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To Much Drinkin

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  • To Much Drinkin

    I wanted to write this here, BEFORE I have to write it in the Memorials. I want to tell about my Uncle V., who can't stop drinking.
    When I was little, he was the best Uncle in the world, and as I grew up, he was always there for me, proud of me no matter what I did. I knew I was his favorite, and that knowledge gave me the confidence to move on with my life and make better choices. I sure wish I knew then what I could do to return the favor.
    Like many Native men, Uncle V. enjoys his family, and does all he can to help us and honor us. But, thats only when he is sober. When he starts to drink, he becomes a different person, not a mean person, but a silly, foolish man. I feel embarassed, not BY him, but FOR him, because I know that he would never want to be seen like that by others. His pride would suffer so much, and he would be devastated, but I dont think it would make him stop drinking so much.
    I know that the ability to stop his drinking is inside him, because I'm related to him, and I stopped. The desire to stop is what is missing, and I'm not sure how I can help that come about, or even if I can. No matter how much treatment he receives, how many days or months in Detox he sits, it's got to be his decision, and his own motivation, that will make it happen. All I can do right now is love him and pray for him, no matter what he does.
    One thing I am not going to do anymore is make it easy for him to continue doing what he is doing. I'm not going to bail him out of jail anymore, not going to give him a place to flop and sleep it off. I'm not going to cover his expenses when he drinks up his money, and I'm not going to call around and give excuses on his behalf. All I can do is love him and pray for him, no matter what he does.
    I look around at my family and see all the other relatives who are in the same situation, and I realize how much of an uphill battle this is. I can't heal everyone, I can't preach to them, I can't do anything but show them how it is to live sober. I certainly can't judge these relatives of mine, because I know how sad and lonely that place is, that shame and guilt you feel the next day, or the confusion and anxiety you feel as you try and remember what happened after you blacked out. I can't judge them, because for years I played into glorifying the drinking lifestyle, making it sound like fun and a real good time, when there are so many of our people who are DYING because of it. No, I can't judge. Like I said, all I can do is love and pray.
    I hope everyone who reads this takes a look around you at your family and your people. What kind of messages are we sending each other? Are we showing love and support, or excuses and lies that help us keep on bad roads? My Uncle V., finally, checked himself into a VETERANS ADMINISTRATION treatment center, but it was only after he scared himself with hallucinations. It was only after he started vomiting blood, and only after the doctor told him he has cirrhosis. Many people assume that is a death sentence, and I've never seen otherwise, so I guess my days of praying and loving are getting short. I just wish I had realized and he had realized this long long time ago.
    Ipsica Waci
    Wicahpi Eyoyambya Olowan

  • #2
    ...I feel for you Cuzz.I myself lost not one but 5!! uncles to alcoholism,and just like you,I got along with all of them real well,but as you know,Native men,especially on rez,seem to find a way to make it allright to drink excessively.And in my later years,I've hung out with many guys from many rez's,and no matter where they're from,it seems to be the same thing.They think it's ok to drink everywhere and anywhere,including gatherings like powwows.They all tell me the same thing....Drink,Sing,Dance and Love,putting it into this warped perspective I guess makes it seem like it's not wrong to do,but some of the same people who used to say this to me died horribly,painfully,and full of regret for what they did to themselves.I'll send up some smoke for you and your uncle,and that Creator watch over you both It's gonna be a bumpy road from here on out.
    In loving memory of my uncles,who had big hearts,but bigger thirsts,and the positive lessons they taught me in our time together,one of which was to....keep smilin'1

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    • #3
      The desire to stop is what is missing, and I'm not sure how I can help that come about, or even if I can.
      I have 3 siblings - I'm the only sober one. I can say what it took for me - in a blackout I embarrassed myself in such a way that I made the national evening news (slow news night, I guess). The guy that lives in the bottle was always doing silly foolish things but this time - EVERYONE I ever knew saw me being foolish. I was so ashamed. I determined I would never shame myself or my family that way EVER again. This meant leaving that guy in the bottle and not ever drinking again. The thing is the experience of being -that- embarassed took away my desire to drink. It's not a battle or a struggle. I'd no more drink alcohol than I'd drink gasoline.

      A few people I had known followed me out of that lifestyle. They saw I was still having fun (I became the "designated driver") without drinking. I passed no judgements on how the sober life is better for others. For me - I do not drink. I have also seen many good friends and quite a few relatives pass before they should have too.

      My prayers are with you and your uncle in the days ahead.

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      • #4
        Thank you both for your words of encouragement. When you pray and offer smoke...keep ALL the men and women who are in the same battle in mind and prayer too. It's a harsh thing to live through, but I'm hoping that since human intervention hasn't been able to do it so far, that a spiritual intervention can. Still praying and loving.....
        Ipsica Waci
        Wicahpi Eyoyambya Olowan

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        • #5
          prayers and smoke

          There is always hope that our loved ones can change because we did. It is so hard to love someone and not enable them. All you can do is pray but prayer is a lot and the spirit is smarter than we are. I'm tired of loosing people too. But I have also seen relatives and friends come out the other side and make it through -clean and sober. I hang on to those memories. Miracles are possible. Keep praying. It is all we have and it is a lot!

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