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Alcoholism Damage and How To Deal With It

Updated on October 9, 2013

Some Thoughts Before We Begin


"There are zillions of people who say that alcoholism is a disease, but not many of them believe it."
Mercedes McCambridge

This will not be an article filled with sugar-coating. I have rubbed shoulders with alcoholics for over twenty years now, and I have lost far too many friends to this disease. I am tired of patting people on the head and saying that everything will be okay, and then a month later burying them.

If you are looking for a kinder, gentler way then stop reading this right now. I’m not in the mood to be kind or gentle, and I’m tired of seeing the damage that this disease causes. Alcoholism is a killing machine, and it takes no prisoners. The alcoholic is not safe, their family is not safe…nobody associated with the alcoholic is safe.

I write this for those of you who have a friend or loved one who is an alcoholic. There are endless articles focused on the disease, and there are endless articles focused on the alcoholic, but this article is focused solely on those of you who must deal with the alcoholic in your life.

There are very definite dos and don’ts and it is important that you know what they are. Perhaps this article will provide some relief for you as you take your next step. That is my hope.

The picture of an alcoholic who reached out for help.
The picture of an alcoholic who reached out for help. | Source

Take Care of Yourself

Realize, first of all, that none of this is your fault. Nobody can force an alcoholic to drink. That is a silly notion that needs to end now. This is a disease, and no force on earth can end the disease or cure the disease. The only person who can take steps to handle the disease is the alcoholic.

Thus, if you are a loved one and/or family member, you must take care of yourself so that you do not become another statistic.

One of the most important steps in taking care of yourself is to bring alcoholism out of the closet. There is an old saying in AA that we are only as sick as our secrets. There is a social stigma to alcoholism. You know what I’m talking about, the concept that the alcoholic is weak, that they have no backbone, that they are just worthless drunks. That kind of stinkin’ thinkin’ causes many people to hide the disease. It is natural to do that and it is damaging.

There is no shame in being related to an alcoholic unless you choose to find shame in it. Stop changing your life to fit the alcoholic behavior. Start doing things that make you feel good about yourself. Go to the gym; go on walks; go visit friends and begin to re-build you life in a healthy fashion.

My son has grown up understanding the dangers of enabling an alcoholic
My son has grown up understanding the dangers of enabling an alcoholic | Source

Do Not Enable

We all want to help, but oftentimes in our attempts to help we make matters worse. Quit trying to be the alcoholic’s safety net. Quit making excuses for them. Quit giving them money to drink. Quit hiding the truth from friends and co-workers.

In other words, stop making it easier for the alcoholic to continue their self-destructive behavior. I have written at length about enabling and you can read more about that here.

Seek Help

Do not try to battle this disease by yourself. You will lose the battle, and the spoils of war may be the life of your loved one and your own sanity and self-worth.

There are numerous support groups in every city in the world. Alcoholism is that large a problem. You will have no trouble finding a group that can provide support for you. Al Anon is one such group, and they do wonderful work in establishing a network in which you can thrive, or at the very least in which you can function.

Call on your friends and family members for support and help, and if the problem becomes one that can no longer be tolerated then plan on an intervention. Bring all the loved ones of the alcoholic together, with the alcoholic, and have an honest, heartfelt discussion about the damage that is being caused by the alcoholic’s behavior. Is this a difficult step? Of course it is, but it might be the step that finally convinces the alcoholic that they need help.

There is hope
There is hope | Source

RESEARCH


"We are not cured of alcoholism. What we have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our daily activities."
William Griffith Wilson

If your loved one had cancer you would do as much research as possible about that disease. I feel safe in saying the same is true of any disease that you or a loved one may face. Do the same with alcoholism. Knowledge is power and understanding the baffling characteristics of alcoholism is a huge step in planning for the future.

You must understand what you are dealing with. Alcoholism is an obsession of the mind and a physical craving of the body, and it is a disease that will remain with the alcoholic for their entire life. Many find sobriety and live normal and productive lives for decades after they have sought help. Many die.

There are endless support groups out there to help you gain an understanding about this disease. Find one that works for you and let them help you.

Knowledge is power!

A look at the brain chemistry of an alcoholic

Love Does Not Conquer All

You cannot conquer this disease with love. My relatives tried and they failed miserably. You can provide support and understanding. You can give unconditional love as you would for anyone who is ill. However, you cannot beat this disease by simply loving the patient. It simply does not work.

There will come a time in the alcoholic’s drinking career when alcohol becomes more important than family and friends. They will lie to protect themselves and their precious alcohol. They might seek the comfort of someone who is willing to allow them to drink unabated. They quite possibly will steal to pay for their habit. The obsession will become that strong and no love on earth will stop the obsession.

Still, you must love them. You would not stop loving a cancer victim, and alcoholism is a disease. Love from a distance if that is necessary for your own safety, but love nonetheless.

Sit with me and let's talk about alcoholism

A Bleak Picture?

Yes, indeed, it is a bleak picture, and you need to be aware of it now rather than later when they are placing your loved one in a body bag.

Hopefully these tips will lessen the damage in your lives. Hold onto the hope that things can and will get better. Take the steps necessary to limit the damage. Provide love and understanding but in no way enable the diseased, and above all protect yourself and your children so that alcoholism does not claim any more victims.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Laurie, I'm glad you found this helpful. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • profile image

      Laurie 2 years ago

      Wow, i have booked marked all of your info. Im a member of Al-Anon. Im a no sugar coat reality person. I love atricles that say it as it is non of the pussy footing. Grateful to have read this and im going to share it all over my facebook. Thank you so much

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beth, my hubs do reach a lot of people but I am never satisfied.....I want to reach many more and try to bring some happiness and contentment to more lives. :) Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Beth37 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. It looks as if your hubs reach a lot of ppl. I hope you can help many with your story.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      prasetio, thank you very much my friend, and God bless you as well.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Something excessive is not good for us, including with the alcohol. Thanks for share your personal experience with us. I hope many people will follow you. Voted up and God bless you :-)

      Prasetio

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dim, I don't mind at all, and thank you! As you say, if it helps one person then I will be a very grateful recovering alcoholic.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

      Wow! That was a harsh "shooting from the hip" hub and I loved it.

      I know you are right in all you say here. Tough love is the only love that helps.

      Helping the person to see that there IS life after alcohol was one of the most difficult things in my situation.

      You write so well. I hope this hub helps many people.... or only one....it will be worth it.

      Hope you don´t mind if I share this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, it is a miracle that I am here and still functioning on a certain level. Thank you for your kind words. I am living proof that there is always hope. :)

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, you are always such a source of hope and inspiration to me. When I think of your journey (and struggle) with alcohol, I am grateful for everyone who stopped the madness and allowed you to make the choice to get sober. They, in their wisdom, have given the world a gift. I celebrate you my friend and am grateful for every moment that you are free from the effects of this disease.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you said it perfectly. It seems cruel to leave the alcoholic to face the consequences, but you have to if they are ever going to find the path to recovery. By doing nothing to help them you are, in fact, helping them. :)

      Thank you my dear friend. Have a great Sunday!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Wise words Kindred. Been there, done that, and eventually had to walk away after years of enabling. I understand the stigma and the shame, having lived through one embarrassing moment after the other. I lived with the fear but after getting involved with a support group, I finally saw the light. Understanding the disease gave me courage and - compassion. Understanding is the key, most certainly. I hope those who are frozen in their fear will read your words and take them to heart. It is not cruel to make the alcoholic face the consequences of their choice to drink. It may be the only kind thing one can do to open the door to sobriety and healing. Great job!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, we can only hope. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great work, Billy. You sure didn't sugar coat this, and I'm glad that you didn't. It might just save a life or two.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alcohol is a strong enough addiction, Conservative, to give up everything that we hold dear to us. Sad but true, and I'm sorry for your loss and the pain you had to endure.

      Thank you for sharing your story.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I would agree that alcohol helped shape who I am today.....and in an odd way I am grateful for that.

      Thank you for your insight.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Darknlovely, sadly there is no cure for any alcoholic. There is no cure for this disease. One can learn to live a normal life without drinking, but the disease will always be there.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 4 years ago from NewYork

      my x was an alcoholics for more that 30 years.. I guess no cure for him.......

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Though the doctors do not agree, I think alcohol made me the way I am now. But I don't have to worry anymore. My body will not accept alcohol.

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      My first husband is an alcoholic - I tried to "cure" him for a good ten years, spent another 5 years begging for him to stop for the kids sake. Finally I had to divorce him for my sanity and the kids wellbeing. That was many years ago, he is remarried, still drinking, lost his business, his driver license, and his kids. Alcohol must be a strong addiction to give up your kids. Thank you for sharing. Voted Up, Useful, and Interesting

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, all I know is that alcoholics have some genes that do not process alcohol through the system like normal people, and that leads to a physical craving. The actual medical explanation is beyond me. :) Sorry I don't have a better answer for you, but thank you for sharing so much personal information about your family.

      Have a great weekend, Ruby, and thank you for your friendship.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bill i grew up with an alcoholic Stepfather, who beat my mother. I hated him with purple passion. The father of my son took his life after a drinking binge. I had already divorced him which made his drinking much worse. We just recently burried my nephew Tom, my sisters son. he was 58. He had cirrhosis of the liver from drinking since a teenager. I had a brother Fred who was an alcoholic and died much too soon. What is puzzeling to me is that some can drink and not become alcoholics. I enjoy a mixed drink but have no desire to drink until i am drunk. Like you say it is a desease, but i still wonder why some can drink and not become alcoholics while others can not. I do believe it is genetic. Thank you again for giving us a venue to vent. Peace my friend..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jellygator, thank you for the personal comment. I am of the belief that the more honesty that is shared about addiction, the better off everyone will be. For far too long this disease has been placed in the closet so no one could see it. It's time we all face the fact that the disease is not going away. We can all draw strength from one another on this journey of potholes.

      You are absolutely correct about the functional alcoholic. Many an alcoholic holds down a job and makes it through a good portion of their lives drunk and active. I was never one of those and I paid the price twice.

      Thank you again and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LK, thank you! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • LKMore01 profile image

      LKMore01 4 years ago

      Powerful, honest and as always inspiring, Billy.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      I had an alcoholic stepfather who went on binges where he'd sell anything of value, lose control of his bowels, and wind up travelling to other states with no recollection of how he got there or who robbed him. Then I married to an alcoholic. When we split, I got involved with another alcoholic who joined AA. I attended many, many open meetings with him - several a week for over a year. During that year, one of the men from his meetings committed suicide by drinking so much that he literally died - over a gallon of vodka, according to the rumors - and another man who relapsed and was found dead in a city park with a bench across his neck.

      Some of these things influenced my decision to become a drug and alcohol counselor, which I do not practice any longer. I agree, sugarcoating isn't a good idea. And I'd like to add one thing to something you said.

      You wrote about the stigma of alcoholism, "You know what I’m talking about, the concept that the alcoholic is weak, that they have no backbone, that they are just worthless drunks." This is true, but there is another misconception that's equally misleading: That if a person is not weak, can function on the job, and doesn't get drunk every day or every weekend, then they cannot be alcoholic. This is just not true.

      As you said, it's a disease. It affects people in different (although somewhat predictable) ways. A person can be an alcoholic and appear to be highly successful. So if anyone is reading this because they're wondering if a loved one is alcoholic, the answer is, "If you have to ask, then there's probably an addiction issue."

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, by helping others I help myself, so I think I'll just keep on doing it. :) Goodwill and selfishness all rolled up into a nice neat package. LOL Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great message Bill. You didn't sugar coat this and I think that's the way it has to be. If you enable a friend loved you are not doing them or yourself any favors. I congratulate you for dealing this disease. You got through this for a reason, perhaps to helps others with their own demons. Great job.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cam, let me congratulate you on your four years now. Thank you for your kind words. If we keep doing what we are doing we'll keep getting what we are getting, and that's fine by me. :)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Congratulations on six years of sobriety, Bill. Thank you for a strong hub with excellent content. The personal touch with the video just made it better. In fifty-five days I will have four years. Like you, I do not fight anymore. The promises of AA say that the craving to drink will pass quickly if we do the work, and that promise has come true for me as it has for you. Keep reaching out to those who reach out for help and I will as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shea! I hope you are well my friend.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 4 years ago from new jersey

      great as always billy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I hope that person reads this then. Not that I hold out much hope of it changing things, but stranger things have happened. It takes what it takes my friend; sometimes people never do find the answer and they die lonely and broken. I don't plan on going out that way. Life is too good for me to return to the old days.

      Thank you as always dear lady. Loving the angels and sending hubs and blessings back your way.

      bill

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      You have so candidly shared this part of your life with us...Bill. And I hope that those who really need it are reading. I lived in a bottle for a while...and it was a lonely, scary place to be. I am not quite sure how I found my way out but I did. I read your words and know that what you say is true. It is the one who is doing the drinking that is at fault.

      I have a family member right now who is a drunk. There is no polite way to put it. This person has been in rehab...voluntary and court ordered. And nothing has worked. I firmly believe that the individual has not owned the scourge that has taken over. It is so sad as this is a relatively young person who has a promising future if it does not slip away.

      I am posting this on FB...perhaps it will be read by that person.

      Sending you many Angels and blessings and hugs today. :) ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lea my dear, I hope you are well and thank you for sharing such a personal story. More stories like that one need to be shared so people know they are not alone in this struggle. Alcoholism has been hidden for far too long because of shame. It needs to be front and center in the news and on the lips of people like your sister, so that more people are aware of the dangers.

      Thank you dear lady!

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billybuc: Voted up, useful and interesting. My sister was married to an alcoholic, and it finally got to the point where I had to tell her if he had ONE drink on Christmas morning he would not be welcome in our home. He ruined so many family gatherings. Of course I was the bad person, and she would just come to the house in tears, which did not help the atmosphere. We had terrible fights over his drinking. She always defended him.

      Our parents were both alcoholics, but they did not raise us, so we were able to escape that.

      After 8 years of marriage my sister's husband finally committed suicide, and she found his body. (1993) He blew his head off with a rifle, and we had to clean up the mess.

      It was just a terrible time.

      So I totally get it ...everything you said. THANK YOU for not sugar coating it. We need more people like you to speak up. SO much appreciate this very candid and informative hub. PS: my sister is doing great now. She has totally recovered and she is just a beautiful person. We remain very close.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, I hope it does as well because it is a horrible way to live....and die.

      Thank you!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Billy, for many years my father suffered from acute depression, but luckily he did not become an alcoholic. However, I have seen my neighbor die from dropsy. I hope your story inspires people who need help.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      onegreen, you are right about that. This topic needs to be written about and the demon needs to be dragged out into the public eye for all to see. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, you mentioned protecting their space. Good observation because every alcoholic I have known, and I have known a ton of them, has that characteristic. We want our space, we want our drinking time, and we push away anything that threatens those two things.

      Thank you as always and have a great weekend.

    • onegreenparachute profile image

      Carol 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      Great, straight forward article Bill and good-on-ya! There will never be too much written on the demon.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      One thing is that alcohol is relatively cheap in comparison to drugs...and you can buy some pretty bad stuff for little money. I think we all have known or presently know alcoholics and they are most always in denial and often talk about those who are alcoholics...They just like to drink. I have noticed some interesting traits in alcoholics..one of which they will not make plans for future get togethers and protect their space so they can drink or know they are going to drink. Fortunately we drink in moderation and 1 or 2 maximum..However I can see the addiction and what it ultimately does to people..and some function thru their lives in fairly good health and avoid DUIs etc...and even keep families together...However most suffer some infirmities of different sources. Thanks for the honesty and your writing about this. As always..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, back when I was drinking, that is all the reason I would have needed to pour me another drink. :) Self-deceit is a wonderful thing. :) Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Erik, I went to great lengths to hide my disease and I fooled nobody. LOL What a waste of time and effort.

      Thank you Sir and have a great weekend.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Just out Bill, they are saying alcohol causes cancer, as few as two drinks a day. Men and women. Bad news but maybe it is an incentive those who have too many excuses will listen to. Great write as always. ^

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great straight forward article Bill. While there is nothing funny about the issue, I always get a chuckle out of the raging alcoholic not wanting any one to know. I suppose sometimes when we get sick we are the last to know.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yvonne, it is baffling on the best of days. I have seen that, too, where children of raging alcoholic still start drinking, like they are ten feet tall and bulletproof. It is destined for tragedy and yet they have to find out for themselves.

      Sad? Oh yes, this is a very sad disease.

      Thank you my friend; have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, your family has certainly paid its dues with this disease. Blessings to you my dear and what a great story of celebration about your son. I hope he remains on that path, but if he should stray it is obvious that he is surrounded by love and hopefully will make his way back. Now look at all of the people he helps, and he is raising a family, and a new legacy is being written. What a marvel!

      Thank you dear lady.

      love,

      bill

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      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      Bill, where I grew up alcoholism was and is rife, so I know many people who have died from it. The sad thing is that even seeing their parents die from alcohol was not enough to keep some from starting to drink, and now they close to the edge themselves but seem unable to stop. It's sad. This is a worthwhile hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      wildove, if this hub made you feel less alone then I am a very happy writer. This is an ugly disease. I am so sorry about your daughter and no, you don't feel any better, but perhaps your decision not to enable will be the decision that brings her to her senses. We can only hope, pray and love. My best to you and your daughter, and if you should ever need to correspond with someone who does understand, you can write to me at holland1145@yahoo.com.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Powerful write here, Bill!

      In dealing with this horrible disease of addiction, one does not need to sugar-coat anything, as lives are at stake without a doubt! You have stressed one of the most important elements in supporting another family member or friend's recovery and that being, do not be an enabler!!! That is very crucial, as if one wants to see a loved one recover, if ever! I know when my son battled this disease of addiction at a very young age, and we flat-out told him he was an alcoholic and addict, and he had to make a choice of admitting that fact and getting help or he could not longer live in our home, as it was so very destructive to the whole family. That was the hardest decision to make as a parent, but we knew it had to be made, with much prayer and strength from the Lord. Well, my son did just that, thank God, and his rehab took the very first time at age 19, before he had any children. Now, he helps hundreds, if not thousands of people who suffer from this horrendous disease. He continues with his AA meetings each week and they have him speaking all over the state to help others and share his testimony as to his recovery, and it is not a pretty story! Even at his very young age, he helps those in their 40s, 50s and older. He has been sober for over five years now, and is a great dad to his chilren (now at the young age of 24), and I have my son back. When my dad came back from two wars and suffered with PTSD, the only way he knew of back then, was to cope with alcohol, and so it was very sad to watch and hear him suffering as a child in the middle of the night. Sadly, this disease runs in my family, and you have also made another great point that, if one had cancer, one would surely get treatment! Same here, as a lot do understand this is a disease, and a deadly one at that!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Hugs and blessings always, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeff, thank you for sharing that personal side of you and you are very welcome. Yes, it is very hard battling this disease. I am in a very good place right now, and the battle has subsided, but I know how bad things can get if I decide to drop my guard for long.

      Best wishes to you, Jeff!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, that is high praise indeed and I thank you dear lady. Yes, there is tremendous guilt in the family members....if only they had acted differently....if only they had spoken differently...if only they had loved more. And there was nothing they could have done to change it all. It is sad.

      Thank you my dear friend.

      love,

      bill

    • wildove5 profile image

      wildove5 4 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      I just recently published a hub regarding addiction when I came across yours. I cannot thank you enough for writing this hub. I am familiar with the 12 step program and all that it teaches us. Taking care of ourselves is the hardest one! My daughter is an addict, I have stopped enabling, threatening and begging. I am powerless, but it certainly doesn't feel any better, yet your hub made me feel less alone! Thanks

    • jpesch1 profile image

      Jane Peschel 4 years ago from Currently living in Franklin, Wisconsin

      I struggle to not feel guilt for how my brother became an alcoholic! I can't say for certain that his childhood pushed him to seek out someone or something that wouldn't judge him, but I feel that if he had had a strong mentor during formative years, he would have cared more about himself. No, I can't change anything now, I just want other's to think about how we treat each other, how we raise our kids, and how we judge them. My brother made his own choices but there is more to the story!

    • profile image

      JThomp42 4 years ago

      Bill, your words are golden my friend. I do not often talk about it, but I am a recovering alcoholic myself. The points you have made in this hub are so dead on it gave me goose bumps and the tear did flow. It is so hard to battle this disease. This I'm positive you know all about. Thank you so much for this one my friend!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Bill,

      Your words are so solid, supportive and practical...I have co-led many support groups where family thinks they can "love someone better". It is heartbreaking to see the guilt that family and friends take on themselves.

      I thoroughly support and appreciate your emphasis on self care. You are a nurse at heart!! Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      sherrituck, it is an ugly disease and its effects last generations. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, thank you for reading although you really had no reason to. You really are a wonderful friend. Thank you!

    • sherrituck profile image

      Sherri Tuck 4 years ago from Virginia

      My grandfather was an alcoholic. Although he passed on when I was 2, I still see the effects of his alcoholism on my father. When I was younger, I never really understood why my father hated alcohol. When I became older, I started to understand.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Beautiful article Bill and for me it still hits home this topic from my ex and learned truly the hard way about enabling and not to do it. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!!