Family alcoholism, AA, and anxiety/depression

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Myself 09
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 6098
   Posted 5/9/2017 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
My aunt who passed away recently was the only sibling of my father. They had a childhood fraught with moving, separations between their parents, being dropped off with family members (and periodically strangers.) Their father was mercurial--their mother practical but self-centered.

They both grew up to be alcoholics. Were my grandparents drinkers? No way to tell--though my grandmother would have been pretty functional.

My father never stopped drinking. He had an ulcer--and gave up cigars and hard liquor to try to keep it in check. He had high anxiety. His marriage tanked, and his children were distant. He loved to dance and to listen to Dixieland. He was clearly self-medicating. Like his father before him, Dad never managed to really become successful, full of self-doubt and a lack of drive.

My aunt stopped drinking,and joined AA in the 1980s. Her anniversary dates show a few lapses, but she celebrated 28 years of sobriety before her death. She channeled her anxiety into her career,and the things she loved. Her animals were her companions. She cooked and gardened. She was heavily involved in local politics, her small town, and her church. She loved her friends. She was always up for a challenge. She took the energy and anxiety,and built something beautiful and fiercely individual with it. In other words, she embraced the fear, and seems to have largely succeeded at keeping the monsters at bay.

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41931
   Posted 5/9/2017 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
In my opinion alcohol can ruin our lives especially if it isn't under control or in moderation. It ruined my family when I was a child. Actually before I was even born.

I am happy your aunt stopped drinking and did well. Many do. But there are some that don't.

I stay away from it. I use to like an occasional glass of wine or beer, but since have lost the taste for it. And yes I actually loved the taste of beer for years. But I think with my child hood experiences and seeing other's lives ruined, I never drank a lot. I didn't like the buzz actually or getting drunk.

I am glad you shared this. Some will learn from it. Alcoholism is a disease like depression is. Or maybe addiction is the word.

Hugs, Karen...
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BnotAfraid
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Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7179
   Posted 5/10/2017 3:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Both my patents were alcies.., biological grandad on mothers side reportedly was. Never met him.

I drank a lot of beer in my time, but I can count on one hand the plaster face instances.

I don't drink at all now.

But I can spot an alcoholic lickity split!

Your Aunt is an inspiration! I am sure her presence at AA did more for people than you will ever find out! You can be proud of her. Pass down her story and her legacy. Faceing our monsters
as we all know, is not an easy task. To do it for 28years. That is COURAGE!

You come from good stock!
Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

UserANONYMOUS
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4428
   Posted 5/11/2017 5:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I heard that my dad use to drink a lot. He was a heavy drinker and one day in 1990 he just stopped cold turkey. Don't know how or why but he just stopped. I never saw the 'drunk' side of him as this was the year before I was born, but I heard a lot of stories of when he would drink, some were not so nice stories.

After he always kept alcohol in the house and would offers guests a drink whenever we had anyone over. However, he never took a sip.
Just like how I admire your aunt for being able to quit, I admire him for this too.

I am sorry about your aunt. I am glad that she was able to make a positive change.

UA
Moderator - Bipolar

Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder.
Chronic Pain - Cervical Kyphosis, Cervical Spondylosis, Thoracic Scoliosis.

BnotAfraid
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Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7179
   Posted 5/11/2017 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   
UA, apparently your Dad was a strong and courage person on one hand. [because there is always a dialectic , another side to people right?]

I would bet, that YOU are the reason he stopped.

It is said there is a reason people come in and out of our lives. Someone, entered your Dad's life and helped him see what would be lost, if he didn't get sober. Wether or not the person stayed in is life, does not matter.

UA,It is all part of living with a heart wide open. It is extremely hard to have that addiction and be around it. Some strong such as love is the only thing that breaks it.

Peace
Trina
Moderator - Depression

"...when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation."
Billy Collins from the poem. HIGH

DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20048
   Posted 5/11/2017 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
yes, my father........but he abandoned me at 1. step father as well. my abuse stemmed from the bottle.

UserANONYMOUS
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4428
   Posted 5/12/2017 7:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Trina.
He did stopped when my mum was pregnant with me. It was also after an attempted coup here in Trinidad.
Whatever it is he found that made him stop, I am glad he did. Base on the stories I heard, I am glad I did not know that side of him.

Finding something positive to keep us grounded can really help us.

I try not to drink as there was a time when I was depressed and I went to drinking. My mom always warn me to not drink excessive as she knows dad was an alcoholic and I can be one too. I think knowing she does not want this to happen to me keeps me from drinking.

Jamie, you are wonderful despite your dad's abandoning you. You were able to quit smoking! Very proud of you!

UA
Moderator - Bipolar
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