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Family drama not helping any (deadly addictions)

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:42 AM   #1
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Exclamation Family drama not helping any (deadly addictions)

I'll try to keep this as brief as possible. All my life (even longer) my mother has suffered from addictions. She's an alcoholic and smokes very often. She's in her 50s and I'm so worried about her. She's stubborn too. I've tried countless times to get her to quit, but she gives up and lies. I know she needs help and its beyond me or my family. I know if she doesn't quit she won't be around much longer. I know this is a weight loss site but many of you have families. What would you do? My father cares but does nothing about it... She needs rehab and I don't think I can get her there on my own...it's past the talking period. Sorry to vent (I'm so embarrassed) but if I lost her I would be crippled. All this and her addiction to junk food are taking a tole on me.. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:57 AM   #2
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((hugs)) i dont have much good advice but i know that you cant change other people...and i know that people with addictions have huge hurdles to overcome mentally and physically to stop their addiction...my sister struggles with alcohol as well so i feel for you
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:02 AM   #3
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My advice isn't what you're wanting to hear, but I'm going to give it anyway in case it is what you NEED to hear.

It is wonderful how much you love your mother, I can hear it in your post that her well being is a primary concern to you. That is GREAT.

That said, she is an adult and can make her own choices, however poor. You can love on her, give her advice, pray for her, and facilitate any therapies she may be willing to try - but change of her habits be dealing with the mental side of her addictions is entirely on her.

I know it hurts to hear, but you need to be willing to divorce your own outcomes from hers - her choices are her own and yours are YOURS. Her wrecking her health may be painful to watch but in the end if you dive into a bag of junk from grief that is on YOU. We can care and love and even grieve without emotionally abusing food, and that may well be a more fruitful focus for your personal growth than making her well being the lynchpin of your own stability. At some point we have to stand on our own two feet and be responsible for our choices and future, not cling to and blame others for our dependency. You can still love your mother and be concerned for her without letting her addiction drive your own issues.

It is SO hard, but so freeing, and well worth the time spent in growing that way. It doesn't mean you love or care for her any less, just that you are mature enough to let her choices and their consequence stand without succumbing, yourself.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:09 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, with addiction, you can't really force someone to get help or make changes.

All you can control in this situation is you. With that in mind, you have to take care of yourself as best you can. Best case scenario, that will be a good example for your mom, and maybe inspire her to make some changes.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:01 AM   #5
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My mother is an alcoholic and chain smoker. She started these addictions when she was a very young teenager, and is now in her mid 50's. That said, she has never been able to stop, even in times of illness such as pneumonia or bronchitis that were severely aggravated by her smoking. Her problem is that she has a very addictive personality, and when removing one addiction she will replace it with another. Smoking, she says, keeps her from drinking and gaining weight, so she is able to justify continuing to do it (in her mind). I don't know the case with your mother but our experiences sound similar.

The best thing you can do for your mom is be there for her if she does decide to make a change. If she does not, you shouldn't feel responsible for her. Making a lifestyle change or changing a habit that has had time to develop over many years is so much harder than just continuing to do the same thing. Anybody struggling to change any part of their life can attest to that. The most you can do for your mom is be there for her when she decides to take the first step, but you can't take it for her as much as you probably want to.

Everybody else has said lots of wise things, but I figured I'd leave my two cents because I have similar experiences. My mother has, at some point or another, succumbed to pretty much any addiction you can name - alcohol, cigarettes, pills, overeating, shopping - and I watched my father make himself responsible for her and take on all of her problems for many years, until he realized that he couldn't make her change. As much as you love your mom, it isn't worth doing that to yourself, because in the end it only hurts twice as many people.

Good luck with everything, stuff tends to work itself out in the end so take it easy and enjoy the ride for now.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:17 AM   #6
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I eventually cut my father out of my life (2010) because of his alcoholism. If he wants to be sober for a few years, he can call me, otherwise he isn't in my thoughts, life, phone calls, anything.

Why would you be crippled without her?

From one alcoholic's child to another - you need to learn to live without her. Active alcoholics cannot be trusted or relied upon. You cannot live in this world depending on them, because they can be gone at any moment. You will always come second to their addiction.

Big hugs.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:52 AM   #7
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The more you ask someone to stop smoking the more they will smoke. It stresses them. I am a smoker myself and everytime my husband bugs me about it I just get upset and smoke more.

You have to REALLY want to quit to quit.

It's great you worry about your mother I understand that
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:28 AM   #8
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Please look up Alanon - it's a support group for loved ones of alcoholics - I think going to meetings would help you a TON. And once you are able to deal with your feelings about your mother, it will help you SO MUCH in your own journey!!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Please look up Alanon - it's a support group for loved ones of alcoholics - I think going to meetings would help you a TON. And once you are able to deal with your feelings about your mother, it will help you SO MUCH in your own journey!!
I was just going to recommend this. This is great advice. Alanon is a wonderful support group! I grew up with 2 alcoholic fathers and I feel your pain honey.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Before your Mother can change, she must WANT to change. Be prepared that may never happen.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
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Thanks I understand there's nothing I can do now... It's up to her
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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I'm sorry, I know everything you're dealing with..it's terrible. Everyone else has already given very good advice so there's nothing else for me to add other than I have been there..
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:55 PM   #13
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I'm a little bit surprised that people seem to be saying that there isn't anything you can do.

My mother has gone through narcotic addiction and it ripped our family apart. We have gone through bankrupcy and divorce. She's been to rehab several times and is fortunatley now about 7 years sober (yay!).

It is true that you can't force your mother to want to be well, but you can certainly make it difficult for her to continue harming herself without any reprocussions. You said it's past the point of talking - alright, time for action. Let her know that you will no longer continue to support her drinking, that as long as she continues to drink you will no longer include her in your life. Inaction is enabling, so don't enable her any longer. Talk to your dad about it, get him on board. Spouses and other family members are key. She may not be ready to get help now (and she may never be ready if others continue to enable) but you need to stick to your guns.

Addiction is a disease. If your mother had cancer and wasn't seeking treatment, what would you do? Sometimes loving someone means making hard choices.

CherryPie also gives good advice, you might find al-anon very helpful.

Or course, everything I wrote only pretains if she is a true addict, as opposed to someone who simply drinks more that you think she should. I don't know the details or the severity of the drinking in question.

Hugs to you and yours.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy Krissy View Post
I'm a little bit surprised that people seem to be saying that there isn't anything you can do.

My mother has gone through narcotic addiction and it ripped our family apart. We have gone through bankrupcy and divorce. She's been to rehab several times and is fortunatley now about 7 years sober (yay!).

It is true that you can't force your mother to want to be well, but you can certainly make it difficult for her to continue harming herself without any reprocussions. You said it's past the point of talking - alright, time for action. Let her know that you will no longer continue to support her drinking, that as long as she continues to drink you will no longer include her in your life. Inaction is enabling, so don't enable her any longer. Talk to your dad about it, get him on board. Spouses and other family members are key. She may not be ready to get help now (and she may never be ready if others continue to enable) but you need to stick to your guns.

Addiction is a disease. If your mother had cancer and wasn't seeking treatment, what would you do? Sometimes loving someone means making hard choices.

CherryPie also gives good advice, you might find al-anon very helpful.

Or course, everything I wrote only pretains if she is a true addict, as opposed to someone who simply drinks more that you think she should. I don't know the details or the severity of the drinking in question.

Hugs to you and yours.
I agree with you. That is what I did - and now he is no longer in my life (and has never even met his youngest grandson as a result of that). Others continue to enable him, I will not. But one has to be serious about this action when they take it, and not waffle about it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:42 PM   #15
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I am in a situation too where my parents are doing crazy things that impact their health (including alcoholism) but they are doing it as a pair, so it's hard to break up what dysfunction they have.

You said your father cares (assuming he not an alcoholic or smokes), would it be even remotely possible to get more people together and do an intervention? Would you even consider that?

I've often thought about doing that for my father, but too scared to at this point.
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