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Military drinking

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by jackslivi, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    Hey everyone,

    I kind of have a story to share with all of you. I am hoping this helps a few of you.

    About 3 years ago, I was dating my high school sweetheart. He was in the military and just moved to a new base in a different state. It was about a 12 hour drive from my home town to his new home. I would go there often to see him. Well, word got around that his platoon would be deploying in May. I had never see such a change in him. He started drinking all the time. He would black out and everyone would post pictures of him all over facebook. It was horrible to watch because there was nothing I could do about it. Eventually, he got to the point that he was an angry drunk. He almost hit me one day. I had been with him for 7 years and I finally could not protect him anymore. I tried everything that I could think of to help him. I broke up with him because he started not caring about me at all. He was sleeping with other girls and not even knowing he did. That's how drunk he would get.

    Anyway, what I am trying to get at is, that no matter how much you try, sometimes it does not work out in your favor. He eventually deployed and is still drinking to this day. I have heard many appologies in the past year but it hurt to watch him suffer. The sad part is, is that the army did nothing. He eventually got a DUI when he got back from deployment which caused him to get discharged.

    Even in a certain case like mine, we want to do the best we can for others. They have a different journey. I still was there for him after we had broken up. I still am to this day but I do not talk to him when he is drinking.

    So I want you guys to know that, people in the military have problems too. There was for sure an underlying cause to why he was drinking so much but that did not stop him. If someone you know is in the military and is drinking, you are not alone. Let me know if you guys need any support because I understand.
  2. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I'm so sorry that happened in your life, but at the same time I can kind of understand why he might have gone that direction. Deployment may have been overwhelmingly frightening and he didn't know how else to handle those feelings that he didn't want to admit to.

    I had a friend who was in the military for a while, she was discharged after a serious shoulder injury in training. She struggled with alcohol for some time after that and almost became a true alcoholic. I think they need to have some kind of intervention in those kind of situations because people are vulnerable when they are dealing with fear and if they turn to alcohol to deal with the fear, that becomes a coping mechanism, leading to addiction.
    jackslivi likes this.
  3. SF13

    SF13 Member

    The military claims that there should be no stigma associated with getting help for mental issues or for substance abuse issues, but it really varies by the unit. My own unit was pretty good about things, but I was once able to see what another unit did while I was on a temporary duty. They actively called out people for being crazy or drunks!

    The soldiers could have complained but at the end of the day they probably would not have managed to get much out of that. It can be hard o get real help while in the service, all you can really do is be there for your service member. When they start becoming belligerent and violent though, it can be a much different situation. Always protect yourself first.
    jackslivi likes this.
  4. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    Oh yes. It is very difficult to go through something like that. At first, I tried to get him help with his leaders and they said he would pull out of it. I am so sorry about your friend but I could not agree more with you. They made him take a class that he never went to. They should have more people there to talk to them and relate to them. I had someone talk to him but honestly he did not want to hear it. It was sad. He told me that he got his intervention when he came home from deployment and I was not there. I was engaged and pregnant and he said that tore him up more than anything. I hate seeing people suffer the hard way.
  5. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    So many people tried to talk to him. He acted like it did not happen. He was very good at hiding it too. Some of his friends tried to pull him out of it while other helped feed him the alcohol. They would drag him out of his room and make him go to the bars with him. It was horrible to watch. Which is why I walked away from him because it was not good at all. I wish soldiers had better treatment. They act like they are not that important. All soliders deserve the best with all they do.
  6. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is hard lesson to learn that no matter how much you love and care for the person, there is only so much you can do for them. I hope he was able to seek help after being discharged. I'm sure someone else in a similar situation will find comfort in your words.
    jackslivi likes this.
  7. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    Sadly he has not. I wish he would. After he got his DUI, he did calm down drinking so much and finally admitted that he is an alcoholic. I was so proud. But he still has not taking any steps. I know it takes time. He is out of the army and is far away from home. I wish him all the best. He was really a great guy. He just fell into the wrong trap. If I would of known about this site, I would of recommended it a long time ago because he really could of found help in here.
  8. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    I was involved with a man like this, but his excuse was his father's death--not the military. I, too, was with him for seven years while he became an angry drunk. It go so bad that I even left him in another country when we were on vacation. He was 11 years older than me, and I go to the point where I decided I was not going to be his mother. He had one of them. On another occasion we had driven far from home and he began drinking badly. I got in his car and he threatened he would call the cops telling them I stole his car. I said, "Go ahead. You are drunk, have 2 DUI's and I will tell them you hit me and wanted to drive away. Who will they believe?" I then drove away in his car. I felt unsafe, and I would not allow myself to stay in that situation. It has been seven years and he claims he is sober, but I have seen no evidence of it. Nor do I care at this point. I learned a lot from that relationship as to what my limits are and what to expect. He often blamed me for his drinking---even though I never drink. I offered to go on non-alcoholic vacations sponsored by AA. I went to meetings with him and even chatted with his sponsor. The choice was his.. and he chose wrong. My choice was to stay or leave. I did what was best for me. That is all any of us can do.
    jackslivi likes this.
  9. skullalif

    skullalif Member

    The Military is basically a harsh place, many people suffer mental shocks and traumas by simply following military style training, not to mention the high pressure on someday having to go to war or kill somebody.

    I'd recommend you to watch Full Metal Jacket (a military based movie by Stanley Kubrick) to help you tailor an understanding about his mental condition, my solution for him may only be for him to find God, so that he has faith on what he is doing. Religion is the only method to do when you live under constant pressure, having faith helps a whole lot.
    jackslivi likes this.
  10. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    Your story hits me hard. It is so crazy how so much can change from just drinking. And the blame game. Oh I have heard it over and over how it was my fault too. It's just unbelievable how someone you know becomes someone you had no clue was there. Stay strong my friend. And thank you for sharing your story. It really took me back and made me realize we are not alone.
  11. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    I could not agree more with you on this! They literally scream at them until they get used to it. Harsh words are said and they do not even blink an eye after boot camp. I don't mean to sound awful when I say this but they turn them into monster who are not to show any emotion. I could never do that. I wrote to my ex every day just to give him the support he needed. Once he got out, he had a huge stack of letters that had two big rubber bands around them. I tried everything I could just to let him know that I would be there to make his day better.
    The whole God thing is not a good subject with him. His mom has always been pushing God down his throat since forever. I won't even try to cross that bridge with him. When him and I were together, I didn't even believe in God. I thought it was a joke. Man I was really blinded by how stupid I was. I hope now, where ever he is that he does find God because he would help him.
  12. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Being in the military alone is such a nerve-wracking experience. You always place your life on the line for God and country. I don't completely blame them if they need something to strengthen their resolve or quell those feelings of anxiety ('cause the thought of dying any moment can definitely make anyone anxious). I do hope that a comprehensive customizable stress debriefing program will be incorporated into the current system to avoid military personnel from resorting to substance abuse.
    jackslivi likes this.
  13. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    I agree with you. It seems like they do not even care to really take care of the troops. Yeah there are people there but are they really. I really hope they find a better way to help our troops with so much that they do for us. I know they do concerts and random star appearences but I do not think that is enough. Not everyone falls into this catergory and I don't want you to think that I was saying all troops do. I just wish there were something way better to help them. No way could I be in their shoes and I thank them every day for that. Maybe the government will realize they need to start focusing on our troops to make sure they are alright. All the troops deserve it.
    xTinx likes this.