Living With Stage 4
Posted: June 27, 2017, 1:23 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: June 27, 2017



My wife and I took in my BIL 4 years ago. He had nowhere left to go. Over the last 21 years I've watched him loose everything at least 3 times. He blames PTSD, served 4 years in the air force, never saw combat.

Really smart guy, finally lost his 150,000 a year job. Alcohol has completely consumed him. I've never seen alcoholism on this level. My wife has all but shut him out as she can't take it, I see the pain.

He's deep into stage 4, body is deteriorating, speech anomaly, nothing but sleep & drink.

Any other family's dealt with this. I see it coming, it's just a matter of time now.

Thanks.
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Posted: June 27, 2017, 8:01 AM


Posts: 616
Joined: April 4, 2016



Loving Welcome Bthp . . . so glad that you found us . . .so sorry that you need us.

Yes . . .I've dealt with something similar . . . with my step-brother. Smart??? Funny??? Affable??He had the whole package!! Graduated college in 3 years . . .went to MIT to get his masters. . . .fantastic jobs . . .$200k/year. He lost his wife, his job, almost everything bc of alcohol . . .SO . . .he went to a 28 day inpatient program . . .was in remission (I don't like to use the word "sober" or "clean" anymore. Thanks Lolle) for about 2 years. Got another great job . . .traveled around the world for work . . .got a great girlfriend . . .but hated himself unless he had a drink. So . . .he went back to drinking. Soon he lost that job . . .and that girl . . .and his money.

Worse yet, he started to smell like alcohol . . .even after he showered and put on cologne. . .it was seeping out of his pores. He lost so much weight, he wore two sets of clothes to seem heavier. He stopped eating. . .vodka was his food of choice. Anytime and every time we talked, he was slurring his words.

Like you, I even asked him to move in with us . . .he hadn't paid his mortgage in years . . .he drained his savings and retirement assets . . . the IRS was looking for him. He refused. I think he didn't want us to know exactly how much he was drinking . . . and I don't think he wanted anyone to encourage him or help him get his life back together. About this time, I stopped trying to lecture, force, rationalize, or convince him to got to rehab/detox. I didn't know it was called detaching with love then. All I knew was that I was out of ideas, and it was hurting me to the bone to see him struggle.. . and I was more concerned and worried (or so it seemed) than him. So . . .I stopped talking about alcohol. I listened politely when he talked about it . . .but offered no suggestions or help. I loved him in spite of himself & his bad behavior.

We still managed to talk every day for several hours. He seemed appreciative and relieved that I stopped pressuring him about his drinking. Not that I encouraged it. His drinking was the 800 lb Gorilla in the room that we ignored. We did talk about his health and changes to his body . . . and how much physical pain he was in all the time. What could I do??? He was on the west coast & I'm on the East. (Altho I offered to fly many many times.) I listened . . .suggested he go to the doctor . . . and loved him. When he got his Obamacare, he made a bee-line to the doctor . . .who threw his butt in the hospital. His liver was failing, he had jaundice and some more shyt . . .they offered him a transplant . . .but he had to promise that he would never drink again. Y'know he didn't get the transplant, right? He said he couldn't make that promise.
In fact, he came home from his 7 day stay in the hospital and drank.

He passed away about a few days later. At age 50. That was 3 years ago. Yes, I miss him badly. But, I accepted a long time ago that I couldn't control his drinking and I couldn't cure it. Only he had that power & control.

All of this is to say.... your friend is blessed to have you & your honeydo as his friends. But.. there is nothing you can do to help him .... until he is ready.... and wants to go into remission. All you can do is love him....and let him know that he is loved. And .... keep coming back here to share . . .

Hang in there!
Lynn
xoxo

This post has been edited by hurtingmom on June 27, 2017, 8:14 AM

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I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.


In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
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Posted: June 27, 2017, 9:44 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: June 27, 2017



Good morning.

Lynn,

Thank you for the welcome, your very kind. Good Lord you story is a mirror image of what's happening here. I mean almost to a T. Last year we got him to go to the I believe it's the whitehouse or something a rather up in Oregon. It's an all veteran rehab.

He made it almost 30 days, then escaped. That really hurt us because it was so nice to talk to him sober and see some progress. You know the man underneath that gorilla. I picked him up from the bus station and you can guess the first stop.

Like you, we've stopped all pressure about drinking. There are no limits anymore. My inner spirit screams to do otherwise, then the reality takes control.

I'm no saint, I struggled with alcohol & drug addiction for many years so I understand the process and the mentality. Thankfully I was able to work my way through it. But this is a total different animal. I think the most offensive thing is the smell. It seeps out of the pores and God does it stink.

The last 2 months or so things are really getting dark, he's become very reclusive, avoids any interaction with us. He sleeps all day, and waits until we go to bed then starts his ritual. When he walks it's almost baby steps. When we do talk he can't hold a conversation for more than a minute and his mind wanders. For a minute he was peeing in bottles, cause in his rational he didn't want to waste water, I quickly put a stop to that. The last week the drinking has gotten really heavy, maybe cause his birthday is coming. I think the average is 8-24 ounce bud lights per night. He try's really hard to hide it but that's tough to do.

He'll be 62, I don't see it making it much further.

I'm going to show this to the wife, I don't think she has an outlet to express how she feels. She's very good at not expressing herself and shutting things out.

Thanks again,
David
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Posted: June 27, 2017, 2:05 PM


Posts: 616
Joined: April 4, 2016



OMG . . . I forgot about the isolation . . .and becoming a hermit. You are so so right. I couldn't get my step-brother to come for my daughter/his god daughter's high school graduation . . .he refused to leave his house . . .saying he was so far behind in his mortgage he was worried if he left for only a few days, he would come back to a boarded up house. The paranoia . . .not being able to rationalize with him . . .him not making sense. Gosh . . . I forgot about that. But my brother had 3 of us . . .who maintained close contact with him . . .his then girlfriend, his nephew who lived with him and me. The 3 of us were like the 3 Musketeers . . .trying to love him . . .and encourage him. We were all baffled. My brother didn't like himself . . .but everyone he met LOVED HIM!!! Whether he was in remission or was drinking. He said liquor gave him courage . . . took away his self-doubts . . . and made him feel good about himself.

Humph . . .

You have a ring-side seat to his circus . . . I think another reason that my brother didn't come to me is that he didn't want rules or boundaries. I remember him saying that he didn't want to come bc I would get on him about his eating . . . or lack thereof. He knew that I'd cook and make him a plate . . . and then expect for him to eat something.

My brother did live with us . . . for a moment . . like 10 years ago . . ..before things got real bad. The only rule then was he had to be up, washed, dressed & half-way sober when our then 11 yo daughter came home from school. He loved my Jill and agreed that since he was the one greeting her when she came home from school, he shouldn't be two sheets to the wind. This gave him a reason and purpose for a while. If she came home at 3 pm, he had his last drink at 2ish. And then try to control his thirst until she went to bed. But it didn't last long.

Trust & believe . . .my brother always knew I was never judging him. Back in the day, I used to be able to go drink for drink with him. We were playmates . . . we shared a similar interest in & enjoyed together many of the same vices. We always shared our bad behavior with each other. But, he also knew . . .although I didn't say much . . .that I disapproved of his drinking. And that I would have done anything and everything to help.

Have you looked into Alanon or Naranon meetings? This way you get support, encouragement and real hugs.

Lynn

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I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.


In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
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Posted: June 28, 2017, 1:07 PM


Posts: 11
Joined: June 27, 2017



Wow, it's really kind of spooky. Your brother and my BIL were two of the same. First I wanted to say I'm sorry for your loss, how you endured that especially when you were so close. I couldn't imagine putting my sister through that.

God bless you for that.

What I find so upside down about this whole thing, is there's nothing you can do. I can't force him to get help, its way to late for that now. Even with death eminent nothing can be done. He comes from a family of 5, for the most part everyone's written him off, wore down from 25 years of drama. Get up, fall down. Rinse & Repeat.

Like you say the best we can do is make him comfortable, the wife gets on him to shower and stay clean, does his bedroom once a week etc. I'm the cook in the house so he always has a warm meal.

What's striking is his attitude, he feels he's not a burden. Everything is justified in his mind. Completely detached from reality.

The last few days have been really, really dark. I'm not sure what's up. He creeps around and says hi but I can feel the f*** you. Almost like he knows I'm talking about him. It scares me. He sleeps with a loaded Smith & Wesson 357 in the bed, actually I'm not sure where it is now. But I've had a few dreams of him getting up and shooting us while we sleep. This I haven't shared with the wife. I'm trying to figure out a rational way to tell him he doesn't need it and we should put it in the safe.

The wife and I are too busy keeping the lights on to really get involved with any support groups and I fear if we did some goody two shoes would try to get involved and save the world. I'm not willing to go there. I know there's great people out there, but all it takes is one idiot. If it wasn't for the VA he'd be dead already. And that's really all he's got.



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Posted: June 28, 2017, 1:45 PM


Posts: 487
Joined: August 28, 2016



BthP--

Well, I spent most of my younger years growing up with alcoholic grandparents and an alcoholic father.
The last thing I would allow is for him to sleep with a 357 in his bed!! When my father was really impaired he became angry, loud, violent, and aggressive towards all of us.

Whether your BIL has a hx of PTSD or alcoholic brain syndrome doesn't matter because they are capable of most anything! Whether they are aggressive or passive in their disease doesn't matter either because they are capable of doing horrific things and are unpredictable!

I would remove that gun ASAP (maybe when he is in the shower or out of the room) and lock it up in the safe where he has no access to it! A person with his issues certainly shouldn't have a loaded weapon in his possession! It is a danger to you and your family and to him!!


Just sayin---

Lori
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Posted: June 28, 2017, 6:58 PM


Posts: 1176
Joined: June 27, 2016



dutchess is right about the gun and the behavior. I do not have experience, but could imagine that near the end, with increased drinking, and mental deterioration, his passive behavior may change suddenly, as you are seeing. Definitely remove the gun, lock your bedroom door (buy the locking door knobs) If he does not feel safe, buy him a locking door knob, but that isn't enough, he could surprise attack at any time. scary situation. Good Luck and Be Safe. If he is too combative when you take the gun away, see if you can get him into VA hospital, asap.

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Posted: June 28, 2017, 9:21 PM


Posts: 616
Joined: April 4, 2016



Wow . . .the gun is NOT something my brother had. Although I do remember that he seemed resigned and sort of gave up the desire to live. He couldn't help himself anymore. For example, I had to make his doctor's appointments . . .from 3,000 miles away . . .while he wanted to get medical attention, he didn't have the energy or strength or patience to go on the website, fill out a few things and then click. I remember doing it while we were on the phone early one morning (it was like 6 am my time and 3 am his). . . and he was so so appreciative.

I think you said that BIL also suffers from PTSD. Being at the tail end of alcoholism . . . which involves some level of insomnia and paranoia . . . coupled with PTSD . . . sounds like a disaster looking for a place to happen. I have to concur with everyone else that you need to get that gun out of his possession & control and lock it in a safe place (that has a combination lock). I also agree that you should put a lock on your door . . .so that you all can sleep in peace. I'd get something a little better than one that locks on the door knob . . .I learned to pick those with a hairpin as a kid . . .and I'm sure BIL is more talented than I am.

BIL is lucky and blessed to have you in his life. The final stages of alcoholism are not pretty . . or pain-free. BUT . . .sometimes caring for & loving our alcoholics/addicts saps everything we have . . . and we need encouragement . . and real time support . . and coping strategies. Please keep coming back here . . .but I hope you compliment what you do here with something else. I get that going to meetings is inconvenient. . . and, for me when my brother was having his troubles, I thought not necessary. Now that I look back, I wish I had worked with a therapist that specializes in addiction/alcoholism 3 years ago . . or I wish I did online meetings. I think I heard that Smartrecovery has online meetings for loved ones of addicts.

Praying for BIL, your wife and you. Be safe,
Lynn
xoxo

This post has been edited by hurtingmom on June 28, 2017, 9:27 PM

--------------------

I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.


In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
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Posted: October 9, 2017, 11:27 PM


Posts: 11
Joined: June 27, 2017



Well, just thought I’d update the situation here. I now how full control of all firearms in the house so that’s not a worry anymore.

Things have been steadily declining, memory, speech everything is just snowballing. The wife is to the point she comes home from work and goes straight to the bedroom because she can’t stand it anymore. And I have to admit it’s growing exceedingly hard on me. I know he’s making up to three trips a day now and sneaks cans to the garbage trying to hide everything he does.

The IRS and other debtors have been bearing down and his income is being cut to the point it will only pay for rent, food & that’s it. We had a long talk between us that we are not going to support the drinking or pay for it in anyway. We’ll house him, feed him, take care of him the best we can but absolutely not give or offer any money for alcohol or cigarettes.

I sat with him briefly and tried to explain what’s going on but while he thinks he hads gobs of money coming in, he doesn’t. And he may only have $100 leftover for the month for the drinking, that he seemed to fathom and the fear I saw in his face he definitely gets that’s not enough to keep up his habit at the current rate of consumption.

The next few weeks will be interesting to say the least, we don’t know what’s going to happen.
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Posted: October 10, 2017, 12:15 AM


Posts: 185
Joined: November 2, 2016



Wow, such a tough situation! I never cease to be amazed at what addiction will rob from people. Sounds like you are doing the best you can in a very bad situation.

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Posted: October 10, 2017, 10:17 AM


Posts: 304
Joined: October 25, 2016



My dad was an alcoholic. Years ago his situation was deteriorating rapidly. My mother went to court and actually had him unwillingly committed to rehab/hospital. He almost died there ... alcohol withdrawal is very hard. It saved his life though and he never drank again. I don't know if this is still an option. I think your family and a doctor could petition the court based on the danger to his health. I remember when they came and got my dad they had to use a straight jacket ... he did not go willingly. I don't know if they use those anymore either. Maybe now people have more rights to drink themselves to death than they did back them ... not sure of the law. Check with a lawyer there may be something you can do.

He is a vet maybe they have resources to treat him. You might check with them too.

This post has been edited by BugginMe on October 10, 2017, 10:18 AM

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BUGS
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Posted: October 10, 2017, 6:34 PM


Posts: 85
Joined: January 21, 2017



I agree with checking with the closest VA clinic. I am a veteran, and am sure they could give you some information on where to turn. God bless. He, and your family may be better served if he lived in a setting with professional supports, and loving visits from family and friends. Libby
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Posted: October 11, 2017, 9:25 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: June 27, 2017



Thanks Libby, the VA has done just about everything they can. After the stint up at the White House in Oregon I think they’re done with the games. He’s abused and used up a lot of they’re resources.

I was pissed after that because he used up a bed that someone that really wanted help maybe didn’t get it.

My hats off to the VA though, everyone there took genuine interest in trying to help him, I know because I was there when he damn near died when his liver shut down. That was a year of constant back and forth.

I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see how things go when he runs out of money, I think it’s going to be a very rough road here pretty quick.
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Posted: September 8, 2018, 3:46 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: June 27, 2017



I just thought I'd update this, Bill as finally found peace. His demons are laid to rest and he has moved on.

Without going into details, for the last 3 days he's been on life support. It was not pretty, especially at the house. With everyone agreeing his brain functions had ceased we pulled the plug.

So those of you that think somehow it's romantic, to die from the addiction. It's not. I am scorn with smells and sights that I will carry until I am gone.

So if you read this, please find a way, something, anything you can to help take control of your life. Regardless what you may think, somebody loves you, open your heart, let go of the pain, follow the love.

God Bless.
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Posted: September 8, 2018, 11:35 AM


Posts: 3
Joined: September 8, 2018



Condolences

Speechless, it's sounds like they understood or accepted their fate. Peace



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Posted: September 9, 2018, 8:44 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: September 4, 2018



First, I am sorry to hear that your loved one passed.
2nd, I read these posts and it breaks my heart. I have a young adult son who is currently in a treatment facility due to alcoholism. My heart is breaking after reading these stories. They sound like him. He finished college in under 3 years, was smart, funny, outgoing and then the addiction took over and he became isolated and wouldn't leave his apartment. Got into a financial mess with his credit cards.
Oh, I pray that this treatment center can help my son.
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Posted: September 11, 2018, 10:50 PM


Posts: 143
Joined: November 16, 2017



Yes, my sympathies to you. This happened to an inlaw of mine. I knew him in high school and everyone loved him. He had a severe problem and ended up passing very young, in his 40s. I talked to him right before that and felt that horrible feeling of helplessness. I could not reach him or do anything about it.

I pray for your young son, also. I hate what alcohol/drugs does to people and their families. I wish I could go into battle with it. I was thinking this the other day-how much I hate it. And, feeling that powerless feeling to stop it.

When my son was younger, I told him all the bad effects that could happen. Told him stories of people I knew. It did not help. He is so hard on his body. It scares me.
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