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Alcoholism

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I wasn't sure where to put this. It concerns alcholism within the family.

I think my mum has a drinking problem. She's always liked wine and gets drunk easily on one glass. But in the last year or so the problem has escalated. She often appears to be drunk in the evening, but no-one has seen her drinking anything from a glass. We don't have much alcohol in our house though; just wine, sherry and port.

My brother kept joking about her getting drunk, making rude comments to which she responded defensively. He also then told me he'd seen her going into the cupboard and taking a drink, I'm not sure whether he was making it up or not. A few months ago I found an empty large bottle of ale hidden in the drawer under her side of the bed.

We've grown a lot closer over the past year and have developed more of a friendship. But I now feel that the times when she is really nice to me, she has been drinking. The night I came home after splitting with my boyfriend she was there to console and comfort me, but after talking for hours she said to me "Oh I owe you some vodka by the way." Which ruined it all. I got a lot of alcohol for my birthday and she has been secretly drinking it. Not only that vodka, but my sambucca aswell. I marked how much Sambucca there was and some has been taken this week. I asked her about it tonight and she suggested it had evaporated. I then told her she just needed to ask me if she wanted any and that I was concerned about her drinking on her own. She told me not to lecture her. I tried to stress I wasn't lecturing her, I was just worried. Now she's returned to defensive mode and is avoiding it.

I talked about it with my dad a while ago and asked him if he thought she had a drinking problem and he replied yes. He suggested it had been going on a long time. Despite this he doesn't seem to be doing anything, just avoiding the issue. I know they're going through a rough patch. She is annoyed with him because he has retired early and now has no direction. They don't talk properly either. My brother is just insensitive to it all and treats my mum with no respect thus making her feel worse.

I just want to understand what is making her so unhappy that she is driven to drink. It's putting a strain on the family. I don't want the problem to escalate even further and for it to affect her life and her health.

But I just don't know what to do. :(

Comments

  • littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    i can relate to this completely. my dad is like your mum and i'm sooo worried about him. however, he turns abusive wit alcohol and its a side of him i dont like. we argued about it on sunday and since then he's been giving me the silent treatment. there isnt much you can do about it im afraid, not until your mum realises that she has a problem. there's not much any of you can do. try to keep the house alcohol free (even your own booze - can you store it at a friends?) if its not easily accessible then perhaps she wont find the energy to get some. all you can do for her is be there for her. its hard, i know. if you need any more advice or wanna know more about my experiences then fel free to PM me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It sounds to me like you are right to be worried about your mum. She shows the classic signs of an alcoholic and she probably hides alcohol in places you do not suspect. Stealing alcohol from others in the house is another classic sign.

    I would suggest that alcoholism builds up over a period of time, so right now there may not actually be anything tirggering it - it may help to look back a year or so to see if you can see a cause for it.

    The only way things will get better is if your mum sees for herself the damage she is doing to the family. Why don't you all sit down together and tell her how you feel - tell her your worries but also reassure her that you love her and urge her to seek help etc. If she doesn't want too then things are going to be pretty touch for you in the next few months.

    Good luck :)

    I just want to add that I have very recent experience of this and if you want to PM me about it, feel free.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We have some factsheets that might be useful:
    http://www.thesite.org/info/drugs/alcohol/
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    elysium, what you have written above is the classic dysfunctional alcoholic family syndrome. when i say dysfunctional i mean it not in a horrible way. it's just that one alcoholic in the family aeects all other family members. you your dad your brother etc. hiding alcohol, you marking bottles, her denying stuff etc etc etc is all so symptomatic of the alcoholic. it's no good at all 'you' looking back a year or 30yrs to find the root of her problem, no good at all.
    addiction of any kind is an illness. it's been described as a spiritual illness and an emotional one. addicts aren't mad or crazy. the last thing they usualy need is a psyciatrist.
    she is probably in the stages of denial. a stage in the illness where she simply will be unable to see that the drink is the cause of her escalating problems, she will see the drink as a relief from her problems. councilors often hear, "if you had a wife like mine you'd bloody drink". the man is incapable even when stone cold sober of turning it round in his head to, "my poor wife wouldn't be like she is if i didn't drink". totaly incapable of seeing that simple truth. your mum could have been treated cruely in some way as a child. it could be something small,that others would not have noticed. it could be abuse of some kind. it could simply be a lack of self worth that has been instilled into her somewhere along the line. it has been discovered that alcoholics are very sensetive people. something that wouldn't have bothered you could have been enough to trigger this need to escape.
    the very best thing you can do ...is to phone alcoholics anonymous and ask if they can put you in touch with alanon.
    alanon is made up of people who are living with an alcoholic in the house. you will recieve the very best information about your mums condition and what you should and ...should not do.
    the earlier you do this the earlier you will have peace of mind.
    very friendly relaxed group of people. all the very best to you and your family.
    by the way patience and love are needed in big measure along with forgiveness. forgiveness different than enabling ...go to an alanon meeting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks.

    I will talk to her. It's just going to be hard getting her to admit there is a problem, I doubt she will admit it.

    She's never nasty or violent. It's just the fact that she's obviously doing it to compensate for something and to avoid confrontation with reality that really upsets me. I'm really worried about what will happen when I go to uni later this year. I'm afraid she'll get worse when faced with my brother's immature and rude behaviour, my dad's avoidance tactics and their alliance that just excludes her.

    Mr - Thanks, I will check that out. She had a horrible childhood, I think her father was quite abusive and her mother died slowly from alzheimers. I just hate to see her unhappy and having to lie to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by ElysiumUnknown
    Thanks.

    I will talk to her. It's just going to be hard getting her to admit there is a problem, I doubt she will admit it.


    Mr - Thanks, I will check that out. She had a horrible childhood, I think her father was quite abusive and her mother died slowly from alzheimers. I just hate to see her unhappy and having to lie to me.
    she won't admit she has a problem because she realy cannot see she has one. you could confront her with video evidence whatever. she is in a state called 'denial'. she can't help being there. denial is a recognised medical condition associated with all kinds of addictive illness. gambling, bulimia, heroin. your drug of choice is the only thing that makes you actualy feel whole. a complete human. please do go to a couple of alanon meetings if you can then go to a few before you go to uni, you will be leaving with accurate knowledge, instead of so many uncertainties.
    you must go to uni! don't blow it because of your mum. tough love is something else you have to get an understanding of. you don't want to do things which enable her to drink. you and all around can become the enabler of this illness. this illness will efect the entire family ...it could make you feel guilty for going. so her illness is effecting people physicaly, emotionaly and spiritualy.
    please go and learn what you can. about an hour week. wherever you live they arent far away. all over the world. thats how big the problems ALWAYS been. sorry to put so much on you in one go. it's not all bad news as i hope you will discover.
    without accurate knowledge of livimg with alcoholism there is no way you can help repair your mum.
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