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Have you or anyone close to you ever gone to rehab for alcohol addiction?

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by rickandcindy23, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. happymum

    happymum TUG Member

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    Thanks for the update. There are many of us thinking of your son and wishing him success in his recovery. It took courage for you to share his story, and for others to contribute theirs.
     
  2. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    Very happy at this progress.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  3. cgeidl

    cgeidl Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Our son was an alcoholic and took other drugs for about ten years and we could hardly ever even see him. He would not return calls or open his door when we knew he was home.
    He started in college where he had a full scholarship at Berkeley but drinking started and he just quit even though his grades were excellent. He worked as a waiter in a high end restaurant but as drinking got worse just quit. We encouraged him to got to rehab and while we were on vacation in Scotland he called and said he was ready and went in for a 30 day treatment. This was about 12 years ago and he has gone back and got a degree ,married, and has two little granddaughters. He still goes to AA meetings. We were never enablers but always willing supporters and gladly ran up our credit cards to pay for treatment. He is in the 20% where the treatment worked the first time. We are very proud of his accomplishment. At the time insurance would not pay for treatment.
    Attending Al anon meetings might be helpful to you but all the advice about the alcoholic seeing that bottom has been hit and that recovery is desired seems the common thread to any successful chance of recovery.
    We wish you will be able to write your own story of your son winning the difficult battle with alcohol in the near future.
     
  4. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thank you for everything, TUG friends. I know he was a little resentful when he first went into treatment, but mostly he was resentful that he was separated from alcohol. He didn't go through physical withdrawal, per se, but he definitely wanted alcohol those first few weeks.

    Now he says he is glad he went, he knows he needed it. I liked hearing him say it aloud. He was in terrible shape for a while there.

    He may still have his job, too. The boss has kept in touch with our daughter-in-law, and he seems to be sympathetic. I would love for him to go back to work right away and only leave for his outpatient treatment. It would be great for him to know he still has his job.
     
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  5. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Wishing all of you a joyful Christmas, everyone who has been in rehab feels the way your son does. Part of the healing process is the feeling of letting others down. Praise him for taking control of his situation and let him know you are all proud of him for taking this courageous step in his life.
    Silentg
     
  6. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Lots of drama at Christmas dinner yesterday. Our son teased our daughter, thinking she would laugh, but she took it wrong and snapped at him, so he sat without saying much the entire rest of the 4 hours we had him. So much for our wonderful Christmas. We don't usually have issues with the kids together. I think our son is going to spend a separate holiday from the rest of us next year. I see him staying home with his wife and daughter. And to top it off, our daughter is not forgiving at all and really believes our son meant to criticize her. So she is in a snit today. It was a tease about Facebook posts, so not at all what I would consider out of line.

    So our overly-sensitive alcoholic son was trying to be himself, and he is put down by our overly-sensitive daughter. I feel so frustrated, as Rick is on the phone literally for a total of 4 hours so far today, trying to mend fences between the two of them. Ridiculous.
     
  7. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Please stop YOUR drama ... your son HAS, etc. to get thicker skin.

    Absolutely ... but that is a personal growth issue. He is like a very young (but BIG KID) pre-teen whose emotional development stopped BEFORE he started drinking. He DRUGGED himself to not feel ... to stop the emotional pain. Now, he feels that he is being picked on ... looked down on ... an out caste in society/family ... and a thousand other insecurities and put downs. AND his feelings are WAY, WAY out of perspective to the level of comment or situation his sister engaged him in.

    And the LAST THING, you can't tell him to GROW UP, get over it, just laugh it off, etc. He needs to explore these issues with his addiction specialist and sponsor. You can not reason with him ... these are RAW emotions & feelings for him ... he can't handle YET those without drinking, etc.

    Holidays are really bad emotionally for MANY of people ... but a widow after 40 years of a good marriage feels lost and pain ... but has the "good times" to think back on. Their sorry and loss happens but mostly is not crippling. Your son's has very limited emotional fortitude ... but is not a 8yo have a tantrum .. he is full grown man.

    And while a 4 hour family time/visit on Christmas seems too short (and you wanted MORE time with your son), you really need to allow or encourage him to leave when he has to. And maybe ... fewer family members for awhile ... those who also are going to Al-Anon meetings.

    Also ... you are PLANNING way, way in advance. The line in AA is ... "One Step at a Time" or "One Day at a Time". Next Christmas .. you are "projecting" what will be best for your son. Failure is very high when projections lead to EXPECTATIONS that are not met. Your husband can not patch feelings with a few words or 'promises' or bartering. Rick has to LEARN what he wants as normal (like Ozzie and Harriet or Happy Days) might never be your family's normal ... "that normal" might not work.
     
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  8. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Sorry about this. One would think that your daughter should be excited that your son is home for Christmas after his rehab stint. We hope she wakes up one day and become a more understanding person. Same thing with your son, he needs to get over it.

    Tell you a little story. A very dear friend of ours who just passed away had 2 sons whose relationship fell out after the older son blamed the younger brother and sis-in-law for causing his business to go belly up. The older son had hired the brother to help him out financially but the younger brother did something to create a huge financial loss to the company. The mother tried for many years to organize Christmas and Thanksgiving get-together with both families but the older son and his family would not show up. For several years, she would drive a long way to see her older son the day after Christmas and Thanksgiving. He would not write back when she wrote to him. We assured her that he would get over it and come back to her/them at some point. 2 years ago, he suddenly came to his senses (he said he became religious) and reconnected with his mother and brother. Our friend had a celebration of life while she was alive at the age of 75 this year and it was wonderful to see that the relationships were mended between the brothers. She was very well loved by the community and she passed away around Thanksgiving Day this year. We miss her very much and we are glad she had peace knowing that her sons are getting along again.
     
  9. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I appreciate your story, VacationForever! I can only hope the two will work things out. Our other son is just like me: baffled as to how this all got so nasty. He is trying to stay neutral. Right now, I am just trying to figure out where things went so wrong. I keep replaying the entire incident in my head, and I don't know how anyone could take offense at the statement that was made.

    Our son is in a fragile state, in my opinion. I know you think everyone needs to toughen up, Linda, vacationhopeful, but I had a brother-in-law, Rick's brother, who shot himself in the head while drunk. This was only a few years ago. He was an alcoholic. What do you think Rick's worry is with our alcoholic son? Of course he is thinking this could kill him, one way or another. Our son gets out in 8 days. EIGHT DAYS. He will have been in rehab for 60 days, mostly away from all of us, including his two-year-old daughter. All he needed was a setback.

    It's normal for addicts who have recently given up the drug of choice to be withdrawn. That is what they do. We take classes every Saturday with the other families, 75 minutes with a therapist, and it's apparent this is a normal reaction--withdrawing from conversation and retreating inward. It's not like it's odd for him to react by being quiet. He doesn't withdraw from us or his wife and daughter, but we we want that happy-go-lucky son back. He is in a fragile state. He just is right now, just as Ronnie was when he took the gun out of the gun safe and used it.
     
  10. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    It is really great that you are taking classes and learning about the disease. I wish my daughters inlaws would stop being enablers, they have two alcoholic sons. They make excuses for everything, after all, he only drinks one bottle a day (of vodka)


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. FLDVCFamily

    FLDVCFamily TUG Member

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    My 2 cents is that you need to stop replaying it in your head because I highly doubt that it was about whatever statement was made. It was probably about a lifetime of resentments towards this sibling. Was he always high-needs growing up? Did he require more from you and his dad than the other kids did? Every kid is different and every kid needs to be parented differently but that doesn't make it easier on the siblings sometimes.

    My mom and my DH both difficult siblings have issues similar to each other, and issues that rock bottom might have helped to fix if either of them had ever been allowed to hit it. Mom and DH have both cut these people from their lives for their own safety and health. Prior to that, I witnessed blow-ups like you describe at gatherings, and they were never about whatever perceived slight happened in the moment. They were about pent-up resentments, anger that their parents were so concerned with the ill sibling that they were just expected to suck their own feelings up, etc.

    I understand why you are so scared about your son if you lost your brother-in-law in such a horrible, tragic way. In a way, I also understand why my grandmother and my mother-in-law continually tried to make excuses for their ill children and to attempt to force relationships, "mend fences", etc. with the siblings. They wanted to "fix" things because they are moms and that's what moms do. Sometimes you can't "fix" what is wrong until the people with the issues fix themselves though...hopefully your son is on his way towards doing that, and part of that is making amends right?

    What I can tell you is that, in the end, the relationship (or lack thereof) is between the siblings. Grandma and MIL both found themselves shut out by their healthy kids due to trying to foist relationships with the ill children on them. Sadly, MIL and DH don't have a relationship now because she made this a hill to die on, and my grandma died with my mom feeling pretty negatively about their relationship. If I had any advice to give as an observer, it would be to worry about your own relationship with each kid and let them worry about their relationships with each other. It won't be easy, but that way you don't risk pushing anyone away inadvertently, KWIM? Al-Anon would probably be really helpful if you can find a group near you. This sibling dynamic when one sibling is ill and there is drama with the other sibling relationships just seems so common that it must be something that Al-Anon has seen before and can offer advice/support regarding.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  12. b2bailey

    b2bailey TUG Member

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    .....but we we want that happy-go-lucky son back.
    = = =

    This sentiment struck me hard enough to need to respond.

    I'm guessing you will never have 'that' son return to you. You need to accept him back just as he is. It would be easier if he had suffered a physical brain injury...where you could better understand his limitations.

    As for your daughter...sounds like she needs to work on forgiveness. It is true the entire family is affected.

    And for you...good advice is to be found in two recent musical hits...
    "Let it Go" and "Shake it Off" Easier said than done, but good practices. If you can't do this...how do you expect it from those around you?

    In love, Bonnie
     
  13. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Our alcoholic son was always the easy one. He was always the good student, the one that stayed out of trouble. and he didn't drink until he was 21. He is the one who graduated from college with honors and got his master's degree. I think Christine may have a point there. The other two resented him for being the good kid, never getting in trouble. He also just turned 40, he's the oldest, so this is not about a kid just out of college. I think it's jealousy with our daughter. And you are right, Christine, we should stay out of the kids' relationships. I wish they didn't affect the holidays so completely. We do go to Al-anon every Tuesday. We will share our experience and see if the group has some advice.

    The other two were the difficult children. Our daughter was more difficult for me. I hear people say that's "normal" for a daughter. But she is still not easy. She sends me random emails chastising me for whatever supposed thing I did the night before to hurt her feelings. She is really over sensitive. Our younger son was a very strong-willed child and kept me exhausted throughout his childhood. I was always chasing him around the house, even as a teen. He had drinking problems as soon as he turned 21 that lasted several years, but he is not an alcoholic. He is lucky he didn't get the gene.

    Yes, absolutely! You are very astute to recognize this. I appreciate your post, too, Bonnie.
     
  14. FLDVCFamily

    FLDVCFamily TUG Member

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    Wow, it sounds more like she has the issues then...some people look for anything to set them off and love to blow things out of proportion. It's like they're bored and looking for drama. It IS hard around the holidays. They magnify everything 1000% don't they? Oddly, DH and my mom are the "good kids" and the ill siblings resented the heck out of both of them. I remember DH's sister yelling at me that I needed to "make" him have a relationship with her and that he "must be so jealous of her life". It was really nuts, and I doubt even she believed it.

    Something else you said hit a nerve with me. You are going over and over this in your head, trying to figure out what triggered the issues at the holidays. MIL said that to me, exactly. She goes over and over it in her head, trying to pinpoint what went wrong to cause DH to "turn away" from his family. It was no one thing. It was a lifetime of dealing with an explosive sibling and a mother who expected him to continally "forgive". It must be human nature to want a moment to pin it all on, though, when really it's an ongoing dynamic between individual personalities that may or may not be resolvable. To me, siblings are like college roommates...some will be best friends, most will learn to coexist peacefully, and a few can't stand each other. It's a crapshoot. In the end, we can only worry about our own relationships with others and hope that they can resolve their differences on their own though...not that that makes things easier for a mom I'm sure!
     
  15. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Cindy,
    Your son has been drinking for YEARS ... 60 days is only a flash in time for him and his addiction. Do you and the rest of the family 'walk on eggshells' for a week, 6 months, or 10 years? There is a reason it is said "1 day at a time" ... it represents "every moment, the addict has to CHOOSE to be sober".

    Additionally, have you heard/understood the terms "Dry Alcoholic" or "Enabler"? Friends and the family .... along with your son .... need time to learn, reflect and soul search ... PERSONAL CHANGE for everyone is hard. And it takes many little steps going forwards, backwards, and SIDEWAYS.

    I feel very much for you ... been where you are in an intimate relationship. It was not a picture perfect ending as my path with him could not be worked out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  16. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    As parents, we all want our kids to love us as we love them, and for siblings to at least care for each other. We all need to work on getting those "wants" out of system.

    My father, always the cynical one, told us since young, parents should never rely on their children and siblings not on each other, as some would turn out fine and some would turn out bad. He said that was why he was so frugal, it was to protect himself financially and not need to rely on his children, which was all he could do in his power. My sister loved me when I was young and took good care of me when I was miserable in school - she always excelled, but then hated me in later years. She felt that our parents favored me. Even her husband wanted to date me before they went out together, and I never got invited to her wedding. My parents never tried to fix our relationship but my mother would give me updates as to what was happening in my sister's life. I am not sure if my mother updated her about my life as there was severe resentment. In recent years, we are at least talking and she takes trips out here and I host her. We will never be best friends and we get along because we are sisters.

    Moral of the story, don't try to fix your children's relationship with each other. Work on your relationship with each of them and if they don't come to their senses, you can only hope that one day they grow up mentally and emotionally.
     
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  17. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    AA can work but he will need some tough love from family & true friends. Please keep him away from his so call drinking buddies & friends. Family needs to listen and not feel sorry for him. My prays are with the whole family and your son. Please do not give up on him. You will need to pray daily and by the hour. Good Luck. A good / train counselor will listen to your son and a good counselor will also include all family members in the counseling sessions. Good luck.
     
  18. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    In rehab, they go to AA meetings 8 times per week. After he gets out, he will go to AA meetings every evening. He gets strength from AA and his sponsor, who is an acquaintance of his from his field of work.

    Thank you for the continued prayers. We have learned in Al-Anon that we are powerless over alcohol. I felt powerless for six months of watching as he went downhill quickly. He was always a problem drinker, but he became an alcoholic early May of this year. His therapist at Kaiser said it was a switch he needed to turn off in his brain. This was before rehab, when he was trying to figure out what was going on. I don't know whether that is true or not, and I have not asked our son recently if he believes it's some "switch." It seems rather simplistic.
     
  19. spirits

    spirits TUG Member

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    Keep on going to Alanon.....open AA meetings are also helpful. When I first started in Alanon the information was overwhelming at times but the program is very gentle.....you take what you like and leave the rest (; Slowly, the wisdom of the group started making sense to me. My home group was and still is......made up of many in the medical profession. If they needed help, with all their skills and training...then who was I to question my own need to learn about the disease?

    I learned that many medical professionals thinks of alcoholism as a 3 pronged disease....that there is a switch in the brain that can take repeated exposure to alcohol until the syapses " break" and that is when the compulsion becomes overwhelming. So the disease is physical, spiritual psychological. They told me they had worked with full blown alcoholics at age 9-10. The more I learn...the more amazed I am. What I am also learning is that the growth of addiction is HUGE....and growing.

    Good luck with your journey.......I have made many great friends from Alanon. And I have a great deal of respect for those who have beaten their disease and are sober one day at a time. God bless you and your family.
     
  20. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    To everyone reading this thread, do talk to your kids or grandkids through the formative years (before they even become teenagers) and throughout teenage years about the dangers of drinking and doing drugs. Studies have shown that parents who regularly "educate" their children about addictive effects of drinking and drugs TEND to have less problematic adult children. Cindy wrote about the culture of drinking, and fortunately it was not in the culture that I grew up in. My parents drummed into our heads about drinks and drugs. I did that to my kid as well. My parents did not drink. I don't drink and my son is the same way. Even when he was in high school and through college, he never got into it while he saw his friends drinking and passing out. It is not foolproof but it helps.
     
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  21. FLDVCFamily

    FLDVCFamily TUG Member

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    ITA with this. My parents didn't really talk to me about drinking or drugs, but we had some programs in school where a former addict came in to talk to us about addiction, staying away from drugs, how alcoholism/drug addiction is genetic in a lot of cases, etc. That all stuck with me. I saw enough people in my dad's family struggle with alcohol that I knew that I wanted no part of finding out if I had that gene or not. Even in college I stayed away from alcohol. There was some pressure to drink, but it wasn't anything terrible and people did respect it when I told them that I didn't drink and wasn't interested in starting. I already talk to my kids (8 and 11) ALL THE TIME about how strong the alcoholism gene is in my family and to stay the heck away from alcohol and drugs. I tell them how we buried grandpa's brother very young and it was due to booze...how awful it was because he looked just like grandpa and how much it scared me. Hopefully it sinks.

    ETA - I think that the "culture of drinking/drugs" did exist when I was in college (I'm 42), but I think it's even worse now.
     
  22. FLDVCFamily

    FLDVCFamily TUG Member

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    Bumping up to see how your son is doing and how you are doing. He is home now right?
     
  23. BellaWyn

    BellaWyn TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Cindy, Spirits post on what has been learned about how brain synapsis effect whole body is worth reading again (read it 4 x's and ITA from a pure experiencial perspective) and getting a better understanding. Have been keeping you and your family in our prayers and glad to know you are going to Alanon. The more you learn about you, the better prepared you will be to navigate choices others make that you are powerless to influence.

    So glad you did this bump, was just thinking about how things are going also.
     
  24. Tia

    Tia TUG Member

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    I was just reading this thread again has many good helpful posts, dealing with our own deal. Hope original poster is doing well
     
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  25. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    I read this with much sadness as both the son in law and his brother died ttwoand a half months apart, at age 40 and 31 a year and a half ago.
     

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