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Old 11-07-2019, 11:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How To Address It?


Howdy Folks,

Background -

So I am 25 and my alcoholic mother recently lost her father, my grampa. This was her last surviving parent who she was financially and emotionally dependant on. As such she turned to the bottle. I sat in the liquor store parking lot with here. I was crying because “I lost my grampa and I felt like I was losing my mother too.” Of which I told her. This was the first time I had addressed my concern to my mom. I never spoke up before because I knew she would hide it from me. She never hid her drinking from me before which gave me some sense of control, I could keep tabs. At that point, she growled at me and took me back to the house (I was visiting as my grandpa was sick) then disappeared.

I cried in the spare room for what seemed like hours. My mom didn’t talk to me for the rest of the stay. My aunts and uncles visited and said that she was not drinking. She was doing really well considering the situation. Fools! I went back down as the family was told, this is it. Grandpa is dying. I couldn’t believe it. My great grandma passed, then 3 years my grandma (the person who actually raised me) passed, then 2 years my other great grandma passed, then 1 year and my granda pa. Here we are today and this weekend is the last of the services. I can’t help but think that my mom will be next. Heck or even my brother, but that is for a different forum.

A few days after my grandpa passed and everyone cleared out of the house except me and my uncle as we planned to stay a bit longer. I had talked to him about her drinking and he had not clue. She was good at hiding it from everyone except me. However, she was not good at hiding it from me because I knew all the tricks. I could tell if she had been drinking by the sound of her voice on the phone. By the look in her eye. She had made a mistake. I was sitting outside with my uncle and she had left her cup on the table. She had gone to the store. I reached over and took a sip then passes it to my uncle who nearly choked with how strong it was. “Yeah” is all I could say. When she got home I asked her when she was going to stop. She said in a week or two I just need it to take the edge off. Alcohol doesn’t work like that...

Here is my Question -

She lives in a different state but when she visited she has always stayed at my house. We had more than enough room to spare. But this time she was staying at a hotel one of her (party) friends from her past. My therapist suggests that I address her. “I know you are staying at the hotel so you can drink.” However, I am afraid that would only give her another reason to drink. Part of me wants to ask, “Why do you want to kill yourself?”. I feel like I should say something but I need more perspective.

What should I say?

~ShyRose
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's so hard. I'm in a similar boat with my Mom. Just jumped on to learn some wisdom on how to handle it because when I started with Sober Recovery back in 2008 it was because I was trying to get sober. As sick as this sounds, I drank with my Mom. I got sober she did not and she's getting really bad lately. My thought is step 1 is where I need to turn and that is “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.” I interpret this to mean for the family that we recognize that we are ‘powerless’ over our loved one’s addiction to alcohol and that our lives are unmanageable because of our focus on them, but I'm not a person who should be giving advice. I just want you to know you are not alone with this.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You will never be the reason that your mother drinks, even if she uses your words or actions as an excuse to drink. The reason she drinks is that she is an alcoholic.

There aren't any magic words you can say to her to make her realize and accept the extent of her issues. The best any of us can do is maintain healthy boundaries to protect ourselves from the consequences of another's addiction.

Begging, pleading, yelling, reasoning--none of this will get you anywhere, and will only cause you pain and frustration. I'm glad you found us here. I hope you will stick around.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ShyRose…..I strongly encourage you to read the literature/books of the group "Adult Children of Alcoholics". (the group is also for those from dysfunctional families--as well as alcoholism). You would certainly qualify for this group.
I don't know where you live, but,if there aren't any meetings around....you can certainly benefit from reading the materials. You will find out that you are not alone!!
Just go to amazon.com....and type in "Adult Children of Alcoholics" in the book section...…

In addition....you might benefit from attending some OPEN AA meetings, yourself...just as an observer. Look for the meetings that are marked as "open", on the AA list of meetings, in your area. They will, also, be listed as "speaker meetings", at times.....

I am soo sorry to hear that you have lost so many of your grandparents....and, so many, at the same time. I was, also, raised, a lot, by my maternal grandmother...and was very close to grandparents and their siblings on both sides! I feel so lucky to have had them....and, any child who gets to have their grandparents' love is very blessed, in my opinion.....
Even now...so many years later, I think of my grandmother, every day.....
She guides me, so much....
You never lose the love....
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I lived in such a fear state that sometimes I didn't realize what we really wanted or needed. Knowing why my A drinks will not change why he drank. A program may help with that when they are ready. Sometimes all that needs to be said is "I'm concerned for your health."
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry for your losses.. I'll say this, though... The "losing some sense of control".. you can not control another person and should never try to. It's a massive waste of energy and time. Just stay in your 'lane' and continue to do the next right thing for you.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi ShyRose, have you ever attended Al-Anon?

It's a group for the friends and families of alcoholics and a lot of people here have found a lot of support there as well. You can look up meeting times on their website:

https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/

You didn't Cause it, can't Control it and can't Cure it (the 3 c's).

Whenever you try to come between an addict and their drug of choice, you become the enemy.

Best to stay on your side of the street. It's not easy but really, she has to want the help herself before she will seek it out.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Shyrose…….the following link can help you to get connected to "Adult Children of Alcoholics" (and dysfunctional families)….

www.adultchildren.org

***you can still attend alanon...as it does not conflict.....
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Shyrose, it's hard to accept, but you won't be able to stop your mother drinking, not by keeping a tally, or having a serious talk, or crying, or any other way.

Although that's probably not what you want to hear it does take a lot of responsibility off your shoulders. For now the fact is you have a mother, and she happens to drink. She may stop by herself, but it will be because she's worked through it and come to her own conclusions. I speak from experience as my parents drunk a lot at one stage and it caused a lot of unhappiness, but it didn't stop them.

You can set up some boundaries for yourself about about what you will allow while you're around. An example would be you won't listen to drunken phone calls. I think it's best she stays at a hotel because otherwise you'll be finding bottles hidden around your house.

My condolences on your losses. What an amazing long lived family you much have to have great grandparents only recently passing.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi ShyRose,

"Changed viewpoints aid in recovery."

I really love this Al-Anon statement that I've found much truth in. Recovery of my own. This family disease of alcoholism affects many people and being in the rooms of Al-Anon meetings, workshops and events helps me greatly in moving forward in life in very healthy ways.

Welcome to SR. I'm sorry for what brings you here. I'm glad you've reached out for help.

What support do you have through this weekend? Lean on others who you can count on.

Many prayers are with you.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShyRose View Post

She lives in a different state but when she visited she has always stayed at my house. We had more than enough room to spare. But this time she was staying at a hotel one of her (party) friends from her past. My therapist suggests that I address her. “I know you are staying at the hotel so you can drink.” However, I am afraid that would only give her another reason to drink. Part of me wants to ask, “Why do you want to kill yourself?”. I feel like I should say something but I need more perspective.

What should I say?

~ShyRose
I think your therapist is off base on this. Here's my take: there are times when knowing more isn't helpful.

You can say "You're staying at the hotel so you can drink." She'll either say yes, and your heart will hurt, or she'll lie and say no, and you'll be angry she lied. Exactly what is the point of this exchange?

If I have spinach in my teeth, or my zipper isn't zipped all the way, someone can tell me and it's an easy fix. There is no easy fix to addiction, and the addict has to find the impetus within him- or herself to change the situation. Our role is to stay out of the way.

I'm sorry for your situation. My dad was and alcoholic, too. I remember calling one evening to see how Mom was doing: she'd recently broken a leg. Mom had gone to bed and Dad was drunk. I wondered how Mom was managing, but I wasn't in a position to take time off work and move in while she recovered. She never *asked* me for help, nor said anything about Dad not being up to the task of taking care of her. I suppose I *could have* asked, but she would have glossed over the situation, and I'm sure it would have embarrassed her.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It is not unkind to detach with love and it is the best remedy there is for your situation. Detaching with love is not easy because we are angry and hurt over all the loss we have experienced. That is why there is such a thing as alanon and adult children of alcoholics groups. They help us to realize that getting healthy ourselves is the best thing we can do for them and us. Be gentle with yourself and keep reaching out it will get better if you do.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Horselover View Post
It's so hard. I'm in a similar boat with my Mom. Just jumped on to learn some wisdom on how to handle it because when I started with Sober Recovery back in 2008 it was because I was trying to get sober. As sick as this sounds, I drank with my Mom. I got sober she did not and she's getting really bad lately. My thought is step 1 is where I need to turn and that is “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.” I interpret this to mean for the family that we recognize that we are ‘powerless’ over our loved one’s addiction to alcohol and that our lives are unmanageable because of our focus on them, but I'm not a person who should be giving advice. I just want you to know you are not alone with this.

This is actually an interesting perspective, Thank you for sharing!
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Old Today, 02:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's up to your mother whether she drinks or not and there's nothing you can say or do to affect that. Alanon can be a lifesaver and I recommend it. In the meantime, hold your tongue.
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