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what to do about my mum(9 Posts)
My mum is a functioning alcoholic.
She works full time and then drinks alcohol. Basically, that's her life. She functions, does a food shop, does minimum family events as long as alcohol is involved.
I find her life so depressing. She also smokes so much and used to stand outside oncology department waiting for her cancer treatment having a quick few smokes first.
Her dad was an alcoholic and her life is mirroring that of my Grandads.
She is in such deep, deep denial about her lifestyle choices.
I don't really know what I should be doing. If I try to talk to her about how damaging her smoking and drinking is she then won't speak to me for days and then when she does it's like the conversation never happened.
I've contacted Al Anon for advice and told her I did this which resulted in days of her blanking me.
I love her, or love who she used to be but that person has changed so much.
I don't go to the house anymore with my children as she is always drunk at the weekend and chain smokes and comes out with really inappropriate things.
I speak to her during the week when she's in her work place as then I know she's sober.
I'm not sure if I should be doing more or just leaving her to it but then I feel guilty.
There is nothing more that you can do, OP, I'm so sorry.
Addicts are selfish, and she values her addiction more highly than she values a relationship with you or your DC.
You didn't cause this
You can't control it
You can't cure it.
I think for your own mental health you need to work at detaching from her emotionally so that her decisions can no longer hurt you.
I tried for years to try and help my alcoholic brother but in the end I had to accept there was nothing I could do to help him. Sadly he drank himself into an early grave two years ago. The strange thing is that when he died I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I was deeply saddened that I had lost my lovely brother (as he was many years ago) and on the other hand it was a relief that I would no longer be getting phone calls from the hospital telling me that he'd collapsed and was seriously ill. He also used to call me in the middle of the night crying. The list goes on and on and went on for years.
Obviously I hope your mother doesn't get to that stage but she might if she doesn't stop drinking, but you know that already. The only advice I can give you is 'self preservation first'. In other words you might have to learn to emotionally distance yourself if you find her behaviour upsetting. You mustn't feel guilty about detaching yourself, it's her choice to drink, not yours.
Alcohol is an addiction but she could get help if she wanted to couldn't she?
Don't whatever you do carry the weight of your mothers addiction around with you for years like I did with my brother. You can help her if and when she helps herself, but until then I think you should continue to keep your distance.
It's not your fault and you can't change it - time to accept that and restructure your life so it does not affect you so much.
Im in exactly the same situation as you Op but a little further fown the road.
My mums no longer a functioning alcoholic though. She in the advanced stages of alcoholism. She smokes at least 40 aday. Shes had a number of strokes. A heart attack even.nothing will stop her drinking & smoking.
The few times my siblings & i tried to discuss it with her, she attempted suicide.
Look after yourself.
Its your mums decision to live the way dhe does...
Im literally waiting for my mum to die...shes only 64
Thanks for replies, I suppose in some ways I have already been taking steps up. I don't really visit or phone anymore but she is always on my mind.
PeppasNan I'm so sorry your also in this situation.
I really don't understand addiction and can't get my head around how someone can continue to do something so damaging but not see how much damage it's doing. My mum used to be quite smart but where cigarettes amd alcohol are concerned she's really, really not smart.
I suppose I just feel sad at not having the relationship with my mum they I would love to have and feel sad when I hear friends talking about their relationships with their mums. My dad committed suicide which also may contribute to my mums escapism although they were divorced and I just feel my mums checked out of life.
I wish I could say or do something to make her want to get help.
Like most addicts any desire to change has to come from within. Sometimes that can be helped by a revelation by the addict of what they have to lose, or sometimes they reach an age where they just can't be arsed any more to get pissed or stoned every day. Whatever the mechanism of moving towards treatment, make DM aware of the options she has of where to look for help if she doesn't know already, and step back before you burn out.
Maybe you enforcing proper boundaries will lead her to rethink her choices. The current situation certainly isn't helping her is it?
Thanks for replies. I watched saving Mr Banks last night and it taped into feelings of abandonment from my childhood with my Dad and then his subsequent suicide.
I realised that my mums drinking is affecting me really deeply as it's feed g into abandonment issues that I already have.
I think I have to take a huge step back to protect myself and accept that she is making the choice to drink.
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