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The End of my Addiction

"Drinking to oblivion"


Molly78
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Just watched this documentary on BBC 2. Presented by Louis Theroux, well known in the UK as a presenter of programmes looking at the slightly weird & offbeat such as strange religions, porn stars etc. Some of his stuff is on Netflix. This time he was at a major London hospital following the fate of some alcoholics being "treated" there - except of course they weren't being treated at all, they were just being told they had terminal cirrhosis, or being admitted for detox from A&E. A selection of useless doctors & Specialist nurses all looking grim, shaking their heads, wondering why these strange people couldn't see that they needed to stop drinking, giving their opinion on the likelihood of each of them staying sober long term.......

I just wanted to shout at the TV "WHY ARE YOU NOT TREATING THESE SICK PEOPLE INSTEAD OF FILMING THEM FOR ENTERTAINMENT??"

Anyone out there in the UK, don't bother to watch it unless you feel like getting worked up.

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Funnily enough Molly until I read your last sentence I was going to "catch up"

I'm not a fan of Theroux and after your comment I wont bother - Thanks for saving me an hour of my life :)

Regards

 

Bacman

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I'll watch it, I've had those looks even way back when I was bulimic (although that was only 1 quick trip), to the time when a steroid injection went wrong (yeah).............................to all the times I was in as a result of my drinking behaviour (usually taking overdoses when drunk, plus couple of accidents).

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By the way, it was watching another BBC documentary, which was equally as sad called 'Rain in my Heart' (available on youtube) that was part of the motivation for me to change. A woman they featured was about 3-4 years older than me, yet looked 20 years older. She was so sad, and so frail I didn't want to end up like her, the complications she was suffering including damage to her looks were mostly irreversible. I'd never have forgiven myself. I started to want to change.

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ok I've watched it now, my heart went out to the young bearded man who had 4 years AF, relapsed and was soooo scared. I remember that fear, fear of no longer being numb. Also looking at wounds and shaky legs. The good news is that he did make a total recovery in the end.

I had seen responses to a review of this programme claiming that 8 cans a day wasn't alcoholic. 8 x 500ml 8.4% cider can be 4 units per can (3.4 if the slightly smaller 440ml size). So that's a woman drinking 25-32 UK units PER DAY. That's 3 bottles of wine...........around the same I drank daily when on a session which could be in a few hours, or spread out over 8 hours for 1 day or 5 days.

This type of documentary I use for selfish reasons to remind me of what lay in store for me, where I've come from and thank my stars that I got out of there. Sure they could offer treatment but unless an alcoholic wants it, and in my experience (sorry I'm very hard probably because I did it, and have seen others do it to) blethering on about being sorry, crying, blaming this that and the other doesn't necessarily mean the person is ready for that help - it can go on like that hundreds of times.

So I don't know what else they can do. Of course meds could be offered, however my opinion based on what I've experienced and seen the alcoholic needs to want to take them, and take them properly.

I do however agree that alcohol services are poorly funded, an after thought and most of the time totally ineffective. I'd like to see GPs specialising in addiction just as often as they specialise in paediatrics and gynae stuff then they can improve their empathy, and recommend the most effective treatments. Currently this isn't happening.

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On 4/26/2016 at 3:23 PM, Molly78 said:

I just wanted to shout at the TV "WHY ARE YOU NOT TREATING THESE SICK PEOPLE INSTEAD OF FILMING THEM FOR ENTERTAINMENT??"

Anyone out there in the UK, don't bother to watch it unless you feel like getting worked up.

I agree with Bacman, Molly. Thanks for saving me the time. I swear to all I hold dear that 90% of what is made available to the public is the same kind of garbage. Worst-case-scenario situations where the people with alcoholism are treated as though they should just STOP ALREADY, instead of having a deadly brain disorder. (Which is EXACTLY what we have, dammit, according to ALL OF THE RESEARCH. Aaaaaaaargh.) I witnessed the same exact thing when I worked in the Emergency Room during my rotations for school. No meds, no nothing, unless there was a chance of major withdrawal symptoms, and even then the meds given very reluctantly. Then discharged with an order to see a (very expensive) psychiatrist...So effin' frustrating. 

19 hours ago, phoenix said:

By the way, it was watching another BBC documentary, which was equally as sad called 'Rain in my Heart' (available on youtube) that was part of the motivation for me to change. 

So funny to me that Rain in My Heart helped you. It made me FURIOUS. We all find different motivations from different things...Just like we all find different things that work for us to end our own addictions. 

1 hour ago, phoenix said:

...Sure they could offer treatment but unless an alcoholic wants it, and in my experience (sorry I'm very hard probably because I did it, and have seen others do it to) blethering on about being sorry, crying, blaming this that and the other doesn't necessarily mean the person is ready for that help - it can go on like that hundreds of times.

So I don't know what else they can do. Of course meds could be offered, however my opinion based on what I've experienced and seen the alcoholic needs to want to take them, and take them properly.

All due respect, Phoenix, I totally disagree with the fact that a person has to be "ready" for help. I think if people knew that there was something other than 12-step treatments that insisted on absolute abstinence (something that some of us can never hope to achieve) then they might be willing to try different and more effective things. 

Not to mention that being made to feel like shit when you're at your worst, looking for help from medical professionals who don't know anything about the disease and insist it's someone's "fault" that they can't just stop makes the whole thing a cycle of shame and remorse, without any support, and eventually a return to the only thing that ever worked to make it feel better...booze.

At least that was my experience in and out of AA for 20 years, 3 rehabs and countless hours of therapy. During which time I was desperately trying to quit drinking and finding nothing but scorn or shame (or both) at the end of the experience, without any offers of medication or solutions other than the 12-steps. Which I've done at least 3 times and didn't keep me sober. Just kept me from admitting it. It's one of the reasons I don't keep secrets about my drinking at all anymore. I can't tell you how many years I kept it hidden, even as I was trying to help other people stop. Very, very bad for me (and them, I suppose). 

Anyway. I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant. I suppose it is. It isn't directed at you, of course, but at the state of treatment. Until medical professionals start getting educated about this disease, the best we can hope for is that when people are desperate they find a sympathetic ear, rather than scorn and derision. :(

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Spot on, Ne - you don't have to be "ready for help" if you present to a doc with diabetes. You're just told  "You have a condition which is treatable with XYZ, here's what I recommend..." Then you get your script & you're away.

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Also, the comments under "Rain in my heart" are interesting - a mix of rants about alcoholics being stupid people who can't see that they should just stop drinking, & some posts trying to offer actual help, bac & nal being mentioned. These posts are mainly ignored, but then the sort of people who comment on You Tube tend to be mainly complete idiots IMO - if they are spending their time posting on You Tube they clearly don't have a life.

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21 hours ago, Ne1 said:

I agree with Bacman, Molly. Thanks for saving me the time. I swear to all I hold dear that 90% of what is made available to the public is the same kind of garbage. Worst-case-scenario situations where the people with alcoholism are treated as though they should just STOP ALREADY, instead of having a deadly brain disorder. (Which is EXACTLY what we have, dammit, according to ALL OF THE RESEARCH. Aaaaaaaargh.) I witnessed the same exact thing when I worked in the Emergency Room during my rotations for school. No meds, no nothing, unless there was a chance of major withdrawal symptoms, and even then the meds given very reluctantly. Then discharged with an order to see a (very expensive) psychiatrist...So effin' frustrating. 

So funny to me that Rain in My Heart helped you. It made me FURIOUS. We all find different motivations from different things...Just like we all find different things that work for us to end our own addictions. 

All due respect, Phoenix, I totally disagree with the fact that a person has to be "ready" for help. I think if people knew that there was something other than 12-step treatments that insisted on absolute abstinence (something that some of us can never hope to achieve) then they might be willing to try different and more effective things. 

Not to mention that being made to feel like shit when you're at your worst, looking for help from medical professionals who don't know anything about the disease and insist it's someone's "fault" that they can't just stop makes the whole thing a cycle of shame and remorse, without any support, and eventually a return to the only thing that ever worked to make it feel better...booze.

At least that was my experience in and out of AA for 20 years, 3 rehabs and countless hours of therapy. During which time I was desperately trying to quit drinking and finding nothing but scorn or shame (or both) at the end of the experience, without any offers of medication or solutions other than the 12-steps. Which I've done at least 3 times and didn't keep me sober. Just kept me from admitting it. It's one of the reasons I don't keep secrets about my drinking at all anymore. I can't tell you how many years I kept it hidden, even as I was trying to help other people stop. Very, very bad for me (and them, I suppose). 

Anyway. I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant. I suppose it is. It isn't directed at you, of course, but at the state of treatment. Until medical professionals start getting educated about this disease, the best we can hope for is that when people are desperate they find a sympathetic ear, rather than scorn and derision. :(

Ne not at all.

I too felt that failure, it was terrible and that is now inspiring me to base my new business on working with people to find THEIR solution, the way that works for them, not a prescribed 'this is the only way' - that setting up for failure because you 'can't' follow something that plainly doesn't work for you, not because you cannot work it. It's all over my notes for the service I'm planning to offer.

All because I have been through that not only with alcohol, but also with my eating issues and a whole lot more. Each and every time I was 'told' which way would work, when it didn't I felt hopeless. It even happened with Baclofen, when I was told that was the answer......and felt a failure when it wasn't.  Luckily I then found TSM, and absolutely flew. What I'd like to see is people find the way that will make them fly, without having to go through all the shiiiiity struggle we've had.

 

Like you I tried everything, AA, rehabs, other meds, meditation, making myself busy, everything been there done it.

 

I'm talking about not wanting it from a position of knowledge and options, not from not being offered viable options.

 

I suspect we are on the same page, we simply just keep on missing each other.

Edited by phoenix
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43 minutes ago, phoenix said:

All because I have been through that not only with alcohol, but also with my eating issues and a whole lot more. Each and every time I was 'told' which way would work, when it didn't I felt hopeless. It even happened with Baclofen, when I was told that was the answer......and felt a failure when it wasn't.  Luckily I then found TSM, and absolutely flew. What I'd like to see is people find the way that will make them fly, without having to go through all the shiiiiity struggle we've had.

I think we're on the same page, too, phoenix, based on all the other conversations we've had, too. 

I remember and know I was a part of the whole baclofen debacle and a very belated apology from me for that. 

I'm really glad that you've found a way out, are still posting about it, and are working on bringing it into 3D. It's SO important that we do those things when we find a solution for ourselves. My therapist gave me this great quote when I wasn't sure that working on this forum was a good idea: 

Far more people are lost in their suffering than are well enough to hear the call...It is our responsibility to share the knowledge we are gaining through our experiences so our stories may help lift others out of suffering and into the light.

~Gabrielle Bernstein

 

18 hours ago, Molly78 said:

Spot on, Ne - you don't have to be "ready for help" if you present to a doc with diabetes. You're just told  "You have a condition which is treatable with XYZ, here's what I recommend..." Then you get your script & you're away.

Perfect analogy, Molly. And like people with diabetes, it's up to the person to make the changes and take the medications. Also similar to diabetes, it takes lifestyle changes that are really challenging and demanding in order to control the disease. It's also, in terms of Type 2 Diabetes, very much a function of 1. Genetics 2. Brain chemistry 3. What we're taught early and 4. Lifestyle choices. 

Unlike diabetes, alcoholism/addiction are only now beginning to be researched and understood. And it goes without saying that the medications/solutions are still 50 years behind...>:(

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At the risk of being somewhat controversial, the whole "ready for help" thing has an element of truth to it, precisely because it's a mental disease, imho. If I didn't think I had diabetes, I would turn down the treatment prescribed for diabetes, so no matter how easy the "cure" may be. I still have to realise I have the disease before I will commit to getting better. From personal experience, it took me a while to realise that I was the one responsible for fucking everything up by drinking so much, and having all sorts of "unlucky" accidents, arguments, etc.

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16 minutes ago, bleep said:

...If I didn't think I had diabetes, I would turn down the treatment prescribed for diabetes, so no matter how easy the "cure" may be. ...

Used to be that people who had diabetes didn't know they had it until things started to go horribly awry. Now it's pretty easy to get a diagnosis of diabetes, because when people start to show the symptoms, it's something that doctors identify. 

Unlike with alcoholism. People who have alcoholism can achieve a lot, be productive, etc...And a single DUI, or failed marriage, or repercussions at work can be blamed on lots of other things. Until that moment when you realize it's the booze. And you. And nothing else.

When all other factors change, and the results remain the same, and the only constant is you...Well, guess what? You might be an alcoholic. You know what I mean? 

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I seem to be bouncing between analogies at the moment given what I've just posted on my story thread, so forgive me if my diabetic patient gets a rash in this post. I do know what you mean, but then there is the stigma, and the incentive to deny that you have a rash, or are alcoholic. As soon as you say, quietly one day, in the back of your brain, "hey, maybe these people are right, I might be an alcoholic," it then becomes your responsibility to do something about it. And until lately, your choices were extremely limited - either be an alcoholic fuck-up, or quit, with the dubious assistance of a bunch of drunks. (not an AA bash, just what went through my head when it first began formulating as an idea that I was alcoholic). So there's an active disincentive to say a problem exists, and therefore an active disinterest in treatment. Unlike the dude with diabetes, who is delighted (you know what i mean) to get the diagnosis, and keen to start treatment.

 

Hopefully this will change as society (maybe) loses the stigma, and realises that hey, no, that guy isn't drinking himself to death because he's sat down and chosen to do so, and also as medical treatments gain prominence over ideologies.

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I know what you mean about the stigma. But that's partly because people haven't accepted that alcoholism IS a disease, as much as diabetes is. I guess all mental illness has a stigma attached, but every other person these days seems to admit to "depression" without feeling too embarrassed about it, & your doctor is likely to suggest treatment rather than tell you to "pull yourself together". In both the programmes mentioned above the alcoholics are treated as though they are making a lifestyle choice.  

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I used to really like to get super drunk all night while watching episodes of "Intervention" on A&E. Then sometimes I would watch _Leaving Las Vegas_. I would go to the doctor a lot more often back then, and go get myself into counseling, and whatever. Found out I'm almost healthy but a mental wreck. That was 4 or so years ago, though, so who knows if I'm still healthy. Can't stand doctors. 

Anyway f**k those days.

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19 hours ago, Molly78 said:

I know what you mean about the stigma. But that's partly because people haven't accepted that alcoholism IS a disease, as much as diabetes is. I guess all mental illness has a stigma attached, but every other person these days seems to admit to "depression" without feeling too embarrassed about it, & your doctor is likely to suggest treatment rather than tell you to "pull yourself together". In both the programmes mentioned above the alcoholics are treated as though they are making a lifestyle choice.  

So many just don't understand it.

In my recovery I've retrained in counselling and psychotherapy - now fully qualified, and the wide range of reactions I've had are interesting some quite scary. I've had people ask me why I want to sit in a room listening to other people's problems. For a short while I did some work in a rehab, "uugh that's going to be depressing". Others have talked about the 'nutters' I'll be seeing.

Then again so many don't understand what C&P is anyway, or are scared to talk about feelings. Upon announcing my qualification a student on a different course got really uppity when I couldn't 'tell her' what to do about something which affects her life. I explained that my training is to sit alongside and explore the feelings surrounding whatever she feels is important. The swift turn of her back and turn up of her nose, was to me total rejection but only for a moment and I could work through it. It was obvious that talking about feelings isn't for her.

It also isn't for everyone, however going for counselling is still considered by many to be a weakness, even clients themselves which I think is really sad, because I know how much bravery it takes to get to confront those dark places.

 

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Ok - So I did watch it

And yes on the whole, I suppose I did waste my time - I agree with the lack of support as an end product but with the exception of a couple of "comical" moments I found it very sad

Yeah the guy 4 years sober with recent dips got himself sorted - For how long - FFS he attended A & E three times in 24 hours - "We do not know what to do with him" said the nurse - Yes I agree, I was very pissed off at this point

But the South African who was prescribed Propranolol for his anxiety, seemed to be sober - But the underlying issues were not addressed 

As I said I may have wasted my time but it was slightly interesting

Regards

 

Bacman

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