Kurt Cobain

eccentric man

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Big Generator said:
Yes DC...it's like pouring energy into a void. The next step is to withdraw from him - it sounds harsh - but there's absolutely nothing you can do - except be there for him after he gets into enough pain and seeks help.

unless of course they just commit suicide in which case you'll be kicking yourself in the ass for the rest of your life. i wouldn't suggest simply abandonning your friend in their time of need. i realize they'll drain you and you do need to look out for yourself first and foremost but before you ditch them at least give them an ultimatuum.

make sure your friend knows that you'll still be there to offer him a hand when he does decide he wants help but that you won't be around until that happens.

if all you do is abandon him then that's all you've done. you've left your friend in the ditch and he'll never think you gave a crap in the first place. maybe the isolation will work... or maybe he'll just embrace it.

i suppose in the end it works out to the same, you distance yourself from the addict, but i think the way you distance yourself will be as equally important. personally my drummer is a self confessed alcoholic, it's an issue, but he's said that he would check himself into rehab by the end of the summer if things weren't better by then, and i WILL hold him to that or distance myself, but i won't just leave him out in the cold. luckily for us he seems to have been getting better recently.

i've never bought into the whole 'saved' thing or the way that a lot of 'recovered' addicts go completely against the behavior they indulged in. it's as if the addiction only changed focus rather than being dealt with. why is it that most 'recovered' alcoholics are fanatically religious? they can't touch booze or else, but they sure as shit think about exactly how many days it's been since their last sip. that doesn't sound like a proper recovery to me, especially considering that most people are able to control their urges and desires to the point where they can enjoy a social drink now and again. to my eyes it's simply a diversion for the greater problems the individual faces.
 

Drummer Chris

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I see your points Eccentric...what I didn't include is I've had numerous discussions with him about his alcohol problem, and told him how annoying he is when he is drunk and high.He also knows (in a sober state) how he has destroyed a few other friendships with his behaviour.I have given a few ultimatums before and have followed up on them for periods of time, but the problem is, he keeps phoning me and he drops by unexpected cause he only lives 10 min drive from me.
So...since we have known each other for so long(30 yrs!)and he forces access--the ultimatums have dissolved in the past.He is in big-time denial...it's like talking to a wall basically because after a sober discussion, he always returns to his habits hours or days later.
The only thing I can do at this point is be a real nasty ***** and send him away if he drops over and screen and perhaps block his phone numbers....it is to the point where it is affecting my peace of mind so it's coming down to the crunch.
I consider his family fairly weak to not have put him in treatment....I talked it over with them months ago and they are aware of his vices but they obviously do not take it seriously enough...the situation is exasperating.
 

Big Generator

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eccentric man said:
unless of course they just commit suicide in which case you'll be kicking yourself in the ass for the rest of your life. i wouldn't suggest simply abandonning your friend in their time of need. i realize they'll drain you and you do need to look out for yourself first and foremost but before you ditch them at least give them an ultimatuum.

make sure your friend knows that you'll still be there to offer him a hand when he does decide he wants help but that you won't be around until that happens.

if all you do is abandon him then that's all you've done. you've left your friend in the ditch and he'll never think you gave a crap in the first place. maybe the isolation will work... or maybe he'll just embrace it.

i suppose in the end it works out to the same, you distance yourself from the addict, but i think the way you distance yourself will be as equally important. personally my drummer is a self confessed alcoholic, it's an issue, but he's said that he would check himself into rehab by the end of the summer if things weren't better by then, and i WILL hold him to that or distance myself, but i won't just leave him out in the cold. luckily for us he seems to have been getting better recently.

i've never bought into the whole 'saved' thing or the way that a lot of 'recovered' addicts go completely against the behavior they indulged in. it's as if the addiction only changed focus rather than being dealt with. why is it that most 'recovered' alcoholics are fanatically religious? they can't touch booze or else, but they sure as shit think about exactly how many days it's been since their last sip. that doesn't sound like a proper recovery to me, especially considering that most people are able to control their urges and desires to the point where they can enjoy a social drink now and again. to my eyes it's simply a diversion for the greater problems the individual faces.


Eccentric Man - yes, most people are able to control their drinking and drug use - but addicts and alcoholics can't. I'm sure your drummer has all the good intentions about 'cutting down' and 'checking into rehab in the summer' - but if he is a genuine alcoholic he won't recover unless he stops drinking altogether and more importantly stays stopped. Addicts and alcoholics are 'all or nothing' people - and all this talk about moderation is misguided.

Yes - drinking and drugging start out as a diversion from deeper issues and problems - but when the addiction passes a certain point it becomes a deadly compulsion. The reason why so many addicts/alcoholics talk about being 'saved' and why they count their days/months/years is because they know that active addiction nearly killed them - and that they are lucky to be alive - and that rebuilding a life after completely destroying it is an achievement to be proud of.

Sure, many addicts 'find God" in a big way - but many don't - and most addicts I know with long-term recovery don't have cravings anymore. They are no longer 'hanging on'.

As for the 'abandoning' issue...yes, I agree the friend or relative should make it clear why they are withdrawing. But it's a delusion to think that anyone can stop an addict using or killing themselves by being 'loyal'. What actually happens is that the friend helps to keep the addict sick without realising it.

Yes, try to give your drummer an ultimatum when the time comes - but for now it sounds like both you and he are nowhere near the point of exhaustion with the situation.

Anyway...it always amazes me how most people talk with such authority about addiction - despite a lack of knowledge and experience of the condition. That's why rehab is such a shock to the system for both the addict/alcoholic and the friends/family - because it's often their first introduction to reality of the problem and how badly they've all got it wrong in the past. Well, that was certainly the case with me and my girlfriend/father/close friends/etc..
 
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eccentric man

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you're right BG but at the same time this isn't a private conversation and you did seem to be missing that ultimatuum from your advice. for all we know there have been a few people in similar situations to DC's (prior to his most recent post) who've read this thread and simply abandonned their friends without another word of consideration to the matter.
 

Big Generator

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eccentric man said:
you're right BG but at the same time this isn't a private conversation and you did seem to be missing that ultimatuum from your advice. for all we know there have been a few people in similar situations to DC's (prior to his most recent post) who've read this thread and simply abandonned their friends without another word of consideration to the matter.


It's true...I was probably sounding a bit too hardcore about it...and I agree...it's v. important for any friend or relative to make it clear that the 'withdrawal' from the relationship is entirely to do with the addiction - and is not an outright rejection of the person himself.

There's a vomit-inducing recovery expression for relatives and friends in this situation: "detach with love". Corny as hell - needless to say - but actually pretty helpful.

In my case, the true friends of mine who had all finally got to the point where they couldn't bear to be around me when I was using...well, they were there for me when I sorted myself out. And that's when the loyalty really counts.

Unfortunately, the ultimatum approach didn't work for me though. I had a employer who sent me to rehab and said if I relapsed then I'd have to resign. I relapsed and had to quit. After years of listening to me promise "I'll quit tomorrow", my girlfriend said she'd leave me if I carried on using. I carried on using and she left me.

It wasn't until I got to the point of such utter wretchedness and isolation, until the addiction started to really, really scare me - that I was able to find the motivation - for myself - to do whatever it took to get clean.

Yes, 'interventions' can work - providing there is a rehab all set up if the addict agrees to get help. And some people can pull back from total destruction as a result. But unless the addict is 'ready' even that is usually unsuccessful.

A good friend of mine relapsed on heroin and crack a few months ago - and despite knowing all this - I tried my best to help the guy....and I got sucked into a lot of madness and he ended up resenting me and he's still using.

I guess I had to question my own thinking after a while - even though I genuinely care about him, was I getting over-involved in his drama because it was easier than facing up to my own problems? was I deluding myself that I was more powerful than the illness?

Whatever the reason...I was totally drained and ****** off by the end of it and I achieved nothing. However, if he called me up and said he was clean, had gone to rehab and was genuinely serious about staying clean...well, I'd be there for him and this time I really would be able to help because I'd been talking to the 'real' him and not some mad person on drugs.

Anyway...that's just a totally long-winded way of saying that getting tough on using addicts and withdrawing from them isn't a 'betrayal' - it's actually an act of friendship - and the time to help them is after they get clean. In my experience, anyway.

I don't want all this to sound bleak or hopeless - because obviously millions of addicts have overcome the problem and turned their lives around. And I really hope it all works out with your friend, EM - and that he gets into recovery soon - without turning into a religious nut or a "Step ****'!
 
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Drummer Chris

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I appreciate the feedback from both BG and Eccentric here,yesterday I was in an "extreme" mood about my friend's addiction problems because I basically knew I had to really step back and protect myself emotionally and mentally from his behaviour-it had just gotten to be too much.
The phone calls have lessened the last 2 days, and I intend on having keeping a sane atmosphere here especially since I have a new roomie moving in later this week who doesn't even know this person.
Thanks for the feedback again, it helps my perspective on the issues..../Chris
 

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His musical influences among others include from Pixies to Celtic frost. Enigmatic and talented character he was.
 

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