alcoholic family member

  1. While having family members with this issue and an ex hubby I am very upset that my dtr/22 is having legal problems (bad ones) from this illness. I have done everything in my power to help her, lawyer, boss at her work, therapy , new doc with meds for depression, helping her understand her probation life now, jail time, drug and alcohol urine tests, offered to take her to AA meetings, trying to get her to move in with me and I am just at a loss for what else to do to help. I know the work and motivation has to come from her. My ex is being very firm and washed his hands of her but I just cannot do that. I am so broken up over this. Being a nurse I know the road she is on is a bad one that will lead to an early death.

    I wanted to attend an alanon meeting but the only one is at a time that is not good and far from here.

    How in the world do you do the tough love thing on your own child without falling apart? I have never worn these shoes before.

    renerian
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   EmeraldNYL
    Wow, renerian, sounds like my fiance's younger brother, who is an alcoholic and has been in and out of jail several times. Can't keep a job more than 2 weeks. Fiance's mom is also a nurse-- keeps saying she needs to kick him out of the house and do the tough love thing, but instead keeps enabling him. It's hard for me to understand because I don't have kids. Whatever you do it will be hard. My thoughts are with you.....
  4. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from renerian
    I wanted to attend an alanon meeting but the only one is at a time that is not good and far from here.

    How in the world do you do the tough love thing on your own child without falling apart? I have never worn these shoes before.

    renerian
    Hi Renarian

    ExTENsive experience in this area, man is it hard. My family of origin, my ex, and now it seems my son has the disease without the smell (severe depression possibly bipolar).

    You can get some Alanon daily reading books just about anywhere, "One Day At A Time In Alanon" and "Courage to Change" (make sure it's the meditation book, not the book by Dennis something or other). You can read a page each day and just sit quietly for a moment reflecting or praying. There is also an index in the back so you can look up, for example, "Detachment" which is a HUMUNGOUS tool to use with your daughter. Detaching with LOVE, not anger or being cold* (at the bottom of the page is a reading on detachment).

    Did you call the Alanon hotline? There SHOULD be more meetings near you. You would be so relieved when you hear other people talk about how they deal with this.

    The most important thing is not to let yourself go in the self care department, if for no other reason than the fact that if you become a basket case, you can't be there for her when she is really ready to get help. Meanwhile, there isn't much you can do besides wait. Of course, the self care is important for YOU, this emotional rollercoaster just might do you in. You are probably taking abuse or having your emotions manipulated sometimes, and so you need to take care of yourself. Besides, you have work, you have needs, you have other family members that you need and that need you.

    Good luck my dear



    Detachment From Alcoholism
    From Buddy T,


    It Doesn't Mean Abandoning the Alcoholic.
    For the friends and family of the alcoholic, the key to serenity is finding the wisdom to know the difference between what they can and cannot change.

    "... we discover that no situation is really hopeless, and that it is possible for us to find contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not."

    The first time a friend or family member of an alcoholic hears these words -- read at the opening of virtually every Al-Anon meeting --they seem too good to be true.

    For many who have spent years living with the progressive disease of alcoholism and tried everything possible to keep the situation from growing worse, the thought that finding happiness while the drinking continues seems inconceivable.

    Chances are happiness seems like an unrealistic goal, something that only make-believe families on television shows have. For the alcoholic family reality can become one crisis after another. Pain, heartache, agony, stress, pressure, and emotional turmoil, we've got -- but happiness?

    But those who hang around Al-Anon long enough find out that the opening statement can become reality in their own lives and in their own homes. One of the keys to that reality is detachment.


    Neither Kind, Nor Unkind
    As the literature says, "Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgement or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person's alcoholism can have upon our lives."

    Many times the family members find that they have become just as obsessed -- and perhaps even more -- with the alcoholic's behavior than the alcoholic is with the drink. The Al-Anon program teaches us to "put the focus on ourselves" and not on the alcoholic, or anyone else.

    If we put the focus on ourselves, we will no longer be in the position to:


    Suffer because of the actions and reaction of others.
    Allow us to be used or abused by others.
    Do for others what they could do for themselves.
    Manipulate situations so others will eat, sleep, get up, pay bills and not drink.
    Cover up for anyone's mistakes or misdeeds.
    Create a crisis.
    Prevent a crisis if it is the natural course of events.

    But what about the alcoholic? What happens if I stop doing all of these things that I have done all these years to "help?"

    Has it helped? Al-Anon members learn that no individual is responsible for another person's disease or recovery from it. The simple answer to what to do about the alcoholic: "Let go, and let God."

    As they say in the program, "It's simple, but it ain't easy." But you do not have to do it alone. There is probably an Al-Anon Family Group meeting nearby where you will find people who understand as few others can. They have been there, and by sharing their experience, strength and hope, help others to find their own path to serenity.
  5. by   Blackcat99
    Sorry to hear about your daughter's problem with alcohol. I tried to help a dear friend by letting him stay at my house. He stole my jar full of quarters and other money.He took my car out for a ride when he had been drinking and I was asleep. I told him to contact social services and I kicked him out of my home after a 3 month nightmare. He then slept at the park. Social services did help him and he is now receiving disability and has his own apartment. He is also clean and sober in AA today. He is sending me $10 a month now as step 8 of AA requires that he makes amends. We are friends again now.I was shocked because I had been convinced that he was a totally hopeless alcoholic who would never change. I'm glad I was wrong.
  6. by   Energizer Bunny
    Renerian...there are many online alanon meetings and resources. I wish you all the luck in the world!!! I've been there and done that with friends and an ex-fiance. I completely feel for you!
  7. by   MandyInMS
    Hugsssssssssss (((Renerian)))
    I have dealt with etoh/drug abuse with several family members..it's HELL to say the least..Haven't had to deal with it with my own CHILD though..I'm not sure how I'd handle that one..It's always been said that we have to love them enough to help them..no matter how tough it gets..I honestly think if it came down to my son having this problem that I could commit him, if he were a danger to himself or others..would he hate me? probably..would I have doubts about my decision? sure...but maybe an extended program would give him enough time to clear his head and make him realize how harmful his actions are to himself and those who love him, and be an incentive to do better...like I said , haven't been there and hope I never am..but with our family histories I have thought about it...I wish you the best ...and take care of YOURSELF.
  8. by   Tweety
    Sorry you're going through that. I've nothing to offer. But tough love you gotta do otherwise you could love her to death. My parents had to wash their hands clean of my brother and his drug/alcohol problem after doing all the things you've done. Putting him out on his own, making him responsible for himself and the consequences of his own behavior was in the long run the best thing that could have happened.

    Good luck.
  9. by   renerian
    Thank you emerald, black cat, zoe, CNM, Mandy and 3rd shift guy. All of you have given me hope and guidance in an area of nursing I have no clue on. Thanks for caring enough to post to me and my family.

    God bless,

    renerian
  10. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from renerian
    Thank you emerald, black cat, zoe, CNM, Mandy and 3rd shift guy. All of you have given me hope and guidance in an area of nursing I have no clue on. Thanks for caring enough to post to me and my family.

    God bless,

    renerian
    {{{{{{{{{{{{Renarian}}}}}}}}}}}

    You can send a private message if you need support, k?
  11. by   Stitchie
    Quote from renerian
    Thank you emerald, black cat, zoe, CNM, Mandy and 3rd shift guy. All of you have given me hope and guidance in an area of nursing I have no clue on. Thanks for caring enough to post to me and my family.

    God bless,

    renerian
    renerian, sorry I'm late to the post but my dad was an ETOH'er and an ugly one at that. mean to the bone, to my brother, sister and me especially. Alcoholism is as much as a disease as cancer is it just one that eats at heart first and foremost. I wish you much luck, find a good counselor (I have a Christian counselor to help w/my self-esteem, anger, and co-dependency issues).

    A good book you can try is "Codependent No More" and it may help you. God bless you and your daughter; I will keep you in my prayers and hope the best for you. It is so so hard to face this; good for you for finding the courage to face up to issues that need addressing.

    Wishing for much peace and serenity coming your way...
  12. by   renerian
    I will see if I can find all these books on line. I am sure I will be able to find something to help me.\

    With some time passing and guidance from many good people I am doing better today. Breaking everything into smaller pieces.

    Thanks for your advice,

    renerian
  13. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from renerian
    I will see if I can find all these books on line. I am sure I will be able to find something to help me.\

    With some time passing and guidance from many good people I am doing better today. Breaking everything into smaller pieces.

    Thanks for your advice,

    renerian
    I've heard it said, "Joy that's shared is doubled; sorrows shared are halved." Or something like that!

    I've also heard it said that you're as sick as your secrets, it really does take a load off to just tell someone straight up what's wrong!

    hang in there!
  14. by   renerian
    Thank you for your kind words everyone. I work with a wonderful nurse who has taken me under her wing to educate me on this issue. I have this in my family but it has been in a sitatution I was not so involved in.

    Thanks for your thoughts and prayers,

    renerian

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