line for me is that my sobriety has nothing to do with others' choices. I don't want to become anti-alcohol just because it doesn't work inside my body and mind. At the same time, I don't really want to hang out inside a liquor store, choosing the bottle.
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