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How to help an alcoholic? (small update)

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

 My mother is spiraling out of control. She drinks, daily, and has recently started taking Xanax WHILE drinking (bought from a "friend"). She gets offensive and nasty if you try to confront her about it, saying it's only one drink, or yadda yadda, you know the deal. Anyway, last night she was messed up and got into an accident, damaging town property (hit a median and a pole). In bond court, the judge said "Felony DUI", but when we got her paperwork it said "Major: Possession of a Controlled Substance - 7 counts". Could she have had the pills? I haven't talked to her. I don't know HOW to talk to her. I don't know what to say.

I have 3 kids and I don't know if I should give her tough love and take them away from her completely, or tell her IF she drinks again, she won't see them again? But how will I KNOW she hasn't drank? She's never been in "trouble" for this up until now, and I feel completely powerless.

Has anyone dealt with an alcoholic or drug addict? How did you handle it? I need help, advice, support, something, I don't know...

Well I talked to her, VERY briefly. She apologized. I told her I didn't want to hear apologies, I wanted to see her prove herself. I said that she was a drunk and an alcoholic and needs help because she's sick. She was very responsive. I guess my grandmother warned her ahead of time that I was "thinking" about what I wanted to do as far as the kids are concerned. She spent all day yesterday looking into AA classes (of her own decision) and asked me if I would go with her. Of course I will.

I haven't said anything quite yet about the kids. I don't want to do that on a brief phone call or text, I want to wait until we have time to really sit down and talk. At that point I have decided that I will give her a chance. If I see/hear/find out that she has been drinking, even once, I'm done. Myself, and the kids. And I know many of her bar-addicted friends on FB etc that will (maybe) let me know if they see her.

I will update after I finally have "the talk" with her. But I'm optimistic...

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:28 PM
Replies (11-20):
..MoonShine..
by Gold Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Absolutely. It's not just for kids. There is Alanon and Alateen, I believe. I attended Alanon meetings as an adult. They do not require you to believe in the Christian God. They do use the 12 Steps, which acknowledges a higher power without being specific about which one. It's only a tool, and if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't. I found help in talking to others who knew what I had been through. 

Quoting Anonymous:

 Is there really anything there to learn? We went when I was like 12 and she was in AA. But she doesn't believe in God and couldn't stand the religious aspect of it (or so she says) and we stopped going after a few weeks. I feel like, since I've been dealing with this my whole life, and I'm an adult now, that I should know everything already. Isn't Alanon for kids?

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

My mom was/is an alcoholic. 

I would also suggest you consider findng an Alanon meeting for yourself. You'll find support and others in a similar situation. 

 


Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

 Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I'm going to look into Alanon today. I really just need to sort out my own feelings on this.

Should I encourage her to go back to AA? Maybe if I stand by her and support her? My uncle went through AA (13 years sober), but he said he had to hit rock bottom before he made the choice. If this isn't her "rock bottom", can she still change now?

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

*I* don't think it's too harsh. I grew up with the same kind of mom. She's drive drunk with my brother and I in the car and be totally ok with it. Your kids deserve a grandmother who is present and clear, not one willing to risk their safety. 

As for the anger, find an Alanon meeting. It helps to talk to others. I find (for me) it helped to meditate/pray before talking to my mom, so maybe try finding a method for getting calm that works for you. 

Quoting Anonymous:

 What I meant by not seeing the kids wasn't "when she was drunk", but AT ALL until she stops drinking completely... Is that too harsh? I grew up with her being drunk all the time. Single mom, so she was all I had, and I had to see her like that. *I* do not behave that way in front of my own children, I will not allow someone else to...

She just makes me sooo mad. How do I push the ANGER emotions out of the way before I talk to her?? I love her to death, but she could have killed herself or someone else. I don't know how to handle it. I went and got her out of jail, but haven't said 2 words to her since. It's killing me.

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

You can't help the unless they want it, and first they have to recognize that they have a problem. I don't see an issue with you telling your mom that she cannot see the kids if she's drinking. I've had to do the same with mine in the past (we no longer speak, so it's no longer a problem). Especially now that you know she'll get in the car and drive when she's intoxicated. It's a safety issue for your children. 

 


 

iloveslayer
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM
my mother passed away oct of 2011 from liver and kidney failure due to drinking. I got her to stop only a few short months before she passed by calling 911 on her. She was vomiting blood and could not walk. That was the only way i helped her. She had to stay in the hospital for 2 weeks till her withdrawls stopped.
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First_One_8_18
by Gold Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:54 PM
You can't help them unless they want help. The best thing you can do is refuse to enable her in any way.
You need to go to Al anon meetings.
My exdh was an alcoholic and so is my dad. It took me a very long time to figure that out.
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LucyMom08
by BS Intolerant on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:54 PM

 You can't help them, they have to want help...eventually it may be necessary to cut ties and walk away, rather than subject your children to that...my children are 2 and 4, and other than one visit when my oldest was 3 months old, my father has never seen my children...it's not worth it to me...that sounds callous to say, but I don't want my children seeing what I had to see growing up...

Al Anon family groups are also a big help...you can meet people going through the same situations, and hear their advice...

..MoonShine..
by Gold Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:55 PM

You can encourage her, and I would if I were you, but from how you describe her, I wouldn't expect it to be welcome. Seems like right now she doesn't see that she has a problem. Can you uncle talk to her?  She will only change when SHE is ready. 

You're very welcome. 

Quoting Anonymous:

 Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I'm going to look into Alanon today. I really just need to sort out my own feelings on this.

Should I encourage her to go back to AA? Maybe if I stand by her and support her? My uncle went through AA (13 years sober), but he said he had to hit rock bottom before he made the choice. If this isn't her "rock bottom", can she still change now?

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

*I* don't think it's too harsh. I grew up with the same kind of mom. She's drive drunk with my brother and I in the car and be totally ok with it. Your kids deserve a grandmother who is present and clear, not one willing to risk their safety. 

As for the anger, find an Alanon meeting. It helps to talk to others. I find (for me) it helped to meditate/pray before talking to my mom, so maybe try finding a method for getting calm that works for you. 

Quoting Anonymous:

 What I meant by not seeing the kids wasn't "when she was drunk", but AT ALL until she stops drinking completely... Is that too harsh? I grew up with her being drunk all the time. Single mom, so she was all I had, and I had to see her like that. *I* do not behave that way in front of my own children, I will not allow someone else to...

She just makes me sooo mad. How do I push the ANGER emotions out of the way before I talk to her?? I love her to death, but she could have killed herself or someone else. I don't know how to handle it. I went and got her out of jail, but haven't said 2 words to her since. It's killing me.

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

You can't help the unless they want it, and first they have to recognize that they have a problem. I don't see an issue with you telling your mom that she cannot see the kids if she's drinking. I've had to do the same with mine in the past (we no longer speak, so it's no longer a problem). Especially now that you know she'll get in the car and drive when she's intoxicated. It's a safety issue for your children. 

 


 


Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:57 PM
I think the best thing you can do is go to court and be there to request a treatment facility for your mom. Many courts will do that rather than jail time. I know that the 12 step program is very out of date and largely unsuccessful. Maybe do some research and find her a treatment facility that uses other methods?? Good Luck
MicheleJM
by Phoenix on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with the person who said Al-anon.  I would tell her you won't bring the kids around her when she is drunk.  And don't lie or enable.  Like don't tell your kids "Grandma is sick" when in fact she has a hangover. If you are there and she starts to drink take the kids home. She has to recognize she has a problem first. Of course if her grandkids are like mine they will hear the dangers of drinking at school and might say something themselves. I've had my kids question if I so much as drink one beer.  If they do and she gets angry I would say "they are concerned.  They have the right to be.  and I will not apologize for them."

Quoting Anonymous:

 What I meant by not seeing the kids wasn't "when she was drunk", but AT ALL until she stops drinking completely... Is that too harsh? I grew up with her being drunk all the time. Single mom, so she was all I had, and I had to see her like that. *I* do not behave that way in front of my own children, I will not allow someone else to...

She just makes me sooo mad. How do I push the ANGER emotions out of the way before I talk to her?? I love her to death, but she could have killed herself or someone else. I don't know how to handle it. I went and got her out of jail, but haven't said 2 words to her since. It's killing me.

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

You can't help the unless they want it, and first they have to recognize that they have a problem. I don't see an issue with you telling your mom that she cannot see the kids if she's drinking. I've had to do the same with mine in the past (we no longer speak, so it's no longer a problem). Especially now that you know she'll get in the car and drive when she's intoxicated. It's a safety issue for your children. 

 


Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:52 PM
1 mom liked this

 No, unfortunately she won't take any advice from him. I think she's jealous, but she says she doesn't want to hear anything from "Mr. Perfect"... My grandma did a sort of carpool thing this morning to get my mom to work and borrowed my car. It's an hour long drive for me to get to work, and I didn't say a word to her. I'm sure we'll end up having to talk about things tonight. I'm nervous... I know she'll cry, and say how she really regrets it, and is so sorry and won't do it again... But she will. And I will have to put my foot down for once. I've always enabled her, it's all I've known to do - but no more. I have to be the adult here.

I found a few Alanon meetings around here. I also found some AA meetings too. I'm going to tell her that *I* am going to some meetings, and not suggest or force her into going, but I will have that information handy, in case she asks. GRRR she makes me so mad! I wish I could just lock her in my basement until she grows up...  

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

You can encourage her, and I would if I were you, but from how you describe her, I wouldn't expect it to be welcome. Seems like right now she doesn't see that she has a problem. Can you uncle talk to her?  She will only change when SHE is ready. 

You're very welcome. 

Quoting Anonymous:

 Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I'm going to look into Alanon today. I really just need to sort out my own feelings on this.

Should I encourage her to go back to AA? Maybe if I stand by her and support her? My uncle went through AA (13 years sober), but he said he had to hit rock bottom before he made the choice. If this isn't her "rock bottom", can she still change now?

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

*I* don't think it's too harsh. I grew up with the same kind of mom. She's drive drunk with my brother and I in the car and be totally ok with it. Your kids deserve a grandmother who is present and clear, not one willing to risk their safety. 

As for the anger, find an Alanon meeting. It helps to talk to others. I find (for me) it helped to meditate/pray before talking to my mom, so maybe try finding a method for getting calm that works for you. 

Quoting Anonymous:

 What I meant by not seeing the kids wasn't "when she was drunk", but AT ALL until she stops drinking completely... Is that too harsh? I grew up with her being drunk all the time. Single mom, so she was all I had, and I had to see her like that. *I* do not behave that way in front of my own children, I will not allow someone else to...

She just makes me sooo mad. How do I push the ANGER emotions out of the way before I talk to her?? I love her to death, but she could have killed herself or someone else. I don't know how to handle it. I went and got her out of jail, but haven't said 2 words to her since. It's killing me.

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

You can't help the unless they want it, and first they have to recognize that they have a problem. I don't see an issue with you telling your mom that she cannot see the kids if she's drinking. I've had to do the same with mine in the past (we no longer speak, so it's no longer a problem). Especially now that you know she'll get in the car and drive when she's intoxicated. It's a safety issue for your children. 

 


 


 

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:54 PM

 She said the same thing like 15 years ago when we went. She blamed being unsuccessful on the religion aspect of it or something...

She has her medical insurance through her work. Would they be able to see that she's getting help for this? I don't want her to risk losing her job. That would just make things so much worse.

Quoting Anonymous:

I think the best thing you can do is go to court and be there to request a treatment facility for your mom. Many courts will do that rather than jail time. I know that the 12 step program is very out of date and largely unsuccessful. Maybe do some research and find her a treatment facility that uses other methods?? Good Luck

 

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