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Old 07-28-2015, 11:33 PM #1
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I suppose I already know the answers to most of this, but need to hear it from people who have been in this situation one way or another.
My spouse and I rarely drink. We will have a drink now and again socially.
We have a couple friend from the South that drink heavily. They moved to another state, so we don't see them nearly as often. I'm worried about both of them, but particularly about the husband. I've known them for over twenty years and during this time, when we see them, it is clear to me that his drinking has increased and there are physical changes too.
Dinner: He often will have a drink of hard liquor before meeting us at the restaurant. At the restaurant, he will have several classes of wine. He will then have a dessert wine at the end. He might have a drink or two with lunch as well.
I noticed his hand shaking one time and after drinking, it seemed to stop.
Additionally, he seems to be slightly grouchy prior to drinking (at times).
Sometimes when he drinks he is mellow, but other times he is loud and inappropriate. At times, his gait seems slightly shaky.
He has been drinking very regularly for over twenty years, with a seemingly steady increase in frequency.
His wife drinks a lot as well, but slightly less and does not show these symptoms.
My initial guess is I'm seeing the husband engage in alcohol abuse....but more likely alcohol addiction.
The wife...possibly an issue there as well.
They have indicated that they drink at least one glass of wine a day to relax...but I suspect it could be more.
Can anyone give me some insight and / or advice?
Can people drink like this in moderation or go back to moderation? I cringe, as I have my doubts.
They are VERY nice, intelligent and productive people.
I'm very concerned and am unsure of what I'm observing and if there is anything I can do. I'm sure they don't believe there is an issue here.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:22 AM #2
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They sound like functioning alcoholics. It'll take one BIG, bad event to shake them out of it. When they've lost everything they'll wake up and get help. Usually it's AA.

You really can't do anything. It has to come from them.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:13 AM #3
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Vowel Lady, I am in remission from psychological (not physical) alcohol addiction.

What you have described about your friends is very familiar to me.

As Wiix wrote, the choice must be theirs - I think that all that you (as a friend) can do is to support them in their choices.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:02 AM #4
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Hi Vowel Lady,

I agree with Wiix and Kiwi to a point, but his behaviour - loud and inappropriate - is obviously affecting you. As had been said, most alcoholics lose everything, including friends and family, before seeking help. You can choose to be part of that pattern and distance yourself from them, thus sparing yourself the pain of seeing friends deteriorate - it seems inevitable anyway.

Or you can tell them, kindly and calmly, how his inappropriate behaviour makes you feel and you cannot tolerate it. Either they will realise their actions have consequences and it may be the first step they need/choose to change, they will moderate their behaviour around you or they will dismiss your feelings - in which case they are no friends at all.

Having been both sides of the bottle many times with many people, and finding myself there again, I know how difficult it is to deal with alcoholics. Just keep a calm head whatever you decide.

Dave.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:17 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vowel Lady View Post
He often will have a drink of hard liquor before meeting us at the restaurant. At the restaurant, he will have several classes of wine. He will then have a dessert wine at the end. He might have a drink or two with lunch as well.
I noticed his hand shaking one time and after drinking, it seemed to stop.
This was me 4+ years ago. I would shake in the mornings until I had a couple drinks (in the morning) and then I would be fine.

My drinking gradually increased over the years (did't notice it myself, but others sure did) to the point where I had a glass in my hand about 12-18 hours a day.

My story has a happy ending, but it involves "rock bottom", and you dont want to hear about that.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:38 AM #6
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Yes, I would say he is a functioning alcoholic and she might be as well. Actually "high" functioning. They have good careers, they don't drink and drive...hiring taxis instead. They have several good friends. They are fairly close to their adult children and don't seem to have family arguments...no more than typical...and nothing extreme. They don't have money problems and are respected in their community. She is very proper in attire and speech. He is in attire, but when he has drank a lot, at times will say inappropriate things even in public. One (maybe the only one) of the maladaptive behaviors of note.

Sooo.... Can someone be a functioning alcoholic indefinitely? Estimated age 60-62. Has been drinking for perhaps 20-30 years with increasing frequency. Of note, he has a health problem (unrelated), but I looked it up and it said flat out that frequent alcohol use can exacerbate this condition. Either don't drink or lite drinking only. This is so not the case.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:02 PM #7
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My dad had a couple beers 2 weeks before he died at almost 96. He was not a light drinker all his life...he functioned, never missed a day of work but drove us nuts. Not a good thing but he wouldn't change his ways. Stopped alcohol later in life as it burned going down, that's what he said. He never smoked. I went to enough alanon meetings in my lifetime.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:05 AM #8
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Sooo.... Can someone be a functioning alcoholic indefinitely?
Sure! But this person sounds like they have crossed that fine line and sliding down that hill to full-blown alcoholism.

They need to throttle back and enjoy "social drinking" if they are unwilling to stop completely.

I wish I could of done that, but I am not wired that way
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Old 05-10-2021, 01:13 AM #9
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Im saddened and intrigued about my posts about my friends that I was worried about who were drinking more frequently over the years. I was particularly worried about the husband. He continued to drink. It continued to increase. And he passed away.
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