This is a different type of post for me today, but one that is very important. Earlier this week, I received a message via my Facebook page. With the message sender’s permission, I share it here:
“My brother has never really gotten out of the college age drinking phase. He is about to turn 31 and knows he has a problem and wants to make changes. But doesn’t have the money for therapy and my “macho” family doesn’t always make him feel that it is an option anyway. Do you have any advice for how to help him take steps to make changes or how to help him move past the phase of I am lonely and bored and insecure so I’ll just go drink?”
When I read this, the “lonely and bored” stuck with me and I wrote back with thoughts about finding ways to fill the lonely and bored time with non-drinking hobbies and interests, perhaps volunteering, etc. But, chances are it’s not that simple. An addict will drink around and through everything. I know that all too well. I also mentioned AA. As those who regularly read my posts know, I have never been to an AA meeting. However, I know many people find exactly what they need in the rooms and camaraderie is something I think could greatly benefit this man.
But, I am not an expert. I know there are lots of resources out there. And, we all find recovery in our own way and in our own time.
So, dear readers, what advice do you have for this wonderful woman whose love and concern for her brother prompted her to reach out? I told her I’d ask, and I know she will appreciate anything you have to offer.
You can comment anonymously below or, if you prefer not to comment, you can email me at info (at) quitwining (dot) com or send a message via my Facebook page. Please understand any and all comments, messages, etc. will be shared with the woman who asked the question above and may even be included in a follow up blog post.
As someone who was in a similar boat as the brother I can definitely identify. The biggest thing is that he acknowledges his behavior needs to change. The hardest part for me was the fact that leaving drinking g meant leaving most if not all of my friends. Guys at that age who drink heavily tend to hang out with pretty similar people and if he wants to quit the friends will need to go. It’s hard and harsh but his friends will not be supportive because if he says he has a problem they would be forced to face that they may have a problem too. For me a very big thing was changing my routine. Instead of coming home from work and having a drink I started taking walks…long walks. Then I would cook myself dinner and so some house work and then shower and then all of a sudden it would be time for bed. For me it was the old idle hands dilemma…as long as I stayed busy even with silly little tasks I could ignore any urge to drink I may have had. For me it also helped to have people I was accountable to. I did not have a girlfriend and I didn’t want my parents to know about my decision right away so I turned to my sisters. They were exactly what I needed…we didn’t have to have long tear drenched talks but it was exactly what I needed to know I could if I had to. They checked in on me and I had a sense of pride with every milestone, no matter how small, I could share with them. I also didn’t want to let them down because I knew they were rooting hard for me to make it. I don’t expect that these things will work for everyone but I can only share what I know worked for me. Hope this helps 🙂