Anger with little management

I am angry, very angry. There is a little I am doing to hide it, but it is boiling away inside.

On Sunday morning (at 7.25) I received a phone call from a friend.  When I asked how he was he said not well, and when I asked why he said C is dead, then his voice went all wobbly and his girlfriend took over his phone.  His daughter C was (hard tense change that one) was a lovely woman. Very bright, warmhearted, generous with a lovely sense of the rediculous, and an infectious laugh.

So I asked what had happened, expecting something like a car accident.

The explanation was what made me so angry. She had died from the consequences of alcoholism/alcohol addiction. No matter what she had tried, she had been unable to break the addiction and had drunk herself to death; death by failure of major organs. She had become thinner and thinner as they failed. She had hidden the final stages from most people and sworn those close to her (her partner, the domestic help) to not tell anyone. Not to take her to a doctor. Eventually when her partner called her father it was too late for anything to help.

I had suspected a SLIGHT problem when I had met her at family lunches etc, the personality change after a while (fuelled by how much alcohol?). She had become a bit of a Duracell-bunny getting a bit frenetic, but still funny, friendly etc. It had obviously escalated quite dramatically over time.

What makes me so angry is the sheer helplessness we have in the face of the self-destruction by addicts. Alcohol or drugs, it doesn’t matter. Some of the lucky ones come through (my brother being one of them) but so many die, unspoken, as families seem to feel it is an embarassing matter.  My anger is the anger of one who does not like being unable to help, of one so sad to see lives lost “unnecessarily” to a disease that has its roots in sociability.

How can one be angry with families and friends of those afflicted? We, my family, didn’t realise the extent of the problem, until it was almost too late.  Addicts hide their addiction, lie, pretend.

Adult addicts have to take responsibility for themselves. It is hard to forceably shut an adult in rehab, and unless the person wants a ‘normal’ life they will slip back into the addiction. But for some it is a physical addiction, impossible to break, for others there are psychological causes as well. How do we know another’s pain?

One business acquaintence died when she went back to the drugs she had taken before rehab. Quite common apparently, when someone takes drugs at the same level they did before rehab. Their bodies had previously built up a ‘coping mechanism’ for that level of drug, but taking it from a ‘cold’ state can be fatal.

C’s funeral was on Sunday, the family being Jewish. The rabbi mixed common sense with compassion in the service, a good and sensible man.  The father, my friend had aged 10 years overnight. I was so worried over him, accompanying the coffin on quite a long walk mostly uphill in 30 degree afternoon temperature. I wanted to cry for him when the soil thudded down on the coffin, he being the first to start filling in the grave. I think that is the loneliest sound in the universe.

So my anger remains, my sadness remains. My friend has lost his daughter who he loved so much.


31 thoughts on “Anger with little management

  1. I have felt that anger before. A few times sadly. Once I used that anger to fight my way out of a less than hospitable place dragging my nephew back to his parents. And despite everyone’s attempts, his addiction still ended his life at 17. Am still angry, but it is anger towards the disease. Actually dealing with it again with another family member.

    1. I think it is the way we are helpless to make sure someone will be ok that creates the anger.

      I have seen and experienced enough of it to often not be optimistic about outcomes, sadly.

  2. I’ve witnessed the destruction of a family due to their son’s drug addiction. They only acknowledged how bad it was when they came home to find everything gone which had been sold to support the habit.

    I’d hate to know the feeling of not knowing how to help someone. It must be hell.

  3. Dreadful.
    I suppose one has to realise that it is an illness much as any other would be. The fact that it is within the power of the affected person to cure it is not really material. If they lack that will, it amounts to much the same thing as a person whose immune system cannot cope with a disease.

      1. Devastating, indeed. Almost impossible to combat, which is why I so admire the few people I know who have managed to drag themselves out of the very bottom pits of it.

  4. I understand your anger, it was directed at me many times. I have been clean now for 3 months, after a week long binge. Before that clean for over a year. I still hear the demons of addiction calling me, I still have the regrets of fucking up my life, I am still here and each day is a reminder to me of how far I have come and how far I still have to go. Addiction does not discrimate, people do…

    1. My anger is at the alcohol and what it does, and at our inability to help

      Well done to you for fighting free. stumbling is human, picking yourself up and trying again is what makes the heroes

    1. Thanks Tilly. It was a sad weekend. Now the family mourn seriously for a while.

      Both parents were sedated at the funeral, i think it will really hit tgem when that period is over.

  5. I know that anger and helplessness intimately. It has to be one of the saddest things in the world that we cannot cure another of what is killing them… before it does.

    My heart goes out to you, to her father, and to all who loved her.

  6. I’ve been watching this play out for the last two years. I think in some cases only ‘tough love’ can get through to the addict. This particular scenario just drags on and on and on…

          1. Prob the world. There is no father involved. This one is in his late 40’s and they (he and his mother) are co-dependent. I’m afraid the outcome will be dreadful. Neiher feels they could live without the other close by and she can’t deny him anything.

  7. Believe me it is a form of suicide, a slow painful death. I watched my husband go from a healthy, vibrant man to a shadow of himself. I still have nightmares about his last few months. Yet I chose to go the same way….the mind boggles…this is such an insidious thing, it creeps up to you until you are totally entangled in the web of addiction, with no seeming way out.

    1. My sympathy to you. It is insidious.

      Many years ago i realised i NEEDED my evening glass of wine, so i stopped dead. Today i am an occasional social drinker, but it could have been different

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