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saturn1708 02-04-2016 06:11 AM

Desperately need advice

I'm 20 years old, I live in the UK, and I'm employed as an apprentice at a local school. I'm paid the minimum apprenticeship wage which is 3.30 an hour.

My mother is an alcoholic and she has been for around 7 years now. She was doing well for about 2 years but has been relapsing recently (since December)

I've been dealing with my mum's alcoholism all throughout my teenage years which means I had no time to myself - I have no friends as I was always staying at home to help her - and because I put the responsibility upon myself to help her, it's put a really big strain on my mental health. I was diagnosed a few years ago with depression and anxiety which I have to take medication for.

My mum doesn't get violent when she gets drunk - she just goes to sleep - but this is just as bad as being violent in my eyes. When she's sleeping 24/7 she doesn't go to work. You can see why this is an issue because I don't make enough money to support myself, let alone my mum too.

On top of having to feed us, I also have my own life I have to take care of. The school I work at is two towns over and I have to take two different buses to get there. I can't drive so I have to take the bus. So transport is another thing I have to spend money on. On top of that, I am taking driving lessons which is 30 a week. I'm taking a break from driving lessons for now because I just don't have the money.

The methods I use to deal with my mums alcoholism include taking her purse and keys away from her and locking her in the house until she sobers up and snaps out of it but this only works for a few days until she's back at it again.

I would love to move out of my mums house because the strain it's causing on me is horrific - suicidal thoughts that I haven't had for at least 2 years are resurfacing and I can't take living with her anymore. I'm my own person and I don't want to be weighed down by her anymore. But I don't make enough money to even rent an apartment somewhere and to also feed myself and pay utility bills.

Does anyone have any advice for me in regards to moving out? As someone living in the UK, are there any benefits I can take advantage of?

Thanks for reading. I apologise if there are any typos or if this post barely makes sense, I wrote this all up after having a breakdown so my thoughts are all disjointed.

feebell 02-04-2016 08:04 AM

Hi there and welcome to SR.

Please don't feel like your mum is your responsibility, because she's not, she's a grown woman and responsible for herself. My advice is go speak to your GP and tell them about your mum and seek help for yourself, whether that be al-non or a counsellor I recommend it. I live in Scotland and there is a company called Vocal that I got I touch with and they were fab, they helped me deal with my issue of wanting to fix my mum, they made me see that I couldn't and the only person that could was herself. I learned to detach with love, I let my mum get on with it. It was hard to begin with but I now see that it saved her, she is now 10 months sober after hitting her rock bottom.

Do you not have any other family you could stay with?? Pop into your local council office and see if they can provide any suitable temporally accommodation?? Or offer any advice on benefits etc??

Please take care or yourself and seek help for you. Keep coming back and posting, you are not alone.

svenissober 02-04-2016 12:38 PM


perhaps you should give AlAnon a try, its a sister organisation of Alcoholics Anonymous (Im an AA guy myself).

Youll meet like-minded people with whom you can share these issues.


justlike4 02-04-2016 03:52 PM

Hello there!

I'm in a very similar situation as yourself just now. I'm 19, UK, a full time student, part time employed and just can't afford to move out but I'm pulling my hair out living at home.
If you read my last post from the other day, you'll find it's about pretty much the same topic. I've had enough and I've got to leave and do what's best for myself - not my mum. Anyway, the replies I received were really helpful and made me aware of other options like finding a room mate and more.

Hopefully in the meantime you're able to keep out your house as much as possible until you figure something out


saturn1708 02-05-2016 03:08 PM

Thank you for the replies everyone :)

I'm going to look into housing benefits soon, and I'm going to try and get a cheap rented apartment near my work (within walking distance so transport funds aren't an issue)

Unfortunately I have no other family members I can live with - they all live too far away - and I don't have any friends at all, so living by myself is the only option I really have.

I tried going to counselling a few years ago and I found it a waste of time, I'm not sure if I want to give it another go.

Kialua 02-06-2016 10:12 AM

Hi saturn1708, welcome, sorry you have to find us. A couple things to start mulling around that have helped me and us a lot:
The three c's:
You didn't Cause it
You can't Control it
You can't Cure it.
This is not your job to take responsibility for your moms choices. This runs against our very nature as we have been brainwashed by "them" to be their scapegoat and savior.

We need to help ourselves before we can even begin to think about helping her or others. This analogy of helping ourselves first, shows how crucial it is: On an airplane when the oxygen masks drop they always say "Put YOUR mask on first before helping others with theirs." Why? Because if you don't care of yourself you will pass out before you can help others. Clear and simple advice that seems impossible. If we don't learn how to cope and become mentally healthy we cannot help anyone, especially the perpetrator. This is the first step up the ladder.

Either we help ourselves first or we go down with the ship. (ha sorry I changed metaphors there from plane to ships)

PurpleKnight 02-06-2016 10:12 AM

Welcome to the Forum Saturn!! :wave:

Don't let your own life pass you by as a result of someone else's addiction, and that includes a family member, why should alcohol be allowed to take away 2 lives, and 2 potentials, that was the biggest lesson I learnt from dealing with my dad.

Sure someone may change, but what if they don't? go out and live your life, meet those friends, get that job, that driving licence, start living life on YOUR terms, and not in the shadow of your mum's drinking, make the first few steps towards moving and then the rest of life will fall into place.

You'll find loads of support here on SR!! :)

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