Help us, I don't even know where to start

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Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby CindyLouWho2 » Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:56 am

My son is only 21. He's my baby and I love him so much. Recently he has been drinking more and more and it's getting out of control. The worst part is when he drinks hard liquor and become enraged, he destroys everything in his path, he gets angry and violent, but mostly he harms himself by punching cement walls and windows. He has broken his wrist twice. He has no health insurance but just had emergency surgery on his hand due to the last incident. We haven't approached the problem yet and want to do it the right way. I know we need to help him, but he is decietful, in denial, he thinks the world is against him and it's everyone else's fault for his misfortunes. He does work everyday in the restaurant business, but he is just barely supporting himself. We don't really know where to start, but I need to reach him. What's the absolute first step, what do we do, where do we go, how can I save him before it's too late? I love him so much, everyone says we have been enabling him because we don't want to hurt him or piss him off. I don't want him to die or kill someone else in a car wreck. Please help.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby Guest » Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:05 am

I feel for you. It is so sad when you see your loved ones hurting so much. I don't know what other members on this board will tell you, but if I were you, I would ask one of his very good (and sober) friends or one of his family members (someone that he trusts) talk to him. As a parent, you may not be able to reach him the same. He might feel threatened by your authority. It's sometimes easier to listen to a friend. He has to get help. He has to be willing to go to AA or a rehab center. But first he has to realize that his life is in danger.

You also have to help yourself. Going to Alanon meetings is your best bet. Alanon is the best ressource. Please use it!!! You will learn, you will understand, you will get the tools to help your son.

I hope others will share their point of view.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby CindyLouWho2 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:20 pm

Here is something that I find interesting and makes me doubtful of volunteer and AA help and support. In submitting my plea for getting help for my son, I received one response from a "Guest" (Whom I thank very much for the quick reply). However, I noticed that 3 responses were given almost immediately to another post to a woman who is having trouble deciding if she should get into a relationship with a man she met at her meetings.

I don't even know where to start to get the help I need. All I see is my 21 year old son getting further and further into trouble with his drinking and people are more responsive to a woman who is concerned about meeting a man in her meetings. Not that her situation is any smaller by any means, but man, how do you expect to find hope and support if no one really sees your blatant plea for Help worthy of more than 1 response.

Really puts a damper on what's important, it's just like the media, the more juicy your news is what people are ready to support you on.
CindyLouWho2
 

Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby November_rain » Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:09 am

It may be because we've been there, and we know there is not much you can do or you can say... You cannot help the addict unless the addict is ready to get help. If you read the messages on this board, you will see that the answer to people in your situation is basically always the same: You cannot do anything for the addict. He/she has to come to terms with his/her addiction and be willing to get help. You have to get help for yourself. In other terms, you cannot force your son to go to rehab, to a therapist, to AA, to get better, to survive. He's in complete control of his addiction. Now what you can do: Understand what addiction is all about (there are tons of books that can help you learn about addiction) and understand what you can do to keep your sanity.

Did you try to get in touch with one of your son's good friends? Or a family member who could talk to him? Or a co-worker? Somebody who can sit down with him and talk. Or you can have an intervention. It works in many cases. Your son has to realize that he has a problem and that he's trying to solve his problem with the wrong solution (alcohol).

Did you go to an Al-anon meeting yesterday? Go to a meeting everyday if you can. You will see that you are not alone. There are so many people who deal with the same problems (even worse). They will become your support, your network.

We all understand your frustration, but there is no need to get upset with people on this board. Sometimes one answer is enough to know where to start.

Let us know how things are evolving, and remember: We cannot change things we cannot control.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby CindyLouWho2 » Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:00 am

We want to have an intervention with the immediate family and a few friends who are concerned. We just don't know if there are things we should say, things we shouldn't say, or if we needed a moderator. In addition, he obviously does not feel that he has a problem, I think the intervention is the way to go. What books can you suggest that I can give him?
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby November_rain » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:45 pm

To prepare an intervention, you may want to check these two web sites:

1)http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info2/a/aa100897.htm
2) http://www.prairiepublic.org/features/closertohome/process.htm

The help of an addiction counselor is strongly recommended.

Any books about addiction would help your son understand what's going on. But again if he doesn't think he has a problem, you will get frustrated because he may not open it. For you though, I would recommend Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. She's one of my favorite writers when it comes to addiction.

Let me know if you need more info.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby guest » Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:32 pm

I hear your frustration. Please know that there are many of us who struggle or have struggled to know what to do. When it is your child, the pain is even worse. Keep asking questions, talking to people in the same situation and asking advice from people in the field of addiction. Treatment centers often have people who can help you plan an intervention. It is true that you can't always make someone follow through, but you can often them options. All the best.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby GrooveConnection » Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:30 pm

I read your post and feel for you, since just about 3 weeks ago my best friend from overseas came to visit and shared with me a very similar situation, the son (19) has hundreds of bottles of booze lined up on the bookshelf, drawn to the violent right wing scene, extremely verbally (and physically) abusive towards the father, etc.

Since I know my friend as being very smart and very much in control I said to him what I would also write here:

"I pray for you that you find the strength to really search for outside help!"
Since you are already reaching out, I would encourage you to go to Al-Anon to find community, strengthening, staying in touch with all the painful stuff that causes all this, learn to deal with all sorts of thoughts and emotion that come up, in short, you build your new wisdom AROUND the new and challenging situation.

Your child will very very likely walk his own way and vehemently refuse help or any kind of suggestion, so the only thing you have control over and can active about is your life. And your life only.
One of the key senctences in Al Anon is that "we may think that we come to Al Anon FOR the alcoholic.Over time we learned that we came BECAUSE of the alcolohic. That is a very important difference and time will tell you what it means.

I wish you strength and courage to look at what is so hard to look at, but you will very likely find that is gets a whole lot easier to do so in company of fellow travelers who are sharing the same (or similar) experiences.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby Guest23 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:57 pm

I am 23 years old and exhibit the same conditions as your son. I have been drinking since I was 14, and most of friends are constant partyers and binge drinking is the norm. I crashed three cars drunk and was fortunate to not have the police involved or cause myself or anyone else harm. In the past few eyars my drinking has caused me to become more and more violent particularly towards friends when drinking, yet they'd always forgive me and life went on as usual. I did not have to drink every day or even every week, but when I drink I drink hard and with the intention of getting as messed up as possible. I do bottle up a lot of my anger and that probably has a part in it, however I never remember these incidents because I am always black out drunk. I am sitting here before I go to my first AA meeting tonight in twenty minutes and am horribly nervous. However the only thing that has made me realize that I need help was waking up the morning after christmas in county jail, with absolutely no recollection of what I did the night beofre or why I was there, and for me that was hitting rock bottom and I am seeking the help I need tonight. As someone who is close to your sons age I can relate and no matter how many people hinted that I had a drinking problem or anger/drinking issues, it was until I was released on bail and told from those whom I hurt that evening exactly what I had done that has made me decide to go and get help tonight. If you want I will post again after attending a few meetings and let you know exactly how I felt about them and whther I feel like they are working for me or not. Hope all is well as you have posted in almost a month, and I hope this helps you as well....
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby November_rain » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:12 am

Guest23,
Please do come back and post again. Sharing your experience with others is SO important.
I wish you all a blessed new year.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby Guest » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:47 pm

I am a researcher and trying to understand more about sobriety. Your experience is so true and typical in the real world. When we encountered our loved ones with addictions, we don't know what to do. There are many many websites and books about addiction and addiction treatment but where to start. AA is one of places we can get help. But there are many different organizations besides AA can be helpful too. Family support is crucial for people with addiction to recover. Most people with addiction do want to change at one point or another.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby mermaid » Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:27 pm

I am sorry to hear you are going through this it is terrible to watch someone hurt themselves. My dad was sober for 18 years and went back out as did my husband. I have been sober 12 years so I can understand the diseased thinking they have but it doesnt lessen the pain or confusion. The way I handled the situation was to take care of myself, get to meetings, pray, not try to control things, set boundries and let them hit there bottom. My husband has been sober a year now and my father was sober for 6 months but drank a week ago. I know that as long as I am living in fear and taking care of myself then i CAN BE OF MORE SERVICE AND help people when they want it.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby studmuffindrummer » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:21 pm

i'm 25 and in the same situation as your son, and i too started drinking every night while working in the resuraunt business at age 21. At first it felt like a social thing to do after work, and before i knew i was so wrapped up into legal trouble from two Dui's, lost relationships, lost my education at college, my job and pretty much halted my life. Thank god for my family supporting me and allowing me to move back home with them. It takes such a valiant effort at first to admit one has a problem and start a path towards revovery. But anyway, i certainly cannot direct you how to manage your son. When i was approached i resented what people said. Be supportive all the way through, But i wish you and your family the best.... good luck-m.o.
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Re: Help us, I don't even know where to start

Unread postby Wolf Song » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:16 pm

i hear the frustration and have experienced it myself. When someone we love has a problem that is making our own life unmanageable it's hard to resist the impulse to fix things for them. What has helped me (and countless thousands) is to continually present the fact that each person must accept responsibility for their own actions. Until this takes hold, the patterns of denial and fear will continue. If the person keeps trying to avoid this, suggest they read some basic fellowship literature. The booklet 'Living Sober' or the pamphlet '44 Questions' will help him see how his actions are leading him down a path of self destruction that only a spiritual miracle will be able to save him from. i know that the heartache is hard to endure, but please remember that pain can be the greatest motivator that brings about true and lasting change from within.
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