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My Mom Relapsed Back Into Alcoholism. What Do I Do?

by Sue
(chicago il)

About 3 years ago my grandmother, my mom's mom passed away. The impact on my mother was devastating. She had been through treatment before and was fine until we lost my grandma.

Ever since she has been in a downward spiral. She gets home from work and does nothing but drink and cry. My sisters and I (we are all in our late twenties) have tried to console her when we find her crying - but she point blank with tears coming down says she is fine, and refuses to admit she is drunk or crying when its painfully obvious.

My father tried to help her by taking her away on vacation and trying to "dry" her out but it didn't work and now he drinks the night away too. Now after 20yrs my parents are splitting up and my mom moved out. Everyday I worry how much worse my mother will get I'm scared to do an intervention because I don't want her to feel pushed away and do something stupid like kill herself.

My sisters and I are all she has left in the world and I want to help her without making her feel she has nothing left to live for. Answer

Tell her that no doubt her mother (your grandmother) would not have wanted for this to happen to her, and would have wanted her to be happy, not to continue grieving and wasting her life away from the bottom of a bottle. Tell her she's letting her mom down behaving this way.

You could also add she's letting you and your sister's down because rather than focus on what she has and making the most of the time she has with all of you, she's selfishly wallowing in her own self pity.

And while it may sound harsh saying that, sometimes you need to be blunt and tell the truth. Otherwise your Mom is simply going to keep living in denial and use losing her Mom as an excuse to keep drinking. She has a lot left to live for - and she needs to know that.

Because by not being honest, you're actually not helping her. We think we're 'protecting' someone's feelings, when in fact all we're doing is actually enabling their behavior. Your Mom needs to hear the truth - she has a family that love her and want to have a great relationship with her, but she's too self-absored to even notice.

It's actually gone beyond the point this could be regarded as genuine grief. She's using it as an excuse to drink. So be honest and use the truth to get her the help she needs, so she can get her life back on track and focus on all the blessings in her life, rather than focus on someone she she's never going to bring back.

It may need some grief counseling and another spell in treatment, but the only way that's likely to happen is if you start telling your Mom what she needs to hear, rather than what she wants to hear.

It isn't easy, but you need to do it for everyone's sake.

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