My Mother's Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: I Don't Know What to Do? She's Killing Herself
by Ashley B
Hi there, my name's Ashley. I am 19 years old and I am emailing for some help for my mum. I don't know what to do anymore and I am really scared for her.
It al started nearly 4 years ago. I lost my little brother due to cancer when he was just 14. My mum hasn't been able to deal with it. She has had a drink and drug problem for many years now but when my brother died it got much worse. And then her partner of 11 years got killed in a tragic car accident 2 years ago and I am all she's got left.
I have tried my hardest to help her. Things are getting worse and worse and I can't do this on my own. Now I feel hopeless. She goes to my brother's grave everyday because it is just round the corner from her house.
She falls asleep there, she screams and shouts on him, she plays his music that got played at his funeral everyday, drinks vodka all day long and takes heroin. She forgets everything, accuses people of stealing, and lies that she doesn't drink. She's in denial, she's losing the plot and she doesn't eat.
She was once 17 stone, now she's barley 8 stone. I am petrified of losing her. She texts me and calls me, telling me she doesn't want to live anymore. She's tried to commit suicide many times before. It's destroying my life seeing her like that. I can't move on or pursue my dreams as my mum is my best friend and I feel as if she is a completely different person.
She is very good at acting to her doctor making out she's fine when I know my mum better than anyone. She is really bad at lying. I think it would be a good idea for her maybe to go to Whyteman's Brae Hospital for a little while. She really needs help. I want my old mum back. I would love nothing more than to do daughter and mother things together again.
If she gets the help she needs things would be so much easier. I haven't grieved myself for my brother because I've been too busy looking after my mum. Am just numb inside, so who ever is reading this can you please please help me.
I want my mum back and don't want to lose her because the way she is going she is going to kill herself and I would never forgive myself cause I would feel as if I could have done more. So this is why I am doing this before it's too late.
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this. I've only put a few things down. Things are worse than this but I would be here all day trying to explain. So if someone can PLEASE get in contact with me or write back it would mean the world to me ...
Your story is heartbreaking. Your family has been through a series of terrible tragedies and using alcohol and drugs to deal with the pain is unfortunately the only way your mother seems to know how to cope. But as you can see all alcohol and drugs do in the long-term is to make things worse.
My mother also used to be addicted to alcohol when I was younger. And I always used to feel somehow responsible and always felt I should be doing more. I tried talking to people - her Doctor and event went to see a Priest to see if he wouldn't talk to her. But nothing worked - because my mother wasn't ready to accept help and didn't actually want to change.
Eventually my sister and I, after another trip to the hospital because of my Mom's alcoholism, decided enough was enough and had a very stern talk with her. Told her she needed to get help for her alcoholism by going to rehab
- and that if she didn't we were going to cut her out of our lives. Initially she wouldn't have it, but eventually agreed once she saw we weren't making empty threats and were serious.
Now I can't definitely say doing something similar to your Mom would work - but you have to accept that there is only so much you can do. If your Mom isn't ready and willing to change, there is not a lot else you can do, except take extreme action like my sister and I did. We were lucky it worked, but it doesn't necessarily always work out that way.
So I think you should start by doing some research and finding out what drug addiction and alcoholism treatment programs are provided by the NHS. Go and speak to people there to find out if you have to. Tell them about your mother's situation and ask for their advice and what would need to happen to get her into a proper treatment program.
Then once you've found out what options are available in your area and what it would take to get your Mom into treatment, you need to sit her down (only when she's totally sober and not had anything to drink or used drugs), and talk to her about getting help. Maybe someone at one of the treatment programs/rehabs you've identified can also get involved and help you talk to your Mom.
Maybe that will do the trick and get your Mom into treatment. There are no guarantees, but you can only try. But unfortunately apart from that, if your Mom isn't willing, then isn't really much else you can do.
And that's why you can't put your life on hold waiting and hoping for your Mom to get better. You still have to pursue your dreams and find happiness for yourself. I'm sure deep down that's what your mother would want for you to do, so instead of her being an obstacle to achieving that, use her as motivation. Promise yourself that you'll pursue your dreams, irrespective of what your mother ends up doing.
Because here's a principle of life we just can't get around. We can't control the choices other people make for themselves. We can only control ourselves. So if your Mom doesn't want to change, you can't make her. But you can control your own life and choose to make the most of it. It's not easy, but you have to try.
You're obviously a strong and intelligent girl. Don't be hard on yourself. You're doing everything you can. Try and find someone you can also speak to about what's going on because you don't want to carry this burden alone. Counselling or groups like Al Anon (for family members of alcoholics and addicts) can help you deal with this.
Use this experience to help you become a stronger and better person - because that's what life's challenges are intended to help us do. Your Mom's path will unfold however it's meant to, but your journey through life is totally in your hands so never stop believing in yourself and never give up on your dreams.
God Bless and Good Luck