Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Addiction Makes Me Stabby

At this very moment, my uncle is in ICU. I won't go into too many graphic details, but the man likes his drink and his drugs and has for WAY too long. He's most definitely an addict. I think he knows this, but I don't believe he would ever admit it out loud. Thus my current level of stabbiness.

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.


  1. Meg: well said and so sadly true.

  2. Oh do I feel your pain!! My sister's addiction and subsequent lifestyle (or vice versa) was all encompassing in our family. Because she got into it so young, my parents were constantly chasing after her and trying to help her. Every event was overshadowed with her presence - or lack there of. I always felt that my problems weren't important in comparison. After almost 20 years of turbulence, she had the gall to pass away on the day of my kids' big choir production for the city. I was so mad! She yet again stole someone's thunder and took centre stage. It also just happened to be before Christmas, so now even in death, she haunts our festivities. So yes, you feel as stabby as you want. I will be stabby with you in spirit.

  3. addiction is a bitch we all want to clock in the right boob. what really gets me is when people who know better, who have been hurt by it, who saw it growing up still fall into the pattern. I hope things go well with your uncle and the ugly passes so he can think again and see the ones who love him :)

  4. My family has too much of this crap too and it drives me bonkers. I hope your uncle comes through the worst and sees the ones who love him. It might not change anything, but love is a good thing and he's blessed to have yours :)

  5. Candice, that must be so hard for you. I hope that time will help the pain lessen. But until then, stabby's good too.

  6. Thanks, Steph. You're very sweet. I'm constantly amazed by the sheer numbers of people who have to deal with the fall out of addition. Thankfully, most of us also have somewhere else to focus our love, time and energy.


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