In the past when I have shared stories about Mr. Ivriniel's crazy home life growing up, other Groupthinkers have commented about how they are amazed that he seemed to have come through it mostly unscathed. The short answer is, he didn't.

He has struggled with anxiety and depression for his entire adult life. And to cope with that anxiety and depression, and the accompanying insomnia, he has been self-medicating with alcohol for years.

I have been concerned about his alcohol consumption, and the impact on his health for quite some time. His GP, the fertility Doctor, and his Sleep Doctor have all advised him to stop drinking, but he refused. He kept insisting that he was reducing his drinking. I didn't buy it, because I would see how fast the bottles of vodka were disappearing (and he was the only person drinking them), but he would continue to insist that he was drinking less. He kept saying he was going to take holidays from alcohol, but some special event would always come up that he would have to get a drink for.

Well, a couple of events have happened in the last month that have finally made him admit he has a problem. About two weekends ago, he was complaining of persistent abdominal and chest pain, that scared him enough that he asked me to drive him to the emergency room. They did a number of tests and determined that his heart was fine, but said that all his liver enzymes were elevated. They asked him flat out about his drinking, and then told him he had a problem and needed to follow up with his family Doctor. He's been supposed to see his GP for months, but keeps putting it off because he hasn't had the bloodwork done his Doctor asked for. (Mr. I is afraid of needles, and getting him to do any blood work is very difficult.)

Then last weekend, he was driving to a nearby city for a meeting of a organization that he is a part of. He stopped for lunch at a bar he likes, and had pizza and 1 beer. Then as I was trying to find the meeting site, he accidentally ran a red light, and was pulled over. The cop asked if he had been drinking, and when he said yes, the breathalyzer came out. He ended up blowing a .280, but he didn't seem intoxicated at all, so they had him blow again at the station. Then it was .290.

I found out 6 hours later, when the police called me to come and pick him up.

Well, he can't deny he has a problem anymore. Assuming he is telling the truth about having only 1 beer at the bar (and he wasn't there long enough to drink what he would need to get to .280-.290) the only way for him to be blowing this kind of numbers would be if his liver was functioning so poorly that alcohol just isn't leaving his system. We were out and about the day before, I know he had 2 beers at lunch, 2 caesars at dinner, and that he says he had 3 drinks at night after we got home (but the way he makes drinks those 3 drinks were probably closer to five) before going to bed at midnight, so much of that alcohol must have still be hanging around. Also, people who get to this stage can have really high blood alcohols and not seem intoxicated, because their body has built up a tolerance to it.

So he's has his license suspended, and his car impounded. He is facing legal proceedings. His lawyer says that the one bit of good news on the legal side is the fact that the police released him on a "promise to appear", rather than requiring bail. Apparently that almost never happens when people blow the levels Mr. I did, but generally people who blow those numbers are really disorderly, while Mr. I was polite and cooperative.

Advertisement

So that's the legal side. On the personal side, he has an upcoming appointment with his Doctor (the Doctor's office had already called to make a followup appointment after his Emerg visit) and we have gotten a list of the local AA meetings in our town. At least two are within walking distance. He also contacted a couple of drug and alcohol treatment programs in town, but they have said they will not take him on as a client until the legal proceedings are finished. They have advised him not to quit cold turkey without medical advice, as the shock could be dangerous to his health.

I am glad he is finally admitting he has a problem. I just wish it hadn't taken the arrest. We've told his Mom, OSiL, OBiL and his Dad. We are keeping the Annoying Inlaws in the dark because they are so self-righteous they would be more annoying that helpful.

My MiL, OSiL and OBiL have been great. Supportive and non-judgemental, while acknowledging that there is a problem and talking about how they will change their own behaviour around Mr. Ivriniel to make things easier for him not to drink.

My FiL not so much. He pretty much denies that Mr. Ivriniel has a problem, calling the charges against him "horseshit" and actually saying to him "After this is all over, we'll go get a pint, and talk about it." (To his credit, even he realized this was a bit much, and said "I guess that was the wrong thing to say, right?")

He's been calling Mr. Ivriniel with alternate theories of what might have made him blow such a high number, suggesting that Mr. Ivriniel's hypertension medication might have played a role, for example.

This is pretty rich coming from my FiL considering that he has expressed concern to me about how much Mr. Ivriniel drinks in the past, telling me that I should cut back his drinking. (How the hell am I supposed to control what an adult drinks? All that would accomplish is to make him more sneaky.) But then the very next time we go over to his Dad's house, his Dad would be getting out the Scotch and wanting to drink with Mr. Ivriniel.

Advertisement

I have no doubt that my FiL is a functional alcoholic as well, so he can't admit that Mr. Ivriniel has a problem without admitting to his own. I have already said to Mr. Ivriniel that I think we will need to limit his contact with his Dad for a while, since it is likely that his Dad will continue to be an enabler.

So that's where we are right now.