Jomtien, 29th November, 2009

Today I have been sober for 91 days.

Today I  received a comment which I consider to be so important that I have decided to publish it on the face of my blog, together with my response.


Submitted on 2009/11/29 at 8:33pm

I’m not sure about that … I understand not giving any money and all the other material support, but not visiting a good friend when he may be on his death bed seems very unkind. The odds are, from what you’ve been saying is that he is a lost cause – that he’s going to die from his addiction this time or the next. You’re not enabling him by showing compassion to a friend during his last few hours or days alive. People make their own choices and eventually you say, well it’s up to you, if this is the way you want to go out so be it. That doesn’t mean he has to die alone. I hope his ex does stay with him. To die as you’ve described alone in Bangkok is a very sorry way to go.

Submitted on 2009/11/29 at 10:09pm

You seem to have missed the point.

The only hope for Dave’s survival is for him to hit “rock bottom”, realise that he is at last on his own without any support, and then cry out for help. If we go and help him now and sit with him and comfort him, he may sober up for a while, then he will have to go into hospital, spend his last 200 -300,000 Baht on expensive doctors and detox treatment. And within a few weeks he will be back on his death bed again. Every crisis gets him closer and and quicker to the end.

We all want him to live, but the only way to save him is to be “cruel ” to him.

This is a very well documented and sometimes successful way to bring alcoholics to their senses, and has worked in countless cases throughout the world. By propping Dave up, we are only committing him to yet more hell. He must make that life changing decision for himself – nothing else will work. He is not a fool, even in his current state he knows he has a choice.

I have already reported that every single person I have consulted, including AA members with 30 years plus of sobriety and ongoing success in bringing others from the brink to sobriety, his English doctor, and even his own brother agree it is the only course of action left to us.

If you don’t think this is all breaking my heart then you have no understanding of what I have been writing, and while you are entitled to your opinion, which I respect, I suggest that your reaction to the crisis is overly emotional and does not take into account the extreme circumstances under which I am obliged to take this desperately sad action.

Added to which, my sponsor advises me to stay away for the sake of my own life and sobriety. I am not exactly the most stable of people to deal with something like this, and if we are not careful we may have two people on their death beds.

Part of me hopes that his ex stay with him, and the logical part of me hopes that she doesn’t, because it is only when he is totally alone, with no one to help him that he may finally come to his senses.

Of course, if I hear that he is completely beyond saving and has only a short time to live, then I will go to him and make his final hours as comfortable as possible.