So tired




I am really struggling. My mum has been an alcoholic all my life, I’m 45 now. It is emotionally draining and in the last 18 months I have limited how much I see her. She is still drinking badly, very emotionally abusive and manipulative and I feel I cant take it any more. I know she is sick and its a disease but I feel like I cant be there for her any more. I am literally exhausted thinking about it all, it’s like a never ending roller coaster that never changes. I feel really angry at her too and just want to block it all out – I feel like a terrible person for not being there.

  • listener

    Hi bagpuss77,

    I am sorry to hear about your mums drinking. It is understandable that you feel angry at your mum and have needed to limit your time with her. I understand that ignoring or detaching from her leaves you feeling like a terrible person but it is important that you look after yourself, as your life is the only one you can change. Have you been able to speak to anyone to have these discussions with, such as a close friend, family member, or GP? Sharing your feelings with someone is not being disloyal and can help you to feel less alone.

    Something I also think could be useful for you to think about is something that we call the 6C’s.
    • I didn’t cause it
    • I can’t cure it
    • I can’t control it
    • I can take care of myself
    • I can communicate my feelings
    • I can make healthy choices

    You are welcome to contact Nacoa if you need to talk more, or have any questions.

    Kind regards,


  • ashbash

    Hi there
    I am sorry to hear about your situation bagpus. That is a long time to live with an alcoholic parent. Of course you will love your mum, but it is okay for your to pull back if you need to . Your health is important and we don’t have to put up with abusive behaviour just because it is coming from a parent or family member. Your feelings are normal and this is not your fault. Thinking of you. Ashbash

  • onthemerrygoroundagain

    You can't be there for someone else unless you feel strong enough.
    I don't know if your mother has accepted her problem or not but I now tell my father I can't be there for him when he's being particularly bad. I started having mental health issues and needed the space to take care of myself and my family.
    There is nothing we can do as COAs to change the situation and sometimes stepping away to get space is the right and necessary thing to do despite any guilt we feel.
    You aren't alone but do take a break before it becomes too much x

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