by Calvin Hunter
(Grants Pass, Oregon)
My sister called this morning to inform me that her friend Art had passed away. Art was a chronic alcoholic of the very worst kind. His disease and addiction had passed beyond any hope of a treatment or cure several years ago.
Living in the basement of his mother’s home, she was actively engaged in keeping him addicted. She took on the role of rationing how much alcohol Art consumed every day. She bragged that she had him cut back to 4 ounces every few hours. She spent her entire life savings and mortgaged her home to get help for Art through Scientology. She gave them all of her money and was engaged in the program to help heal Art. She was away at a Scientology Retreat in Florida when Art died. She called my sister asking for her help to clean up the mess Art had left behind in her basement. My sister told me that Art had lost control over his bowels and was living in his own excrement for a very long time. He was a skeleton of a man and incoherent. My sister had to decline because it was so painful and disgusting.
Art left his 4 children alone many years ago but that was probably the best thing he ever did for them considering how ill he had become. Art’s mother will always believe she was acting in Art’s best interest by giving him a place to stay, rationing his alcohol, paying his bills and donating all of her money to Scientology.
Scientology gladly took her money and when Art worsened, they blamed her for not studying hard enough. Of course she needed to spend more money in order to study harder. Art’s mom was just as ill as Art but couldn’t see her active role in perpetuating his disease and early demise.
In his last years, Art spent his time visiting other planets (in his imagination) and created a world out of his alcohol induced psychosis. Art told my sister that he was the creator of the universe and did battle with aliens on our behalf. I convinced my sister to stay away from Art last year due to how volatile he had become. She listened and she also thanked me for helping her see how dysfunctional Art and his mother had become.
Goodbye Art. It never had to happen this way.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.