Episode 215 Andrew Culkin Alcoholism and How it Affects Those Around You Transcript

This transcript is from episode 215 with guest Andrew Culkin.

[00:00:00] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community, whether you’re a veteran active duty guard reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio and now let’s get on with the show.

[00:00:21] Scott DeLuzio: Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today my guest is Andrew Culkin. Andrew is the author of the book, Amanda, A Cautionary Tale, where he discusses how his wife of 25 years passed away due to alcoholism and how he was able to find a purpose to help others understand alcoholism. And what leads to that.

[00:00:44] Scott DeLuzio: So welcome to the show, Andrew, I’m really glad to have you here.

[00:00:47] Andrew Culkin: Thanks Scott. Really happy to be here.

[00:00:49] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? I know this is not the typical episode where usually we talk to veterans and other people who are specifically [00:01:00] servicing veterans, but in this case your discussion is a little bit outside of the norm for what we have on this conversation, but please give us a little background on, on who you are and what you’ve written with your book and everything like that?

[00:01:11] Scott DeLuzio: Sure.

[00:01:11] Andrew Culkin: Well, originally I’m I’ve been an insurance broker for the last 30 years. One thing that I wrote the book, Amanda, A Cautionary Tale. She was my wife of 25 years. She passed away a little over two years ago. And from that I really wanted to find a purpose. You know, I didn’t wanna just, you know, have a box of ashes and that was the end of it.

[00:01:30] Andrew Culkin: I needed to find some meaning behind all the pain and suffering that she went through. And ultimately myself and my, my, my son’s 22 now he was 20 then, but you know, and all the things that we went through, you know, talk about posttraumatic stress syndrome, just that there’s a lot of things that family members go through.

[00:01:50] Andrew Culkin: That’s attached to the alcoholic when someone’s an alcoholic in the family, the whole. Is an alcoholic in one sense, one sense than another one thing I was [00:02:00] excited about talking with you, Scott, is that I was a broker for about 30 years. Most of my clients, I say half of my clients when I first started back in the eighties and nineties were world war II, veterans, Korean veterans, and then eventually Vietnam veterans.

[00:02:13] Andrew Culkin: Once they aged into 65, cuz you had to be 65 and older. And so many of them You know, they had issues. right. You know, I mean, talk about guys that were in Battle of the Bulge and, you know, just major wars. And you know, they had issues and they carried them in, they carried ’em for the rest of their life.

[00:02:31] Andrew Culkin: And unfortunately there were no podcasts or outlets to talk about these things. And there was definitely a different stigma in the fifties and sixties after the war about mental health, you know, I mean, even Patton, Patton slapped a guy. Because, you know, he had battle fatigue , you know, right. The guy was, you know, he was probably 19 year old kid and he’d probably seen some stuff he didn’t need to see, you know, and it’s good that we’re able to, you know, have a conversation like this and to help people.[00:03:00]

[00:03:00] Andrew Culkin: So ultimately what we’re trying to do.

[00:03:02] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Ultimately, that’s the whole point of this podcast, because so many people, like you said, from prior generations, they came home and they just figured, oh, I gotta just be a man, suck it up and deal with it. And oftentimes that involved things like.

[00:03:17] Scott DeLuzio: Drinking your problems away. And they drink their problems

[00:03:20] Andrew Culkin: away. They, you know, they, they slapped their wives around. They were mean to their kids and it was just, that’s a family matter , you know? Right, right.

[00:03:29] Scott DeLuzio: You know, and, you know, think about the ripple effects, that stuff like that has when you’re a young child growing up in a household where you’re.

[00:03:36] Scott DeLuzio: Your dad’s drinking all the time. Right. He’s beating your wife or beating his wife and right. Mom. Right. And then maybe, you know, being abusive towards you or, you know, whether he’s physically or verbally abusive towards you, then, you know, as you’re growing up, that seems like, well, that’s just how life is.

[00:03:53] Scott DeLuzio: And then maybe that’s the type of person that you become when you get older. That’s generational. Absolutely. Exactly. You know? And [00:04:00] so, so that’s. Obviously something that we want for families and future generations, because I mean that’s clearly dysfunctional. You don’t want that going on in, in the world.

[00:04:11] Scott DeLuzio: So, I, I guess, you know, the reason why I wanted to have you on the show is because a lot of the issues that we talk about on this podcast are things like what you just talked about. Related to veterans, including the mental health related issues. And oftentimes we find these people self-medicating right with whether it’s drugs or alcohol, whatever it may be.

[00:04:30] Scott DeLuzio: And they end up at the point where they just can’t easily stop using them. They’re hooked on whatever it happens to be. And you know, I know you’ve lived this in your own. And you’ve seen firsthand the other side of this, where you have a loved one who went off and ended up going too far with not too far with this alcohol issue that they had.

[00:04:56] Scott DeLuzio: So, you know, I, that’s why I want to have you on and talk to you [00:05:00] about everything that you experienced. So that way you know, maybe the people who are out there who. Maybe have a bad relationship with alcohol don’t necessarily realize what they’re doing to their families might understand now where they’re coming from.

[00:05:15] Scott DeLuzio: Right. Well,

[00:05:16] Andrew Culkin: that’s the biggest thing is self-actualization. The only way a person will ever solve the problem even be, even begin to solve. The problem is that they have to admit that they have a problem to begin with. Yeah. You know, my wife was in denial until I held her hand and we turned off our machines.

[00:05:32] Andrew Culkin: you know, it just, you have to admit that you have a problem. And mental health in general. We need to have more empathy. Society has to have a different viewpoint of mental health. It’s a men. Alcoholism is a mental health disease. It’s a disease, no different than cancer or heart disease. Now we have all the empathy in the world for someone who has cancer and they have no hair cuz they’re going through chemo.

[00:05:58] Andrew Culkin: It’s like, oh, bless your family. And [00:06:00] we hope you, which is normal, but the alcoholic who’s fallen down the stairs and who’s crashing into cars and who’s acting like an idiot that there’s no empathy for this person because they think it’s self-induced. Right. In reality, it’s not self-induced once you become chronic you’re really wrapped into a very bad place of, you know, of disease.

[00:06:21] Andrew Culkin: And the only way out is self admittance. And you need a lot of help. You have to admit that you need help and you need to get the help.

[00:06:29] Scott DeLuzio: Well, I guess let’s maybe take it one step before that, right? Where you’re just talking about first off, let’s start with how people can identify that they themselves have a problem with alcohol, or maybe on, on the other hand, maybe that a loved one has a problem with it.

[00:06:46] Scott DeLuzio: And it’s not just a casual drinker who went overboard. You know, one night or two, you know, something like that. Not necessarily saying that’s a good thing either, but it right. That’s less of a problem than what you’re talking about when you get to that [00:07:00] chronic stage or whatever.

[00:07:01] Scott DeLuzio: So, so how do you identify. That, so that it doesn’t get to that

[00:07:05] Andrew Culkin: point. Well, a lot of people, especially military cuz most military guys are between the ages of 18 to 22 when they start and go to war, most people start their alcoholic career between the ages of 15 and 22. So that’s the time you’re most susceptible.

[00:07:21] Andrew Culkin: Right. Generally when you, when and I’ve read a lot about this, like alcoholics anonymous and things usually. Most people start in college in that same era. And you have a, you might start on the weekend, you start drinking on a Friday and Saturday and all of a sudden Monday, while you need a little hair of the dog.

[00:07:38] Andrew Culkin: So you’re drinking Monday and before you know it’s Thursday and you’re still drinking from the last weekend. So you’ve created a habit that, that. If you are able to recognize it soon enough. And that’s really what I’m trying to do is for people to recognize in it in themselves, if you recognize it soon enough, then you can stop it and get help.

[00:07:56] Andrew Culkin: But there’s a lot of people that just continue one weekend goes into one [00:08:00] weekend and another weekend. And before you know, it, you’ve created a habit that you’re in danger of, and that can happen very quickly. Well, alcoholism it’s not. Quick as you know, other drugs, but it can happen within a six month time period.

[00:08:13] Andrew Culkin: You can become an alcoholic, you know, you’re well on your, to your

[00:08:17] Scott DeLuzio: career. Right. Right. And that’s I suppose part of the thing that I wanted to get across to people is that you know, like you said, with your wife, you. We’re basically dealing with someone who is in denial right throughout the entire stage of this.

[00:08:33] Scott DeLuzio: And like you said, it could only be a matter of a few months before you’re at that stage where you’re, you know, develop this habit where you kind of can’t stop. And. I personally, I would think that it’s just much better to take that break take a walk away from it and give yourself that chance to break that habit.

[00:08:58] Scott DeLuzio: And [00:09:00] that’s, I know that’s easier said than done in some cases, but if you’re capable of breaking that habit, that gives you the chance. Being able to not get to that stage where you’re chronic with this.

[00:09:11] Andrew Culkin: Well, the real well, the real issue is the last person to know that they have a problem is the alcoholic.

[00:09:16] Andrew Culkin: Everyone around them is fully aware that they have a problem, right? The alcoholic’s the last one to know, and you, your friends can tell you, your family can tell you, but you’re talking to a wall when someone’s actually caught in that grip. And you have to do things like interventions and you have to.

[00:09:35] Andrew Culkin: Really get into a person’s face. Unfortunately, when someone of it becomes chronic, just to go a little further, you’re gonna lose your friends, even long term friends. It’s, you’re gonna become very isolated because people aren’t quite simply, aren’t gonna wanna be around you anymore. Right. You know, and that’s another big issue.

[00:09:53] Andrew Culkin: The help that you have will eventually go away. Eventually you won’t have any help. That’s why a lot of these Vietnam vets and vets of desert [00:10:00] storm, and even Afghanistan, a lot of people are homeless because their support systems have. Have gone south. They can’t handle it anymore.

[00:10:08] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. They end up pushing those people away right. Just through their behaviors and that their attitudes towards maybe an intervention or something. They don’t like that. So I guess what’s the best way that we can approach. A loved one who seems to be dealing with alcoholism, cuz like you said, we’re probably the ones who are gonna be the ones who notice it first before they do what’s the best way to approach them.

[00:10:30] Scott DeLuzio: So that way not only can we get them the help that they need, but also the preserve the relationship that we have with them. You

[00:10:39] Andrew Culkin: really have to break it down and explain their actions what’s gone on in their life specifically. Like my wife, for example, first time we put her in a rehab and she ultimately went to.

[00:10:49] Andrew Culkin: She had already had two DUIs. She had driven the car through the front of the house and she had passed out on the living room floor on a regular basis for several months. [00:11:00] And I explained to her, this is the behavior that we’ve had to deal with my son and I have had to deal with. So this is the deal.

[00:11:06] Andrew Culkin: You’re either going to an intervention or your son and I are gonna fi find someplace else to live elsewhere and you have to draw a line in the sand. Some. Okay. If the person, it still can’t have the self actualization to realize that they have an issue, then you gotta draw a line in the sand. You have to get very tough.

[00:11:24] Andrew Culkin: You have to have a lot of very tough love to help these people. And sometimes you do have to walk away there, there will become a point where some people where you have to walk away to preserve your own sanity. you know, but to answer your question, you have to draw a line in the sand with some people.

[00:11:44] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. So sometimes that seems like that might be the kick in the rear that some people need right. To say, well, I, you know, this stuff that I might be losing is more important than whatever you know, the alcohol is getting formed. And if the, if their relat family

[00:11:58] Andrew Culkin: yeah. If their relationship [00:12:00] is strong enough, yeah.

[00:12:01] Andrew Culkin: Then they will recognize, I don’t wanna lose this relationship. And yes, I do need to take action. Right. And sometimes you have to push it in that direction. And that’s the first step. That’s just the first step.

[00:12:12] Scott DeLuzio: right. And I’ve noticed in some cases with certain people that they kind of need to come to the conclusion on their own, that there is a problem and that they absolutely have to you can tell them a thousand times.

[00:12:25] Scott DeLuzio: Hey, I think you should cut this back. I think you should stop drinking, but eventually they’re gonna have to just figure this out on their own and it’s that internal spark that they have, that’s gonna drive them to want to make that change in their life.

[00:12:40] Scott DeLuzio: But if they don’t recognize this as a problem, or if they don’t. They don’t see that whatever it is that they’re doing is causing harm to other people. Then they may not ever get that internal spark that I was talking about, that drives them to make, want to make a change. So the

[00:12:58] Andrew Culkin: pain has to be [00:13:00] worse than the pleasure.

[00:13:01] Scott DeLuzio: Sorry. Yeah, no, exactly. And that’s, I think the gist of what I was trying to say is you know, that exactly right. The pain does have to be greater than the pleasure. And that’s how you make those kind of changes. I think it goes deeper than just those one-on-one relationships sometimes though, because I think in society, Have a, like, just a different understanding of alcoholism.

[00:13:25] Scott DeLuzio: You know, like you said, it’s like, any other kind of disease that you might have, whether it’s cancer or other heart disease or things like that. How could we as a society, help people in their recovery to, to make it more acceptable, maybe to go to you know, rehab or something like that.

[00:13:42] Scott DeLuzio: What is society’s role here?

[00:13:44] Andrew Culkin: We have to be less reactionary. We have to realize when someone’s falling down drunk or a homeless person is struggling. Obviously we have to have more empathy for these people really. I mean, and instead of you know, mocking some like other mental [00:14:00] health diseases, someone has down syndrome.

[00:14:01] Andrew Culkin: For example, we don’t sit there and mock that person out for having down syndrome, right. Or someone who has, you know, some kind of learning disability. We don’t mock these people out. Why do we mock out the person who’s struggling. The chemical dependency of alcoholism and it’s really, and in a sense, it’s really no other, it’s not much different because you, when someone has a chemical dependency, they don’t have the ability to stop.

[00:14:24] Andrew Culkin: They’re past the point of willpower. Willpower is not willpower’s you’re past that, you know, and you’re gonna need additional help. But society needs to understand it as a disease and they don’t, they just, they think it’s the person. Why doesn’t the person just stop drinking? Right. It’s like, why doesn’t the person?

[00:14:45] Andrew Culkin: Why doesn’t the person just stop having cancer? It makes a about as much sense ,

[00:14:49] Scott DeLuzio: you know? Right. And I mean, I can understand where that mindset comes from though, because if. I mean, naturally, if you don’t drink the [00:15:00] alcohol then, right. You’re not going to have that problem. We’re all very, you said we’re all very judgmental.

[00:15:05] Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. Well, it that’s true. Yeah. But to your point it is a dependency and you know, you get to that point where you need it to right to,

[00:15:16] Andrew Culkin: well, you needed to go through, needed to get through your day. Yeah, exactly. You can’t you’re actually nonfunctioning without it, mentally,

[00:15:24] Scott DeLuzio: you know, exactly.

[00:15:25] Scott DeLuzio: And so when you get to that point where you’re just not functioning at all without it then it’s easy to say, oh, well just don’t drink it. But right. Can’t like, you that’s like saying you actually need it. Why

[00:15:40] Andrew Culkin: don’t you cut your right leg off? It makes it about as much sense when you get to that point.

[00:15:43] Andrew Culkin: And people don’t understand. People don’t understand that they don’t understand as

[00:15:47] Scott DeLuzio: a disease, just stop breathing or, you know, just stop drinking water or whatever. Like eventually your body’s gonna need that to continue to function. And so.

[00:15:58] Andrew Culkin: That’s why we wanna catch people [00:16:00] before they get to that point, because the problem is when people are chronic and they’ve been drinking for 5, 10, 15 years, the chances of survival and actually overcoming this disease are close to zero.

[00:16:12] Andrew Culkin: They’re like 5%. At best, you know,

[00:16:16] Scott DeLuzio: And that’s such a shame because it’s something that can be caught earlier. It can be something can be done about this when you’re still in that willpower stage. Right. Where you can just say, okay, you know what, I’m gonna, I’m gonna not drink for the next six months or I’m not gonna drink as often or whatever the appropriate solution is for that individual.

[00:16:37] Scott DeLuzio: And you can catch that. You know, it’s not necessarily saying that every single person around the world has to give up alcohol altogether because I mean, I’m not,

[00:16:46] Andrew Culkin: I’m not a teetotaler myself. Right. But you know, it’s, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about another level that people, most people never have an experience with.

[00:16:56] Scott DeLuzio: Exactly. So, so I guess. [00:17:00] The first thing is let’s try to nip this in the bud before it gets to that point, right. Where people are in that chronic stage, where they are dependent on the alcohol try to get it before that

[00:17:14] Andrew Culkin: understand why they’re drinking to begin with what’s the real core issue.

[00:17:17] Andrew Culkin: What’s the deep core issue of why they’re, you know, they’re drinking to begin with. They’re trying to escape something. Or they may have inhibitions. That’s why people initially drink. They have inhibitions and they’re able to become the person that they weren’t able to become with alcohol. Yeah.

[00:17:32] Andrew Culkin: There’s a lot of different reasons why people start to drink to begin with, or there’s a lot of stress in their life. This is why not to jump forward, but like COVID 19, there’s been a 25% increase. Because of COVID 19 because people are losing their jobs. Yeah. Their, in their incomes, you know, and they don’t have access to things that they had and that stress creates, you know, alcoholism, you know, and to really get down to the point of why did you start to begin with.[00:18:00]

[00:18:01] Scott DeLuzio: Right. And once then you can answer that question then you can address the root cause. Right. And then the need for the alcohol to fill whatever, fill a void or to cope with the stress or whatever becomes less and less. And then I would think just naturally you start to experience that the person will not be drinking quite as much.

[00:18:21] Scott DeLuzio: Right. You know, to fill those things. And so that. That’s great. I think that’s probably the best outcome for an individual is to to stop this before it gets to be right. That problem that’s your best chance. exactly. But what happens to the people who are already at that point where it’s already a problem?

[00:18:44] Scott DeLuzio: They’re already. Dependent on it. They’re drinking every day. They’re drinking in the morning. They’re drinking in the afternoon. They’re drinking at night. They’re drinking all day long and they’re getting into trouble or you know, things are falling apart in their lives. You mentioned rehab facilities.

[00:18:59] Scott DeLuzio: What are some of the [00:19:00] benefits of that and or maybe some of the drawbacks to those and you know, how do we help people who are already at that.

[00:19:06] Andrew Culkin: Well, like you see these shows like intervention. If you’ve ever seen those, where they have a family gets around and they finally get their loved one in the room and they talk them going to an intervention and the person finally agrees to go to the rehab and the whole family’s oh, finally, they’re gonna be saved.

[00:19:22] Andrew Culkin: Well, the I’ve been through rehab. Seven of them with my wife, but rehabs are a bandaid. They’re a good place to start. Cuz a person has to be there for at least 30, 60, 90 days, depending on the rehab. And most insurance will cover it, which is really good, which is very important because they’re 30, 40,000 bucks a whack, but it gives the person a 30 day from drinking.

[00:19:47] Andrew Culkin: They have intense counseling with like-minded people. They’re very good in that. And also the person is sober. They’re forced to be sober for 30 days. In fact, they don’t even let, ’em go into the general housing until they’ve [00:20:00] been out of detox for you, like three to seven days. A lot of these people come in, they’re so blasted.

[00:20:05] Andrew Culkin: They don’t even know they’re in rehab but you know, and it’s a bandaid. It’s just the beginning. Yeah. The problem is from there, you have got to go to, I can’t stress this enough. You have to go to AA meeting. Or some or something of that ilk, you have to be around support groups. If you need to go to a meeting every single day and you have to have a sponsor, you have to have someone who is an accountability partner and alcoholism is a it’s a day to day thing.

[00:20:38] Andrew Culkin: It’s not I’m okay. On Monday. And maybe I’ll check in on Friday. You know, you have to go every day. Or every other day, but you need to tap into some system that’s going to support your addiction and make you realize to stop it. And the alternatives. And you have to have, you’ve gotta have an accountability [00:21:00] partner until you have those two things.

[00:21:02] Andrew Culkin: You’re lying to yourself. Right? You have to go, you have to go through rehab and you gotta have some kind of mechanism. They can help you in perpetuity because what you people don’t realize is that once you’re an alcoholic, you’re an alcoholic to the day you die. Even if you don’t drink a, have a drink for 25 years, you’re still an alcoholic.

[00:21:21] Andrew Culkin: Cuz you could have that one drink and have a relapse and start the whole process all over again. Cuz that addiction is will always be with. Sure. Yeah.

[00:21:32] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s I think the thing that we want to avoid, because again, like we said there’s nothing wrong with the person who has the casual drink, but if you’re already at that point where you body has become dependent on it, you’re an alcoholic.

[00:21:47] Scott DeLuzio: And having that one casual drink at a, you know, a dinner party or at a, you know, holiday or a family get together or something like that. Send you back down that, that path where, okay. Then it becomes a habit [00:22:00] again. And then now you have to go start this whole process all over again. And you know, nobody wants that.

[00:22:05] Scott DeLuzio: Nobody wants to have to go through a detox or anything like that or the rehab that’s just such a if you think about it in the grand scheme of things, like if you could be spending your time doing anything, right, why would you choose to go do something like that? Right. . That, that there’s so many better things that you could be doing with your time experiencing better things in life.

[00:22:27] Scott DeLuzio: But when you get to that point that is the best thing that’s for you, you know?

[00:22:31] Andrew Culkin: You’re in a life or death situation and people don’t realize that you, if, cuz if you don’t get this help and if you don’t seek recovery, you’re gonna die and you’re gonna die. The average alcoholic loses 30 years of their life.

[00:22:46] Andrew Culkin: The average alcoholic for men. Is between the ages of 47 and 55 for women. It’s about 55 to 62,

[00:22:57] Scott DeLuzio: you know? And that’s [00:23:00] if, think about things it’s so young. Yeah.

[00:23:02] Andrew Culkin: So young, it’s crazy. You lost 30, 40 years of your life for what

[00:23:08] Scott DeLuzio: for running away from something, you know, in a lot of cases, problems.

[00:23:13] Scott DeLuzio: Right. You know, and it’s. You know, just a much healthier way to, to do things is just by dealing with them head on and not masking the pain or running away from things like that. I mean, you know, I’ve talked about this before I talked about in my book. But when I returned from Afghanistan that’s how I dealt with things is like I found myself drinking too much and.

[00:23:36] Scott DeLuzio: Realizing that nothing was getting better by drinking more and more. I, my, my sleep was getting worse. My attitude was getting worse. My like everything in my life was just getting worse and right. Your relationships was stressing relationships. My, my job my, every, everything was just. Right. Not as good as it could have been.

[00:23:53] Scott DeLuzio: And so, so it was like, okay, well, what am I doing here? This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And so, you know, that’s [00:24:00] why I mentioned that earlier how people sort of need to come to that realization on their own that something has gotta give here, right? This is not the best way to be handling these things.

[00:24:11] Scott DeLuzio: And you know, in my case, it, I was realizing. This drinking, like this is not helping me. It’s not making things better. I’m not sleeping well I’m just a terror to be around. nobody. I don’t want that for anybody. I didn’t want that for my wife. I don’t want that for my kids.

[00:24:30] Scott DeLuzio: I don’t want that for anybody like that. So, you know, what am I doing? And why don’t I just deal with the problem head on and go and get the help that I needed. And that’s ultimately what it, what I ended up doing. And you know, I was fortunate that it didn’t get to that point where where it was this habit, six months, a year later or more where I’m drinking every single day constant you know, I was able to.

[00:24:52] Scott DeLuzio: Scale that back in time that I didn’t get to that point. I didn’t need to go to rehab or anything but again, it was because I came to that conclusion on [00:25:00] my own that I was able to say, okay, something’s gotta give here. And I need to make a change because whatever it is that I’m doing is not

[00:25:08] Andrew Culkin: working.

[00:25:09] Andrew Culkin: Right. Did you have any Group or were you involved in anything like AA or

[00:25:13] Scott DeLuzio: no. So, so for me I ended up going to the VA for counseling. And I was able to just deal with the issues that I was going through with the counselor that I was seeing my wife was extremely supportive.

[00:25:25] Scott DeLuzio: She was there to help me through that’s a, that a big part of it. Yeah, exactly. And you know, if I let this. Too much longer you know, I don’t know how much how much more support she’d be willing to offer. Right. You know, and I’m glad that she right stuck with me through my, the worst of my times.

[00:25:43] Scott DeLuzio: Right. But But she was there. She was able to help me and kind of serve as that accountability partner for me where she was able to, I mean, she lived with me, so it was like, right. It was in house. It was like, I, you know, it was always there. And so that

[00:25:57] Andrew Culkin: We have to give the military a little bit more slack too.

[00:25:59] Andrew Culkin: Cause [00:26:00] there’s that other element, especially when you’ve been in conflict. Yes. That’s a different level there too. You know, you’re not dealing with civilian issues.

[00:26:08] Scott DeLuzio: Right. Exactly. And I do agree with that, but also not to minimize some of the other issues that people have, you know, some of the civilian things, because there are other traumas that don’t necessarily involve combat.

[00:26:19] Scott DeLuzio: There’s people who’ve been in whether it’s an auto accident or or they’ve been assaulted or things like that. Those are. In a lot of cases, equally traumatic to combat and they can be. And so that could be how people deal with it is by turning to alcohol or drugs or things like that.

[00:26:38] Scott DeLuzio: And not saying that’s the right thing to do, but it’s a way of dealing with things that people have found. And you know, it it’s. I guess the whole point of this is there are better ways of dealing with things. And so, you know, if we’re finding ourselves at the end of a bottle and we’re doing this night after night[00:27:00] it’s not healthy.

[00:27:01] Scott DeLuzio: You,

[00:27:01] Andrew Culkin: You did the one thing that you had to do and you realized that you had a problem. Yeah. I mean, exactly that, and that’s until you do that you can’t even start, right. Otherwise you’re lying to yourself.

[00:27:16] Scott DeLuzio: You’re just lying to yourself. Exactly. Now from the other side of the table here.

[00:27:21] Scott DeLuzio: So, you know, we talked about things like myself and your wife and people who have used alcohol in negative ways. Right, right. Clearly the impact of not only your wife’s death, obviously that had an impact on you and your family. But the years leading up to that point where you were finding her like you said, passed out on the floor or right.

[00:27:43] Scott DeLuzio: You know, DUIs or different accidents, right. That had to have had an impact on your family, right? Oh, of. What can other people do? Who’ve had bad relationships with alcohol and alcoholism. How can they [00:28:00] how could we better understand what’s going on with the drinking and how it affects the families?

[00:28:05] Scott DeLuzio: Well,

[00:28:06] Andrew Culkin: really you have to, each situation is a little bit different and you’re gonna have to ask yourself when you’re in involved in that situation. whether or not you wanna stay in that situation and you have two choices. Is this person willing to seek help and to get help? Or do I have to remove myself from the situation?

[00:28:25] Andrew Culkin: And it can be a very, it can be a husband and wife, like we were married for 20 plus years, or it can be a parent. To a child, which is by the most difficult situation, when the parents have to say, either get help or we will no longer be your codependent, we’re not going to help you anymore. And these are the choices you have to make either.

[00:28:46] Andrew Culkin: If it’s recognized as a true problem, if your people have DUIs and they’re crashing and they’re passing out yeah. It’s time to, you know, make a decision, either gonna get help, or you’re gonna lose your relationships that you’re around. [00:29:00] And I like to tell families, cause I’ve spoken at some some rehabs and I’m kind of a hardliner.

[00:29:05] Andrew Culkin: I go, you know, your kids are the reason why they’re still drinking is because you’re giving them money because you’re allowing them to continue this behavior. You gotta stop it. You’ve gotta stop. Supporting this behavior. right. And maybe it’s, and I think it’s the toughest relationship with parents and their kids, but you gotta let your kids, you have to let your kids fail.

[00:29:32] Andrew Culkin: You have to let ’em fail on their own. Cause there’s no better education than zero bank account. you know what I mean?

[00:29:39] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Reality hits you in the face real

[00:29:41] Andrew Culkin: quickly. Really it’s real fast and you get real resourceful and it’s time and it’s time to grow. A lot of these time

[00:29:47] Scott DeLuzio: to grow up and alcohol isn’t cheap when it’s not cheap, somebody’s gotta buy it.

[00:29:52] Scott DeLuzio: exactly when your bank account’s down to nothing you’re and you’re deciding whether or not you’re gonna have a roof over your head or a meal in your [00:30:00] stomach, or, you know, getting your alcohol fix for the night. Right. You know, you gotta start waiting to the pros and cons.

[00:30:07] Scott DeLuzio: And unfortunately, some people, you know, they do end up homeless because they do that’s where they end up spending their money. And that’s not the ideal solution, but but you’re right. Having nothing in the bank is tough. Then there, you know,

[00:30:21] Andrew Culkin: When you find yourself homeless, then life starts getting real ugly, you know?

[00:30:24] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Especially in the. In the worst of months, you know, whether it’s the cold of winter or the heat of summer, like you have no respite from any of that in some cases and that you really need to start thinking to yourself, is this really how I wanna live out the rest of my days, right.

[00:30:40] Scott DeLuzio: Suffering like this you know, out on the streets. So, but

[00:30:43] Andrew Culkin: some people have to hit rock bottom before they can make that decision to get help. They just have to get there. You realize I can’t live this anyway anymore. I gotta make a change. Some people have to get that far down

[00:30:54] Scott DeLuzio: and they do.

[00:30:55] Scott DeLuzio: And I’ve talked to people on this podcast before who’ve been at that point where they’ve been [00:31:00] homeless. They’ve been you know, whether it’s drugs or alcohol, they’ve been addicted to this stuff. And they woke up one day and it was like, I can’t see myself doing this very much longer. I need to make a change.

[00:31:15] Scott DeLuzio: That’s a kick in the butt that they need to get themselves back on the right track. And you know, some of ’em now are successful. Business owners have families and homes and everything like that. And it all came because again, they came to that conclusion on their own. And so

[00:31:32] Andrew Culkin: it’s can turn into a positive.

[00:31:34] Scott DeLuzio: You know? Sure. It absolutely could. And it’s not easy to see someone going through a situation like this, especially if they’re a loved one a spouse or a parent or something like that. But sometimes you kind of need to just have that tough love and let them. Let them figure it out, figure out just how hard it is.

[00:31:54] Scott DeLuzio: And hopefully they make that right decision and they get to that right point. But you know, if not you may need the help of[00:32:00] you know, intervention or rehab or any number of other things like that. So, with that tell us about your book. Again, Amanda, A Cautionary Tale, where can people go to to get a copy of the book and and find out more about.

[00:32:13] Andrew Culkin: Hey, you can go to AmandaACautionaryTale.com. You can sign up. I’m doing pre-orders it’s coming out in September, cuz we’re reworking. I might even work it into it’s so long. I might make it into two or three books, but the first part is coming out September 1st, go to, you know, www.AmandaACautionaryTale.com.

[00:32:31] Andrew Culkin: You can put your email in there. We’ll send you a. A cover letter and we’ll will tell you when it comes out, where to go, what to do with it. I also have a support group Facebook it’s just called Amanda cautionary tale on Facebook. I have excerpts and we talk about how to help people and where to go and what to do.

[00:32:49] Andrew Culkin: And it’s also a little bit about me and the podcast and what I’m trying to do with the whole story. Okay,

[00:32:57] Scott DeLuzio: well, excellent. So I will put that in the show [00:33:00] notes and by the time this episode comes out in the book will already be out. So, that lines up perfectly for us. Great. So, so I’ll have links to that in the show notes, so people can go and check it out, grab a copy and and find out more about you know, everything that, that you’re up to.

[00:33:13] Scott DeLuzio: So, again, thank you for taking the time to join me. I really do appreciate the message that you have and unfortu. Situation that you found yourself, but in, but you’ve made the best out of the situation that you were presented with. And so I applaud you for that and thank you for coming on and taking the time to share.

[00:33:29] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Thanks, Scott.

[00:33:30] Andrew Culkin: I really appreciate you being here and thank you for your service too, as well. Oh my God.

[00:33:36] Scott DeLuzio: thank you. Thank you.

[00:33:38] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website DriveOnPodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at Drive On Podcast.

Leave a Comment