Not sure what to do :(

Old 09-01-2012, 06:10 PM
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Not sure what to do :(

Hi everyone. Hope you are all doing well.

I'll start this off by saying that there are a lot of heavy drinkers in my family. Before I met my husband I thought drinking every day was a totally normal thing to do. It wasn't until I socialised with his family (who rarely drink) and his friends (who drink occasionally) that I realised my family was totally abnormal in how they drank.

I'm having a really hard time at the moment knowing what to do about my mother. She's almost 50, and I absolutely adore her. She was my best friend growing up and she has been a fantastic mother and my relationship with her has always been great. Recently her drinking has become a huge issue for me (I think I refused to acknowledge it when I was drinking because if I did that, I'd have to take a hard look at my own relationship with alcohol) and I'm seriously, seriously worried about her.

She's been staying with me for the past 4 days and each of those days she has had at least a bottle of wine. Tonight she had a bottle and a half of wine and some beer and I think she would have carried on if I didn't say it was time for bed. I feel like a complete hypocrite because I know all too well what it's like to be in that cycle and I also feel like I have no right to say anything about her drinking because she knows that I am sober and I will never drink again. At the beginning of my sobriety she would say to me "oh, you should taste this wine! It's fantastic. Surely you can take a sip" etc, but I think she's understood now that no drinking means no drinking and that's never going to change. I think she's also sad that we no longer have our alcohol fuelled crazy nights and all that intensity... I think she misses that bond, and probably the drinking buddy I used to be.

I just don't know what to do. It makes me feel physically sick and I just want to cry. I have mentioned that perhaps she's drinking too much and maybe she should try to find other things to fill her time, but she just shrugs it off. She drinks the second she can - as in, as soon as she doesn't have to drive anywhere or do anything that you have to do sober. I just really don't know what to do and I am coming here to you lovely folks of SR mostly to get this off my chest because I feel like it's my responsibility to help her, especially because I know how tough it is... but I just feel like I have no right to try and stop her drinking and I know that nobody stops because someone else tells them to. I know that I can't force her. I know that people don't change their behaviour unless they want to. But I still feel as though I should be doing SOMETHING.

Every evening since she's been staying with me I have sat with her whilst she's been drinking and listened to her slur her words and repeat herself and I can see that she is sad and not happy with her life but that she is trying to pretend that everything is OK and she is coping... it is breaking my heart and I just don't know what to do. I'm 24 and she is almost 50 and I just want to help her but I know that I can't. I feel like a terrible person for not being more involved with her life (I live an hour away and she works seven days a week - it makes it quite difficult) and I just feel as though I'm not doing enough.

Sorry for being depressing and long winded. I just really need to get this off my chest. I just don't know what to do and it terrifies me.

Some good news though - today (well, yesterday - it's 2 AM here) is my 5 monthiversary sober and one month not drinking. At least I've got that.

Lots of love to all of you and thanks to SR for giving me a place to vent. xx
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:57 PM
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Hi MrsKing I don't think you're a hypocrite at all. But IMO you must not feel it is your responsibility to help her. By doing this you are setting yourself up for the fall of your life if it doesn't work out.

When I stopped drinking my wife kept going and I made it my responsibility to get her to stop. In short it didn't work out well at all. And I promise you that you don't want to be going through what I put myself through every day now. I think it's great that you are concerned and want to help her, but I cannot stress it enough please don't make yourself responsible for her. Please don't let this reply scare you as I believe there is hope for all.

How are you doing being around her while she is drinking?

Congradulations on 5 months.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:58 PM
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I can't give you any advice, would a little sympathy help?
Because I can relate.

I also have a close relative (not a parent, but close) who I'm very fond of and who drinks way too much (0.5L vodka a day, sometimes more). She never actually gets drunk, but she drinks constantly, puts a bit of vodka in absolutely everything.

I stayed with her last time I was back home. Even though I was drinking too, it was still painful to watch her live intoxicated 24/7 (I was always an occasional binger, not a daily drinker) and trying to hide it... hide how much she drinks and put a good face on everything... ugh.

I doubt there's anything you can do. You're not a hypocrite at all.

I totally understand wanting to, but I know I would have ignored what anyone said about it until I wanted to do something about it. I have to assume the same would be true for another.

Anyway, whatever you do, good luck. Congratulations on the 5 months and the 1 month.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:11 PM
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I'm sorry you're in this situation MrsKing.

I think we;re really limited when someone we love sees no problem or refuses to stop.

We can't make them stop - you know as well as I do that recovery needs to be an internal process.

All I think we can do is maybe have a quiet word, like you're done, setting out some concern, and leading by example.

I think there is more we can do for ourselves though- I know you'll find a lot of support, wisdom and experience in our FF section too...many of us are also 'over there' on the 'other side'...I hope you'll check it out

I pray your mum will have that moment of clarity both you and I had, MrsKing....and soon

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:06 PM
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Very sorry to hear that, Mrs. King.

I think you are already doing all that can be done: to live your life in a way that provides a positive example. You certainly serve as one here. If it's evident online, I doubt it is escaping your mother's attention. The rest is up to her.

Whatever happens, she knows you're happy and safe. That's surely no small thing.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:39 PM
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Sorry to hear such sad news, MrsKing. Like others are saying, being a good example is the best job we can do when helping others off the drink. Its even more hurtful when the drinker is a family member or friend. Being cheerful as possible and going about the business of your life is you doing all that can be done. When and if your mother decides to ask for help in quitting, you'll be able to do more of course. I hope that day comes as soon as possible, but nonetheless, do look after yourself, and enjoy your sobriety and freedoms without regrets as much as possible.

Congratulations on your 5 months sans-alcohol living and your 1 month smoke free too!
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:09 AM
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sobriety date 5-2-12
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Congrats on 5 months!!!!

I don't have any wise words regarding your mother, but I think all you can do is just be there and love her. She won't change until she is ready to- but I think you know that. ((hugs))
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:19 AM
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As Dee suggested check out our Friends and Family of alcohlics forum:

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Some really great folks and good info that can help you to help yourself
in this problem.

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:26 AM
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Perhaps leaveing out some recovery based literature would help her decide if her drinking is a problem.

I suggest "Drinking A Love Story" as many women can relate to that .

Prayers going out to both of you
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:02 AM
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Congratulations on your 5 months.

You are right that you cannot make your mother stop. She has to decide that on her own and telling her to quit will likely put her on the defensive.

However, you can tell her how her drinking affects you and your relationship with her. For example, "when you drink, you slur your words and repeat yourself which makes it hard for me to enjoy our conversation."

I know that when I made the decision to quit, these types of statements were building blocks which were fundamental to my decision. I chose to make those close to me feel good.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:37 AM
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I am sorry, but I can relate.

Now that I am sober, I have to tune out other peoples ' drinking, including my husband 's.

I will say that I do notice when people are not normal drinkers - and I am surrounded by them! I can't control it though, and I have to stay focused on my recovery. It sounds selfish and it is. I do not know the correct answer. Leaving out recovery literature is one of my tactics though.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:09 PM
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Thanks so much everyone. I appreciate every single one of your replies.

You're all right. I know that I can't get her to stop and she won't until she really wants to. It's just so tough to see someone you love like that and know that you can't do anything... I wish there was just SOMETHING I could do, that's the problem. But I know that it's futile until she's ready. I just have to be there for her when she is. Hopefully it will be soon.

Sorry I'm not replying to you all individually, I'm still feeling really down about it all and a bit 'blah' so I'm not really in a very talkative mood. I really do appreciate your kind words and support, thanks so much again for being here and for allowing me to get it off my chest
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:28 PM
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I looked like that holdin beer
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That is so great that you can not drink in the presence of alcohol.

It seems like you are a great example for her.

I am sorry you are going through this. With my drinking friends, I just know that some will realize and stop and some won't, but like myself, it will happen in their own time.

Congrats on 5 whole months. That's so cool

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Old 09-03-2012, 04:00 PM
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congrats on 5 months! That is very good.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:11 PM
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Everyone had good comments for you MrsKing I just can't help but notice what a great daughter you must be and so blessed to have an exceptional mother as well. It is so hard to detach! And I don't feel you really need to...Perhaps your relationship can morph and change as time passes. It will never be like it was when you were drinking buddies, it can be better now, in a different way. I don't think you need to do anything, people will change or not, we can't control them, only be a good example. My mother was extraordinary too & she died way back in 1985. I miss her so much. Best wishes to you! And congratulations on doing so well in your sobriety
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:20 PM
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I have a feeling you are doing more good than you know. Most of us know we have a problem. I know I did most of my drinking career. She has to envy what you have done. And it has to have her thinking. A sober example is THE best medicine for someone with a drinking problem.
I think all you can do is keep doing what you are doing,and try not to force anything on her,or make any sarcastic remarks. The way I was,if someone said something,I would drink more. Just another one of those excuses to drink,like the sky is blue today,
Hang in there.
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