He went into the hospital Christmas Day. He's currently restrained (literally) to his hospital bed, is on a ventilator and has a feeding tube. He's a big guy and he's a pisser of the highest order. I love the man to death, but he's not a teddy bear by any stretch of the imagination. He went into the hospital with renal failure and is now in the throes of withdrawal. It makes him a mean son of a bitch and this is coming from someone who actually likes the guy. I'm amazed one of the hospital staff hasn't clocked him yet. Because I can assure you, at least one of them wants to. I bet a few of them have left his room feeling a little stabby.
Everyone has their issues. Lord knows I'm not perfect. And I sincerely believe addiction is a disease. And while it's not curable, per se, it is most definitely treatable. And this is the part that makes me stabby - the innate selfishness of the disease. It's ability to completely take over a family, no matter what issues anyone else may have. The fact that it can easily ruin a Christmas dinner or birthday or anniversary or a freaking Tuesday. The fact that you know the person could die, or kill someone else, at the drop of a hat. The fact that you can't let the person hold your baby because s/he might drop the kid. The fact that they smell...horrible. The fact that you have to question your own drinking habits on a habitual basis. The list of facts is endless.
My family has been bludgeoned by the addiction stick. Both sides have raging alcoholics and a plethora of other addictions. Some have been through treatment. Few were successful. And most have died from it. Some family members choose the denial route and make excuses for the addict. Some go to Al-Anon meeting when the addict is in treatment. Some just turn a blind eye and refuse to even admit there's an issue. Others join in the addiction party. Makes for very interesting holiday parties, let me tell you. (One year an uncle bought wine coolers for the kids...I was about 8) And the funerals? Well, those are something else. (Picture, if you will, a procession of nieces and nephews wearing beer t-shirts over funeral garb will walking down the aisle of a Catholic church. No, I'm not kidding even a little bit. And the t-shirts were not new. Shudder.)
I'm far too familiar with addiction. Not through my own choice, but because it's been thrust upon me from all sides. It's unfair, all-encompassing, irritating, humorous at times (because it has to be), obscene, ridiculous and stab-inducing. I've never actually stabbed anyone because of it, but it does tend to put my imagination in overdrive.
The New Year is fast approaching. I don't know if my uncle will have the chance to make any resolutions, or if he would choose to. That is so sad to me. And it makes me so angry.
I realize this post probably makes me sound self-obsessed, judgmental, mean-hearted, cold, unsympathetic. I can assure you I am none of those things, but I am angry and sad and I'm having a hard time getting through the day.
The anger part is easier to deal with though, so I'm going to stay stabby for a while longer.