I know, that if I had never been able to get the monkey off my back, quit the booze, I would be dead now. That I can say with some certainty, well, I did have good luck, maybe alive, still, incarcerated? perhaps, crippled? perhaps. Left to my own devices, but I was a very wild drunk, there was chaos, wherever I went. the turning point came, when my main enabler, Sweet Mary, decided to pull the plug on my life of family, but that was only the start, after living alone, with a ferret for what seemed like a few months, now, was a lonely existence. for one thing, that damn ferret was not a social creature, it was wiry and did not care for me at all. I was really going nowhere fast, but the decision to quit drinking, was mine alone, nobody could force me, or convince me to quit, well for a while perhaps, but eventually, the beast would call me, and back to feeling normal again, and trouble all over again, now, I have heard of people who were able to be social, or were able to maintain themselves, well that was not ME, no fkn way. As soon as I started, I was off to the races, until, I passed our, ran out got into trouble, most nights I made it home, in the end, I was drinking every night i had money, I would wake up after a few hours sleep, and take a big swig and head to work. I was very lucky to keep a job, but eventually I would have fkd that up too. There is no end, no tricks to quitting, it comes from within, lucky for me it was not a clear life and death situation. I watch those shows on TV where they do an intervention, that seems to work, for me it was a pill and my dad’s 90 meetings in 90 days. That for me was much better than the court ordered treatment, I still lied on my last DUI conviction, well kinda, as I had been at least 3 months sober already, but they still sentenced me to Outpatient treatments, which were laughable at best, and seemed damaging to me to be with all the other court appointed dim wits.
I had enablers over the years, I guess, but I was always working, perhaps my dad enabled, me in giving me a place to live, we rented an apartment in Government hill in Anchorage, and lived in Uganik and on Woody island in Kodiak, but it worked for both of us, I paid rent, and did not drink when in Uganik, or when on Woody, but did take a job at the cannery, so I could drink in town, but I digress
The main reason that I am writing this, is about enabling.
This is a tough subject, let say, that your parent is an alcoholic, and they are drinking themselves to death? they have been hospitalized with little chance of survival, this happened to my father, when I was young, too young to make a difference, or to enable, it also happened when he was older, and it did kill him, slowly, but it was the reason, for his early death, and his dementia, witch was precipitated by his resumed drinking. I did try to help him, or at least encourage him to get out, but he was adamant and even told me he, came here to die.
I have to admit, my tools for dealing with life and death were much weaker at that point. I knew it was out of my control, it had multiple hospital stays, but seemed to recover, I just was not in tuned with his plight. Guilt? perhaps, but not anymore, we all have our burdens. There is only one person, who can make us happy, that is ourselves, How could I make him, or convince him, that it was up to him, and only him? At that time, I could not. I was not equipped.
No he made his choice to drink and die, I made the choice to visit, but not get emotionally involved. my priority was 3 kids and tying to keep bills paid, he was retired. So I did not enable, he died in a memory care facility, we had him at our house for a week, but that was a nightmare, he would roam around at night, not creeping but creepy, and then he tried to escape, and fell on his face in the street, he even escaped the fenced in care facility, never underestimate the power of a fishermen!!
I still miss him, he lived to be 81, and knew and recognized me up to the end, RIP pops
One thing I always knew, that enabling is not a good thing, it is hard to break away, but you are not doing what is best for them, or your self
maybe a feel good for your ownself, and fate is up to them, guilt, is relative, you can have guilt, for letting them live in the street or you can have guilt for enabling them to drink themselves to death. which one would you choose? I have thought about this, often, when you raise kids, you must have foresight, a plan, I have always said, they will always be welcome, as long as they are taking care of themselves and moving forward. I always knew the best answer to a drug addict or drunk child or parent was to close all doors, that may seem harsh, but why make everyone suffer, dont they see, they are making you suffer, dont answer that, I have the answer, I was oblivious to everyone’s problems, but my own, I just wanted to drink, and whatever fueled that desire was the center of my life, so you are not important, enough, your suffering means zilch.
Us drunks are so self centered, that it is painful to see, at least when you able to recognize yourself. Everyone else is an enabler or unimportant.
it has been 24 years, and I am still learning myself, sometimes I like what I see, and other, well I seek to improve. perfect, that will never happen, but I am much more cognisant of me, which is the best way to find healing, that and continue to learn and get to know oneself.
I still see people, trying to see what my angle is, no angle. nothing, I want nothing from nobody, or do I expect it, what I do seek is love, friendship without a wanto on either side. just unfettered, nothing else.
I prayed for my cousin to have another chance, GOD answered my prayers, she has that chance, it is up to her.
sad that she does not see the pain she causes, although they are adults, they are still kids, not something you should have to deal with in the prime of their young lives, I had to deal with it in my 50’s were a little more jaded, by that time. I can only pray, they make the right choice for themselves.