Monday, June 28, 2010

What do you say ....

.... to a niece who drank herself into the hospital this weekend?

Yeah. I got nothin'.

Oh, I mean, there's plenty that I could say, but I doubt it would do any good. I swear to God, my little community has got to have the highest rate of alcohol consumption in the entire state. This is a neighborhood of people who think it's perfectly normal to get up in the morning, start drinking, drink until they pass out, and then wake up and start drinking again. I've never seen anything like it.

And it doesn't help that the niece's live-in boyfriend is also a heavy drinker. He's been known to literally drink himself into seizures. He quit for a couple of days after that. A couple of days.

And now niece is in the hospital with pancreatitis, which the doctors have informed her will kill her within five to ten years if she doesn't stop drinking. She's only thirty-four.

You know what she asked me?

"I wonder if I can still drink O'Douls?"

Probably not, niece. Probably not.

Oh boy.


Domestic Kate said...

Sadly, it seems like most people with serious addictions aren't dissuaded by hearing grim news from the doctor. I hope it snaps her out of it. If you have to say anything, just repeat what the doctor said to her. Try not to lose any sleep over it since she probably isn't.

rockygrace said...

You're right, Kate. I know damn well that she'll be drinking again within a couple of days after getting out of the hospital. I just don't see the appeal of being drunk*, let alone being drunk ALL THE TIME.


*well, okay, maybe once in a blue moon, like if your dog just died or something.

~~Silk said...

Five to ten years is very far away. She'll figure she has lots of time to quit, "later".

My beautiful, gentle, loving sister met her husband in AA. She'd been dry for two years. After they married, he apparently was so afraid he'd lose her that he figured if her kept her drunk, she'd stay. We or the state would slap her into rehab, and within days he'd convince her to sign herself out. I offered to pay for as long as it took for both of them in any rehab in the country, under the condition that they were in separate programs, and didn't communicate for at least the first three weeks. They refused.

I kept waiting for them to hit bottom.

Then they went on a four-day drunk. She apparently died in the bed on Sunday, but he was too out of it to notice until Monday. We think it was probably liver or pancreas, although there was no autopsy. He died pretty much the same way a few months later.

At the time of her death, they were living in an old abandoned cabin in the woods with holes in the wall. They had only one thin blanket. I would not send her money. I'd directly pay grocery and utility bills, but I knew that even if I sent her so much as a warmer blanket, they'd just sell it and drink it.

Hitting bottom always comes too late. There's very little you can do.

~~Silk said...

I left out that she was my baby sister, 42 when she died.

rockygrace said...

Oh, ~~Silk, that's so sad.

I'm afraid that's going to happen to my niece. She's a generous, funny, nice person, and it just seems like such a waste to see what the alcohol's doing to her. Truthfully, I had no idea her problem was this bad until this past weekend.

It makes me sad.

rockygrace said...

.... except for now that I think about it, I guess I DID know that her problem was that bad. I guess because her boyfriend is such an "obvious" drunk, passing out at family gatherings, etc., I thought she was the more stable one.

Well, she IS the more stable one, but it looks like she's got a big old problem too. I hope she can work her way out of it.

Sorry if this seems kind of jumbled - I'm just trying to work through all this. Right here in the comments. :)

Heather said...

I see and hear of people drinking their lives away and wonder if that is what I was like. I was a heavy drinker for 21 years and I'm sure I had plenty of people tell me all kinds of useful things, but I didn't quit till I was ready. It all went in one ear and out the other.

rockygrace said...

Heather, it's good to know that you were able to quit! That's great!

Fish Food said...

That's really sad news. I really hope that she can fight her way out of the addiction before it's too late.

~~Silk - sorry about your sister. Too sad.