My Mother is an Alcoholic and She's Slowly Killing Herself. I Don't Know What to do.?
My mother is 56 years old, I am 38. She's been an alcoholic all of my life. She was supposedly sober for the last five years. Then her husband of 15 years died. She had nowhere else to go, so we flew her out to live by my husband and I and our two children.
We don't have room for her in our house, so we arranged an apartment for her. We did everything for her to set it up, including co-signing, because she's ruined her credit rating so badly she can't even get a bank account out here. Well, she was drunk when we picked her up from the airport.
She's been here for only two weeks and hasn't been sober a day since. She's partially disabled, has severe back problems that leave her weak. But I believe she may also be weak because all she does is lay around on her bed all day long and drink. So I'm her only transportation. The grocery store is right across the street, but she's so weak, she cannot (or perhaps will not, I'm honestly not entirely certain--she lies so much I no longer trust anything she says) walk to the store.
Well, almost every day for the last two weeks she's gotten me to drive her to the store. She swears up and down that she won't buy alcohol, but does it anyway. I've tried to talk her out of it, but she wont' listen. When I stopped believing her, she's taken to lying to me time she'll have me and gotten me to drive her to the drug store on the corner. She tell mes she's going in for some sort of medicine (tyloenol, cough syrup), but comes out with beer.
My husband had to co-sign on her apartment in order for her to get a place to live and both of them had to sign a piece of paper that said we would keep that apartment clean. But she's trashing it. I go over often and help her clean, but when I come back a few days later, the place is filthy again.
A week ago she went into the hospital for a drug overdose. She used to take an anti-psychotic to help her sleep and she overdosed on it and called 911 at 2 in the morning. The doctor told her that her drug toxicity level was so high she had to have taken at least 15 pills. She swears she doesn't remember it.
Well, she just went into the hospital again tonight. When I refused to take her to the drug store to buy her beer, she took a cab (to a drug store that it literally right on the corner of the street she lives on, not even a quarter mile away), bought two more six packs, and drank them both by 1pm in the afternoon.
At 2 she called me and said she was throwing up blood and that she was calling an ambulance to come get her. This isn't the first time this has happened. She's gone into the hospital before, years ago, for the exact same thing. And there were even warning signs this time (diarrhea).
Well, she has a small dog, and he needs someone to take care of him, so after she called tonight, my husband went to get the dog. He said her apartment was once again trashed. Beer cans and trash ALL over the floor, the place wreaked of cigarette smoke (that's a rule--no smoking in the apartments) and there were blood stains all over the carpeting. She's lived here for TWO WEEKS and her carpets are going to need replacing, and she's smoking inside when she shouldn't be.
She's been running us ragged. She's using us, and both my husband I and are very hurt and very angry. We have done everything for her. I love my mother, but I can't do this anymore. She's using me to feed her addiction. I can't even trust her to take her grocery shopping, because they sell alcohol in every store. I want to be done with her. I can't do this anymore. But to turn my back on her feels cruel, because she's partially disabled, but if I give her an inch, she will take a mile.
If I do her grocery shopping for her, she'll only have me to do other things for her as well. Even her own mother has gotten tired of her and has turned her back on her. that's why she's living out here with me--my grandmother doesn't want anything to do with her.
I'm sorry I ever let her come live out here by us. My husband and I are living paycheck to paycheck. She's on social security disability. None of us can afford a treatment program and she doesn't WANT to go. I don't know what to do. She's taking over my life.
The reality is, while you keep giving, your mother will simply keep taking ... and so while you're trying to help, all you're doing is further enabling your mom's alcoholism.
So as a last resort you could try performing an organised professional intervention
with the bottom line being that unless your mom gets professional help (i.e. goes for treatment) and quits drinking, you're cutting all ties with her and she's on her own.
That may be shock her enough into taking her alcoholism seriously and being prepared to do something about it. But of course there are no guarantees, and if that doesn't work, you may have to seriously think about having her institutionalised, i.e. committed to a psychiatric/mental health facility because of the risk she presents to herself and that she's totally incapable of looking after herself.
Because if you do nothing, her alcoholism will simply continue unabated until she ends up killing herself. And since she can't take care of herself because of her physical ailments, it doesn't leave you with much in the way of options and you'll have to use extreme measures as a way of intervening.
You and your husband have to focus on providing the best possible home environment for your children ... and if all your focus and energy is almost entirely being directed at trying to take care of your mom because she refuses to do anything about her alcoholism, then you've got to take action and fast - before it start impacting on your home life and marriage.