This is my first post on this topic. I was diagnosed years ago with depression and I have tried all the meds available and none help, so I have been winging it on my own, so to speak. I am a 70 yr old female with a family history of alcoholism on one branch of the family tree. Father died from it, great grandfather committed suicide, aunt died in her 50's from it, nephew was "saved" by Serenity Lane resident treatment and never looked back to alcohol, but I have a drinking problem that slowly grew as I got older. I didn't drink much until age 18, then it was seldom, ex-husband is alcoholic which is why I left marriage in 1973 and never remarried, but as the years passed I started drinking more and more, but it wasn't too bad until I retired in 1997 and started drinking during the day. Now I can't seem to help myself. Went to one AA meeting a couple of years ago (I live in a very small town) and it was all women which was good, but they turned off the lights and lit a candle and that was depressing to start with. All seem to be very close friends, I was welcomed but I wanted to talk about how to quit and they just wanted to talk about their day as they went from person to person. So I figure treatment is one thing and support is AA. I am beginning to think I have to break the law and go to jail to get alcoholic treatment. Other than Serenity Lane in my state, which is private and insurance doesn't cover it, there is no place for alcoholics to get treatment. My primary doc actually does research for depression but he isn't helpful regarding alcoholism. I think the two can go hand in hand. So I don't know where to go to get help, and I am 70 now, have other health issues (diabetes which isn't doing badly) and osteoarthritis (two knee and one toe joint replacements). I live alone with my two cats and I seem to have lost my friends over the years, some have passed, some have their own problems, but I think to be honest they don't want to be around me anymore. I do keep busy (jewelry making classes, beach walking since I live near it, a bit of travel, reading, gardening. I really have nothing to complain about at all except I can't seem to stop drinking. And I do not want to die like my dad did, but I seem to be heading that way. My older sister has same problem but more support as she has a significant other. I know this is a long story (I am also a retired typing teacher!).
I don't like to hear that you want to give up drinking but cannot seem to find the right support and treatment. It must be really difficult for you living on your own and having few friends, I can really empathise with your situation. I live in the UK and don't know how treatment centres work where you live. I do know as I'm sure you do too that stopping drinking without medical supervision is very dangerous and I'm quite supprised your doctor has not helped you more!
When I stopped drinking I attended a community drugs and alcohol centre which I was assigned a personal counsellor who i see every week and was given a 6 day Librium detox to counteract the dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it was not easy and the hardest thing of all is staying sober but at least i was given that opportunity which I am extremely grateful for!
I'm trying to rack my brains as to what possible advice I can give you? I have attended AA meetings, however i prefer what is called SMART recovery, which was actually founded in the USA. It is more focused on the teaching of self management and recovery training (which is what it stands for). It does happen in a group setting where we all talk and listen to each other and bounce ideas around that may be helpful.
This is my experience but what about you, I can always listen! I'm sorry I cant give you any real practicle advice and really hope you find the help you need soon :-)
U r a prime xample of really wanting help.....and seeking it out...and u found it.......if u want recovery u will find away to make it happen for urself!This was my credo......i put as much energy in2 my recovery as i did seeking alcohol.....drugs......and going in2 bars drinking purchasing alcohol etc......i refocused NEGATIVE energy into POSITIVE energy!
Thanks so much for your feedback. My grandmother was born and raised in England, and I love all things English. I want to visit there but don't want to go alone. What would I do the minute I got off the plane? :-) I will check out SMART...I live in a tiny coastal community on the South Oregon Coast, and we don't have many support groups, although there is a Weightwatchers group. We do have women's AA. I will check in the town 30 miles north (not that far unless you drive at night both ways). I am going to try very hard to work towards more positive thoughts in my daily life, try to put behind me those things that have drawn me into my negative thinking, realize that I do not have to keep as friends (or even relatives) people who bully me (I seem to be a magnet for that), and I have been trying to do more activities outside my little home. I DO have people in town who seem to care about me, and I have attended a Unity Church service (a type of liberal church although I was raised Episcopalian) where there are are really nice folks. Basically, I have to make myself get up, clean up, dress nicely which I used to do for work, and get out of the house regularly to somewhere. I am trying to not watch too much negative tv--we have a lousy election campaign going on now. I bought several DVD's of the Royals lives--BBC's Kate/William's wedding which I watched yesterday, a couple of books on the royal jewelry of Europe (wow), and I do go to jewelry-making classes. So those are baby steps to get me back into the "population" and each positive event sure helps. Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate it.
I don't particularly like the "best answer" checkoff. Both were very helpful, not sure how I ended up checking one! I absolutely agree that putting more energy into recovery is better than seeking that which makes me miserable. I consider myself a strong person in most ways, and I do believe I can find the control I need to stop drinking. When my niece was married a number of years ago, I quit drinking two months' before (just to see if I could do it and I wasn't drinking that much then but I was seeing the problems coming down the road), so I did quit with the plan that if it was successful, I was probably OK and at her wedding I had a couple of drinks (big fancy wedding in Park City, Utah resort). I still didn't understand the progressiveness of alcoholism, and my family tree was flashing warning signs I still didn't heed. It is amazing how a few kind words can really make a better day for someone.
I love your name, it sounds to me that you actually know how to help yourself you just need a few friends to share with that can totally understand your language if that makes sense. It is late in England and I have had a busy day and need some sleep but will post some more tomorrow evening. You would not like our weather here at the moment, it is cold, very wet and windy :-( hope your weather is nicer :-)
Well, your posts have been encouraging. Thanks so much. I recently ordered through Amazon a group of DVD's about the royals and have been watching them the past couple of days. I especially love the old reel film footage of the lives of the Queen's family, not just the weddings but through the wars, it is so cool to see old film of Queen Victoria in her carriage. I love all things British. Interestingly, two of my ancestors who moved to US from England and France fell in love (about 1800) and those two countries were at war. I will keep checking this website, I had a bad day yesterday--elderly friend taken to her daughters' home in LA basically to die and they are making it very difficult for me to have contact with her. I have known her since I was 13 and the girls weren't in school yet. Some people can be so cruel. I do not handle this kind of stress well at all. And this type of thing is why I am more comfortable as a "loner," haven't always been this way. I think there are many older women who are alone and I think many of them drink and others don't know it. We are sort of lost in the shuffle of life. Yep, we can count our friends on the fingers of one hand, but I do have a number of internet friends (and occasionally talk with them) who can be very very helpful.
As far as I know this is the main part of the Medhelp website for Alcohol. I don't think there is a chat room, you write a post and people reply. There may be more to it than that I'm not aware of though.
How are you? Can you manage not to drink at all safely (without medical intervention)? If you can that is a good start, I think the rest is finding people that can relate to usually people who have been through alcohol problems themselves. When I was drinking I felt very isolated and it was easier to stay at home with my best friends (usually 4 bottles of white wine) than go out and find things and friends to fulfill my life. I know it's hard epescially if you are prone to being picked on but you should think they must have a problem, not you!!! When I stopped drinking it suddenly occurred to me that nobody is going to come looking for me and I had to go out into the world and create my own life and gradually things are looking good.
I know you know what to do, get out into the world and it does take time to make new friends. Also it must be hard when you live in a tiny place and feel isolated, have you thought about moving? Saying all that I looked on the Internet at the South Oregan Coast and it looks beautiful! I love learning about different places in the world and would love to travel to them all!
I know the UK is a beautiful place but at the moment I am not in ore about it as it seems to never stop raining and it's cold, bloody British summer time ha!
You sound like you have some good stories to tell about your ancestors, sounds romantic! Lilarose we can communicate by Personal Messaging, i think you just have to click on my name. I will try it with your name and send you a message as I'm sure other people using this forum are not that interested in general chit chat, I could be wrong though ha :-)
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