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- Living with alcohol use disorder
- How have you approached your journey to recovery?
How have you approached your journey to recovery?
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@Courtney_J Hi, I'm part of this group because someone in my life is an alcoholic and won't/can't accept it in my opinion. They've tried AA and other groups but never really ever finish it and seem to be in a sort of never-ending loop of temporary sobriety and then relapsing. I'm not sure how to support them through this or if there's even anything I can do to help anymore. If anyone has any advice, I'm open to it.
Hi, I'm writing this as a recovering addict/alcoholic. I've battled the disease as a young man through my 50's. Please know I only speak for myself. What made a huge impact on me was losing my two older brothers. We all learned from an early age that alcohol was a part of holidays, anniversaries, weddings, super bowls, and the list is endless. It's embedded in American Society. We see people celebrating every occasion on TV and movies. What we do not see is the devastation and human suffering it takes on the individual, and that person's family and friends. I went to a treatment center for 3 days in 1989 left after detoxing on librium. I simply wasn't ready to quit, All the tools and resources were available. I simply chose to continue using. I always prided myself with the facade if being responsible, employed, and being "in control". As my age increased, so did my abuse. The abuse never slows down, and only progresses. My story is not unique, but actually very similar to others. I honestly feel that until we as a society remember it's a disease we're dealing with, not a character flaw, or being weak, I'd be bs-ing myself and others if I did not admit that the disease is selfish and treacherous. Like any condition, we have choices, and God knows I've made some bad choices. I wish there was a simple solution to what you are experiencing. I can only share with you in my case that my intention was never to cause pain and heartache for those who cared and love me. That still was not enough to quit. For me, that's the insanity of the disease. There are reasons people drink and abuse. Not an excuse, but at times using was maintaining what sanity I had left. After losing my brothers, I didn't grieve, I used and chose to drink. Using had become my partner and saviour. When I lost my Mother to Cancer, that was a major turning point. I was with her when the doc gave her the news, that she had weeks to live. After hearing the doc telling her this, she was not shocked, but made this statement, "I'm lucky to have lived a good life and am ready to meet my maker". My thoughts were only Wow! After the diagnosis, she chose to go home with me and my Son, her grandson, and hospice was soon to follow. I admit to obtaining some illegal prescriptions to manage and cope. After 5 days I was detoxed from alcohol and drugs. I was very grateful for the people I sought out for help, therapy, and medications provided to me. Yes there was still Post acute withdrawal(PAWS) to deal with. After the loss of human lives, all I knew was if and when I die, I will do so being sober. I did not do this alone. There were professionals, relatives, and friends that help me get where I'm at today. You, as a loved one going through this, be sure to take care of yourself. There's resources like Al Anon, dual diagnosis self help groups, and therapy available for you. Local Communitiy Mental Health Services with sliding scale fees if you have or not have insurance. The only advice that I can offer is don't give up hope, and if they can access treatment, encourage it, and the one MAJOR piece of relapse prevention is that changes will take place, and that brings the sensitive subject of making new friends, because sobriety means the loss of contact with friends who continue to use. I've found that drinking and abuse of drugs is what we had in common. Once sober, the result usually means they are not likely to seek you out. To be blunt, I'm of no interest for them to come around. It's not that we no longer like or care for one another, it's that our mutual interest of abuse is one sided. If I knew my friends were having a Christmas party where drink and drugs are readily accessible, and I show up, I'm close to 100% on a road to relapse. These times of the year are hard for everyone. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hope.
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Facing addiction can be a long and scary process and many addicts don't know what to do or where to turn. The National Insitute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a helpful guide that can help people navigating treatment options of alcohol addicition: Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help
How have you approached your journey to recovery? What treatments for alcohol addiction have you tried? What has worked for you?
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