I Want to Help

I have an alcoholic mother.  I guess my entire family has been in denial for years.  There was always an excuse we could give.  Work stress.  Family stress. "Being a Mom" stress.  I mean, we all have days where you just want a good drink to end the day except, she always wanted a good drink and then another and another...

My mom has been the vice president of a big company ever since I can remember.  Its like she has the ability to control herself at work but then comes home and loses her ability to care for herself.  I can remember in high school,  I would have my best friend over and my mom would come into the room with a glass of scotch.  I remember hearing the ice clink against the glass and feeling my heart sink every time.  She would sit and drink and occasionaly add to the conversation until she got so drunk she'd pass out in front of us.  I would feel so incredibly embarassed.  I then went to college and drinking was a lifestyle.  So, I guess, I didn't think she had a problem anymore because, of course, everyone I knew would have a problem if that was the case.  My senior year in college, I came home a bunch (I'm very close with my family) and I remember thinking, "Gee, she seems to be drinking a lot..." but, I let it lie.  There are so many points in my life where I could have said something but, I didn't.  Its my Mom.  How do you tell your Mom she has a problem?

A year ago, her alcoholism escalated.  We went to a friend of the family's birthday party at a rented out bar and I was watching her drink.  I decided, like many times in the past, I would set the example and not drink.  Well, that didn't seem to work, so I kept taking her glass when she would look away, and chugging whatever was in it.  I just kept thinking, if its in me, its less alcohol in her.  I guess she got one over me because later in the evening, she collapsed on the dance floor (she passed out.).  I left that night very upset.

Since then, my Dad has asked her to stop drinking.  She'll stop for a few weeks and then start up again.  She drinks to the point of throwing up if she can find enough alcohol.  My Dad has been finding flasks and mason jars filled with alcohol hiding in the house.  Over Thanksgiving, she was such a mess, she nearly dropped my 9 month old nephew when she insisted on holding him.  She was standing right next to him and didn't even notice he was about to fall and he fell and cut his head next to her before it even occured to her.  So, my sisters and I decided to talk to her.  Tell her that she needed help.  That we were worried about her and were worried that she was letting alcohol take over her life.  She cried and said she was so sad.  She blamed everything and anything but the alcohol.  We told her to go see a psychiatrist.  She said she would think about it.  Of course she didn't go.  She loved the alcohol too much.  We would have large family dinners where we'd share a bottle of wine among 6 of us, she would get up and go to the kitchen with a new glass of "wine" which would end up being straight tequila or gin.  How can you drink that straight?  At what point do you get that you need to have alcohol so bad when you are just sitting with your family?

So, I'm sad.  She has gotten worse.  She fell and cracked open her head a few weeks ago on her way to the bathroom.  She threw up the following weekend.  She just doesn't seem able to stop.

I am getting married in December.  So much of a wedding is based on drinking and toasts.  I'm angry that I am even considering having an alcohol free wedding because I don't think my mom will be able to control herself.  I'm really mad that we spend so much time worrying about her and she doesn't spend any time worrying about herself.  I'm exhausted with worry.  My Dad now wants to handle this all by himself and that's just not fair.  He cannot be the lone "bad guy" in her eyes.  We all want to tell her how she makes us feel but, I don't think she'll ever listen. 

I love my mom so much.  She's my best friend.  I feel like we are all sneaking behind her trying to figure out a way to dupe her into not drinking.  I want to have an honest conversation with her.  I want to tell her that I'm scared for when I have children and leaving them with her.  I want her to love herself enough to want to stop.  I'm just so sad about it...

Bride Bride
22-25, F
7 Responses Jun 21, 2007

I truly feel for you. I'm glad that you have family to talk to about this. Your dad is a beautiful person, who it seems wants to protect your mom & his children too. You're so right, its too much for one person. <br />
An intervention is scary, but it can work. Either through her employer or the family finds a place. You, with your family too, can at least point her in the direction of sobriety, but she's the only one that can say yes. Good luck to you!

" I can remember in high school, I would have my best friend over and my mom would come into the room with a glass of scotch. I remember hearing the ice clink against the glass and feeling my heart sink every time. " You describe my situation to a T! This could have been my Mom. My wedding was also very stressful for me because I was afraid she would ove due it. People watched her and it was ok. I was very resentful though that I had to worry about that on my happiest day.

i am so sorry for your pain, you have my sympathy, and congratulations on your wedding:)

it can change your lives

read the book The Cure for Alcoholism: Drink Your Way Sober Without Willpower, Abstinence or Discomfort. get your mom to read it too.

If your family will not do intervention....contact the personel dept of her job. They legally cannot fire her...they have to provide her help and i am sure your family can afford intreatment place. Put her in one now...get your dad to force her into on the fact she is going to harm herself, your or strangers! <br />
DO ITNOW....she just might make it to your wedding sober and the mom you remember. She is not over believe me but will be on her way. IF she goes in...about first of dec...ask her and her counselor in there if she can come to your wedding and have open bar going on....if everyone thinks this is too much of a risk. Toast champagne only and rest apple juice. Be well worth it to get your mom back. <br />
sorry short..i went thru this myself...but too tired to write now...feel free to just write me and will try to help you more.<br />
good luck

I am so sorry that you are in this situation. The fact that you are considering catering you wedding to her problems, because she will not admit she has a problem is difficult. Perhaps for your wedding you could extract a promise from your mother that she will not drink, then assign a close relative to drive her home the moment she starts drinking, whenever in the process that is. There are support programs for people with alcoholic spouses that may have a local chapter if you think your father might appreciate that sort of support. Best wishes to you.