Page 1 of 2

My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:36 am
by Mike O
I wonder if I could share something with you all and perhaps ask your advice.

My mother is an alcoholic. She will not admit to being one even though, in January, she spent three weeks in hospital with liver problems. She was warned by her doctors never to drink again or she will cause irreparable damage.
The thing is she enjoyed her drinking.It wasn't interfering in any way with her day to day life. My dad, who doesn't drink at all, has become used to her over the years. She drank virtually the whole day I'm told - she lives in Ireland with my dad, I live in the UK so I heard this from my sisters.
For years, I have tried to get her to see that she has a problem - even while failing to admit to or deal with my own alcoholism :D - but, she wouldn't have it. When she has visited me in the past I have on two occasions had to almost carry her home from the pub in broad daylight - I shudder at the memory.
As fate would have it, I was visiting mum and dad in Ireland when she was taken into hospital, and I spoke to her and dad about A.A. I got her a BB and asked her to read it. She doesn't understand it all and I suggested she go to A.A. meetings and perhaps find a sponsor who will help her.
The problem is she feels she is, to use her own words "better than those people" who go to A.A. meetings. She looks upon them as drunks, and feels superior to them. Therefore she will have no dealings with it.
She hasn't had a drink since January but spends virtually the whole day in bed. She has been diagnosed as suffering with depression by her doctor who has prescribed medication. This has helped somewhat, but she still maintains that "if I was drinking, I'd have none of this depression" My feeling is that if she keeps on just "not drinking", which is what she's effectively doing, she will eventually drink again once there has been sufficient time since her hospital visit.
My dad is at his wits end with her at this stage - in bed all day. I have suggested to him that he speaks with an A.A. member - he knows a few, it's a relatively small town - and asks advice.
The quandary is that she enjoyed her drinking and is not stopped of her own accord so she sees this as having had something taken from her, yet she does understand that if she continues drinking she will probably die. She's too proud or too much of a snob to go and mix with the town drunks in A.A.
So what do you guys think?

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:45 am
by ann2
Dear Mike,

I feel really bad for you and your family. I guess you could say I went through this with my dad, who died just before my youngest was born. Everybody in my family knew there was a problem, but he just enjoyed it too much to ever consider stopping. In a way, we just gave him to him. Of course, my mother had already come to terms with it so I think that was the biggest hurdle for my dad's drinking. As long as she worked around it okay, then the rest of us couldn't do much about it.

But your mom's not drinking, for whatever reason, and that's a huge step. If my dad hadn't been drinking he'd probably be in the same state as your mom -- depressed, driving my mom crazy, not able to do what he normally did (which was a lot). I think in some ways it was too bad that so many people depended on my dad, because in a way he drank in order to keep going, to keep everyone satisfied. There was no stopping and being in bed for him.

So as for anyone with a chronic illness -- it takes time and patience, understanding and hope and faith. She is suffering from alcoholism despite not drinking, and so is your father. I don't know what the convincer will be for her, if she finds it, but I do know that it's different for everyone. We just have to pray that this time will give her higher power some breathing space to be noticed by her.

I don't think the situation is much different from any active alcoholic out there who hasn't found AA yet. These are the people we pray for at the start of meetings. And I know it was from AA members praying for any random alcoholic out there that I found AA.


Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:43 am
by leejosepho
Mike O'R wrote:My dad ... I have suggested to him that he speaks with an A.A. member - he knows a few, it's a relatively small town - and asks advice.

Your mother might be someone who believes the liver damage is an acceptable, justifiable or tolerable trade-off for the drinking she enjoys, or maybe she just blocks the thought of death from her mind, so the problem I see here is that of her not having any reason to even *want* to quit ... and you likely well-understand we do not provide others with motivation for that. So, I think the idea of your dad talking with one of us over there to see whether anyone there might be able to approach your mother without foolishly arguing the question of drink or trying to persuade her that abstinence is somehow wonderful is the best thing to try if someone there is well-seasoned in actual 12th-Step work.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:44 am
by leejosepho
Oops. Double-post.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:48 am
by Layne
The thing is she enjoyed her drinking.It wasn't interfering in any way with her day to day life....I have on two occasions had to almost carry her home from the pub in broad daylight

I know that in my case, denial was life threatening and came real close to being a death sentence.

Perhaps you could visit your folks and attend an AA meeting and ask your mum to go with you as support for you.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:41 am
by someoneinaa
Why aren't we suggesting the 12 Step fellowship of Alanon ?

Family and friends are sorely affected, and hobbled by their own angst.
We cannot live a life of someone else, but we can live the best we can be.
And, with these simple steps, bring the program home in our own lives.
Carrying the message though the evidence of our own changes,
No longer a discounted alibi or open to argument.
Family can help, but 1st we need the help to be free to present an alternative.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:46 am
by Blue Moon
That's what happens to those of us who just don't drink. She's correct on one point: she was probably happier, more content, when she was drinking.

Only yesterday I was reflecting on my own drinking background, thinking how much simpler life seemed to be. And in a way, it was ... all this responsibility I take on nowadays, not all of which I asked for. Back then I didn't really care about anything but the next drink. I've no intention of romancing the notion, but I can relate to those who found that life got worse after quitting. Depression, even suicide, is relatively common amongst alcoholics who are physically sober.

Talking with an AA member, seeing if there's one who understands 12th-Step work, certainly won't do any harm. But you may need to accept that she might never get well.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:00 am
by Blue Moon
someoneinaa wrote:Why aren't we suggesting the 12 Step fellowship of Alanon ?

Certainly Mike's dad might benefit from Alanon, maybe even Mike himself. But my own experience with those who might benefit is they won't go. 101 reasons why the alcoholic should be in AA, but none sufficient to convince someone to be in Alanon.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:18 am
by Mike O
Thanks very much, everybody.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:44 pm
by Sally
One of the hardest lessons i have had to learn- and keep on learning-
is that i can't orchestrate someone else's life- i can't make someone want to
to stop drinking- and i can't make someone else care about others who
are drinking. Sobriety may have been the answer for me- but it
isn't my place to judge if that is true for others- tough tough lesson.
i feel for you Mike- you are in a rough place with this.

Re: My mother

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:41 pm
by Weldor
I guess I am struggling because I feel guilty. I have had the odd drink, but no desire to continue. How can I convince my kids that I have to be in control of me. The more they feel they need to make me more aware or monitor my moves is only making me anxious.?
I go to meetings and open at one. Make coffee, clean up etc. I enjoy that
I am upset though at this holiday season.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:55 pm
by Robert R
To be blunt, where has you being in control of you got you so far? Until I gave up control to this simple programme I too used any excuse( kids attitude etc) to take a resentment to drink on. Now I recognise their concern and caring came from love and for that I am grateful today in sobriety.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:11 pm
by Weldor
I know that they truly care but I am the only one that is in control along with my higher Power, meetings and the program.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:58 pm
by PaigeB
There are certainly things that I control. One of them is whether or not to put the drink up to my lips, dump it in and swallow - over & over & over. Most of the time the first drink is in my control anyway. I can chose to lift up the phone rather than lift up the drink. There may come a time when I have no defense at all. I have the phenomena of craving = once I take in any alcohol whatever, I cannot control how much I take in or where I will end up.

You may not have this phenomena of craving... it is one thing only alcoholics have. You can read about it in the Doctor's Opinion. If you are able to control and enjoy your drinking, you may not be an alcoholic. Then you are welcome to control all you want!

Children are a difficult line for me... I am obligated to control them. I am bound to their upbringing and my ego is very invested in the process and the outcome. I often struggle to let go and let the results be as they may be. I can do this and remain sober thank to the 12 Steps of this program.

Re: My mother.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:23 am
by Biker123
Need a bit of advice.

My mother is an alcoholic. She stayed sober for over 28 years. She gave up the drink after I was born. She has two children me and my brother. However my brother lives abroad so I feel like an only child really as he is abroad for over 25 years.

For those 28 years or more she stayed sober - never drank - even when she had to bury her husband from
Cancer. Then boomb. . . One day about 4 years ago she picked up a drink. And ever since she's been breaking out every year or so.

When she used visit my brother she would always buy alcohol at the airport and say it was for visitors. And for the 28 years she never touched a drop the house was always full of alcohol and she would always serve it to visitors and cousins.

This her 4th time breaking out. An I being selfish in saying that there isn't much I can do for her. I mean if I get rid of the drink from the house she can go and buy more. So the way I look at it just let her drink it and leave her to her own devices.

The last time she broke out I got AA help to call to visit her.

She used to go to meetings but stopped because she said the meetings are not like they used to be not it's cross addiction and she couldn't be listening to it.

I'm her daughter, I live with her, I have no other family, I'm all on my own, my brother is 3500miles away so he's not much good to me. I have a boyfriend who's great support but i don't bring him around the house when she's in this state as she gets aggressive.

I have a good job and my job is 40mins from my this morning I just got up and left and went to work and just left her at it - what can I do?