At my wits end

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nw5

My mum is in her early 60s and has been an alcoholic for over 20 years.

She has been to rehab twice and started drinking immediately when she left.

People keep saying ‘she needs to hit rock bottom’ but honestly what is that? She’s been found by strangers passed out in the park, she’s fallen over so many times smashing her teeth out and giving herself black eyes. More recently she spent over a month in hospital after turning yellow and bloating up – the doctor told her if she drinks she will die, next time her liver will not recover. She came out of hospital and within days is drinking again. I just genuinely cannot understand it??

I recently got engaged and was going through the guest list and my brother commented that mum probably won’t be here. It breaks my heart but also I’m so numb to it now, I’m just waiting for the phone call to say she’s dead.

I even said to her she needs to start making funeral arrangements because neither me or my brother are paying for it and she didn’t even take it on board.

Can anyone relate to this? I’m just so so frustrated and angry that my whole adult relationship with my mum has been awful. I’m jealous that my friends have seemingly such close relationships with their mums, it makes me so sad.

  • pa

    Hey!

    You are not alone with this,

    My mother is an alcoholic for as long as I can remember too, she is very unwell now too. I spent my entire childhood to wondering when she was going to die.

    I am due to get married soon, and my mom was abusive and we were neglected when she was drunk so I’m not inviting her, and we don’t really have a relationship anymore, as she continues to drink and abuse me. Sometimes you have to save yourself, I’ve spent decades wondering why.

    I don’t think you will ever be able to understand it or save her. Her actions in themselves are a language, and the best thing I did was to create boundaries

    I understand it can be hard to not be jealous, I spent time on this too. Again, try not to focus on this, and how lucky your friends are that they don’t have to go through what we did. I spent a lot of time watching other families and feeling sad too, chose peace and focus on yourself.

    There so many books out there - “our your past and change your future”

  • listener

    Hi,

    I'm glad you have found some space to speak here. How did it feel to write some of this out and share it?

    Those feelings you describe of jealousy, frustration and anger are all incredibly valid and you really aren’t alone in this. Please do continue to talk, you don't have to hold this by yourself.

    Of course, it breaks your heart and many will relate to your words. Sometimes when things are particularly overwhelming and painful our brains step in and shut the feelings down for a while - doing its best to keep us safe.

    Pa’s response is right too ‘sometimes you have to save yourself’ and create boundaries. Only the drinker can be the one to stop and with help some can. It sounds like you’ve been dealing with mum’s illness for such a long time. It’s incredibly hard when someone is an alcoholic, alcohol can become a coping mechanism and overtime a person can feel it is the only one that they have left. It’s so important to remember that you matter in this.

    When people give comments of somebody needing to hit rock bottom, they sometimes fail to think about the impact on those around the drinker.

    Have you got a close friend you can confide in? Or a work colleague. Talking can help. And importantly remembering to look after you, you are important too and are looking at your future with your partner. I know Nacoa have some good publications particularly with ‘alcoholism’ and ‘family illness’.

    There are people and places who understand. AlAnon runs groups for anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. And you can always reach out to Nacoa, or here again on the message boards.

    Kindest Wishes,
    Listener

  • wisether

    If you're feeling lost about how to help her, seeking guidance from professionals or looking into detox center near me might offer some support and direction. They could provide resources and strategies for dealing with the situation and navigating your mom's addiction.

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