Allie, I'm sorry to hear that things have gotten even worse, but I'm not surprised. You need to do one of two things: Have her court-ordered to treatment or let go altogether. Of course, treatment is no guarantee that she would stay sober, but it does give the alcoholic the chance to detox and make a decision based on a clear brain, as JFT was saying. She is physically addicted to alcohol...that is why she cannot just quit. Worried Girl, same for your mom. It is a physical addiction, like nicotine. As a 2-pack a day smoker, I had to use the nicotine patches to taper off of it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to just quit, even knowing how bad it was for me. Alcohol is no different. Plus they also need to learn how to live without alcohol; how to experience bad feelings and not run to the bottle; to develop coping mechanisms. In treatment, they normally are given some medication to calm the nerves and make withdrawal easier. I personally just tapered down on my alcohol, ending up with beer on the weekends before quitting altogether. But some people need professional detox. I am trying to explain why they can't just stop on their own.
Allie, she does really have to want to stop drinking in order to folllow through with it. So if she won't stop, there's little you can do...especially with her partner in the way. He is enabling her, not helping her.
here in united states alcoholism is a disease. their moments of clarity lasts so few and far between and if they refuse help or to get treated, no amount of courage can make them change. as allie knows there is nothing we can do to make them stop drinking they have to want to. you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. as children of alcoholics we know the pain that we suffer and no one can fully understand what we go through and the pain we feel until you go through it yourself. you make it sound like if we cant make them stop drinking then we are cowards. do you know how many times my mom has been through rehab for alcohol and drugs? a ton and it dont work on her as she just doesnt have the willpower to quit. she was once so low she was homeless and living in shelters and yet she still drinks. my mom knows that she lost alot because of her drinking and yet she continues. it is a disease, that she cant seem to get out of just as the hep c and cirrhosis is a disease and to me the alcoholism is worse than the hep c and cirrhosis itself. my mom will go weeks without alcohol and go to rehab only to be drinking again the next day.just because we want them to clean up doesnt mean they will. it is their choice and they make it and we as the children suffer for it.
and i know you will prolly say that we should cut them out of our lives, well that is not as easy as it sounds. if we cut them out of our lives then their behavior self destructs worse and then when they die we will have to live with the guilt, whether we are to blame or not, of not doing what we can to do. the best we can do is to tolerate their behavior so they die knowing their kids still love them and that they were not alone. as much as i want to say to my mom i am done with you, i cant because i am the only one who is helping her get her meds and taking her to the doctors and getting her the propler meds. if i didnt her doctor wouldnt do jack crap with her because my mom has no idea on how to talk to the doctor and get the right treatment.
i dont know if you have family that are alcoholics but if you dont, then walk a mile in our shoes and then tell us how it feels. its not fun.i am not being mean, i just want you to understand the pain and heartache we go through, and most of us would walk to the ends of the earth for our parents to beat this addiction/disease. we would give up everything for it to happen but we also know that them quitting solely rests on them and we are left suffering in pain, knowing that their addiction is stronger than their love for us. and also we have to go through the motions of blaming ourselves for our parents faults and learning that it is not our fault they are like that.
Worried Girl, I do want to make one thing clear that nonalcoholics don't seem to realize: Abstaining from alcohol for good is not a matter of will power. It is just the opposite--the knowledge that we have no control whatsoever over it, and waving the white flag of surrender saying we don't know how to live without alcohol--and being open and willing to learn just how to do that. It requires a complete change in thinking and acting. It is a lifestyle change. In AA they tell us HOW to do it: Honesty, openness, and Willingness. That is the HOW. Willingness is such a huge part of the equation. If an alcoholic isn't willing, it's not going to work. Sobriety also depends on faith--that "a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity." That power can be a group of sober alcoholics or it can be "God as we understand him."
Post Edited (hep93) : 11/10/2009 4:09:53 PM (GMT-7)
sometimes i am so wrapped up in my problems that i do forget about myself. I think that is what you mean by your quote eh?
I am 44, and happily married with two children my son who is 20, and my daughter is 13. i only met my father in my thirtiesbut i made the decision not to see him, he was an alcoholic with mental health issues. my husband has been great over the years, i can talk to him about anything.
To be honest with you, alcohol has affected my relationship with my children and husband and I am trying to deal with these fellings through Alanon. It is not easy, but i go. my son had the chance to get to know his gran and was really close to her when he was small up to about 6 years old, my daughter missed out on the chance of getting to know her real gran, she is frightened by her manner, her behaviour etc, she has missed out on alot.
what about yourself, how are you affected by alcohol you have such strong opinions about it.
As worried girls portrays being a caregiver can be very difficult,your emotions are up and down all the time, no matter what you do or say, you always feel guilty. you can't compare it to cancer sufferers or their families, it is not worse nor better but definately different. you have to deal with all the problems that the addiction brings as well as the physical problems.
the issues affected hubby along time ago until i seperated her from him. now i only see her on my time and not with him. he only gives me a shoulder to lean on but i dont use it that often. my daughter has no idea how my mom really is and when she is old enough i will explain to her what her meema has and has done. it dont affect them as i wont let it. but yet it is not easy to cut someone out of your life. i am all my mom has and if i cut her out she will die for sure. her doctor only answers my questions, or if he answers hers she forgets idk, before i started going to her doctors she was close to death. her bloodwork levels i am not sure how she made it, she had ascites, and was so jaundiced all over her body. with the help of me and HW, i was able to get her back to health. if i wouldnt have stepped in then she would have died.
it is not easy to step away from a mother even if you know she is toxic, when you know that would be a death sentence for her. have you ever had to live with guilt of not doing what you know is right? i have seen people that feel guilty for not speaking to their loved ones before they die, and i cant do it. i dont feel guilty for helping her, and thanks to HW i dont feel guilty for my moms addiction, but i would feel guilty if i sentenced my mom to her death. if i stop talking and helping her then she will die. i have no proof she is drinking again, but i have a feeling, but if i catch her then i will cross that bridge when i get there. if she is drinking then i will have to sit down and think hard on whether i can continue to care for them. but i would rather my mom die knowing how much i love her so she can have some peace then die not knowing.
Jft i do understand what you mean and where you going and what you are saying. i wish it was that easy but it is not. i was raised where the family is supposed to take care of the elderly. some days are better than others with my mom. she is bipolar and not treated cause no insurance so when she is manic or depressed it is worse. i dont go to alnon but i have healing well and just being able to talk is beneficial and keeps my sanity of mind here.
Post Edited (allie2631) : 11/10/2009 10:22:51 AM (GMT-7)
Worried Girl, good heavens, you didn't upset me!! I was just trying to offer a little insight and education. You are not the only one who has said that someone doesn't have the will power to stop drinking. One of the first things you learn in AA is that it is not a matter of will power. That goes for all addictions. But willingness, yes. Willingness to TRY living without alcohol, drugs, whatever, and willingness to get the help needed to achieve long-term sobriety.
Big hugs to you,
Post Edited (hep93) : 11/10/2009 5:12:52 PM (GMT-7)