I'm posting as a family member of someone with end stage cirrhosis. My SO's father was told two years ago he was cirrotic. He has been an alcoholic the majority of his life (I don't say that word with any judgment, it's just the truth - he is an addict) and even since his liver started failing, he has refused to stop drinking. His longest dry spell was 2-4 months, I believe, but since then he hasn't gone more than a few days without drinking. We have tried talking to him many times about rehab and therapy - as a sufferer of a few mental disorders, it's obvious that he is depressed & that is the core of his behavior (at least now), but he has refused to attend even the free therapy sessions we had for him with an addiction specialist. He will not go to rehab, regularly take his medication, or really do anything other than sit and drink (then deny it) even when we call him out on it and tell him he's killing himself (he knows this), and hurting his family doing so. He recently lost his job due to the illness and is now on SS, still spending his money on beer. He is a grown man and despite please from his own child and parents, he has not changed anything in his behavior significantly since the diagnosis 2 years ago. The really sad thing is he would have been on a transplant list, had he been able to stop drinking.
So really, I'm just looking for advice on how to cope with the whole thing. My SO recently flew down to help look after him & her grandparents (I was stuck attending a wedding) and had tried to help him schedule therapy appointments & talk to him about a transitional living home. He has made no effort to schedule anything (and we can't legally make mental health appt for him) and basically stonewalled her at every junction, even keeping her up at night with his drinking until 3-4am. We have tried approaching him with love, compassion & understanding, as well as anger and hurt - nothing seems to move him.
It is strange but when I was a drinker, the more I was told to stop, no matter how lovingly I was told, I drunk more and more. It is hard to explain this reasoning but I kind of relate. Later I realized I did not want to be told to take it easy, so I begun to drink out of sight and in the garage where no one would see me.
Later, without physical warning, I ended up in the ER almost without blood due to varices rapturing; that is when I was scared and stop and follow all my vitamins, diet and doctor appointments. I had to literally start from the ground up.
In other words, it may take him that hard of a fall to realize how much his life matters. I am not suggesting you all should stop encouraging him. I am just sharing with you how clouded ones Mind is when an addiction has a hold in our lives.
Good luck and I wish him the best beating this addiction.
Thank you for sharing, meteocal. I can see how being told to stop may have an adverse affect. It's so interesting how our minds work against us in certain situations. I'm sorry you ended up in that situation, but am very glad to hear you were able to recover from there.
As for my SO's father, I know he has been in the hospital many times, but don't know if he has yet gone to the ER. I truly hope it doesn't come to that, but if so I just hope he has a real chance to turn things around.
Thank you again, be well!
My heart goes out to you and anyone else who is having to deal with the frustration of watching some effectively “drinking themselves to death”. He will only stop when he wants to and no amount of encouragement will help in any way shape or form. The people who need the help are all the affected family members. Have you sought out the help of al-anon a sister organisation of AA whose members are in very similar circumstances to yourself and your family. They will share their experiences with you and hopefully you could get some benefit from the experience. I have never attended as I am a member of AA and have remained clean and sober for over 15 years. If you require any further help please just ask.
I agree 100%. My late wife was an alcholic and only once did she acknowledge that she might need help. Took her to an open AA meeting. Our next door neighbour was there so she never returned. The more you go on about it the worse they get. I found Al- Anon - absolutely brilliant you will never be alone. BTW wife died of cancer- had a pint and a fag in her death bed - went very happy!