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Alcoholic/depressed/menopausal Mother Still Not Better


Kyle

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Some of you may remember me. But in case you don't, the short story is. My mother is severely depressed, going through menopause, and I found out last May that shes an alcoholic. Right now its me and my younger brother living with her. I'm 20 and going to a community college and my brother is 14 and severely disabled.

This past fall my mom was going to a sort of AA class, and even brought me with a couple times. Well for some reason her therapist didn't want her to go to those meetings anymore because the therapist didn't like the way the head of the AA meetings was doing things. I thought she was suppose to start up again after Christmas with a different meeting group, but that never happened. After a sort of break down (not a nervous break down) at work sometime in February, her boss said she could have Fridays off to clean up the house, get bills paid, and get herself taken care of. I thought it was a good idea, and so did my mom, but thats not what shes using these Fridays off for.

Usually now on Fridays she gets up and sits outside and reads the newspaper until about 10:30. Then she comes inside and basically is depressed and/or drunk the whole day. Just like today. When I got home from school around noon, I could tell she was drunk and acting depressed. She was on the phone with her brother and being short tempered, and irrational. On top of that my brother stayed home from school today because my mom forgot to get up to get him ready for school to catch the bus. So he was in his room until about 1pm until I finally got him up. I confronted my mom and said "Your drunk, aren't you?" she said no, but I knew she was lying since a cup with alcohol was sitting right there in front of her. Basically I told her to stop, and if she really cared about us she dump that cup in the sink. She didn't say anything, then I told her that obviously were the 2nd most important thing in her life next to her alcohol. She said that wasn't true, and I told her if that was the case then you would dump the alcohol out in the sink and stop all this. Then she told me to go away. So I went out to get some lunch for myself at around 12, and when I came home she was in her bed asleep and my brother was still in his room. I went in, woke her up and told her to get up, stop drinking and do something. She just told me to go away. A few minutes later she comes out of her room, and walks to the car. I asked where she was going, and she said no where. I told her your not driving in your condition, but she just started yelling at me and wouldn't stop until I gave her the keys.

So now shes out somewhere, half drunk (I think) and I'm worried now. I told her shes going to get herself killed and she said she didn't care, she'd be better off dead anyways. How can I get my mother to stop being a depressed drunk. I've done everything I can, and nothing seems to be working. Half the time it doesn't even seem like my mom wants to be helped, and she just doing things so it looks like it to me that shes trying to help herself. No matter how many meetings with her therapists shes had, no matter how many times she went to those AA meetings, and no matter how many different anti-depressant meds she takes, nothing seems to work. I'm fed up with it, and I can't take it. I have finals in about a week and she is stressing me out way to much for me to concentrate. Plus I have to go through a whole application process still so I can get into a different college this Fall. She is just giving me way too much to deal with.

She doesn't want me to tell anyone else about her being an alcoholic, and as far as I know me and her therapist are the only people that know about her problem. I'm ready to go and tell her brother, her boss at work, and other family members about her problem in hopes that someone will be able to do something. I'm becoming desperate and have no idea what to do. HELP!

Edited by Kyle
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Kyle,

I remember you, and I am very sorry to hear that things have not improved at home.

Is it possible for you to speak with your mother's counselor? From what I remember you did not want to involve your dad, right?

Another option might be to see if your mom's employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Many do, and this could be another avenue of trying to get your mom some help without 'outing' her at her workplace, as these services are confidential.

KA

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Kyle,

I remember you, and I am very sorry to hear that things have not improved at home.

Is it possible for you to speak with your mother's counselor? From what I remember you did not want to involve your dad, right?

Another option might be to see if your mom's employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Many do, and this could be another avenue of trying to get your mom some help without 'outing' her at her workplace, as these services are confidential.

KA

I could try to speak to her counselor, and I want to. But my mom has never taken the steps to bring me with, even though she has said she wants me to come with her. I think they meet once or twice a month at about 7am. I haven't been able to do this since I have class at 8. Plus I don't know of any way to get a hold of the counselor.

With the EAP, do I just call her work and ask if they have a EAP? How exactly could they help my mom?

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Hi, Kyle. I'm not an expert on this but an EAP is an Employee Assistance Program. It's kind of like a piece of a medical plan that covers confidential counseling for employees. It's basically a counseling referral program/network that the employer contracts out for.

When I had one, we received a little business-card size card that had a toll-free number on it, and we could call and tell them what kind of counseling we needed and they'd refer us to a covered provider in our area that we could call for an appointment. A certain number of appointments with that counselor are free. If she were to call and say she has a problem with substance abuse, she would be referred to a counselor who specializes in substance abuse. Her employer would not be informed of any of these calls or appointments made through the EAP.

The trick is, no, you wouldn't be able to call up her employer and have them give you any information directly about her benefits or EAP--I don't think. I think you'd need to find out from her if she has EAP as part of her benefits, or have HER ask her employer, then she would need to make the call and an appointment with a counselor.

I think a good first step would be if you could get the name and phone number for her counselor and call them. It might be possible for you to go and visit her counselor on your own--not during her appointment time if that doesn't work for you. It might be best anyway if she's not around to contradict you when you're trying to express your concerns.

You can also contact Al-Anon, which offers support for families of alcoholics. You can look them up on the web or PM me for a link. They may have advice for your kind of situation as well.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this, and that your mother is putting such a burden on you. Take care, Kyle!

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I don't know of any psychologist who would say AA is not good for a recovering alcoholic. Is this something your mom told you? If so, it is just a means for her to not go and use that time for drinking. Your mom is an alcoholic and no matter what you want to do to help her, you can't. This is a battle that she has to wage on her own. She has to admit that she has a problem with alcohol and actively commit herself to quit. Unfortunately, you are the one having to live with your dysfunctional mother. I grew up in an alcoholic home, so I know what and how you are feeling. We are held captive to their distorted views and ways about life. We cannot change them nor make them see how they are hurting us and themselves. They are on a path of self-destruction and nothing you can do can change it. It sounds like a negative picture and it is. Alcoholism is a disease, one that is treatable, but the only one capable of seeking treatment is the one who is ill. We cannot force them to seek treatment. There will come a time when your mom hits rock bottom and may be able to see through her alcoholic haze that she needs help. I hope it is not too late by then. Her employer may have an idea that she has some sort of problem, too. Do you know if she ever goes to work drunk or after taking one drink? Don't take it upon yourself to call your mom's employer. Let them handle her work related activities. You cannot legally enquire if her employer has EAP, so let that drop.

The only thing you can do at the moment is take care of you. You appear to be a caring and sensitive young adult. You cannot be your mother's nursemaid or kicking post when she is mad. You may end up doing a lot of listening to drunken tirades, but in the end, you need to take care of yourself. You may want to seek out some counseling for yourself. Check with the student health center at your college, they have services that are either free or fees based on a sliding scale depending on what you can pay.

Al-anon may be good for you to attend also. It's for children of alcoholics. It's a good support group to have when you are in need of help for yourself. Your stundent health center may have info on a local chapter that you can join. There is a book: It Will Never Happen to Me by Claudia Black, Ph.D. that may interest you. It is about adult children of alcoholics and how they fit into the household. It's not a very large book and is easy to read. Check it out of the college library.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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I don't know of any psychologist who would say AA is not good for a recovering alcoholic.
I don't think it was the AA itself that the counselor didn't want her going to. According to my mom her counselor didn't like something about the head of the meetings at the AA. I'm not sure, but you could be right and my mom could have made it up. But my mom did seem like she really wanted to go.

I guess I'll try to find the counselors phone number. All I really know is that she operates out of her house.

Forgot to add. I don't think shes ever gone to work drunk or in a depressed mood. It seems when she gets drunk or depressed is during the weekends or when she has days off. She doesn't keep herself busy, so she ends up being mopey all day and doing nothing but laying in bed and/or drinking. This weekend shes already broken two promises to me about helping me study for a test I have Monday. When the time comes to help me study, she just says give me one more hour in bed, that hour never seems to come.

Edited by Kyle
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While it is possible, there may be a problem at the AA meeting that your moms counselor knows about. It is unlikely. Also in most towns and citys there are many meetings to chose from. There is also the posibility that your moms counselor is a drunk and wants nothing to do with AA! Unlikely but possible. I'm sober and been going to AA for 21 years, so I feel I have some experience in this.

The important thing here is for you to learn to take care of yourself. Find AlAnon, it is in the newspaper, phone book, call a crises center, look it up on the computer and go. Even if you think it is stupid, not for you ect ect. It is your most viable option at this time. Go to several meetings and then make a decision. There are people there just like you that have been in the same situation and can tell you what they did.

I know you truly want to do something for your mom and your brother. Learning to take care of yourself should be the first thing on your list. HTH

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You probably know that you are at least 2nd in line to your Mother's drinking habit: it probably hurts to that she isn't 'mothering' as you feel she should be.

Take care of YOU! Accept. Your mum is ill. For reasons you are not party to, maybe things that happened before you were even a speck on the horizon. It takes huge courage to let go of our props in life. Fear of those awful 'feelings' returning kept me off food for many years. Fear is a big leveller!

I suggest that you consider going to a meeting for families of addicts. There you will get support, you will learn how others manage - or don't - their situations. Sharing helps hugely!

Is your brother at risk?

Putting obstacles in your mum's way or trying to make bargains won't work. Even if she agrees at this moment, when the next drink is necessary those promises will vanish from her mind. Addicts often 'agree' in order to keep any peace left in the household. Addicts can also cover up in the work place or when they around 'friends'. But the need for the alcoholic support is always at the back of their mind.

Sit down with your mum and ask how you can help. Does she need more assistance with your brother right now? Does she still have a job or does she make out she is attending the workplace?

How are you today?

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