- Aug 16, 2022
Your a cheery lad, my kinda guy cuts straight to the chase.I'm curious how people die from alcoholism.
A little background.. I had a best friend Phil, we were best friends all throughout high school, he was one of the best man in my wedding back in 1985. He moved to Austin and I've always lived in Houston but we would always get together once or twice a month to play guitars all night long. When he got a Gibson Les Paul I was able to buy him a Marshall Bluesbreaker amp... I mean we were -best- friends.
Then Phil's life totally fell apart. He always drank too much whiskey but it seriously got out of hand. He lost his job.. His wife divorced him. His young daughter didn't want anything to do with him anymore. I tried to help.. I tried to tell him he needed to quit drinking. You can guess the rest.. Phil told me to F-off and I haven't spoken to him in the last 7 or 8 years. This was very hard on me as you can guess. I've only written one song in my life but it was about losing my best friend and wanting to play guitars with him "just one more day".
I was talking to a mutual friend recently and he caught me up. Apparently Phil is now in a hospital in Dallas and he is dying of alcoholism. His brain has quit working, his body is shutting down. Apparently he sometimes calls his ex wife thinking it is 10 years ago and they are still married. It is all incredibly tragic, but at this point I hope Phil passes soon so he is no longer hurting, and he no longer can hurt anyone else.
So I guess my questions are, how is it that alcohol can kill someone? Is there a stage where the damage is so great there is no going back?
From what I understand, and I may be wrong, marijuana doesn't kill people, and if you quit smoking and given enough time, the damage is reversed. Is alcohol so much worse? Does the body actually quit from all the alcohol, or is it the brain that gives up and dies first? And if someone is actually hospitalized from alcoholism, is there no hope left?
Sorry for the downer topic.. It just hit me pretty hard recently when I heard about Phil dying in a hospital... we used to be best friends.
Take care ya'll....
Damn, at 40? And I've read of it but I've never seen jaundice in a person. Was it really that pronounced?
Vices. They’re all just ways to check out. Puff puff pass.Most people drink because they are depressed. The drink is a way to stop thinking. drink don't think sort of thing.
Yep... friends of Lois.I tried to figure out why I got hooked. Was it because it helped numb me to my pain? Was it because it helped me socialize and fit in? Was it because it felt good? Or all of these? Now I realize that drugs lured me in with false promises. You have so much fun when you use, the disease said. That soon changed to You’ll have more fun using than if you don’t! which soon changed to You can’t have fun unless you use! Which soon changed to You can’t live unless you use! Sprinkle in You’re not so bad! and You can quit anytime, you’re not hooked! Followed eventually by You can’t quit, it’s hopeless, don’t try changing.
I finally quit when the pain got too great, when I had a moment of clarity and realized that I needed to change. This bottom happened with a little assistance from Officer Friendly reading me my rights…changing my way of life wasn’t easy but the pain of changing was less than the pain of staying where I was. 12 step programs worked for me, but other folks have found a different path to sobriety.
I wish I knew a way to convince loved ones to quit. With my dear Veronica, I tried reasoning with her, praying for her, arguing and yelling at her, everything I could think of. She experienced life-threatening situations but still she couldn’t quit. She experienced great things clean, but the drugs called her back. One Saturday morning I woke up and went into the living room…she was lying on her back on the floor. Her body was already cold and stiff. I had 16 years sober at the time (now I have 27 years).
Her daughter had been addicted and lived on the streets, but had gotten clean for ten years and life was great; she got married, had a kid, and she got her Masters degree. But then a messy divorce led to a glass of wine for her, then the whole bottle, then vodka and other stuff. She knows all about her mom’s death, she went to the funeral (while she was clean). I wish to God I could figure out how to save her; I’m going to Al-Anon to help cope.
One of my wife's relatives was a woman who died a month before her 53rd birthday. This was three years ago. When we visited her in her last days, we noticed her yellow pallor. The woman's brother recently told my wife and me that his sister was an alcoholic. Like Chris Farley, she was a large person (actually, VERY large), but instead of beginning to drink in college, began after she had joined the work force. The brother told his mother that his sister was an alcoholic, but the mother did not believe him or accept the fact.Chris Farley is an example of that for me. Never drank in high school. Went to college, took his first sip, and it was off to the races. Some of us just have it in us.
Glad you got something out of it. I am a big fan of his work with sleep and I’m glad he also delves into other topics on his podcast. That one is a great explanation of what is going on chemically and physically. As for the social/relationship costs, a good companion viewing is an HBO doc from a few years back called “Risky Drinking”.Thank you for sharing this!!! I just watched the whole video, all 2 hours. It was incredibly informative.
And thanks everybody for all the wonderful replies in this thread! My heart goes out to all those here who have lost loved ones, family and friends to alcohol.. especially those here who have lost more than one family or friend, or lost those who were still so young. Such tragedy on an epic scale.
And always great to hear from those who fought back and have been sober for a long time, your inspiration is very much appreciated! Thanks for sharing your stories too.
As mentioned my ex-friend Phil is a lost cause and will die soon. I do have another good guitar friend Mark who was a lifelong alcoholic, but he's been sober now for 6 years. I hope he never goes back to drinking cause he'll probably quickly die if he does.
Take care ya'll... And good luck to everyone facing their burdens.