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Is there really nothing more i can do

Old 05-27-2011, 08:34 AM
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Is there really nothing more i can do

Okay, last post i made i forgot i was aking medical question so im not putting anything like that into this. But how can you help an alcoholic who is sick but wont help themselves? I know she is sick and i was with her yesterday and it kills me to watch her go thru this. She is so stubbern and its truely fustrating coz i want her to get help, but it seems she doesnt want to help herself.
She said to me the other day, i know deep down there i something seriously medically wrong - well then if you know this they why the f wont you get yourself seen to. Is there really nothing else i can do for her? Is this it? I have said my peice and pleaded with her...but i cant watch her health get worse anymore. She is killing herself and i am watching this happen. I feel that i should be doing more but dunno what other options i have. I know deep down there isnt much i can do, but its not nice to watch someone you love detereate.
I know what might happen in the end but im the only one she has ever really listened to in the past (a little listening she took in) and i feel its my responcibility to do something. But is there really nothing i can do? I know the answer already, its just hard.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CheekyAngel View Post
But how can you help an alcoholic who is sick but wont help themselves?
You CANNOT.

Can not

Can NOT

Can. Not.

They must want to help themself, and be willing to do whatever it takes, to make the changes necessary.

The best thing you can do, is get out of the way, and let them live their life, and the consequences thereof.

CLMI
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:07 AM
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I didn't get help until I hit a bottom.

Guilt trips from my parents didn't work.

Pleading, begging, bribing didn't work.

Telling me I was killing myself didn't work.

Loving me as best as they could didn't work.

I had to experience every God-awful miserable event in my life in order to get to where I am today.

I will tell you I finally hit a bottom when I had used everyone up, and there was no longer anyone to pick me up when I fell.

Keep her in your prayers. Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer.

My parents' prayers were answered, just not in their time, but in God's time.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:11 PM
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thank you both. This is where it just gets extremely harder. Mum calls me balling her eyes out about whatever is wrong with her. I usually hang up the phone when she abusive coz its not worth it, but i have just spent the last 20mins listening to her moaning and crying about herself. Why wont she get help? It doesnt add up. I dont know how much more i can take of her. One minute she saying "im fine, im fine", the next thing shes telling me "im so scared". What am i to do? All i can do is listen and advixe her what to do but its so pointless.

I know when shes depressed and drinking, its double trouble for everyone. I can handle the abuse at this stage but when she upset i cant hang up on her. Im afraid for her safety but i cant do anything. Im powerless in this situation but i still feel like i should be doing more but i cant, she wont listen...

Im am so fustrated with all of this. I feel so sorry for her, but i dont think she deserves my pity...but she still gets it. What do i do when shes upset crying down the phone? I used to just say nothing and put the phone down beside me and let her ramble on but now im afraid she is gona die soon, or something similar and dont want to let her suffer on her own. But i know she is letting herself suffer and draging me into it but i am afraid for her life now and it makes things so much more difficult to do. I had skills put in place to deal with her $hit but now i dont know if i have it in me to put those skills in place. She lives on her own (to no fault but her own) and it frightnes me. I read someone elses thread which touched my heart becoz thats how i see this situation ending up - someone finding her dead, alone.

I have tryed so much before, learnt it was useless, and stepped back. Now that i fear for her life i feel i have to give her the time to cry down the phone to me and let it all out. It upsets me to think that she is falling down a 6foot hole but what can i do? I cant do anything for her, and that hurts me coz i really want to be there for her. I told her id go to the hospital and wait all day with her if she gets the tests and scans but she makes excuses why she shouldnt. I desperatly want her to get help, but she wont. I dont think she even understands the stress and pressure that she puts on me. Never mind everyone else, she always calls me. I think she knows that when shes depressed ill listen to her....in the past i didnt but now coz im afraid for her i listen coz i dont want that guilt hanging over my head like a rain cloud. Had to get that out of my system!
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CheekyAngel View Post
I told her id go to the hospital and wait all day with her if she gets the tests and scans but she makes excuses why she shouldnt. I desperatly want her to get help, but she wont.
Why won't she go to the hospital? Would she see a GP instead? A GP can do many of the initial tests and send them to the local lab for analysis. Do you share a GP? If so you could discuss your concerns with him/her and they could advise you if your locality has any outreach services which could attempt to help her.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:00 PM
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As said, you can't help an alcoholic who is sick but won't help themselves. You will not understand that or like that, but it's true. And you will appreciate and embrace that when you learn it -- by going to meetings. Please go.

If you know this deep down inside as you said you do -- focus on that. Read and learn about the 3 C's. You will begin to get past the confusion and anger and you will get to acceptance. It is very empowering when you get there. I feel for you, so very much, because I was exactly where you are. Many of us were. I stayed there for a long time. Far too long. And then I became unhealthy. I became sick. Please don't do this to yourself.

I wish you all the best and peace of mind.

Go to meetings. Good luck.


Originally Posted by CheekyAngel View Post
Okay, last post i made i forgot i was aking medical question so im not putting anything like that into this. But how can you help an alcoholic who is sick but wont help themselves? I know she is sick and i was with her yesterday and it kills me to watch her go thru this. She is so stubbern and its truely fustrating coz i want her to get help, but it seems she doesnt want to help herself.
She said to me the other day, i know deep down there i something seriously medically wrong - well then if you know this they why the f wont you get yourself seen to. Is there really nothing else i can do for her? Is this it? I have said my peice and pleaded with her...but i cant watch her health get worse anymore. She is killing herself and i am watching this happen. I feel that i should be doing more but dunno what other options i have. I know deep down there isnt much i can do, but its not nice to watch someone you love detereate.
I know what might happen in the end but im the only one she has ever really listened to in the past (a little listening she took in) and i feel its my responcibility to do something. But is there really nothing i can do? I know the answer already, its just hard.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:12 PM
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Here's what you can do-- stop watching. None of this is your responsibility. That fact that she has listened to you in the past is irrelevant. She's choosing to die, just like my best friend did. I stopped watching, and when he died I wasn't there to see it. I said my goodbyes long before the actual event.

Cyranoak
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:57 AM
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I have decided that i will make one last attempt to talk to her. I will have to catch her sober tho. Her drunk, it will just get thrown back in my face. So after my last attempt, this is it, she can kill herself if thats what she pleases to do.

How hard it maybe, i will have to do it. There is no point in me wasting my time and energy into something that is nothing. I may have guilt if something comes from it but ill just have to live with that. Easier to say that now, much harder to feel it when/if something happens. I hate her, but i love her, but she loves to drink more then look after herself...so it is what it is...

She is my mother, i am not hers. I learnt that a long time ago but only put it into practise i while ago and now its so much harder but suppose ill just have to be strong and stick with it. What im gona do with the phone calls, havnt decided yet but im not wasting my time on something that may never change.

Originally Posted by KittyP View Post
Why won't she go to the hospital? Would she see a GP instead? A GP can do many of the initial tests and send them to the local lab for analysis. Do you share a GP? If so you could discuss your concerns with him/her and they could advise you if your locality has any outreach services which could attempt to help her.
She wont go coz shes been stubbern. She goes to her GP sometimes but all he does is give her more tablets. I thinks she addicted to perscription pills and thats why she only visits him. I know bloody well she lies her way thru the doctors appointment to get her tablets. And no we dont share a GP. She doesnt live with us anymore (thank god!).

Ive decided, if she wants help, she can go get it herself (as difficult as that is to say) or tell me when she's ready to get help. Only then will i help her.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:06 AM
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Many of us loved alcoholics, tried to get them to seek help by every means we could think of, to no avail.

No one will get help unless they're ready and that's a personal thing-each alcoholic who gets help experiences a "bottom." They have to experience horrible consequences, usually, like losing their family, job or home. Even then, many do not get help and way too many just DIE from the disease. No one can say which one your mom will be, I'm sorry to say.

Many of us, including me, walked away from the alcoholic in our lives because your'e right, it is HORRIBLE watching someone you love destroy themselves. We could no longer do it.

Al-anon, 1st step: we are powerless against another person's alcoholism.

Have you been to an al-anon meeting yet? For many of us, it was the only way to recover. You are the only person you can control or change. Focus on you.



Originally Posted by CheekyAngel View Post
Okay, last post i made i forgot i was aking medical question so im not putting anything like that into this. But how can you help an alcoholic who is sick but wont help themselves? I know she is sick and i was with her yesterday and it kills me to watch her go thru this. She is so stubbern and its truely fustrating coz i want her to get help, but it seems she doesnt want to help herself.
She said to me the other day, i know deep down there i something seriously medically wrong - well then if you know this they why the f wont you get yourself seen to. Is there really nothing else i can do for her? Is this it? I have said my peice and pleaded with her...but i cant watch her health get worse anymore. She is killing herself and i am watching this happen. I feel that i should be doing more but dunno what other options i have. I know deep down there isnt much i can do, but its not nice to watch someone you love detereate.
I know what might happen in the end but im the only one she has ever really listened to in the past (a little listening she took in) and i feel its my responcibility to do something. But is there really nothing i can do? I know the answer already, its just hard.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:16 AM
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Al-anon wouldnt be a bad idea but becoz iv really ad anxiety, id rather not go. Just seen someone posted about online ones ao might look into that.

See aswell, mum doesnt live with me anymore so things arnt that bad for me with her anymore. Like there still bad, but having her not in the house makes it so much better coz i dont get cought up in the fights. Thanks
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:44 AM
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Its very common for the alcoholic to call on family and friends with fear or complaint about their state, and then with no willingness to make the necessary changes, to unload this terrible guilt onto the helpless family member who wants to help, but whose hands are tied.

My RAH, even now, will call me to complain about panic attacks driving him to want to drink, to which I used to try to convince him to see the psych doc and get meds, to which he would then argue with me over.

It just comes down to taking away that argument.

If she gets into enough discomfort she will call and say, Come, take to hospital NOW>
ANything other than that is most likely quacking quacking, because she is not committed to taking any action.

This is the exact same thing as someone standing inside a burning house, shouting that they are on fire, but they refuse to walk out the door.

After so many attempts at reasoning with them, "cmon, come out of the burning house, now... you are on fire..."
It is perfectly normal for you to become annoyed, then enraged, then complacent..I mean c'mon!

My RAH will always call and say he is at the end of his nerve and cant go on without help, then I will be supportive, he will feel better, the he will abandon plans for help until things get uncomfortable for him AGAIN.

Now, I dont even talk to him about any plans unless he has names or dates. And even then, I am half listening.
And if he calls me to whimper on about how hard it is for him, I just say I need to take care of something call you later. He gets the message.

She knows how to get help. She is a grown woman. No need for you to even give it more than a passing notice until she asks for a ride or a phone number. ..

You CAN choose to walk away from her burning house.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:58 AM
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Very good post Buffalo66.

CheekyAngel, it seems to me what you are getting is more manipulate from your mom. As B66 said she will either see a doctor or she won't. It doesn't have anything to do with you.

Stay on course with your recovery and your sanity. These are things you can control.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CheekyAngel View Post
She lives on her own (to no fault but her own) and it frightnes me. I read someone elses thread which touched my heart becoz thats how i see this situation ending up - someone finding her dead, alone.
Most of my family members and many friends live alone. Most of my loved ones have died alone, too, even when they lived with someone. The only time it's frightened me is when active substance abuse has been part of the picture.

It took a while, but after I started thinking about my addicted loved ones dying alone, I realized I was projecting my fears on them. I assumed it was a torturous event, especially on an emotional level, because they've cried the loudest. If I cried that much I'd be in a horrible way, reaching out to others to help me find a way out of the misery... but wait, they don't do that. That's where my perspective and theirs parts ways. I started driving myself crazy when I forgot that.

A question I eventually asked myself was, why was I so determined to feel others pain, take it on? Why was I so determined to be the answer instead of having one? The short answer is ego. I wanted to be everything to others but I can't. I can't even be everything to myself. I need a Higher Power.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:24 PM
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Since I'm an alcoholic (sober 20 years) I'm something of an authority on this subject. Please repeat after me:

I am powerless over people, places and things.

While your wife is drinking the bottle is in charge. She will ONLY get sober if she decides to stop and start a treatment program. My heart goes out to you because I know how awful it is. But it's better to start from the truth.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:53 PM
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@ Buffalo - Thank you, your post was very wise and helpful to me. The metaphor about the fire was very useful and gave me a new perspective.

@ NYCDoglvr - i had to laugh! You refered to the A as my wife ha!! Its my mother!!

Thanks all for the posts....

I know what i have to do...and i know what i dont have to do!
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:27 PM
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I understand you have anxiety, but I still think al-anon meetings would really help you. I felt so much better walking into a face to face meeting, and meeting people who understood what I was going through. You'll be amazed at how much better you will feel.

Originally Posted by CheekyAngel View Post
@ Buffalo - Thank you, your post was very wise and helpful to me. The metaphor about the fire was very useful and gave me a new perspective.

@ NYCDoglvr - i had to laugh! You refered to the A as my wife ha!! Its my mother!!

Thanks all for the posts....

I know what i have to do...and i know what i dont have to do!
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:45 PM
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I don't know the past history or what your area laws are but you could check and see if you could petition the courts for a court order forcing her into treatment. While this may not be successful there is a small chance that an opportunity to sober up for a long enough period of time may (repeat may) result in her realizing her need to remain in treatment and recovery.

If you do not have local laws or support for this you could try an intervention where you and any other persons who care about her can give her a final ultimatim of what she would have to do in order for you to remain in her life. If she refuses then she will have cut the ties and you would feel better about the decision to not participate or watch her kill herself slowly.

I recommend Debra Jay's book NO MORE LETTING GO for a very thoughtful,, balanced and helpful guide to a well thought out and balanced intervention process.

Remember that even if you go above and beyond to ridiculous lengths it will not be successful unless she decides that she truly wants to be sober for life no matter what it will take to accomplish that goal. That being said... you never know if a failed intervention isn't seed for the future when she may come to realization that she does want to live a life of recovery
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:08 PM
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I hope you are ok, you sound incredibly strong even if you don't feel that you are. You must protect yourself in all of this because you have to live your own life and not have it influenced or destroyed by the way another is choosing to live theirs.

How is it at the moment? Have you managed to do what you said you wanted to do?
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:48 PM
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@ sandrawg -
i am really working on myself atm and maybe one day but today im sorry, i cant put myself in that situation. I would be setting myself up for failure. Failure as in id have a couple of anxiety attacks and feel like $hit walking out. Its not easy and im working on it as best i can. Im putting myself thru exposure now and to go to a group setting is waaay to much for me right now. Thanks

@ hopeworks -
thank you for you knowledge, im going to take a further look into some options you gave me - god i duno even where to start! Im going to ring my uncle i think, he knows alot of stuff about that kinda thing so he would be best to contact. Thanks

@ Brighton -
well she rang me there a while ago, sounds pretty messed up and what hurts is i can hear the fear, sadness and lonelyness in her voice. But at the moment shes still breathing so i dont really know how to answer your more. If what you mean by asking me "Have you managed to do what you said you wanted to do?" is try one more time to help her, yea, i tried, i couldnt do anything. I went down and spend the day with her. As much as i wanted to leave, i also wanted to saviour the moment. She was drunk but she wasnt bad or abusive so i was able to sit there without getting fustrated (much!). I went thru all the cards i had and none of them played any game for her. Shes not going to get help i dont think. Ah well, ive tried and theres nothing really more that i can do. I just find it hard to listen to her when shes upset/scared about her situation and then not do anything about it and she come crying to me. I dont want to leave her to be scared or upset on her own, so ill take the call and listen to her sobbing down the phone. I would rather take the call then not take it and discover the worst the following day. Its like i look at those calls now as maybe my last conversation with her - nice conversation, her drunkeness. So as of now i think when i get in contact with my uncle, im finished trying. Im not finished caring, just trying. Sorry that go a bit long, just felt i needed to say that. How are you holding up yourself Brighton? I remember your story, it really touched me. Hope you coping well. And that you for asking, it actully ment alot.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:41 AM
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Hi Cheeky,

I am still in shock if I am honest but I am trying to keep busy and motivated and I am taking a lot of comfort from this forum.

If i'm honest I don't really feel in any position to give much advice, this is my first proper outreach into any sort of AA forum or help centre. All I can say is, although everyone experiences these things differently, I have a very good idea about the helplessness that you feel so you are not on your own and people do understand.

Towards the end of my mother's life I started to distance myself from her because I was trapped in a cycle of manipulation, guilt, love, resentment and desperation. I felt so helpless because I felt I was the only person who could help my mum, although my situation proves that in reality I couldn't save her (although this isn't something I am finding easy to admit to myself and I still have many days where I feel that I failed her) . For years I cleaned up her house, dragged her into the bath, washed her clothes and forgave her for all the hurtful things she said to me because, I thought I knew, or wanted to believe, that if I never gave up I would get my mum back. This wasn't the case and I never did get her back. She had sober moments but they were all triggered by me helping her but these periods were never sustained because she never did it by herself.

A year ago she set her house on fire and only escaped because someone rescued her. It was a huge fire that gutted her flat and for a time made her realise that she couldn't go on living the way she was. I really hoped at the time that this was her 'rock bottom' but very sadly it wasn't. I'm not really sure why I am writing about this but I guess my point is that for her nothing seemed to work and no matter how much time I invested in her she wasn't going to change.

However that is certainly not to say that there isn't any hope for your situation but you are as powerless over the situation as I was and any amount of help you give her will not be sufficient as you cannot help save her if she doesn't want to help herself.

In terms of your detachment and the drunken phone calls I can't give you any AA based advise but I can give you some from my own for my experience. I completely understand that you find it near impossible not to answer her calls and listen to her emotional outbursts, however I think you need to be clear with her about what you will and will not tolerate. I would suggest when she rings, if she is drunk, do not be drawn into any sort of discussion, she won't remember what she says most of the time but you will and that is much more damaging. Tell her that you want to be there for her and you want to speak to her but you will not do it when she is drunk and then hang up. If you feel guilty about this you could always ring her the next day at a time when you suspect she will be sober (possibly first thing in the morning?) and have a rational discussion with her.

One thing I have deep regrets about is all the times I indulged the emotional phone calls. Most phone calls had the same pattern, I would listen to her cry, try and give her all the advise I could, but then after a long time on the phone i would start getting frustrated which would lead to us having a fight or one of us hanging up which was not healthy for me or her. Very sadly for me the very last time I spoke to my mum this happened and I wish so much I could change it, although I take comfort in the fact that the reason I was cross with her that day was because she had rung me and told me not to bother coming to visit and the whole argument was about how much I wanted to go and see her. Still it is very hard to accept that the last time we spoke we had a fight. So for your own well being, in case the worst happens, try and remain calm and patient with her (as you clearly are doing) but at the same time stick to the boundaries you have set and do not tolerate any drunken conversations.

Sorry this is such a lost post but I wanted to share my experience with you. I hope that it is useful, in some way, even if it just shows you what not to do. I really believe that I would have been able to deal with the situation so much better if I had reached out for help long ago. Remember you are not a bystander in this, you are a victim and you need help too.

Brighton xx
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