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View Full Version : Life Alcoholic Brother Spiralling Out Of Control - Help


Vegas_Dave
07-22-2008, 04:48 PM
So my older brother is scaring me now. He has had personal issues that have been weighing him down and the personallity that he is, found alcohol and pot as his escape.

He and I were abused as children by our stepfather. This stepfather fled the country and has been on the run for 20+ years.

Our half sister (her real father) has no memory of him and has always been curious. She knows what he did but part of her cannot help but want to know. Well, about a year ago she found him.

I wasnt informed of this until about 2 months ago. Since then, my brother, sister and I have been getting things lined up to bring him to justice.

However, my brother was never able to deal fully with all of the items from the past. He find out about this about 10 months ago. It caused him to quit his job as he couldnt focus and really, he has not been able to truly function since. While he tries to make it seem like he is OK and simply taking the time off (plenty of money in the bank)... he has been getting worse.

Today, my father received an anonymous call from one of my brothers "friends" stating that just recently, it has been getting much worse and now everyone is worried about him.

My father and I were already concerned and this has now just confirmed our worries.

We just dont know what to do.

Has anyone here had to deal with a situation with a loved one like this and if so, what CAN we do?

SPchief
07-22-2008, 04:49 PM
First in with antifreeze.






In all seriousness, get him help.

Vegas_Dave
07-22-2008, 04:53 PM
In all seriousness, get him help.

But if he doesnt WANT help, is there anything more we can do is my problem...

We obviously want to get him help. I am personally concerned that suicide may be in the future for him if these things cannot be dealt with.

RJ
07-22-2008, 04:54 PM
Dave, is the drinking new or has it always been there and the recent events exacerbated the problem?

Vegas_Dave
07-22-2008, 04:57 PM
Dave, is the drinking new or has it always been there and the recent events exacerbated the problem?
Drinking has always been part of his life, 2-3 beers a day was the average which turned into 4-5 a day within the past year. However, the "friend" said it is now more like 2-3 6 packs a day and half a bottle of scotch.

So, recent events have made it worse.

Braincase
07-22-2008, 04:59 PM
But if he doesnt WANT help, is there anything more we can do is my problem...

We obviously want to get him help. I am personally concerned that suicide may be in the future for him if these things cannot be dealt with.

Intervention

BigVE
07-22-2008, 04:59 PM
No clue here but my only advice would be to do SOMETHING. Keep in closer contact with him than normal, express your concerns and offer help of any kind. For people who have addictions the first stage in really getting better is to admit there is a problem and that they do need help. I have dealt with this to a much lesser extent and it took a while to help the person to see that they were hurting not only themselves but their loved ones too...once he saw that it was easier to help him help himself. Good luck.

Bowser
07-22-2008, 05:00 PM
But if he doesnt WANT help, is there anything more we can do is my problem...

We obviously want to get him help. I am personally concerned that suicide may be in the future for him if these things cannot be dealt with.

I'm no shrink, I just play one on the Webs, but I would say his quitting his job to go along wit the out of control boozing and drugging is a very loud cry for help.

If you truly think he is considering suicide, ask him to his face if that is what his intention is. You will know immediately.

Good luck.

Vegas_Dave
07-22-2008, 05:02 PM
Intervention

Intervention is of course something that we will be doing...

I guess my question is more of the aspect that if he is an adult, and refuses help, is there anything further that we can do?

I have calls into people that I know that have dealt with these types of issues before but wanted to see if anyone here really had any experience dealing with this before and could give me "first hand" information bsaed on their experience.

chief52
07-22-2008, 05:15 PM
I guess my question is more of the aspect that if he is an adult, and refuses help, is there anything further that we can do?



The only experience I have with this is that if the person does not recognize the problem and want to change, there is nothing you can do for them. I have a good friend who has gone through rehab 4 times and is still drinking. His business is on the brink of going under. Each time he has gone in, it has been friends and family members who have gotten together and he has agreed to go through rehab. He did it for them. But each time he has come out, he went right back to drinking in excess. Out of control to the point it is killing him physically and financially.

Bottom line, you can not make some one quit. They have to decide for themselves, and until that happens...

As far as the emotional/mental stuff going on, that is way over my head.

el borracho
07-22-2008, 05:25 PM
In my experience (one alcoholic sister-in-law and one depressed close friend), there is only so much you can do to help someone. I would say that keeping your brother away from alcohol and drugs as much as possible is a good start. Literally knock the beer out of his hands if you see him with it. Try to get him to counseling. Try to get everyone who knows him aware of the problem and try to get them to offer support (phone calls, visits, counsel, etc.).

Sadly, you also need to prepare yourself as best as you can for the worst because, ultimately, your brother's depression and addiction are beyond your control. I wish I could be more encouraging but people have to help themselves.

Fruit Ninja
07-22-2008, 05:29 PM
What 52 said is pretty much correct, you can ONLY hope the intervention helps him realize that he has people that love him and want to see him do ok in life without the use of alcohol and drugs. Drugs will come into play sooner or later. If that doesn't wake them up, then your in for a rough rough time with him. If he doesnt want to get better, then there is nothing anyone can do.

kstater
07-22-2008, 05:32 PM
Intervention is of course something that we will be doing...

I guess my question is more of the aspect that if he is an adult, and refuses help, is there anything further that we can do?

I have calls into people that I know that have dealt with these types of issues before but wanted to see if anyone here really had any experience dealing with this before and could give me "first hand" information bsaed on their experience.

You're not going to like this, but if he doesn't want help, all you can do is check in on him. And if and when he becomes a detriment to you and your family, you need to cut ties with him until he's better.

el borracho
07-22-2008, 05:33 PM
Intervention is of course something that we will be doing...

I guess my question is more of the aspect that if he is an adult, and refuses help, is there anything further that we can do?

Things have to be severe before any judge will declare an adult incompetent. My sister-in-law spent decades spiraling downward, countless visits to the ER, multiple near-death accidents (bleeding out of her throat, falling and bashing her head open, etc.) and it was only at the end that she was declared incompetent.

Phobia
07-22-2008, 05:35 PM
Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they wise up. Your brother will likely deplete his life savings, take out $100k in loans, and then finally hit rock bottom with or without your support.

Not trying to be a party pooper. That's just the way it is. Human beings are incredibly complex individuals - especially those of us with Freudian issues.

FAX
07-22-2008, 05:54 PM
I'm really sorry to hear about this, Mr. Vegas_Dave. Is there someone in his life whom he loves and would be fearful to lose? Wife? Girlfriend? You?

I ask because I believe that a first intervention will only work if and when he stands to lose something or someone vitally important to him if he doesn't comply. Everybody has a different bottom, as I'm sure you know ... some are very low and some are actually pretty high. Hopefully, his isn't somewhere near a cardboard house under a bridge. You have to get his attention and get him in a program (AA). For example, if he doesn't embrace recovery, those who love him (and whom he loves) have to be willing to separate themselves from him until he makes some good decisions. It's the only way, unfortunately.

As for the legacy issues with your step-father, it sounds like therapy is in order, to me. That, and shooting the bastard.

FAX

Rain Man
07-22-2008, 06:01 PM
Not trying to be a party pooper. That's just the way it is. Human beings are incredibly complex individuals - especially those of us with Freudian issues.


Heh. You said "poop" and "Freudian" in the same paragraph.


As for the original post, I can offer no advice as I haven't been in this situation. Good luck to everyone involved, and hopefully he can snap out of it.

Adept Havelock
07-22-2008, 06:05 PM
Vegas_Dave, you have my deepest sympathies. That's a very tough place for you to be in. The intervention is a must, but unfortunately, as many others have said it is entirely in your brothers hands. You cannot help those who do not want it. I wish you and you family the best.

beach tribe
07-22-2008, 06:07 PM
I got my brother a job, as a tender, and he is now a full blown alcoholic.

He fell through my front window the other night, and had to get 40 stitches in his FACE.

He came in just as drunk 2 nigyts later. I confronted him, and had to choke him out, to keep him from hurting me( he is very strong)

We had a rough life. I lived on the edge for years, and he learned a lot of this shit from me.

I don't know how, but I grew up, and completely turned my life around. I pray that he can do the same.

Friendo
07-22-2008, 06:13 PM
if he hasn't been involved in counseling, and based on the history you've described, I would say it's a quite normal evolution at work here. lots of folks never stop to fully deal with a severe childhood trauma, simply because they have to "survive", but eventually the screws start working their way out. treating the drinking without addressing the underlying cause would be like giving someone an aspirin if their head was in a vise. I would hope you've processed this as well. good luck.

also--I think it's important to make a distinction between an addiction, and a cry for help--this sounds like the latter, but that's from here. sometimes peeps simply have an addictive personality--doesn't sound like the case here.

brodieownsme
07-22-2008, 06:23 PM
tell him to watch a mel gibson movie

el borracho
07-22-2008, 07:10 PM
Everybody has a different bottom, as I'm sure you know ... some are very low and some are actually pretty high.
FAX

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:8b6W8DNeW3AOYM:http://www.geekologie.com/2007/08/10/store%2520camera%2520for%2520butt.jpg

quite different from mine and probably different than your brother's. See how that works?

FAX
07-22-2008, 07:17 PM
I've always found some black girls' bottoms to be quite interesting, Mr. el borracho. I never thought of bottoms as "perky", but quite a few of them actually are.

FAX

RJ
07-22-2008, 09:39 PM
I wish I had something to offer but as others have pointed out, there's not much you can do to help someone until they want help. It's actually shocking once you realize how little you can do. The best advice I can give you is to be there for him if he wants to change but to also be prepared to walk away if he doesn't. Best of luck to you, your brother and your family.

KCUnited
07-22-2008, 09:47 PM
if he hasn't been involved in counseling, and based on the history you've described, I would say it's a quite normal evolution at work here. lots of folks never stop to fully deal with a severe childhood trauma, simply because they have to "survive", but eventually the screws start working their way out. treating the drinking without addressing the underlying cause would be like giving someone an aspirin if their head was in a vise. I would hope you've processed this as well. good luck.

This is it. The booze is just a symptom of something deeper. Until the childhood issues are addressed he'll always find something to help him escape. Addiction is very real, but this sounds more like medicating for the rising pain.

FAX
07-22-2008, 09:51 PM
Problem is, Mr. KCUnited, he likely won't be able to face the old demons unless or until he addresses the addiction. Once in a 12 step program (assuming he embraces the concept, approach, and theory), his life would begin to turn around and he could realistically deal with the childhood stuff.

FAX

KCUnited
07-22-2008, 09:57 PM
Problem is, Mr. KCUnited, he likely won't be able to face the old demons unless or until he addresses the addiction. Once in a 12 step program (assuming he embraces the concept, approach, and theory), his life would begin to turn around and he could realistically deal with the childhood stuff.

FAX

IMO, they must be simultaneous.

Demonpenz
07-22-2008, 10:08 PM
maybe try soberrecovery.com there is a "friends" of an alcoholic on there and tons of different forums and advice most of the people on there are people who have gone through it all, gone through the emotions, lost it all, and have seen it all.

Fat Elvis
07-22-2008, 10:10 PM
I hate to say it, but he isn't going to stop until he is ready to stop. There really isn't anything you can do to make him stop. It just doesn't work that way; he has to make the decision...some people never do. Those are the sad facts about alcoholism. It hurts. I don't know if he will ever understand the pain that he is causing the family.

What is important is that you take care of yourself. I might suggest that you attend some Al-Anon meetings; they are kind of a counterpart to AA that is designed for the family and friends of alcoholics. Give it (Al-Anon) some time; most people come in with the expectation that they are going to learn how to "fix" the alcoholic in thier lives, but that isn't what Al-Anon is about.

You can search here (http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/) for a list of meetings near you. I have to admit, I thought they were a bunch of cultish, jingoistic, slogan slinging nutjobs at first, but it has really helped me. Other people have/are going through the same thing you and your family are going through. Sometimes it just helps to have a different perspective.

Groves
07-22-2008, 11:02 PM
too close to home. Good luck.

MOhillbilly
07-23-2008, 08:05 AM
But if he doesnt WANT help, is there anything more we can do is my problem...

We obviously want to get him help. I am personally concerned that suicide may be in the future for him if these things cannot be dealt with.


If he doesnt want help let him ride it out. i


ts his trip.

Vegas_Dave
07-23-2008, 08:47 AM
maybe try soberrecovery.com there is a "friends" of an alcoholic on there and tons of different forums and advice most of the people on there are people who have gone through it all, gone through the emotions, lost it all, and have seen it all.

Thanks guys.

It is tough because he is the family member I have always been the most concerned about. When my father called me yesterday after the friends phone call, he tried to hide it but I could tell that he was a wreck.

Sadly, my brother really wouldnt have any problem losing any of us. He has never had the NEED for anyone (or so he puts on).

He and I spoke earlier yesterday before the phone call and he is planning on moving out to Tennessee very soon... which means that we will have even less influence.

This sucks.

Of course, his main person who he goes to for comfort is our mother, who is about a 2 bottle of wine a day person herself. So she is not a good influence.

I have all but eliminated her from my life as she is a habitual liar and frankly, she only care about herself. In fact, 14 years ago, the FBI had located the stepfather in Canada. They were getting ready to nab him and they were a day too late. The FBI agents believed she tipped him off, and from what I do remember of things back then, there are things that lead me to the same assumption (this was before I was told the FBI had the assumption).

Family sucks sometimes.

RedNeckRaider
07-23-2008, 10:31 AM
Sorry to hear this but I can relate. This type of thing has been in our family tree forever, yes we have for generations lived up to the Irish sterotype. The one thing I have learned you can not talk them out of it or beat it out of them. They must chose the path they will follow. Good luck I hope you can reach him.

PhillyChiefFan
07-23-2008, 10:46 AM
too close to home. Good luck.

I hear you on that.

It is a tough situation and I'm not going to pretend I'm an expert, but for a friend of mine who had a similar situation, his g/f offered to pay for counseling for him.

Long story short, when the demons from his past (in your brother's case your stepfather) are brought out of him, then and only then did my friend start uphill from the bottom. Alcohol is his release or escape, either way there is much more deeply seated problems.

We couldn't force him to go, but he did to talk about his past and slowly he put down the bottle, but it was a long process.

Whatever you and your family/friends decide, good luck...and I truly mean that.

markk
07-23-2008, 11:13 AM
i feel for you Vegas Dave but the bottom line is you can't help someone who doesn't want to change - really want to change. start with that.

tyton75
07-23-2008, 11:43 AM
I am just ending a 4 year marriage to an alcoholic, so I kinda know where you are coming from in the "what the f@#K can I do to help" mindframe.

First I would recommend intervention... and if he doesn't take it upon himself to seek some kinda help after that; shrink, AA, counselor.. all of the above.... i would maybe attempt to force him into a rehab facility or something

my soon to be ex was in rehabs at least 6 times in the last 2 years... its not fun and ultimately there really isn't much you can do until HE decides to come to YOU for help... then you can be there for him to help him

It REALLY sux to see someone you love self-destruct and be completely powerless to stop them

I feel for you man, good luck