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Need a sponsor in La Crosse, WI




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Need a sponsor in La Crosse, WI

Postby roygbiv » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:06 pm

Hello,

My mother is a chronic alcoholic living in the La Crosse area. She has been in long and short term rehab numerous times. Presently, she is drinking but plans to begin detox on Monday. Thankfully, her MD won't allow her to do an outpatient detox so she will either have to admit herself to the hospital, try to detox alone (dangerous--she's 84 with significant health issues), have her committed or continue drinking.

Whatever happens, what I think she needs is a sponsor.

She accepts that she's an alcoholic but is still in the shame and self-hatred stage. She doesn't want to accept that her disease is the same as everyone else's. She is too prideful to attend AA. She might consider a meeting that has "professionals" in it, i.e. members of her social/economic status. I'm thinking that if she could find a sponsor whom she respects, he or she might help her get started on her journey to humility, acceptance of herself and others and, most importantly, to get the support system she needs. She doesn't want to ask friends for help as she's tried to keep everything a secret for 40 years. She is fairly well known in the community.

Is there a way to locate a sponsor that is "of her social status" to get her started? If so, please post here.

Thanks!
roygbiv
 
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Postby Dallas » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:00 pm

Here is the phone number for the:
LA CROSSE WISCONSIN A.A.
La Crosse Area A.A. Intergroup
La Crosse WI Telephone: 608 784-7560

That's where I'd start. If you call the number, ask to see if they have an Intergroup Office Manager. Some do and some don't. The reason being, the volunteer that answers the phone may or may not be able to help you as the Office Manager can. Often, the person managing the office will have more time and experience than the others volunteering in the office.

It's going to be difficult to find an AA that will sponsor her before she has made a decision to get sober. And, what you need is someone that has experience making "12 Step Calls." Unfortunately, there are even fewer sponsors in AA today, as opposed to the past -- that are experienced with 12 Step Calls on alkies that are still drinking.

What you may want to consider is going outside of AA for a professional, that's called an "Interventionist." (Used to, we had many AA's that were good Interventionists in their own right -- but there aren't too many of them left).

The difference is: AA's are volunteers and they try to stay away from appearing to do anything on a professional level, and what they do, they do it as part of their own recovery. An Interventionist, on the other hand, is a paid professional that "intervenes" to convince & sell someone on the idea of sobriety & recovery. They often work in concert with Treatment Centers and Professional Alcohol & Substance Abuse counselors.

If you need to locate an Interventionist -- I'll see what I can do to come up with a list that you might consider calling. I have no affiliation or association with the Interventionist -- I'm just suggesting that it may be something that you might want to consider.

I hope that helps. Either way, please check back and let us know what's happening and how it's going. If we can be of help to you -- we're here for you.

Dallas B.
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Postby roygbiv » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:46 pm

Hi Dallas, thanks for your response.

My Mom is in the hospital detoxing right now. After talking with her doctor, we gave her the choice of admitting herself or her doctor, my sister and I would have her committed. We may still go the commitment route if she doesn't agree to entering a 30 day treatment program following detox.

She's gone through many in and outpatient 3-4 day detoxes and thinks she's all fixed and returns home to her many Rx's for sleeping, anti-anxiety and pain meds and in a few months she's drinking again.

If she goes in for a 30 day, my hope is she'll connect with AA and a sponsor there. If not, I'll contact the number you gave me.

Thanks again for your prompt attention and info.

Hugs!
roygbiv
 
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Postby Dallas » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:45 pm

I hope and pray that it works out good for you and for her.

I went through one of those processes w/ my brother after he tried to kill me and himself in my living room -- where I had taken him in because he was homeless.

He never did manage to get sober and stay sober and died about 18 months after getting out of the hospital -- that I had became a part of the "commitment process." He never forgave me for it and raged on me after it. He was able to con the docs into letting him go three days after he had been committed convincing them that "I had done this mean thing to him". :wink:

I certainly hope that your experience & your mothers experience turns out much more positive than mine or his.

Afterwards -- I had to learn to take his rants & ravings up until he died. I don't want to cast any shadows of doubt for you -- and, if my experience shares anything for you -- I hope that it is: Don't blame yourself if the results do not turn out favorable. And, don't take it personally. You're trying to do whatever you can do to save your mother's life. And, she may not appreciate it. Us alcoholics get really sick spiritually. Our love for our family is deep -- but, often, we get so sick, that we are unable to show it.

You're in my heart & prayers.

I would highly suggest that you contact Al-Anon, which is kind of like a "sister program & Fellowship" to AA. They exist to help the non-alcoholic families -- that suffer as a result of "our" alcoholism. They may be a tremendous support for you!

Dallas
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Postby roygbiv » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:56 pm

So sorry to hear about your brother. I'm in my mid fifties now and have been affected by my mother's drinking and drug abuse since I was about 13. I've been to AlAnon and several years of affected family member group therapy--which totally changed my life. I've gone through a lot with my mother and it did put a strain on my relationship with my sister, who, for a while, thought being "tough" and detached was too mean. But she's on board now (I think the TV program "Intervention" helped).

I have NO expectations. She may leave the hospital tomorrow morning, she may die tonight, she might sign herself in for 30 days--and it has nothing to do with me. She's already said and done innumerable mean things and I know it is not my Mom saying those things. It's a symptom--in fact, that's how I usually discover she's drinking again, she says something uncharacteristically mean. My healthy mother is so sweet and loving.

In the past 40 years I've learned to really SEE her addiction as almost a separate entity and I listen to my gut. Not that I don't feel sad or worry or get angry--but it doesn't overtake my life.

Thanks again for your kind words!
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Postby Dallas » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:21 am

It's sad to watch what alcoholism does to families. And, to see what my alcoholism did to my family, too.

So glad that you've gotten help for yourself! So many people out there suffering that do not realize help is available to them.

I guess my closest experience w/ something similar to the suffering, for me, has been my mother's Alzheimer's, more so than my brothers alcoholism & addiction. Our alcoholism makes us very sick and I guess it's easier for me to understand the sickness of alcoholism -- as a self-imposed condition, than it is for something like the Alzheimer's -- which, I guess we're still not sure how it happens and why it happens to whomever it happens to. I don't think it's something that's a result of their own choices -- like our alcoholism was.

I guess that's why it's more difficult on families that are harmed by the condition of the alcoholics in the family. It becomes harder to understand that ... yes, they made choices that led to this -- but, it became a problem that was greater than their ability to do something about it -- other than to seek treatment for it. And, often -- by then, it seems as though its too late for them. Yet, we can't give up hope and effort because we do still live in an age of miracles. And, often, that's just what's needed -- the help of others, the help of God, and a miracle.

Best wishes for you all. You're in my prayers.

Dallas
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Postby flying fiddler » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:24 am

roygbiv,

I suggest finding an Alanon meeting. Talk to them, ask questions. Take care of yourself first, When you hear the safety briefing on an airliner you are told to put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST, then put one on your child, or help another. The key is getting the oxygen flowing to you first, otherwise you can't help anyone, including yourself.
I understand how difficult it is to do. The insidious nature of helping another to the point of killing oneself. I've been there, roaming around without my oxygen mask on and it about killed me, along with the person i was "helping"

My thoughts and prayers are with you

John D
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Postby roygbiv » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:35 pm

Thank you all for your kind words.

My mother did go in on Monday and stayed overnight in the hospital and was released the next morning. She stopped drinking on Saturday so by the time she checked in on Monday pm her blood alcohol was 0; she timed it perfectly. She was released because she had no signs of withdrawal. However, she was exhausted and so depressed and wanted to die--but "perfectly fine with no withdrawal!" (Ha ha.) She failed to see the contradiction.

Sometimes I think medical personnel are clueless. Mom feels vindicated and she might stay "sober" for a short time but relapse is inevitable. And tho "dry" she's still so sick, of course.

I'm taking a vacation from her for an unlimited amount of time.

Thanks again.
roygbiv
 
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Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:25 pm

Until they become sick & tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired -- not much can be done.

Thanks for checking in. I've been thinking about you and hoping for the best. Yes! Get some rest. And, take care of yourself!

Dallas
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