Update on Horatio – February – Pessimism

The buildup of anticipation and optimism crumbled in disappointment when I arrived home. My father laid down the events that occurred while I had been gone.

Horatio didn’t learn from the first two times that he neglected to show up for work, so he felt a third was necessary to drive it home. Consequently, he had been unemployed for the previous three weeks and has not been sighted for even longer. This meant that throughout the past few weeks he had been in an all-out brawl against his liver to destroy as much remaining functional tissue as possible.

I knew what I would find walking through the door to his house. The TV would be playing a movie at a volume that was way too loud for an incoherent audience member, the bathroom would stink like cigarettes, the refrigerator would be empty, save for a ketchup bottle, his pantry would look much the same, and Horatio would be passed out on the couch with a 1.75 liter bottle of vodka on the floor in front of him.

What would be the point in seeing this all too familiar scene? He’d be drunk, therefore there was no point in having a discussion that he wouldn’t recall having.

I went over there regardless of the sad sight that would be encountered. After letting myself in with the spare key, I could see that everything appeared as expected. I walked over to the unconscious body on the couch and gave him a sternal rub to judge his level of intoxication. Horatio’s head rose slightly and his eyelids retracted only enough to see a sliver of his pupils. He will not remember seeing me.

Picking up the half-empty 1.75 liter of vodka, I walked over to the kitchen sink. Turning the bottle upside down allowed some of the caustic vapors to reach my nose. The piercing smell sent my stomach churning in empathy for Horatio.

As the rest of the bottle drained I found a notecard and pen to write him a note. The note was rather long, but can be summarized in a few words. I explained my disappointment in his recent choices; that I know he is stronger than this; and that I love him no matter what. When the bottle finished draining I placed it on the counter with the notecard on top of it and left.

  1. Heidi said:

    The pain never ends, does it? I once heard the only way to ‘help’ an alcoholic is to find him a friend from AA or take him to a meeting. Really, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of another way that works. He seems as determined as the rest of us to hit bottom.

    Yes, he is strong, but alcoholism is stronger–always. It’s not because he doesn’t love anyone else. It’s because he’s addicted. He does what he has to. AA teaches countless drunks how to live again. Statistically, only one who’s been there will reach him.

    Obviously you love him. I’m so sorry for what you are going through at the hands of alcohol… Many in Alanon can identify.

    • I’ve wanted to go to an AA meeting for months now to learn from the vast amount of experience there. I think you’ve motivated me enough to quit making excuses and just go to a meeting.

      Thank you for the kind words, Heidi. BTW I have been really enjoying your blog.

      • Heidi’s blog is a great resource for AA related stuff. Just an FYI I was just there looking up some stuff… You can’t go wrong at Heidi’s!

        There is a blog for Adult Children of Alcoholics L.I.S.T ACA that has a lot of resources for not just ACA folks but alanon too.

  2. Eden said:

    I have to say that AA isn’t the only way to stop drinking. Indeed, I think, from watching my brother-in-law be involved in AA, that it’s almost worst. Because it’s designed to convince the addict of their own helplessness in the face of addiction… And so if the person fails (and some do) then they are worse off because they feel they aren’t only sick, and addicted, but unhelpable… and un-save-able (to use two “non-words”).

    This doesn’t mean that AA sponsors themselves (as in a person to really “be there”) can’t be a wonderful thing. Like all things it is both good and bad and better suited for people people than others… You may wish to go to a few meetings yourself before truing to bring your brother to one

    • Wise words. He used to go to the meetings when he was actively seeking help for his addiction. As of late, he has either decided that AA is not helping him, or he has lost motivation to sober up. These days when we discuss his plan, AA does not seem to be a pivotal part of it.

      I do want to check out a few meetings before I discuss it any further with him. If it seems like a good thing, then maybe I’ll bring it up with him to go together when I’m in town.

      Thanks Eden!

      • Eden said:

        Maybe he’ll also be more willing to work with you on it when you’ve gone to some meetings because he’ll have a sense you “know” where he’s been, at least in that one more respect. Nothing like a sense of common ground to help open an honest dialogue.

        I wish you and your brother the best. It’s a long, painful and frustrating road you are both travelling

        • I think you have a great point. One more thing to be able to relate to him with would only be helpful.

          Thanks for the wishes. It try to remain patient with him, no matter what.

          • I found Alanon to be of TREMENDOUS help for ME when I was dealing with an alcoholic family member that was having difficulty with recovery.

            I am reading a book now How To Quit Drinking Without AA by Jerry Dorsman as research for my blog. It is an interesting amalgam of techniques and approaches to quitting with out AA. I know I had to utilize more than just AA to quit.

            I also had to find the RIGHT meeting. I did not/ do not like meetings with heavy Christian overtones. I need my higher power to be mine to define.

            I am so sorry you are traveling this road. It is a rough one. I am with Eden: I wish you both Peace along the way.


    • I’m honored that you thought of me for this.
      Thank you so much, Jen!

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