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Old 05-06-2011, 10:13 AM
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Random Ramblings

I feel so trapped when my mother drinks like this. I could pour my heart and soul into trying to save her. I could put all my spare time into sitting by her side and making sure she tries to get better, but I can't be with her 24/7. I have to live my life at some point. I have to work, I have to sleep, I have to see my family. I cannot control her, she will drink again as soon as I leave the room. She will sneak off and drink if she wants to. Even if I do "get her better" this time around, I'll have to deal with this again in a couple weeks, or a couple days. It is just so overwhelmingly emotionally and physically exhausting.

I came to terms with the fact that she might kill herself with alcohol a long time ago, but it never ever gets easier. It is the most difficult thing to see my mother drunk, not just drunk, but drunk the way she drinks. I'm not sure if she is going to make it another day. I never know if this will be her last binge. I never know if this will be the drink that kills her, or this time while she sobers up on her own, without any medical supervision because she refuses it now, I don't know if the withdrawl symptoms will be too much for her to handle.

Al anon gives me peace. I haven't gone for such a long time, but last night just made me feel so much better.

I wish that she wanted to get sober. I wish she would just admit she is an alcoholic and go to meetings. I wish she would put some effort into sobering up. I wish that I could force her not to drink. I wish I could force her to seek help for herself.

But I don't have room to talk. She has had this problem for years now, and I've only gone to 3 meetings. I guess we are just a family of people who don't seek help for ourselves. I guess we like to just bury our heads in the sand and pretend like nothing is wrong. I suppose we are too proud to admit when things are out of control. I need to care enough about myself to take care of myself. It won't hurt anything for me to go to meetings. It isn't selfish of me to take two hours one night a week to restore my sanity. a small part of me thinks that maybe if she sees me going to meetings she will go too. But that can't be my motivation. I am going to admit that my life has become unmanageable. I am admitting that *I* need help.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:14 PM
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SoberClean,

I haven't been a regular at Al-Anon meetings as much as I would like, but I also try to read and this place has been a blessing! I think the hardest part is letting go, whether you resolve yourself to the fact that they will die or feeling guilty because you are trying to focus on your recovery, we need help in trying to deal with the A in our life.

It is a struggle for me when AS falls off wagon after being sober for what seemed like an eternity (year), just when you think they are back, they fall and you keep asking WHY???

My AF died at 46 and I watch him progressivly get worse and worse, he disgusted me on what I then perceived as weakness (didn't know about Al-Anon 23 years ago) and not caring enough about us. Maybe we are selfish in wanting them to be loving and healthy, not, in what we perceive as, them being selfish thinking about themselves by drinking.

When you are able to let go and realize that THEY have to make the choice, you will be much healthier for it.

My thoughts and prayers
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:28 PM
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This sounds like hell to me I just don't think I could do what you're doing. I'm so sorry you are having such a difficult time. Are you ready to detach now?
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:44 PM
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That is a lot of responsibility to be carrying around on ones shoulders.

The more I work a program and seek my HP the more I realize that they to have a HP and it is not me.

I don't have any control over what another does, thinks, or acts and when I think I do it is about my powerlessness and a tad bit ego.

Lead by example people saw me getting better and eventually it caught on.

I also said the serenity prayer more times than I could count
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (them)
courage to change the things I can(me) and the wisdom to know the difference.(HP)
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:07 AM
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Thank you for the responses. I feel the love on this board, even with something so small as someone pressing the "thank you" button on my posts. Anyway, I posted that after my Al Anon meeting I'd had the other day. I was going through my workbook and that was my attempt at working out the first step.

Is detaching how most of us interpret the first step (i'm so new and naive at this)? So is it ok to have a "they made their bed now they can sleep it in" attitude? I feel so guilty not knowing that i am doing everything in my power to "fix" her. But at the same time I get so angry that I put my life on hold to try and "save" her for now, and after all that work and time and effort, and after all the tears and stress, and becoming emotionally drained, just so she can relapse again in a couple weeks, and we can go through this all again, in a couple weeks or maybe a couple days.

So I'm at the point now where I am tired of going through that. I want to say I don't care anymore, but I know that I do because I cry like a baby every single time she relapses.

So is it okay to let go, and not put that effort into getting her better anymore? Of course I will never stop caring. But is more of a "this is her problem, not mine" approach, actually the first step?
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:21 AM
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so sorry you're going through this!

On this site, and in the book Paths to Recovery, there is a Friends and Family step study. You might want to take a look at it- I found it very helpful!

Originally Posted by SoberClean View Post
Thank you for the responses. I feel the love on this board, even with something so small as someone pressing the "thank you" button on my posts. Anyway, I posted that after my Al Anon meeting I'd had the other day. I was going through my workbook and that was my attempt at working out the first step.

Is detaching how most of us interpret the first step (i'm so new and naive at this)? So is it ok to have a "they made their bed now they can sleep it in" attitude? I feel so guilty not knowing that i am doing everything in my power to "fix" her. But at the same time I get so angry that I put my life on hold to try and "save" her for now, and after all that work and time and effort, and after all the tears and stress, and becoming emotionally drained, just so she can relapse again in a couple weeks, and we can go through this all again, in a couple weeks or maybe a couple days.

So I'm at the point now where I am tired of going through that. I want to say I don't care anymore, but I know that I do because I cry like a baby every single time she relapses.

So is it okay to let go, and not put that effort into getting her better anymore? Of course I will never stop caring. But is more of a "this is her problem, not mine" approach, actually the first step?
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:51 AM
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I know how hard this is. My mother and father both were alcoholics. and I could not make them stop either. usually, it is great pain and severe consequences that finally gets through their addicted fog, but sometimes they dont stop at anything.

could you just hand her over, into her higher powers hands? i read that here, and really, it makes sense.you cannot make her stop, and you must save yourself from the sickness. mentally it is more than a person can take to keep trying to convince them, over and over again. you need to save the part of your family that you can- you. do it for you. it is a family sickness, and will make you physically ill as well as mentally.

thoughts and prayers. keep going to alanon, and posting here. you are not alone.

hugs
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by chicory View Post
could you just hand her over, into her higher powers hands? i read that here, and really, it makes sense.you cannot make her stop, and you must save yourself from the sickness. mentally it is more than a person can take to keep trying to convince them, over and over again. you need to save the part of your family that you can- you. do it for you. it is a family sickness, and will make you physically ill as well as mentally.

thoughts and prayers. keep going to alanon, and posting here. you are not alone.

hugs
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Wow, I've read some literature. the workbook I have is directed toward the alcoholic, but it is the same workbook that the alcoholics use, so my biggest struggle (as I am still struggling through step 1) is interpreting it so that I can apply the steps toward my situation. Finally with that phrase "could you just hand her over, into her higher powers hands?" I think I am beginning to understand. My light bulb just switched on (((hugs)))

I haven't thought of a HP for a long time. but somehow it makes step 1 make sense.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:54 AM
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I hope you find this helpful:

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/pdf/B-24_step1Web.pdf
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:14 AM
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In addition to tjp's link, I have an excerpt from How Al-Anon Works.
You're off to a great start.


Step One
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Each of our lives has been devastated by someone else's drinking. We cannot change that fact. We have been profoundly affected by the disease of alcoholism. Its effects continue to permeate our lives. Nor can we change the behavior or the attitudes of those around us. We can't even stop the drinking. We are powerless over alcohol. As long as we persist in the delusion that we can control or cure alcoholism, its symptoms, or its effects, we continue to fight a battle that we cannot win. Our self-esteem suffers, our relationships suffer, and our ability to enjoy life suffers. All of our energy is wasted on a hopeless endeavor until there is nothing left over for attending to our own needs. Our lives have become unmanageable.
Whether or not we live with active drinking, life is unmanageable whenever we lose perspective about what is and is not our responsibility. We take offense at actions that have nothing to do with us. Or we intervene where it is inappropriate and we neglect our legitimate obligations to ourselves and others. Our misplaced concern for others becomes intrusive, meddling, resented, and doomed to failure. Instead of helping those we care about, we demonstrate a lack of respect for them and create discord in our relationships.
When our preoccupation with others distracts us from our responsibilities to attend to our own physical, emotional, and spiritual health, we suffer. Our health and self-esteem decline. We become incapable of accepting reality, coping with change, or feeling happiness. Our lives fly out of control.
With this First Step, we admit that we did not cause, cannot control, and cannot cure the alcoholic, the disease of alcoholism, or the fact that we have been affected by this disease. We are powerless over alcohol - and its effects on us. By ourselves, we can do nothing to overcome the effects of this disease. In fact, our attempts to exert power over alcohol have made our lives unmanageable.
Taking the First Step allows a great weight to fall from our shoulders. We let go of the losing battle we have been waging. We recognize that there is no point in continuing the fight. We surrender completely.
This is no small achievement. The battle against alcoholism has become the basis for many of our relationships. Putting an end to this battle requires completely redefining what we believe about ourselves, others, and our relationships. For example, many of us have confused love with interference. We don't know how to show affection or support without giving advice, seeking to sway another's decisions, or trying to get those we love to do what we think will bring them happiness. We confuse caring with controlling because we don't know how to allow others the dignity of being themselves. Those of us who learned to control whatever we could in order to survive in an alcoholic environment now continue to try to control everything and everybody out realizing what we are doing. From past experience, we are terrified to let others do as they wish. But we only harm ourselves and others when we insist upon approaching every interaction this way. Our relationships are damaged, and our lives become even more unmanageable. Thus, even when there are no alcoholics directly involved, the effects of alcoholism continue to dominate. So we take the First Step. We admit we are powerless over alcohol and that our lives have become unmanageable.
Al-Anon does not promise that every alcoholic will get sober, or that sobrierty will solve our problems or fix our relationships. We may never have the family of our dreams or win the love of those who have no love to give. But our program does offer us hope, because it is all about change. By being honest and admitting that the power we tried to wield over alcoholism was never readily available to us, we let go of the illusion that kept us imprisoned in an endless cycle of repetitious, self-defeating behavior and inevitable disappointment.
It's as if we are lost in a desert. Not far away is a freshwater stream, but until now we have failed to notice it because we have been chasing a mirage, an imaginary oasis that recedes whenever we approach. Only when we finally stop, take stock of what our efforts have produced, and admit that we have been pursuing an illusion, can we turn in a direction that will actually meet our needs. Likewise, when we let go of the illusion of power over alcohol and over other people, we move in a more positive, productive, and rewarding direction. We move towards hope.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:48 AM
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There's a section on this site with Friends and Family step studies. They come from the al-anon book Paths to Recovery. You might find them helpful!

Originally Posted by SoberClean View Post
Wow, I've read some literature. the workbook I have is directed toward the alcoholic, but it is the same workbook that the alcoholics use, so my biggest struggle (as I am still struggling through step 1) is interpreting it so that I can apply the steps toward my situation. Finally with that phrase "could you just hand her over, into her higher powers hands?" I think I am beginning to understand. My light bulb just switched on (((hugs)))

I haven't thought of a HP for a long time. but somehow it makes step 1 make sense.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:57 PM
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StarCat, Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times for that post. Every single word of that describes me. It also reassures me, even though I feel so alone with this problem sometimes, it helps me remember that I am not the only person in the world who is going through this. Many other people are going through this and they can be happy by not bearing the weight of the world on their shoulders.

While I now feel like I understand step 1 much better than I did a week ago, or several years ago there are still many things I need to work on.

I did not Cause it, I can't control it, I cannot cure it. This phrase makes perfect sense on paper, and in my head. But there is always a "reason" for her relapses, usually someone has been "mean" or "unfair" or "over demanding." While I know, logically in my head that whoever she is mad at didn't put the bottle to her lips, and it is how she reacted that put herself on the last binge, I still have this uncontrollable urge to go kick their ---.

I protect her, I keep this secret about her, I tell everybody that she is doing ridiculously wonderful when they ask about her, even though in the back of my mind, I'm terrified for her. I am terrified that she won't make it through this binge. I want to set anyone straight who has triggered her.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

That is what I will work on for now. I think this ties into the "I control control it" part.

Thank you all for your support. I am so very thankful that this board exists.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:10 PM
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I AM CANADIAN
 
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CANT change someone that will not change for themselves...so stop the control, its a waste of time and energy...put it to some good use...YOU
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