Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

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Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby Pineco » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:31 am

Hi everybody,

On Christmas Day, my Dad and I were having a disagreement and I was just expressing my difference of opinion when he said "why do you always defend everyone but me?". The problem is, he is very often critical and I have had to defend myself, and the people I love, on a regular basis. I have gotten to the point that I am, almost always, responding defensively to him. Sometimes I even defend trivial things because... I'm not even sure.

The next day, he purchased a bottle of vodka and over the past four days has consumed, on average, a whole bottle per day.

I don't know what to do...

I know his feelings are hurt and I feel awful about that. I feel responsible for this latest bout of drinking because last time we had a big argument, he did the same thing until I apologised and then the drinking stopped immediately.

He has had a history of alcoholism but for the last 10 years he has managed to stick to a binge drinking schedule of consuming a bottle of vodka between a 24-48 hour period, every 4-6 weeks. After this episode, everything goes back to life as usual.

I have been getting the silent treatment these last few days and although it's eating me up inside to watch him do this to himself, I find it very hard to initiate contact with him when I'm feeling rejected and ignored myself.

On top of this, my brother who had been sober the last four months has recently relapsed. I was calling him every second day of those four months to check in with him and see how the sobriety was going. Offering company, an ear, support, etc. He told me that he didn't think he would've stayed sober without those calls.

About 4 weeks ago, he started to get really difficult to talk to (rude, irritable, critical) during those phone calls and I was having a hard time dealing with the way he was relating with me because I couldn't understand it. So I called less frequently and found out officially on Christmas Day that he has relapsed.

Here I am feeling partially responsible again...

It's been an awful Christmas...

My brother and I have talked about what he would like from me as a support moving forward, but I would really appreciate your input and suggestions on how I should deal with my Dad because I'm really struggling.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby ODAAT » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:37 am

Welcome to the forum, Pineco. Thanks for sharing.

Seems to me that attendance at Alanon meetings has helped people in situations like yours. Alanon is very helpful to family and friends of alcoholics.
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby tomsteve » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:34 am

ODAAT wrote:Welcome to the forum, Pineco. Thanks for sharing.

Seems to me that attendance at Alanon meetings has helped people in situations like yours. Alanon is very helpful to family and friends of alcoholics.


alanon is a great suggestion. one thing to rememeber with that:
alanon isnt aboout getting the alkie sober or controlling them. alanon helps family and friends bring positive to their own individiual situations.
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:23 am

Here I am feeling partially responsible again...


No, nobody is responsible. Your father and brother have the disease. They will have to figure out a solution for themselves. Like others suggested, you get yourself empowered by understanding the disease of alcoholism and applying the principles of the program.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby PaigeB » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:26 am

Ditto on the topic of "fault" because Alcohol IS the culprit. And Alanon is the group that came up right alongside of AA - because the people that love alcoholics need help too. It does not matter whether the alcoholic is drinking or dry or in the AA program ~ Alanon can help. And they are all over the world. You can find them in your neighborhood using this website: https://al-anon.org/
I have gotten to the point that I am, almost always, responding defensively to him. Sometimes I even defend trivial things because... I'm not even sure.

We call that a resentment... both alcoholics and non-alcoholics are likely to be ridden with them after years with booze as a bedfellow. We re-live and re-live (and re-live) the same old hurts to the point where they pile up and we despair of ever solving them. But AA and Alanon have a real solution!

Contact someone or get yourself to one of their meetings SOON.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby Brock » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:43 am

Welcome here Pineco, my opinion may be a little more long winded than the others.

While I agree that Al-anon can be very helpful to the family of alcoholics, in understanding and relieving themselves of any guilt concerning the drinking of others, I want to make a couple of points.

Your Dad does sound a bit selfish, a major fault in every alcoholic, but yet he turns around and does things which an alcoholic can not do, such as this -
I feel responsible for this latest bout of drinking because last time we had a big argument, he did the same thing until I apologized and then the drinking stopped immediately.

And -

He has had a history of alcoholism but for the last 10 years he has managed to stick to a binge drinking schedule of consuming a bottle of vodka between a 24-48 hour period, every 4-6 weeks. After this episode, everything goes back to life as usual.

Our literature says alcoholics can’t do these things, and I will put a link to a chapter called ‘There Is A Solution,’ if you read from about the middle of page 20 to the middle of 22, you will see what I am talking about, even someone who needs medical help to stop might not be considered an alcoholic. In fairness, and before I am corrected by other members posting here, we at AA do not decide who is alcoholic, if someone says they are, then they are welcome. But what usually happens is they go to a few meetings, and hear the horror stories of others who simply could not stop on their own, and then realize for themselves that they are just hard stubborn old couts who go off on a bender from time to time, and usually when they feel they have an ‘excuse’ to, like the sort of thinking you describe - "why do you always defend everyone but me?". So I believe if it weren't you, he would have found some other excuse to go off on his binge, and I hope you will come to see you are not to blame one bit.

As for your brother, I can’t have an opinion on his problem, because we don’t know his drinking habits and efforts to stop. What I do know, is that like the majority of people who do not know how AA works, he seems to have the impression that phone calls and human ‘support’ keep people sober, and many people feel AA meetings do that because they are so called ‘support groups.’ I think you should encourage him to attend meetings, if you can afford to buy him the book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous,’ about $18 at Amazon or most book shops, hopefully by reading that, (available free online as well), he will understand that the support of others certainly helps at first, it helps us to relate and do the 12 steps. But it’s the steps which hold the answer, after which the urge to drink disappears, and there are side effects of these steps, like peace of mind and serenity, and smiling for no obvious reason.

Thanks for posting your questions here, and for being a caring daughter and sister.

There Is A Solution.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt2.pdf
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:39 pm

Dear OP, go to alanon. Your father and brother are playing you. You are what is called a co-dependent and it is making you sick.

Or, run away as fast as you can.
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby positrac » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:12 am

I guess you hope to fix this and you can't as they made decisions to relapse and all you can do is take care of yourself and try and not let them live in your head rent free. <-----Hard to do and with practice you can achieve sanity.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Dad and brother "relapsed" over Christmas

Postby Brock » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:58 am

A few posts have been moved from this thread, including one of mine, two of Blue Moon’s, and one from tomsteve. The guidelines ask that we keep topics like this on point, and this one went a bit sideways, mainly due to me suggesting that someone may not be an alcoholic. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.
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