Worried about DM's drinking

(17 Posts)
tracypenisbeaker Sun 13-Oct-13 15:37:22

I am in need of some advice.

I've just returned from a few days visiting my parents (they live a few hours away so when I stay its for a while) and I've started to become seriously concerned about my mothers' drinking.

I've had concerns since my childhood (not that long ago really, I'm 21). She drinks about 5 nights out of 7, not during the day, but some mornings she will wake up and still be clearly intoxicated as she will stay up until 4am drinking. This worries me as she has the school run in the car for my young siblings.

I won't talk about her drunken behaviour too much, it angers me quite frankly. Lets just say she goes out of her way for an argument, is quite obnoxious and like to put people down.

But anyway, on the first day of my recent visit, she managed to sink a 1.5ltr of wine all by herself. When she went to bed, I had a look at the label, and it equated to just over 16 units.

The next day, she had a bottle of red wine. She drank the lot of that (with a straw in her glass? Not sure whether this was to prevent her teeth from staining but OK). Then she had half a bottle of vodka. That night was a total of 25 units.

She went out to a restaurant the next night with my DF. I was at home babysitting. She had quarter of another bottle of 1.5lt of wine before she left. She came back quite tipsy. Knowing her, she bought a bottle of wine at the restaurant, she never buys by the glass. She came back and polished off the rest of the bottle of vodka, so I'm going to say that day was approx 30 units.

Then the next two nights were a bottle of wine each (at very minimum- she stayed in one night and went out the other) reaching making the weeks alcohol consumption over 80 units. The scary thing is, this sort of thing is a regular occurrence, but it was the first time I tallied up her drinking in my head. And it scares me so much.

Maybe some people will say its none of my business what she does, but the thing is noone has properly approached her about it in the family, which IMO is a green light for her to carry on. I worry about what sort of relationship with alcohol my younger siblings will have, my older sibling already has massive issues with it. And the worst thing is, when they get together they cannot spend time without getting hammered! They are enabling each other. Sometimes they have a bottle of spirits each. The measurements they pour themselves are about the same as a small glass of wine and about 2 seconds of mixer, so about 2:1 vodka:Coke

I love my mum so much I just want to know how I can approach this with her as I hear many addicts are in denial and I don't want to be told to fuck off or hurt her feelings. I would also like to know how she can cope during the day without it (or maybe she isn't, but knows she has to? And maybe this is why she binges at night?) Any advice would gratefully received.

tracypenisbeaker Sun 13-Oct-13 16:55:17

Apologies for my post being really long, any suggestions regarding how I could approach this or sharing of experiences would be gratefully received

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 18:19:26

Someone very close to me drinks like this.approaching it caused a lot of arguments and resentment from me because it took a long time for them to admit that they couldnt not drink at night because theyre addicted and it led to despair.You can try and talk nicely about it but i expect youll be greeted with a defensive reaction and she will put it down to just liking it.The truth in my story is that the person is bored in the evening and kind of filled the evenings with being blotto because they are fed up and dont kbow what to do about it.It can change but addressing it will give you a lot of grief and lying about it because you arent there to see abd you cant make change shes got to get a shock herself and see that its a problem.Bring it up but dont lecture just say are you happy doing this because youre concerned and if she wants it youre here to help x

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 18:22:09

They cope in the day i think because of their routine,they might go to work,do the cleaning,look after the kids but at night thats now their routine

tracypenisbeaker Sun 13-Oct-13 18:52:55

Thanks for your response Ltd, I don't want her to think I'm being judgmental or trying to put her in a corner, I know she will be defensive.

On the other hand I don't something to have to shock herself into change, she's already likely to have damaged her liver considerably considering the length of time this has been going on for without intervention.

It's funny (not haha) but when she was studying a few years back she used to have to do case studies at home, and I remember her telling me all about addicts and showing me the impact it has on people close to them and on society.

Is it unfair to label her an addict?

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 22:25:09

Well my person ended up in hospital in severe pain in.their abdomen and drs said likely cause drinking and it can kill,they didnt stop.So i dont know what it is that makes people stop.I thought thatd be a nasty enough shock.
Is it unfair to label her an addict?She will think so,in her mind she will say no she isnt because its not all day every day but then you could ask her this,if it was taken away from her against her will would it affect her mentally if not physically?i guess it would.
Is it your father at home with her?does he drink with her or not so much?is he always around when shes drinking?

TooTabooToBOOOOO Sun 13-Oct-13 22:32:27

Every time I have an issue and I don't quite know how to approach it, I find it on MN.

I have the same concerns about my DM, OP.

She drinks 7 nights a week and has done for at least 10 years (possibly 15) It was always 'just' a bottle of red wine but now it is a bottle and then 2 or 3 home-measured brandies.

I've challenged her on it, she gets beyond defensive. She isn't an alcoholic, according to her, but she does have a dependency. Alcoholics drink through the day, she doesn't start drinking until after 9pm - she is very structured, she will not drink before 9pm, is almost sanctimonios about it.

The fact that she downs a bottle of wine and brandies between 9pm and 11pm doesn't register with her.

Ive no idea what to do about it. My SIL and I have now both approached her recently and she actually stormed away from SIL. Until she is ready to accept help she will not be able to face this head on.

The one thing I will say, OP, is that she mustn't be encouraged to go cold-turkey. When you have drank this much over a period of time your body begins to rely on it, stopping it altogether can lead to withdrawal and fits/black outs. This happened to my Aunt, we all thought she had epilepsy and she let us believe it - until she was finally sober and admitted what had happened.

TooTabooToBOOOOO Sun 13-Oct-13 22:33:46

Alcoholics drink through the day, she doesn't start drinking until after 9pm - she is very structured, she will not drink before 9pm, is almost sanctimonios about it.

sorry, to clarify, this is her reasoning.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 22:38:32

Yeah this is the stupid thing taboo isnt it.They use that line as a justification to themselves.Bloody stupid.I got to the point of shouting once as my friends relative had a terminal illness through no fault of their own and there that person was drinking themselves stupid every night.I felt for a while it was something id done that made them like that but then i thought no,i will not put their issues onto myself.

TooTabooToBOOOOO Sun 13-Oct-13 23:07:04

It kills me. My mum is an amazing person. She has nursed countless alcoholics. She just refuses to see what she is doing (or can't see).

I've had a rough few years with one thing and another (well, not this year but the few years preceeding this) and at one point I was drinking 3 bottles of wine a week - to myself, on my own at home. Fri/Sat/Sun. Sometimes i could drink as much as 4/5 bottles.

I then fell pregnant and obviously stopped altogether. DS is 7 months now and although I may have a bottle of wine a week, it lasts me up to 4 nights - 1 to 2 glasses and it's not every week. I was telling DM that I never want to go back to the way I was, she said "yeah but 3/4 bottles isn't that much really" at which point I realised she had a warped view of alcohol. She also will tell you that because she knows she has a problem it's ok, she can deal with it. On occasion she has "given up" the wine and been really proud of herself. The replacement litre bottle of vodka lasts all of 3 or 4 nights....hmm

It's only recently hit me how bad things are. Funnily enough it came to me when I was watching the film Flight (Denzel Washington) and he is a functioning alcoholic. I watched and so many of the things he said or did made me think of my mum - albeit in a Hollywood, overdramatised way.

I dont want to keep on at her as, like you say above it will cause more problems until she is willing to admit to needing help. At the same time I feel I owe it to her to try and help her, if I sit back and do nothing I will have failed her somehow.

I've decided to never buy her wine again - as birthday/christmas present. A small thing but I will then not be contributing to the problem IYSWIM.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 23:17:40

Ditto i refuse to buy any alcohol and although i rarely drink,maybe once or twice a year even if im out with this person i dont touch a drop.
I had a thought that have some people got addiction as part of their personality make up because my person has skipped from one to another,nothing extreme but they get obsessions from one thing to another too.your mum is dealing with one with a replacement then isnt she.My ultimatum came to them as i will walk away if i dont see an effort to cut down and control it,ive said ill support you to help you but im afraid if you cause yourself damage through this i dont know that ill control my anger that you did it to yourself when i was there for yiu to help before it got that far.

TooTabooToBOOOOO Sun 13-Oct-13 23:23:05

My ultimatum is the children. It is such a big ultimatum - ie them or the drink, that I need to use it properly. It will kill me to use it and I think I can only use it when she hits rock bottom. Makes me teary thinking I may need to use it. Part of me hopes she will sort herself out before it comes to that but I doubt that will happen.

She can't carry on as she is, she has other medical issues because of it - high blood pressure for a start. Something's got to give sad

OP, sorry for hijacking your thread, this has been bubbling for a few days and I came here and there you are with an almost identical thread to one I wanted to post. I hope you realise you aren't alone, I feel a bit less alone reading your and LEL's posts.

Bed calls, thanks for sharing/listening x

LimitedEditionLady Sun 13-Oct-13 23:36:49

Well if you wana chat we will be here im sure.ive already used my ultimatum,it was now or never because the resentment and frustration was getting too much,plus anger issues from them got to the point of enough was enough.To think as a kid i had no clue that alcohol could do this.I thought it was something you see on tv or see in a magazine so when its in front of my its surreal at times.

tracypenisbeaker Mon 14-Oct-13 19:04:27

Thank you guys for sharing.

Ltd you asked earlier if my father is drinking with her. He does on a Friday night sort of scenario, and he only has a few beers or fruit ciders. So usually when she drinks she is by herself- I am 7 months pg at the moment so I certainly haven't been her drinking buddy. She was sitting there with a bottle of vodka to herself while I was having milk/ orange juice. I still felt like an enabler though.

Taboo I have also thought about (for want of a better word) using my first born as an ultimatum. It's a horrible situation to be put in, but I would not want a situation to arise where they make plans to go out for the day on a Sunday morning in the car, for example, when she has been drinking heavily the night before. She would have no problem doing this. I also have serious issues with her even drinking in front of my child- I want to teach him about moderation and be a decent role model, but how can I do that when his own grandmother thinks its okay to get tanked every night? And her judgement would be impaired if something was to go wrong while he is under her supervision.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 14-Oct-13 20:10:58

So what does your dad think about it or does he not really click that somethings wrong?Thats one thing i would say to your mum,if she says shes taking the kids in the car then id take that second to say look im sorry i dont want to make a fuss but i can allow that.and you are well within your right to say no drinking in front of the children.i dont allow that for mine.thats a world little kids neednt know about yet.I nearly bought a breathalyser for the person to say LOOK WHAT YOURE DOING but was too scared of the result.sounds silly but i think youll understand me.

TooTabooToBOOOOO Mon 14-Oct-13 20:49:46

The breathalyser thing crossed my mind Ltd!

My dad doesn't drink at home at all. I've no idea if he is aware of the problem. It's been going on so long that its almost normal, bizarre!

LimitedEditionLady Mon 14-Oct-13 21:31:15

Maybe hes ignoring it even though its screaming in his face THERES SOMETHING NOT RIGHT!!
I wonder how your mums feel during the day because they definately must have a hangover or withdrawals in the day.I think it might be a case that it starts to become normality.
Imagine if they did get breathalysed.

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