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Long sober alcoholic has relapsed, struggling with my feelings

(25 Posts)
Tinseloverthecracks Tue 21-Jul-20 02:42:17

I’ve been feeling overloaded with a lot of family problems, mainly pandemic related. I was coping - just about - then this revelation of relapse happened and it feels like one thing too many.

If anyone’s kind enough to reply I apologise for inevitable drip feeding. I’m not coping and can’t explain this huge messy tangle all in one go. I can’t describe the person who’s relapsed - my child’s father - as my partner or expartner. I have become a carer to him in recent years and we don’t share a household.

I have a child with additional needs and their well-being is paramount.

I am emotionally all over the place and don’t know what to do for the best.

OP’s posts: |
LividLaughLovely Tue 21-Jul-20 02:45:25

I’m sorry.

Signpost then to help (AA meeting, online or in person if they’re back on yet) and then detach as much as possible.

Getting involved in a drinker’s relapse is horrible for your own mental health and won’t make a difference.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 21-Jul-20 02:47:36

Getting involved in a drinker’s relapse is horrible for your own mental health and won’t make a difference.

So so true. Sorry you're having to deal with this.

Tinseloverthecracks Tue 21-Jul-20 02:51:02

I could hug you for replying.

Damn right it’s horrible for my mental health. Head going like a washing machine.🙁

OP’s posts: |
Geppili Tue 21-Jul-20 02:53:37

So sorry to hear your pain! It must be very hard to see this relapse. Have you any support? thanks

MyNameIsAlexDrake Tue 21-Jul-20 02:57:23

You stay strong for you and your child. You owe him nothing, you are not his carer now, you can't be if he can't control himself, this is his own doing. It's sad and tragic but you need to be there for your child, not an addict.

Geppili Tue 21-Jul-20 02:58:39

Well said.

BritInAus Tue 21-Jul-20 03:49:40

Hi, I have been a long time lurker but never posted before, but I couldn't just ignore this one. As somebody who has recently separated from a 12 year relationship with an alcoholic, and the parent of my child, I am sending you a huge virtual hug. It is so, so, so bloody hard.

There's no magic wand for this, as you will well know. All I can suggest is take care of you. Remind yourself of the basics - you didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it.

Does the alcoholic have a support network outside of you? Ie is there a GP/AA sponsor/other friends/drug and alcoholic service/pscyhologist/counsellor that you could encourage the alcoholic to check in with - or that you could contact directly and suggest that they may need help?

Please remember you are not responsible for this person's sobriety. I think the best you can do is prioritise self-care (the basics, try to get to bed early, get out for a short walk if you can, drink water, eat well) and remind yourself of any necessary boundaries for yourself that you mightn't have had to think about whilst the alcoholic has been on the wagon.

All the best and big hugs to you. It's so hard.

BritInAus Tue 21-Jul-20 03:53:53

Also, remember: this person is an adult. Only they are responsible for their health, happiness and sobriety. If you have had to assume the role of carer, I can only assume their alcoholism is long-term and their health is damaged.

A kind reminder that you are not responsible for this and you have every right to step back - or even totally disengage for a time - if that feels right.

You do not owe this person anything.

I imagine this person is capable of contacting support services if they are in a place where they are ready to do that. You will know well that you can't hurry that along.

I think all you can do is allow yourself to feel angry/mad/frustrated/sad about it, and prioritise yourself, your child and your family. I really feel for you x

Tinseloverthecracks Tue 21-Jul-20 15:12:59

Thank you so much for all your helpful words.

Today has been difficult so far but I’m reaching for detachment with love.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Tue 21-Jul-20 15:26:40

Which is hard. And doesn't happen in one go. But you'll get there.

Tinseloverthecracks Tue 21-Jul-20 17:20:17

Very true MrsTerryPratchett. I had a lovely Alanon friend who said if you can’t detach, semidetach.

By act of good orderly direction ( builders doing essential maintenance) I will be sleeping I the attic tonight under an embroidered banner of the serenity prayer...it a funny old world.

OP’s posts: |
pointythings Tue 21-Jul-20 19:18:43

I can't add anything others haven't said already - he's an adult, the only one who can find sobriety again is him, detach with love and take care of yourself and your DC.

As the widow of an alcoholic who never found sobriety, I feel for you. flowers

Eesha Tue 21-Jul-20 21:58:14

I feel for you Op, my ex is an alcoholic and it's so hard watching from the sidelines watching them destroy themselves, even if you aren't together anymore. But ultimately it's their life and they need to fix it.

Sssloou Wed 22-Jul-20 00:13:07

I am so sorry that you have so many burdens in life - it must be devastating that this avoidable situation has come about.

What might help you to continue to detach with love when the urge to dive in to manage rises is to know that we all have finite energy and emotional capacity. Yours is running on empty already - if you engage with the relapse you will be drained dry by the alcoholic and your child will be the one to suffer as they will be short changed of your time and energy. So do everything you can to resist and bat this right back secure in the knowledge that this is the best approach for your DC.

Also you seem to have an awful lot on already which seems overwhelming - is this a moment to reflect and reassess to off load some responsibilities in order that you can care for your child as maybe their needs increase as they grow and your energy lessens as you get older - is this an opportunity to restructure for the longer term - and get some more strategic support so that there is some space in your own life for more than just coping / existing / surviving?

Fanthorpe Wed 22-Jul-20 00:20:38

Tinsel your username seems familiar, I’m sorry, you sound incredibly sad, just wanted to add my support.

Hope you can get some sleep.

Tinseloverthecracks Wed 22-Jul-20 08:40:59

Thank you.

I have used a different username to usual, I’ve dropped in and out if Mumsnet quite a bit over the years. I have a relative on here I don’t want to upset any more than necessary.

It’s painful but I feel I have to reassess my plans now. I need to make plan for myself and my little one that I can carry out with my own resources.

Your advice and support is helping me stay as focused as possible in the circumstances.

OP’s posts: |
BritInAus Wed 22-Jul-20 09:46:35

Thinking of you OP. Alcoholism is devastating. I know you will get through this x

Onacleardayyoucansee Wed 22-Jul-20 09:51:35

Can you give AlAnon a call?
You don't have to deal with this alone.

Tinseloverthecracks Wed 29-Jul-20 03:48:31

I’ve just reread this thread for ‘experience,strength and hope’ as I’m awake with a headache and churning thoughts.

I have reconnected with Alanon Family Groups. Thank you for your wise and sympathetic words. I’m having quite a difficult time.

OP’s posts: |
Greyblueeyes Wed 29-Jul-20 04:18:24

I'm so sorry, OP. I'm so glad you have reconnected with AlAnon. That's a big step! Take care of yourself, lovely. thanks

AFitOfTheVapours Wed 29-Jul-20 08:18:07

Tinsel, just coming on to wish you all the best too. I’m another with an alcoholic ex. It isa horrible disease and tough to be tangled up in. Really hope reconnecting with Alanon helps and that the washing machine thoughts churning round your mind slow soon.

Sssloou Wed 29-Jul-20 09:47:24

It must be v shocking and devastating that this has happened. It’s brilliant that you have sought support from Al Anon - it shows what resilience you have. You have some tough choices to make - are you clear what your options are.

You don’t need to have disturbed sleep it will make your already tough days v hard and you and your DC will suffer.

What was keeping you awake?

Tinseloverthecracks Wed 29-Jul-20 15:56:58

Partly my washing machine head keeping me awake Sssloou 🙃 but also other things not under my control.

I’m physically and emotionally drained - quite normal given everything. I need to get my head back into a really essential task and I’m gently circling it and letting go of the things I can’t simultaneously juggle. I need to accept there’s a great deal I can’t do and I have no choice about taking some time out for self care which I have really neglected.

It’s quite hard holding it together. I recently lost a close relative who I would have turned to if they were still here so I’m feeling their loss even more keenly.

I hope you’ll forgive the following link. I was thinking “only love” and stumbled upon this lovely Kate and Anna McGarrigle live version.

Heart like a Wheel

OP’s posts: |
daylilies Wed 29-Jul-20 20:04:16

I am sorry you're sad and struggling Tinsel but thank you for the link. I haven't listened to Kate and Anna fo ages and i really enjoyed the link.
Whatever you do don't listen to Go Leave or you'll be in real trouble.
Wishing you strength xxx

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