Dealing with addiction/addict can be extremely hard, on all concerned.
I know from the addicts side of things just how bad it can be.
You have to keep remembering that no matter what the addict says or does, you CAN’T take it personally. There are going to be some rough days ahead, for you, for your mother and for your sister.
Please know that you have MANY people here that support you, in thoughts and in prayers.
I wish there was a simple "snap your fingers" type cure, but unfortunately it takes time.
Personally, I deal with a monkey on my back daily, it’s name is narcotics.
I was 19 years old and got addicted, I ailenated my family, my friends, and lost the love of my life due to my problems.
I did not have the support of my family, when I was faced the decision to quit or face the music.
My struggles to become clean were overwhelming at times. I had no one there.
What I am trying to say, THANK YOU, for being there for your sister and mother. They both are going to need you more than you know. STAY STRONG – We are here to listen, to offer our support.
ps: On the positive side, because of my getting clean and sober, I spent several years floating through Louisianna, learning so much more about life, than I ever did in college. Because of my time spent in LA, I got my nickname CajunKing. [:)]
Greg, I greatly admire you being there for your family. Seems you’ve zeroed in on an immediate family need, way to go! More importantly, you’re doing something positive about the situation. None of us are perfect, we occasionally screw up. Hopefully our inner compass sets us on the right path. Doesn’t always go that easily for all of us. Please stay reminded that "caring" is not overated. Terms and techniques such as tough love, intervention and rehab. are resources for you. I believe each of these should be tailored to your particular situation.
Closing, I’ll quote FLYSEYE,"Don’t hound your sister about what she’s done wrong, but try and remember and talk about whatever good times you may have had together".
Yesterday included visiting a rehab center … I took mom to here first Al Anon meeting … went to the hospital to visit with a severely addled sister, who after 9 days, makes me wonder if we may not need to be addressing a brain injury before rehab.
A shit day for me, I can’t even comprehend what it is like for my mom.
Thanks for everyone’s concern — both on the board and by RF e-mail.
I am really appreciating what small steps, totally unrelated to helping the subject drink, are strong enablers.
Today, a tour of my sisters lifelong and other close friends/enablers.
I have been frustrated for years with my inlaws for not taking what I consider to be the appropriate measures with my druggie brothers-in-law (3 of them!). I’ve come to realize they feel like they have to keep "taking care of their babies" (ages 48-53). But I can’t see it as any different than a parent who doesn’t correct an errant toddler. Fortunately, one seems to have cleaned up his act for real this time (3 years+).
I pray for strength for you and your Mom and your supporters to do what needs to be done. And, I pray for enlightenment for your sister to make the changes she needs to make to save herself – since she is the only one who can make it stick.
I can give you some very personal info from experience re this, so feel free to email.
Wow,Greg-thats alot to share.Having been through rehab myself, its not easy on the family.I never went nuts-just got busted for drunk driving a long time ago.I just put myself out there-not always a good thing.Take your Mom to Al-Anon, and just help her understand.I am a survivor of 12 years.
I had to put my old BF into rehab, to dry out 5 times in one year…
He was one of those that HAD to have alcohol in his system just to stay alive. IF he wanted to quit, he has to do the hospital thing. He just couldnt stop cold turkey as it would kill him…
I finally had to end the relationship….and walk away.
Unfortunately, she is your sister, and its hard to turn your back on them, and walk away as I was able to.
I cannot give you any advice, but take comfort in knowing that some of us, know and understand what you are going thru.
Good Luck, Greg!.
Difficult situation. My heart goes out to you.
Been there with a friend and unless your sister wants to help herself it will be difficult.
Praying for the best for your sister, you and your family.
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
WOW!! This sounds exactly like my life back in 1993. Only difference was it wasn’t my sister but my mom. Very tough time in my life as I ws in college but I learned alot. In the end, she hit bottom when she had a house fire that took 90% of everything. She had to start all over but this time on the road to recovery. Since that time, she has stopped drinking, stopped smoking and tried to turn her life around physically by excercising more. Definitely an improvement but with with this turnaround came some more terrible vices too (mostly poor financial decisions). I won’t go on and on about her but let me try to tell you what we did to help the situation. Just remember, Gregg that everyone is different and we are not even sure if what we did truely got our mom out of her situation. It could have well been her decision and sheer will. Who knows. Anyways, here is what we did….
First, as the person who had to speerhead this recovery effort, I was in control of everything in her life. Like your sister, my mom was completely helpless, except when it came time to get another drink. She could easily manipulate her friends and other family members to get her what she wanted. This posed a serious problem so I had to cut it off and take a hardball approach. I contacted each person in her life that was serving as an enabler and told them that it is "my way or the highway" for them. This helped ALOT. Most of her friends and family stayed on board and helped. Even more shocking was the fact that some of her closest friends and family decided to cut ties completely and leave her life forever. This was a huge relief. No need to have people in our lives that are not committed to helping the situation. Goodbye and good riddens!
Now that I had everyone on board with one thing in mind, I completely took over her finances and domestic life. This is where family and friends who were on board helped the most. We cleaned house, quite literally but also in all other aspects of her life. When my mom saw this she was obviously ashamed but didn’t have the heart just yet to come out and say thank you, or even acknowledge the help. No biggie. We just kept our heads burried and made sure she was not screwing up. This was the toughest part. When she did screw up, we showed her she was screwing up and cut her off again without warnings!
Next came the BIG eye opener…awareness and acceptance. Turns out that my mom just wanted to be a part of something. There were so many things that she wanted to do but always had stupid excuses. We held her hand and did some of the things she has always wanted to do. Believe it or not, Roadfood came into play BIGTIME here!!! She was the person who gave me my first Roadfood book back in 1992 and she shares this passion with me. We visited alot of RF joints and talked about things. First, I worked on her to acknowledge the past problems. I didn’t care about the excuses or an appology but just wanted her to say she had a problem in the past. Next came the job of convicing her that she was on the road to recovery. This was especially hard because although she could admit the past, she could not see what we were doing now. Once I told her that we were all here for her, dedicating our lives to her and vowing to change with her and be a bigger part in her life, something in her changed. This took time but she too wanted to be a part of something bigger, like family. We took her in and not only did the things she wanted to do but took her on adventures, trips and excursions we had planned without her. This was HUGE in her life mainly because it kept her occupied and re-focussed.
Since that time we have done much of the same but we have also had children (grandchildren for her). This is where she can hit the "reset" button and do for her grandchildren what she couldn’t/wouldn’t for her children. We all know this and welcome her in our lives now. This is not to say that we don’t have other problems (vi,25,358846.005,1,8198,184.108.40.206
358850,358846,358846,2008-01-14 09:44:26,RE: Hello From Mom’s Guest Bedroom (at 2AM) …”
Awww, Greg. I can’t even offer any words of wisdom because this is one of those problems I’ve been lucky enough to not have to deal with. Anything I know comes from Jeff Van Vonderonderonderen and Candy Finnigan on ‘Intervention’–and they seem very capable but it is a TV show. It’s pretty much what BB said–you have to get help from people who’ve been there and know the ins and outs and the head tricks that y’all will get played.
My prayers are definitely with y’all, and with your sister, for all the strength in the world.
I’m so sorry.
The best thing you can do is get your mother to the al anon meetings. There they will teach her the difference between caring and enabling.
My aunt was/is a drug abuser who went to prison before she could have an intervention. Without meetings to build up her skills my grandmother might not have turned her own daughter in that’s for sure, but she prolly saved her life by doing so as painful as it was at the time. Cleaning up other peoples messes can be the hardest thing in the world.
I pray for strength for everyone and peace for your mother esp. Just hang in there. You are doing the right thing.
If I were to read this, my first question to myself would be "How did we let things get this far?" … Answer: lack of experience AND sympathy for the fact that she had been taking prescriptions for pain related to having her leg amputated (bad circulation, in my opinion as a result of alcoholism, but her doctors would never attributed the bad circulation to that.)
And feeling sorry for her grief over losing our father, a husband and a close friend, both from going too far down the same road (see above) within the last four years.
In retrospect, a mistake.
Hello from the guest bedroom at my mother’s house in central Oregon.
Flew out Friday with little notice after my sister, who has gone from flower child, to hippie, to party animal, to bar fly, to closet drunk and abuser of prescription drugs … to her position today as a drunk drying out in a Bend, Oregon hospital.
By "drying out" I mean that, after a week, her tremendously crippled liver is barely going to get her out of her last weekend in the closet.
Until a few days before, she was up and around — seeming like she was "cutting back" … but, that was a bad appraisal, obviously.
She’s lived near Bend in a spectacularly beautiful area since the seventies and has many lifelong friends (I count 15 … it would have been 20 five years ago, but she is not the first to go too far down this road.)
Anyhow, we’ve come to the end of the line. As I see it, she has either had her last drink (or worse, her next to last drink … assuming she comes out of this adventure.)
I, of course, was expecting her to hit bottom, but I never expected a near-coma (augmented by drugs they’ve given her to keep her from thrashing too much) …
So here I am with a mother, who wants to mother my sister and help her because she can’t take care of herself … I have 9 or 10 of her lifelong friends who are willing to assault her with an intervention — a few who I am afraid would still sneak her booze if she got out and refused rehab.
She has a history of being hostile with her friends who have tried to have a talk with her in the past.
IF, IF she comes out of this drying out adventure with enough intact brain cells to think for herself, I doubt she’ll just say "Gee, I think this was a close call, I better check myself into a place" … I do foresee a MAJOR intervention within the next few days.
– At the hospital?
– An ambush when she gets home?
I’ll be surprised if she acquiesces without a major scene … (Although she is coming out of a nearly catatonic state, I thought I heard her try to ask a friend who asked her if she needed anything to bring some ice cream and a beer — today.)
To summarize: I am out here to keep my sister from killing my (80 y/o) mother.
I am guessing I am not the first RF’r to go down this road.
Today (Monday), mom and I check out a rehab facility and I take her to her first Al Anon meeting … I am going to do a tour of my all my sisters friends (lifelong and more casual) to let them know exactly how dire this is.
Hello From Mom’s Guest Bedroom (at 2AM) …
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