How has your difficult child's addiction problems affected your views on alcohol

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nancy, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Both husband and I are recovering alcoholics ourselves. So, no we didn't have any alcohol in the house while our addict difficult child sons were growing up.

    I do find this interesting though...I mean I know where the help is, AA. So I guess If I myself am tempted to pick up a drink, which of course would mean a 100 drinks, cause one is too many and 100 is never enough! But, if I were tempted again...I know to go to a meeting. That's just what you do when life crashes in, you go and get support and a reminder of the steps, etc.

    Now, Oldest difficult child has been sober for almost a year. He said he can't be around alcohol at all. Says he can't be around people that drink, barely go into a gas station and see it on the shelves etc.
    The thing I find interesting is that he also wants to overprotect and coddle his little girl. Keep her away from all exposure to the "evils" of the world.

    Oldest difficult child does not want her to be around easy child because easy child is gay. Does not want her to be around young difficult child because young difficult child is on welfare and does not have an intact family at the moment.
    OMG, the other night, we went out to dinner with oldest difficult child and his wife (now) and their little girl. Well, she didn't have on a coat...and it was cold! I asked why this was and oldest difficult child said..."It makes her cry". G-d forbid this child should cry or be uncomfortable for even a moment!

    I keep trying to talk about "self control" with oldest difficult child...that even Jesus walked amongst "low life" and did not become like them just because. See, oldest difficult child has some very strong religious convictions now...
    but I just wish he would realize that everyday, every moment, he is making a conscious decision. Regardless of the exposure or not.

    Now, I don't think It wise to have alcohol in the house if you've got addicts...or teens in general for that matter. But I also think at some point and probably the earlier the better that personal choices and self awareness have to be considered. As alcohol is everywhere.
    I so wish that husband and I would have discussed AA with our very young difficult child's once upon a time. So that they too would know where to go (on their own) if they found themselves with a problem.
    We took them too church, were heavily involved with sports, helped them with homework, screened tv shows and music, etc....but we did not tell them where the help is and now I really wish we had made that a high priority when they were little.

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deb how did your son handle the reception with alcohol around? Was he ok with that?

    LMS my difficult child's rehab counselor is a recovering alcoholic, most all of the cousnelors are. She has been sober for many years. She said she cannot be around alcohol at all and will never put herself in that position and if she is somewhere where people are drinking she will immediately leave. She said she is not being rude and that all her friends understand that about her but she cannont risk her sobriety by being around it. I don't know of a stronger more self assured person around so it's not weakness that causes this.

  3. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Oh Nancy, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that this is about weakness. That was not where I was going at all. But I have mixed drinks for my mom and her boyfriend recently...LOL, too strong by the way.
    I am not tempted at all....but I do remind myself on a regular basis of the price addiction has cost my family.
    My bio dad was alcoholic and I had no dad growing up.
    My mother in law died of her alcholism a few yrs ago.
    Both husband and I and both his sibs are addicts.
    Both of my difficult child's sons are addicts.

    I don't want to suggest in any way that addiction is caused by "weakness" I guess I just lean on One Day At a Time...Live and Let Live, etc.
    I know I can't get rid of Alcohol around me. It is a part of society that will not go away any time soon.
    I have to keep an eye on myself and that is all I can do. I can't control this disease in anyone else that I love. It is a personal responsibility and I just so wish I had armed my children better for this family disease when they were little.

  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I didn't think you meant weakness LMS, I used a poor choice of words. I knew exacty what you meant. I was actually referring to what our counselor told us, that for an alcoholic to walk away from alcohol and not want it in their lives is a strength.

    I applaud and celebrate your sobriety.

  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you Nancy I appreciate that. : )
  6. Elsieshaye

    Elsieshaye Member

    I drink, but moderately. Didn't have alcohol in the house when difficult child lived at home (and was pretty ticked when he brought beer home underage - should have tossed it like I did the bong, but wasn't up for the fighting that would result). I now actually have a small stock of liquor, and have the occasional drink when I get home. I have friends who are binge drinkers, and I've had to learn my own limits. I still go out with them, but I'm the token sober person, and tend to leave when they get past lightly buzzed. My current boyfriend was married to, and then dated, alcoholics, so he's pretty careful about his own drinking. It's nice not to be teased or to have to explain why I feel like a soda rather than a beer, Know what I mean??
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I stopped reading the responses before I went off on a tangent!

    I've never really seen a problem with drinking... Until a night in January 1996, when my then-boyfriend struck a pedestrian and killed him.

    Now - I was in my car, behind boyfriend. I saw something go flying - my brain protected me and to this day all I can see is a big chunk of snow.

    But - boyfriend was a pretty heavy drinker. I never have been. It would probably have been a DUI. I am the one who went to the cops the next day after hearing about a hit-and-run on the radio. And since then? Yeah, I notice it.

    Onyxx never got a chance to swipe alcohol - we rarely had much in the house anyway, and when the kids moved in with us, it moved into our room.

    husband drinks about 10x what I do... Which is a glass of wine about every 2-3 months. But I do notice when he does.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Drug and alcohol addictions scare me. I can't imagine how unsettling it is to be in an altered state. I can barely function with my wits about me let alone under the influence. Alcohol is part of our dinner on occasion but we aren't cocktail people. It's a different mindset. Maybe the Italian attitude of drinking has rolled down to us. I seldom saw anyone who drank in excess in our Italian community. Wine, grappa, anisette were part of what was offered to guests with or after food. There was one alcoholic but he went to work everyday and never had a problem with irresponsibility. It was definitely looked down upon by the social circle he lived in but he was loved. Sweet guy but he met with an early death due to alcohol induced illnesses. It was the exception.
    I know that if I had gone through what parents of alcoholics have gone through I would probably have the same outlook as you Nancy.
    I don't really see a social world being alcohol based. It's probably because I'm not as sensitive to it as a person who has suffered the trauma of alcoholism.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you hit the nail on the head Fran. If you haven't suffered the negative effects of alcohol then the social world is not alcohol driven. I don't think I would be nearly as against it if both difficult child and my father were not addicted. I worry that difficult child will never be able to function in a world that puts so much emphasis on alcohol. But for me it's no problem, I can ignore it and still have a good time, in fact better time.

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Nancy-- I have two very close friends from HS diagnosis'd with alcoholism at a very young age- one in HS (girl) and one in college (guy). My girlfriend was so bad-she literally hid booze in shampoo bottles (and the vodka bottle in the toilet tank) so she could have a drink first thing in the morning. (I should add that NONE of us knew she was a serious drinker, she was closeted from the beginning, picked up the habit in boarding school her freshman year) She's 44 now-sober since HS and just served booze at her wedding - her new H toasted her with Champagne and she toasted him with sparkling cider. My guy friend got sober as a sophomore in college after his friends intervened and he managed to maintain his sobriety while living in a fraternity house his senior year and has maintained it for the past 24 years.

    I cringe when I think that my newly sober girlfriend navigated the drinking parties of our senior year and that our group of friends were naive and callous enough to drink around her.

    In both cases, my friends had to get past the emphasis that society places on alcohol. And when they were serious enough to get sober, that wasn't a problem -- Know what I mean?? A sober lifestyle comes from within.

    Not to say that external forces don't work against a fledgling desire to be sober -- a desire that should be nurtured by friends and family who should not tempt her.

    I just want to let you know (from my limited experience) that when she decides from deep within that she wants to be substance free - she CAN (and WILL) find the strength to navigate a society filled with alcohol.

    I hope that day is here or coming shortly.
    Lasted edited by : Dec 16, 2011
  11. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Nancy, absolutely we are more attuned to all the alcohol consumption that goes on socially, and the fact that it is advertised and sold everywhere, because of being exposed to alcoholism in our homes.

    My son did fine at the reception without drinking. He was also in the wedding party so was on the party bus as they went from the church to different locations for photos. There was champagne and beer on the bus, but also lots of bottled water and some food. He seemed to be fine. My other son was also on the bus and said that difficult child seemed to handle it fine - even offering to help open the champagne bottles. At the reception, difficult child seemed busy just visiting with relatives and friends and said it didn't bother him - even though others were drinking.

    He's been seeing a young lady for a while now, and they seem to be in love. We went to her condo a while back, and I was stunned to see that she has wine and alcohol out. I asked the two of them about it and she said she hadn't thought about it, but then did ask difficult child and he said he was fine with it. Her mom is an alcoholic, but has been sober for 25 years, so she does know about AA. As difficult child said, if he wanted a drink, he could get one anytime. So, I guess it's up to the individual whether it bothers them or not.

    We will be celebrating Christmas here a few days early, as my daughter has to work Christmas Day. They all know that there won't be alcohol here. It's just our decision to keep our home alcohol free while difficult child is here.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    Hugs, Deb
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Just a quick response.

    I always thought alcohol was just not a smart thing to do and at a very young age I knew there was something wrong with me so I never drank. Never have been drunk. We have no booze in the house. You'd think that would deter our kids from drinking...haha. It didn't with our oldest daughter and my biological son. And in the case of daughter, she abused alcohol.

    I hate alcohol. I really do.