#1
During my years as a construction worker, I met a man named Jerry. He was in his 30's but he looked as if he was in his 50's.

He had been the valedictorian at his high school. He was a brilliant man. I often wondered why such an intelligent person took a job like that. After a few weeks of working there I found out why.

Jerry enjoyed nothing in life more than drinking. He owned nothing save about 2 or 3 pair of clothing. He lived in a motel. He would work for about a year, save up money, and then disappear for 6-8 months. When he ran out of money he would get hired back by our company. A normal person couldn't do this, but because he was so intelligent, they always hired him back.

Every day after work he would pick up either a fifth or a gallon of whiskey. His skin was yellow because his liver was decrepit. You could see almost every vein in his face. We would often wonder if we'd find Jerry dead the next day when we arrived at his motel to pick him up for work. Jerry was worse than an alcoholic.

Eventually I've moved up in the company and have an office job now and jerry went on his routine hiatus. I haven't seen him in about 2 years.

I found out today that he was found dead by the cleaning lady in his motel room with 4 empty bottles of whiskey and blood everywhere from where his innards had hemorrhaged and he'd regurgitated blood.

A man in our office, upon finding out the news, said, "At least he died doing what he loved."

I became angry. I think it was the smart ass way in which he said it. But then I got to thinking that this statement might have been true and I calmed down.

Basically, I ask you, Do addicts like jerry truly enjoy their situation? I know there cannot be a one size fits all answer but do most enjoy it? Do they absolutely love it more than anything as my coworker put it?

I realize this is long, but I thank each of you who have read it and helped me with my moral dilemma.
#2
Well if he would go to such lengths to achieve his goals multiple times clearly that was what he wanted.
#3
Thats kinda tragic, a man like Jerry reduced by alcohol..

You bring up a very good question though. I think it depends on what the addicition is as to if the person enjoys it or not. Actually I think there are too many variables to get an answer that could be even close to accurate.
#4
He was just so damn brilliant. Almost like the guy from rain man except without the autism.

He could have done anything he wanted but he chose that life.

Maybe I'm just in shock from the whole thing, I don't know.
#5
he sounded like a great guy when he was sober. if only he had applied himself.
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#6
I think it depends. More often than not though, I believe the addiction controls the person more than the person can control their addiction.
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#8
from what i've seen, when it gets to that point they need the alcohol to feel normal. he wouldn't have been getting the fun out of it that most people do. he'd need it to stop shaking and stop feeling sick etc as his body had become accustomed to a high level of alcohol. i don't think he died 'doing what he loved', i think he died attempting to feel the way he used to before he was an alcoholic, but his body couldn't handle it.
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#9
No he did not enjoy it. He did not enjoy what it did to his family and friends. He did not enjoy what it did to himself. But he couldn't stop it. Some people can come to terms with their addictions and demons others cannot. None of them enjoy them.
I've known lots of Jerrys. It is a painful thing to watch.
Good bye Jerry.
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#10
Well in this situation I'd have to say he did enjoy it, because alcohol isn't addicting in the same way cocaine or heroin or something like that is. So therefore one can assume that he was making a conscious decision to do it. If it was something like cocaine, then I would say it's quite possible that he was addicted, and a lot of the time people who are addicted wish they weren't addicted. That is of course assuming that they will admit they are addicted to begin with.
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#11
It is more like they hate themselves for what they do. And the next day, get hammered again. I know a guy like Jerry, intelligent but spending half of what he earns on alcohol, nothing good.
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#13
Quote by DarkEra97
Were you close to the man TS? If so, I'm sorry.

When you work with someone in a construction environment you become pretty close and have each others backs while on site. Other than that not really.

I knew him pretty well but after we were separated I don't think I ever talked to him again.

Quote by divid3d
from what i've seen, when it gets to that point they need the alcohol to feel normal. he wouldn't have been getting the fun out of it that most people do. he'd need it to stop shaking and stop feeling sick etc as his body had become accustomed to a high level of alcohol. i don't think he died 'doing what he loved', i think he died attempting to feel the way he used to before he was an alcoholic, but his body couldn't handle it.


This is kind of what I was thinking. Good job.

I just don't see why he never would seek help. He had to have known he was slowly dying...

edit: Jackal, thanks for your input as well.
Last edited by Vagabond21 at Jul 8, 2008,
#14
He could've been a racecar driver.

I don't really know a whole lot of this stuff, but don't people get hooked on it because it's addictive, despite side effects.

Was he a happy person? If so, then he probably did love it.

But I'm only 15, what do I know?
#15
Quote by obey_yourmaster
I think it depends. More often than not though, I believe the addiction controls the person more than the person can control their addiction.

Well as far as I am aware the definition of an addiction is something that you must have and have no control or choice over whether you have it, you simply must have it.

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#17
Quote by Regression
He could've been a racecar driver.

I don't really know a whole lot of this stuff, but don't people get hooked on it because it's addictive, despite side effects.

Was he a happy person? If so, then he probably did love it.

But I'm only 15, what do I know?


He seemed to be happy. But a "happiness mask" can be easily worn.

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damn that sucks, did he have family ?


I think he had a brother.

He also had about 12 grand in cash that he gave to a coworker to hold for him. I wonder what will happen to the money.
#18
Not all of them enjoy their situation, some are desperate for help, but others probably do enjoy taking excess drugs etc.
#20
Quote by Vagabond21


I just don't see why he never would seek help. He had to have known he was slowly dying...

The way I see it is if he couldn't live without he would seek help, if he enjoyed it he would make a conscious effort to continue. It seems he did the latter, meaning he enjoyed it.
#21
Quote by Skater901
Well in this situation I'd have to say he did enjoy it, because alcohol isn't addicting in the same way cocaine or heroin or something like that is. So therefore one can assume that he was making a conscious decision to do it. If it was something like cocaine, then I would say it's quite possible that he was addicted, and a lot of the time people who are addicted wish they weren't addicted. That is of course assuming that they will admit they are addicted to begin with.

Just because its not physically addicting doesn't mean that it isn't mentally addicting
#22
Quote by Vagabond21
I just don't see why he never would seek help. He had to have known he was slowly dying...

not everyone can admit that they need help. and not everyone thinks that they actually do need help, he may have been content with his life. as crazy as that seems to us, he clearly wouldn't have been in a clear frame of mind about it. it's one of those things that i don't think you can really understand unless you're in the situation yourself.
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#23
Quote by Skater901
Well in this situation I'd have to say he did enjoy it, because alcohol isn't addicting in the same way cocaine or heroin or something like that is. So therefore one can assume that he was making a conscious decision to do it. If it was something like cocaine, then I would say it's quite possible that he was addicted, and a lot of the time people who are addicted wish they weren't addicted. That is of course assuming that they will admit they are addicted to begin with.



alcohol IS addicting
ppl start using it to get drunk and forget their problems for a little while.
in that way,it is addicting.
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#25
oh ****

that is EXACTLY what happened to my mother. im not sure if this was the same for jerry but my mom had a pretty bad case of depression, and she could basically only function with the help of vodka. sadly, my family did not know until the very end that she had this problem, and by then it is too late.

TS, i understand completely where you are coming from, its seems we've both known the same person it seems
NOPE
#26
Alcoholism is a disease. It kills you slowly-drug addictions also do but I'm tired. To start with he would have enjoyed it,after a while the addiction would have become so severe that the alcohol would be needed to keep him on the level.Alcohol is a depressant,so people drink to feel happy,then feel worse and it's just a downward spiral.
In short,to start with he enjoyed the feeling alcohol gave him.Later in life it would have been terrible for him.

RIP Jerry
#27
Quote by ferretman
Just because its not physically addicting doesn't mean that it isn't mentally addicting

True that.
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#28
thats poopy.
but idk he did what seemed right to him. just cause you was smart doesnt mean you have to become a rocket sicencist. people do what makes them happy in life not get a good job just cause thats what socitey deems the normal course of life. life is too short to deal with pressures like that so find a few things that make you happy and run with them.
#29
why did he never seek help? someone should have at least tried to help him
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#31
^ thats the thign with those kind of people. they dont think that anything is wrong with them, and that they are in control of what they are doing to themselves. jerry (and my mom) thought that what they were doign was ok, and that it couldnt hurt them
NOPE
#32
Quote by Vagabond21

Basically, I ask you, Do addicts like jerry truly enjoy their situation? I know there cannot be a one size fits all answer but do most enjoy it? Do they absolutely love it more than anything as my coworker put it?


Not all addicts love what they do. I'm addicted to things but it depresses me more than anything and I hate to do it but I just can't stop myself.

For example, my friend started cutting because of some family problems. All in all he became addicted to it and couldn't stop even when he was happy; it had become part of his daily routine.

Jerry's story is tragic, and your coworker's statement could be taken either way (we can't be sure as to what Jerry thought of his habit...)
#34
I always thought it was possible to be physically addicted to alcohol.

Is it not?
#36
A sad sad thing.
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#37
It is possible to be physically addicted to alcohol. My uncle died that way, and it was a real waste because he was one brilliant man. We used to have a radio pcb manufacturing factory back in the 80's and he was the one who designed the pcb's and tested them. He was brilliant with electronics and he even did some work on radio transmissions and portable phones in their early stages. I regret that I didnt get to know him cause I'm studying to be an electrical engineer and we have a healthy dose of electronics in our courses.

Eventually he couldnt really work because he was so addicted to alcohol and he knew it. He tried to get away from it but he couldnt. In the end he used to repair broken television sets and he'd get the cases everyone couldnt solve. He died a couple of years ago. He had grade 16 jaundice.
#38
I don't think so, no. But the need for the drug is so overpowering that they don't realize whether they're "enjoying" themselves or not. All they can do is focus on their substance. Nothing else matters.
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#39
For that burst of happiness he gets from drinking, he used to repress memories from something.

He was an empty person juding from the amount he drank, he needed that someone to fill his void. Addicts only do drugs to get a high.(obviously) But in doing so, they do it because they feel they have nothing more to live for. It's truly a sad cycle, but it stops with death.

I had a case JUST like this. My aunt's brother was the smartest man you would ever meet. You know what he did? He drank like a fish. From this alchohol spawned death, lonliness, and sorrow.

He eventually died on the street I think..He was a brilliant man. It just goes to show how unstable people can be. How touchy our emotions are.

But, addicts don't enjoy getting high everyday, ask any addict, any smart one I should say, and they will say it's not something they saw themselves doing or they wish they could change their life.
#40
Wow, this is quite a story, May he RIP

But on the other hand i do feel he should be given some respect, many people that struggle with addictions wind up on the street with no job, and nothing going for them. At least Jerry had a job, although he did go on hiatus, he maintained a job and had a place to live.
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