Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by CanBrit, May 19, 2006.

  1. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    Hi All:

    I'll try to keep this short. My brother, 54, has been hiding an alcohol problem most of his life. His wife has been along in the denial. He's now starting to feel the dangerous effects on his body.

    His liver enzymes are elevated. His short term memory is shot. He has itching and bloating from liver problems. We had a bit of a intervention a couple of weeks ago and he admitted that his Dr had told him he must stop drinking. He's been referred to an outpatient centre.

    His wife says that he doesn't tell the Dr everything. 7 years ago he had seizures due to trying to stop. I think it was because he got a DUI. He says he lost his license due to the seizures. He's falled off the roof of his cottage and broken his ankle. Almost got himself electrocuted there are well. I've seen him actually guzzle alcohol.

    At his point, his wife has gone back into denial and has believes that he's stopped drinking. There is a strong genetic link on my father's side. Several of his family and his father were alcoholics. Most of my family is very touchy about even talking about alcoholism. get the picture. How do I help? I feel like if I stay out of it, he will die. (I told him this) His personality is altered. My daughter, a nurse, say's he's basically pickled his brain.

    My husband and I live in the country and don't have easy access to an Al-Anon program.

    Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2006]
  2. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    I understand that you want nothing more than to make better, solve, and attend to your brother. You cannot rescue your brother from his thoughts, feelings, decisions, behaviors, growth, well-being, problems, or destiny. Believe me, he is capable of taking care of himself. Care-taking doesn't help; it causes problems.

    It (detachment) is not detaching from the person whom we care about, but from the agony of involvement.

    -Al-Anon member

  3. heathnicole

    heathnicole New Member

    Let me first say that I am very sorry that you are dealing with this. I also deal with my sister, brother, and father with alcohol.
    Then only way that your brother can be helped is for your brother to accept that he has a problem and get the help he needs.
    I know there are wonderful detox centers in the US I specifically know of one in Texas.

    As far as the body goes- liver enzymes sometimes take a while to drop. If he stops drinking - and really stops- I would suggest doing a liver cleanse. Probably will need to do more than one.

    As being his sister I truly unders tand the need to help. . .but you m ust realize it is out of your control. You might also try to reason with the sister in law. . .
    She is sober so it might be easier to build a plan
    You cannot let this stress you out - because that will take a toll on the body

    I don't know if you believe in God but- WHen I don't know what to do with something I turn it ALL over to him and ask for his help.

    The Serenity Prayer
    God Grant me the Serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I CAN; and the wisdom to know the difference.

    I hope this didn't offend you . . and I will keep you in my prayers

  4. sfrazier

    sfrazier New Member

    Like the others I'm sorry to say that with alcohol untill they are ready to admit there is a problem you really can't do anything. My older sister has such a bad problem that she has been taken to the hospital 3 times. The last time was cause she was throwing up so much blood. The doctor has told her that if she continues to drink the next time she has a bad problem with it, it will kill her. She has been in detox centers 3 times and everytime she quits she says this is great and I feel so much better and a week later she is back with the bottle. She just can't admit that she has a problem. If your brother is anything like that be there for him when he needs you and pray everyday that he quits. That is about all you can do till he says I HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM. Only then can you get him the treatment that he needs. Good Luck.....SueF
  5. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Even when confined involuntarily to the state hospital for alcoholics, he denied he had a drinking problem.

    It is impossible to impose help on them. When, if ever, they want help, they will get it. Only then can you do something.

    In the meantime, just stay away and minimize your own heartbreak.
  6. janieb

    janieb New Member

    My husband is a recovering alcoholic. He drank for 20 some years and it just got worse. It's now been 20 years since he quit. I was the perfect co-dependent wife. He ended up in a treatment program run by Hazeldon, after spending a few weeks in the hospital. Fortunately, we had a great doctor and by the time we reached him, my husband knew he had to make a choice. Stop drinking, die or end up in prison.

    I don't agree that they won't stop drinking until they're ready. I've seen well planned interventions work really well.

    If you're looking for information I would recommend you read the book "Co-Dependent No More." Much of my behavior was enabling my husband to continue. And, there are programs for family members through Hazeldon and Alanon is worthwhile, even if it is a drive. You'll learn to concentrate more on yourself and less on your brother.

    God bless you for wanting so badly to help, but there's really not much we can do with the exception of a well-planned intervention, so we're best off taking care of our ourselves.

    Good luck.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/20/2006]
  7. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Bless your heart, I know what you're going through.

    My mother was an alcoholic and now I'm seeing my oldest son on the edge of, if not alcoholism, at least some dependence on alcohol. And yet, I don't believe it's ever a lost cause.

    You've gotten some excellent responses here from people who know their stuff. Do your best to detach as I am, even though it's one of the hardest things we have to do. You need to let him know that while it's breaking your heart the outcome is up to him. And pray for him if you're comfortable with that. Prayer works.

    I'll think of you.

  8. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    Thank you all so much for your responses. We did try a form of intervention that Sunday day and he said that if he could'nt drink ever again, we would have to lock him up.

    You have all made a lot of sense. I can see an underlying theme of detachment in most of your responses. This was my husbands recommendation as well. I am taking some solace in that I told him my fears and worries for him.

    I get along really well with my sister-in-law, so I'm sure she will keep me informed about how it's going. I don't want to upset them to the point that neither wants to talk.

    Prayers might be the best thing at this point. I've talked to him about going into therapy. I went myself many years ago due to a stern (but not awful) upbringing which badly affect my self esteem. It made all the difference in my life. My brother has those demon's as well which he hasn't dealt with yet.

    My love and best wishes to you all and thanks again.


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