Originally Posted by AmyShambles
I am anxious and sick when she doesn’t answer to phone, I am scared that something will happen to her at home and she’ll die and not be found for days.
Where do I go from here?
Most unpleasant. You've probably heard the old saying (from Al Anon) "I didn't cause it, I can't cure it, I can't control it"
All rather glib and at first glance maybe not an overly useful response to your question "Where do I go from here"... bare with me
My Mum (alcoholic) got into many of the same scrapes that your Mum has. She didn't die of those scrapes. Worse... she drank herself into Korsakoff syndrome (think .. dementia), so not only did I have those things you're coping with, ultimately she ended up in a truly pitiful state and died as a result of that. I was with her when she died, I made the 'do not resuscitate' decision with the doctor (when the time came).
Her drinking caused a slow and dreadful end. And that shadow hung over me whilst it happened - I used to refer to it as an omnipresent worry (always there in the background)!
… again, you'll have to bare with me.
I was very lucky in that I'd been attending ACA (in the UK, there's a meeting or two in Manchester btw) for a good wee while. I was in a very good place to deal with the latter stages. It wasn't always that way.
Anyway, I've reflected over the build up to and the effects of and the alcoholism in general. I can trace it back to my childhood. I can remember her depressions, her self medications, her multiple suicide attempts - I remember (vividly) once she tried to kill herself by overdose whilst I was with her and young enough that I can't remember how old I was... I remember putting my little hands in her mouth to try and take the tablets out and stop her dying.
I can remember her stories of her depression (from her own childhood) and her stories of having 'electro therapy' when quite young....
So often those self medicating with alcohol are just avoiding a depression of some sort. I speak from personal experience. It's obviously not quite so simple, but that's the essence.
What could I have done about any of that? Very little, nothing probably. I didn't cause it, I couldn't control it, I couldn't cure it.
If I could turn the clock back a little way, I think I'd have told her that she is an alcoholic (or drinks alcoholically) and that she is almost certainly going to either die a painful or lonely death or both.
I'd buy a copy of the alcoholics anonymous big book and I'd give it to her. I'd try and encourage her to a/ deal with the underlying causes and conditions and also b/ encourage her to get to AA
Mostly, I'd be very truthful about what she is doing to herself and to her family (me, my sisters etc) - I'd share the anger, the worry, the anxiety. I'd be very, very honest about it all. I'd support her to get sober, but I wouldn't support her financially or enable her in other ways.
I'd do that calmly, kindly and as lovingly as I could (no shouting, shaming, blaming), just dead pan truthful & serious to give her the best chance of making a sensible decision for herself. I'd tell her that she can deal with her own pain and she can be responsible for her own happiness and that drinking will fix nout! It'll fix bugger all!
And then I'd hope, pray, chant Krshna, rub the blarney stone or do whatever else you do to appease whatever gods of good fortune there are out there.
It's a brutal axiom but the alcoholic has to want to change themselves. If they don't, they won't.... after all I Didn't cause, Can't cure it, or control it.
I'm very much reminded of the ACA serenity prayer
God, Grant me the serenity to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change, the courage to change the ONE I can and the wisdom to know that one is ME.
I wish you & your Mum the very best up in sunny Manchester, all the way down here in not so sunny, but ver wet Cambridgeshire.
I'd suggest al anon and aca might also be worthy of looking into for support or ideas or just general well being, I'm a little biased like that. There are few resources in the UK as I'm sure you know. They may/or may not be useful to you - but it makes sense to avail oneself of all the help one can get. All I can say is they've been a lifeline to me.