I am sick of the disease excuse!

Old 03-02-2012, 01:13 PM
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I am sick of the disease excuse!

Hey everyone,

My mom is an alcoholic. She is doing a lot better, and has been sober for a couple of months. She finally got her own place, and is going to AA meetings daily.
She put my sister and I through hell for years. She was physically and mentally abusive toward us when we were in high school and younger. I moved out of the house at 16 (I am now almost 20) and my sister has completely cut off all contact with her because she cannot handle her ups and downs. She brings us down with her all the time. She didn't even invite my mom to her wedding. My mom is still constantly bringing my sister up to me; my sister broke her heart, and I understand that. Sometimes she says though, that alcoholism is a disease JUST like cancer. If it were cancer, then this would be different, and my sister will regret doing this to her when she is dead. I get MAD when she says things like this. Yes, it would be different, but you put this on yourself, when you have cancer, you don't self inflict it. She uses this "disease excuse" constantly. It makes me worried that she hasn't accepted any responsibility for her actions, and in turn won't help her sobriety. And she hasn't realized the damage she has done to us. And when I mention that, she completely goes off and says, "your lives are cake compared to mine". She is in complete competition for who has the worst life, for some reason. We got into this particular fight yesterday, and in result she told me I should never be a psychologist (which is what I am studying to be) and that really hurts me. I feel like I can never please her, and I want her to stop blaming me and everyone else for everything that happens. I am so sad, so done with her right now. I am so hurt. She brings me down.

Sorry for the rant. Is there anything I am missing? What are your opinions? I just don't know what to do anymore..
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:12 PM
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I agree with you on this point, I am also sick of hearing that addiciton whatever the addiction is, is a disease . I have never in all of my life seen such neediness and childness than in addicts, its never enough for them, no one loves them, everyone has it harder than they do, its take take take and take everything they can from you, they have such a huge hole in themselves that they try taking from others but it never fills up thats just the feeling i get anyway, sorry shes bringing you down when arguing with my AS , i haven seen that I can never m ake him see so I just stopped let your mom think what she wants to think whatever shes dreamed up its her problem take care
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:47 PM
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She is doing a lot better, and has been sober for a couple of months. She finally got her own place, and is going to AA meetings daily.
I have no problem, believing it is a disease, as I suffered from 'active alcoholism and drug addiction for 24 years.'

However, upon finding recovery, I can also tell you that it took a lot longer than a 'couple of months' to fully comprehend the 'damage' I had done to so many. Working the steps with my sponsor, helped with that, but to be honest I was not even capable of starting the steps until I was almost 5 months sober and clean. I had such 'fog' and 'mush' in my brain that it was terrible to 'think' things through, to analyze, to actually comprehend what was currently going on and what had transpired.

I can tell you, that my 'actions' not my words, were what slowly regained the 'trust' of my family. I suspect, if your mom stays sober, and continues to work on herself, that her actions and 'sincere heartfelt amends' (NOT and 'I'm sorry) will also, slowly regain the trust of your sister and yourself.

Your sister did nothing wrong in not inviting your mom to her wedding. She was sticking to her boundaries and wanted a 'calm, peaceful and serene' wedding without drama. Good for her.

Please take a wait and see attitude. The 'disease' concept, first put forward by Dr William Silkworth, and discussed in "The Doctors Opinion" of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anoymous, in 1939 was accepted by the American Medical Society in the early '50's and has been expounded on since:

The Doctor's Opinion

No where in the Big Book or "The Doctors Opinion" does it instruct us to use this as AN EXCUSE for our behaviors. The BB is all about us (we alcoholics) take responsibility for our actions. That is what Step 9 is all about. I doubt if your mom is anywhere near Step 9 yet.

I have worked with many newcomers over these past 30+ years and many of them have 'started' their recovery with the 'disease excuse' which rapidly disappears when they start 'working the program' of AA.


Please keep posting and let us know how YOU are doing as we do care very much.

Love and hugs,
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:01 PM
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You have no more control of her noise than you did her drinking. The only thing here that you control is your own reaction. You can refuse to listen to it- just walk away or hang up the phone all the way to going no contact.

In other words, do not give this drivel any more power over you.

You did not cuase it.
You cannot control it.
You cannot cure it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:46 AM
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Many alcoholics have co-occurring character disorders such as severe narcissism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality, and others.

If she puts together 6-9 months of sobriety and you still see this grandiose, self-centered, child-abusing, victim personality in your mother, you will perhaps find some relief in knowing that alcohol only amplified her already destructive nature.

If that is so, then the farther away you are from her, the better. And you do not have to invite her to your wedding some day either.

Wishing you a better adult life than the one you lived as a child. Wishing you self-esteem, peace of mind, and finally some joy. Take very good care of yourself. You will have to continue being your own good parent, and you can do it.

You might see if your campus has an Al-Anon group and sit in for a meeting. Many campuses have weekly meetings.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by laurie6781 View Post
However, upon finding recovery, I can also tell you that it took a lot longer than a 'couple of months' to fully comprehend the 'damage' I had done to so many.
That is true for my stepmom, too. I think she stuck with the first step for about six months because it was all she could handle. Her adult children, not understanding her scrambled brain and not being in any kind of recovery program, thought and expected full 'consciousness' almost immediately.

It took almost a full year before she regained clarity, and they all were no contact off and on during that time.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:14 AM
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I understand completely. I used to use the disease excuse all the time. I was a great way to wave off any responsibility and just say "it's not my fault, I have a disease".
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:03 PM
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oh my...the oh so twisted possibilities that are only possible in a mother daughter relationship!

I am an alcoholic, in recovery for six years now.
My mother is the daughter, sister and mother to nine self identified alcoholics (in recovery)! She may not be an alcoholic but she sure has lived her life in a dysfunctional circus.

I have done tons of work in therapy and in the 12 steps to try to come to terms and clear the relationship that I have with her. Take away the alcohol and you will still find dozens of self help books on the "mother relationship".

One of the toughest lessons, whether in therapy, recovery, Buddhism, or philosophy or this: she can't makeyou mad, or sad, or whatever. You will probably hate hearing this. But the good news is that it is ALL in YOUR power to shift your thoughts and feelings. The "mother relationship" is highly vulnerable and suspect to extremely annoying demons that want to linger around and make your life insane...and those demons are yours to tame, love, or leave in the dust.

I hope this doesn't sound harsh. Believe me I can so very much empathize with your mother story is filled with very dark crevasses. But we can begin to re-tell our own story, re-create our own life...peace to you
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