Ryan is a 25-year-old expecting father who is an alcoholic. He and fiancée Shannon are a few months away from having their first child and it is going to be a girl. Ryan drinks a 12 pack to an 18 pack a night and often has to have a beer right when he wakes up. Ryan was very poetic about his love of beer and the feeling he gets from it. Ryan often does very insane things after drinking heavily like stapling himself or jumping off a roof and breaking his collarbone. He has been hospitalized 4 times for drunken incidents.
Ryan also commonly has puking spells where he vomits uncontrollably for extended periods of time. Ryan said he should be dead in ten years. Ryan’s emotions have also been negatively affected. He struggles with thoughts of suicide and depression. Ryan proclaimed that he is obsessed with death. Studies have shown that alcohol has been a major factor in a large percentage of suicides.
Ryan was a very cute kid with bright blond hair. As a child he was diagnosed with dyslexia and a rare eye condition. He had to wear very large bifocals and he struggled with reading and school in general. Ryan’s father did not sympathize with Ryan’s medical issues and wanted his son to just try harder. Ryan’s feelings of worthlessness stemmed from his father’s disappointment. Ryan started drinking at the age of 13. Ryan was very moved by the Hurricane Katrina tragedy and he went down there to help rebuild New Orleans. He felt good about himself while he was doing humanitarian work and was not drinking as much then. Ryan was troubled by the fact that his father never expressed that he was proud of Ryan’s life or good deeds.
At the age of 22 Ryan was diagnosed as “legally blind” and that upped his consistent drinking. The anxiety of having a child has also increased Ryan’s drinking. Shannon puts up with a lot from Ryan and she was 5 months pregnant during the show. Shannon was not told of the intervention because she does not want Ryan to go away, even if it meant he was getting help. Ryan’s mother buys him beer three times a week because Ryan can’t drive due to his eyes. Ryan’s mom enables his drinking as a way to try and make her son happy if even for a little moment because she feels bad for Ryan’s painful life. While Ryan’s mom is not helping her son, Ryan’s dad’s tough love also is not helping matters.
An incident occurred during taping. Ryan and his fiancée’s brother Brent were drinking for several hours and Ryan playfully (at first) applied a chokehold to Brent and that initiated a full-fledged fight between the two guys with punches and wrestling. Despite Shannon trying to break things up, Brent landed a final punch that seemed to knock Ryan out. The police arrived and took Brent away in handcuffs. Shannon then shoved Ryan and the police then arrested her. Ryan’s dad was irate over this incident. The family discussed telling Shannon about the intervention after the police incident.
The family gathered to prepare for the intervention. The therapist discussed the ground rules for the intervention and also talked to the major figures in Ryan’s life about their responsibilities during the intervention. Ryan called to say he and Shannon knew about the intervention and refused to attend. Shannon was brought into the mix and Ryan’s brother-in-law went to talk to him to try and get him to the intervention. Ryan refused at first, but eventually he relented and went to meet with his family.
The intervention started with Ryan hugging his mom and sitting down. Ryan’s mom started and was very emotional. Ryan was offered a 90-day program, but he expressed doubt that he could commit to the program 100% and that it could be a waste. Ryan then left to smoke a cigarette. Shannon’s talk with Ryan as he was blowing smoke into her face was what pushed him to go back inside. Ryan’s father’s letter was very touching and honest. He asked his son to forgive him and that surprised Ryan. Ryan decided he would go get clean for Shannon and himself.
Ryan went to a program in South Carolina. Ryan was sober for 4 months. He graduated the program and came home to witness his daughter being born. They named her Ellie. Ryan said he was confident he could be a good father. Ryan looked very healthy and happy and it seemed that fatherhood suited him. Ryan used his daughter as a clear reason to get and stay sober. He even got a job working with kids with disabilities and has been sober since April 5, 2012.
This was a very good show with a great outcome. Keep up the great work Ryan and enjoy ever minute with your daughter and soon to be wife.