Tough Love - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

User Tag List

 38Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
bluezone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 225
Tough Love

Hi all,

Looking for some advice especially from alcoholics who have been able to get sober or other families who have dealt with this.

We have been dealing with my brother, a chronic severe alcoholic, for numerous years...too many to count.

Just this past month my 84-year-old dad had to file a restraining order against him because he was living with my father and continuing to drink. My dad is too old to deal with this shyt. My father had a rough time doing this as this is his son, but he knew it was the right thing to do and we all encouraged him.

My brother went into a homeless shelter, and started to get into an organization that helps homeless people get back on their feet again. We have pretty much cut off all communication with him, except for a few texts back and forth from me to him.

From those of you who know the mind of an alcoholic, is it better to cut off communication completely? He recently started drinking again and got kicked out of the homeless place.

He is reaching out to me, but I feel like the only way he is going to try and beat this is if he stops relying on family and does this himself. We have given him help over the years, tried rehabs, different programs etc.

About 6 months ago he was taking medicine to help him with alcohol cravings which was really helping, but of course he wasn't compliant. Bottom line is he still wants to drink, and I guess his life hasn't gotten bad enough to stop him. I guess being homeless isn't enough???!!!

Anyway thanks in advance for any advice on the "tough love" deal.
bluezone is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:14 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Rural Midwest
Posts: 2,684
Re: Tough Love

It's unbelievably hard, watching a family member crawl into a bottle. Sorry to hear you're going through that.

We tried tough love on my cousin, without success. Dropped him off at the shelter, and cut ties primarily. (one family member stayed in contact) He drank himself into the grave at the age of 38.

Tried a more gentle approach on my dad and that was a failure too.

AlAnon has the same success rate as quitting cold turkey.

If you've got the money, the inclination, and if your brother is willing, I've heard there are some great inpatient programs. If the alcoholic won't go to the program and stay, then it's a waste of time.
Kivlor is offline  
post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:15 AM
Member
 
tropicalbeachiwish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: La La Land
Posts: 1,526
Re: Tough Love

It's heartbreaking. The power of alcohol over an alcoholic is mind blowing. If he wants to drink and has no intention of stopping, it'll eventually kill him. When you say that he's reaching out to you, what are his intentions exactly? If you have a family of your own, inviting him into your home will reek havoc on you and your family members. I don't see anything wrong with keeping limited contact but be prepared to get disappointed over and over again. Be prepared to get lied to as well. Do not enable. You can not save him. Let him feel the consequences of his drinking.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow."
tropicalbeachiwish is offline  
post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
bluezone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 225
Re: Tough Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivlor View Post
It's unbelievably hard, watching a family member crawl into a bottle. Sorry to hear you're going through that.

We tried tough love on my cousin, without success. Dropped him off at the shelter, and cut ties primarily. (one family member stayed in contact) He drank himself into the grave at the age of 38.

Tried a more gentle approach on my dad and that was a failure too.

AlAnon has the same success rate as quitting cold turkey.

If you've got the money, the inclination, and if your brother is willing, I've heard there are some great inpatient programs. If the alcoholic won't go to the program and stay, then it's a waste of time.
Hi Kivlor,

So sorry about your cousin and your dad. Drinking to his grave is exactly where my brother is headed and he knows it. He has already suffered seizures from withdrawals, and recently one of his organs started failing. Again...what does it take to get them to stop? Where is his "rock bottom"? Soooo frustrating and completely depressing.

We have paid for my brother to go to rehab. He has been through at least 4-5 places. We paid for one...he got into the others through welfare, etc. He has NO money, no job, no healthcare other than Medicaid. Can't drive because of multiple DUIs.

Last edited by bluezone; 08-17-2016 at 09:34 AM.
bluezone is offline  
post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
bluezone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 225
Re: Tough Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalbeachiwish View Post
It's heartbreaking. The power of alcohol over an alcoholic is mind blowing. If he wants to drink and has no intention of stopping, it'll eventually kill him. When you say that he's reaching out to you, what are his intentions exactly? If you have a family of your own, inviting him into your home will reek havoc on you and your family members. I don't see anything wrong with keeping limited contact but be prepared to get disappointed over and over again. Be prepared to get lied to as well. Do not enable. You can not save him. Let him feel the consequences of his drinking.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Thanks tropical. Yes...the power of alcohol over an addict is something I will NEVER understand.

I don't know what his intentions are, other than he is lonely and wants to keep his foot in the door to his family.

Yes I have a family of my own (including kids) and inviting him to live here or be here is NOT an option.
bluezone is offline  
post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:38 AM
Member
 
Acoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,516
Re: Tough Love

We went through it with my dad. He eventually got sober, but he had to lose a lot before he decided he wanted help.

Always blamed his problems on others. Never accountable for his actions, and very willing to lie and manipulate.

You can stay in contact, but do it with terms. You won't support him. So, he has to have a place or means to communicate (shelter, apartment, phone, whatever, but something.). Don't let him into the home, even to visit until you have regained some trust in him maintaining sobriety. When you do talk, it's only if he is sober.

With my dad, If I could smell booze or visibly tell he was intoxicated, then I would leave or hang up. Wound up going over a year without talking to him. But eventually he reached out to me from an inpatient program.

He has been sober now for 20 years. But we still have a somewhat distant relationship. He has a lot of toxic guilt and shame and to this day hasn't figured out how to process it. He has his routine, and he is managing his life. But it's a long road, and he has had his share of relapses.
Acoa is offline  
post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:43 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Rural Midwest
Posts: 2,684
Re: Tough Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluezone View Post
Hi Kivlor,

So sorry about your cousin and your dad. Drinking to his grave is exactly where my brother is headed and he knows it. He has already suffered seizures from withdrawals, and recently his kidneys started failing. Again...what does it take to get them to stop? Where is his "rock bottom"? Soooo frustrating and completely depressing.

We have paid for my brother to go to rehab. He has been through at least 4-5 places. We paid for one...he got into the others through welfare, etc. He has NO money, no job, no healthcare other than Medicaid. Can't drive because of multiple DUIs.
It may be the case that there is nothing you can do. Especially if he's been to several programs, and still drinking. You can't control him, and if he won't be enticed... I don't know what else you could do. Tough love sounds like your last hope. (and just because it didn't work for us, doesn't mean it won't for him)

I'd consider this option, if you're going the tough love route: Don't threaten, notify. Meet with your brother, and explain to him "Brother this behavior is killing my family. It's hurting my dad, and he's too old for this. It's breaking my heart, and I can't have my family go through this. If you decide to clean up, and can keep clean, then we can revisit this. But I've got to stop talking to you until you can find a way to do that."

Then follow through. And sit with your kids, and explain to them that they absolutely must not do what their uncle is doing, and if they ever find a day that think they need a drink, what they need is to never drink again.

It may be that you can at least make this a teachable moment for your kids.

Maybe someone else here will have some better ideas
Kivlor is offline  
post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 09:48 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Rural Midwest
Posts: 2,684
Re: Tough Love

To add to my previous post: I would do something akin to the 180 on your brother. Not to snap him out of it, but to limit the damage he is doing to your family. If he comes back, and cleans up, then great. If not, you'll be in a better emotional state to handle that too.
Kivlor is offline  
post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 10:44 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,655
Re: Tough Love

I am a firm believer that 9 times out of 10, alcoholism isn't the disease but the symptom. Watching my wife continue to drink to escape reality makes me think that most alcoholics do it because the reality of life isn't worth being sober for. What was he like before he started drinking so much? Did he have other, possibly undiagnosed issues? What does he have in this world to quit drinking for?
Posted via Mobile Device
Herschel is offline  
post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
bluezone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 225
Re: Tough Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivlor View Post
It may be the case that there is nothing you can do.

Then follow through. And sit with your kids, and explain to them that they absolutely must not do what their uncle is doing, and if they ever find a day that think they need a drink, what they need is to never drink again.

It may be that you can at least make this a teachable moment for your kids.

Maybe someone else here will have some better ideas
Yes, I know that there is probably little to nothing I can do at this point. I told my brother the other day I have run out of sympathy for him.

As far as my kids, they have seen enough to recognize that their uncle has a lot of problems and his life is out of control because of it. One of my kids already told me he will never drink like his uncle.
bluezone is offline  
post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 10:52 AM
Member
 
CantePe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,291
Re: Tough Love

As an adult child of an addict (alcohol, drugs, gambling) the only thing you should be texting back is:

I will no longer enable your alcoholism. I will not support your behaviors while you are an active addict and cannot help you if you will not help yourself.

Until you are actively sober and clean I cannot help you.

That's it, do not enable him. Do not help him. He must help himself, that's the only way he will get and remain sober. It hurts to do to a family member, it'll feel like the sh##iest thing to do but it must be done and you cannot...CANNOT waver from it. Stay the path. You can't help him, he has to help himself.

By the way, I had to disown my father. Haven't spoken to him in 8 years. He is still an active addict. I don't have a father.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

"The most beautiful words in any language: I forgive"
Wind Through The Keyhole - Dark Tower Series - Stephen King
CantePe is offline  
post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
bluezone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 225
Re: Tough Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herschel View Post
I am a firm believer that 9 times out of 10, alcoholism isn't the disease but the symptom. Watching my wife continue to drink to escape reality makes me think that most alcoholics do it because the reality of life isn't worth being sober for. What was he like before he started drinking so much? Did he have other, possibly undiagnosed issues? What does he have in this world to quit drinking for?
Posted via Mobile Device
Herschel, he started drinking in high school....probably to try and fit in? I guess. I know in high school he used to make fun of other people all the time...maybe to feel better about himself?

He is now late 40's...old enough to stand on his own two feet.

I'm sure he probably drinks now because life doesn't seem worth it...but he doesn't seem to try that hard to me. He is always complaining...."How can I get a job? I can't drive, etc etc." I have pointed out to him that plenty of people get around without a car and that there are more jobs than what he limits himself to.

He doesn't have much to quit drinking for, and that's part of the problem. No girlfriend, no kids. Depression and loneliness a part of this, along with not so great social skills.
bluezone is offline  
post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 11:07 AM
Member
 
Chris Taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,514
Re: Tough Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herschel View Post
I am a firm believer that 9 times out of 10, alcoholism isn't the disease but the symptom.
Posted via Mobile Device
Yeah, no. It's a disease.

I wasn't running away from anything. I liked drinking. I'd drink to celebrate anything... birthdays, weddings, sun coming up in the morning, sun setting at night. Life was great. I didn't need alcohol to get through the day. It was my buddy who I wanted to be with, despite having a great family, great job and lots of friends.

OP, he has to do this on his own. Hit the bottom before bouncing back up and only he knows where the bottom is. Willing to detox again, willing to face the issues that alcohol bring. That means tough love from your family.
Chris Taylor is offline  
post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 11:16 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,655
Re: Tough Love

A lot of personality and mental disorders seem to manifest itself during puberty and whatnot. I am not saying ta the case, but he may have always felt like something felt wrong and alcohol helped him escape.
Posted via Mobile Device
Herschel is offline  
post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
bluezone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 225
Re: Tough Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by CantePe View Post
As an adult child of an addict (alcohol, drugs, gambling) the only thing you should be texting back is:

I will no longer enable your alcoholism. I will not support your behaviors while you are an active addict and cannot help you if you will not help yourself.

Until you are actively sober and clean I cannot help you.

That's it, do not enable him. Do not help him. He must help himself, that's the only way he will get and remain sober. It hurts to do to a family member, it'll feel like the sh##iest thing to do but it must be done and you cannot...CANNOT waver from it. Stay the path. You can't help him, he has to help himself.

By the way, I had to disown my father. Haven't spoken to him in 8 years. He is still an active addict. I don't have a father.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
Thank You, CantePe. THIS is what I need to hear.

So sorry that this disease has taken away your father.

Yes...it really does feel sh##ty, and I struggle with it when he tries to call or text me. But I know he has no hope except to find the strength and the will within himself to deal with this.
bluezone is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
In love with someone else and it hurts Sagitarius Considering Divorce or Separation 13 05-07-2016 03:53 PM
I cheated on the man I love , and I regret it so much!! Steph0113 Coping with Infidelity 26 03-01-2016 07:29 PM
Question about love languages / am I overreacting? Seppuku General Relationship Discussion 27 01-13-2016 09:17 AM
I love you, but i am not in love with you. AlanaK General Relationship Discussion 62 12-24-2015 08:59 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome