Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Is it me or....?

(20 Posts)
Grannytwoshoes Thu 27-Sep-12 19:25:35

Alcohol has played a large part in my life. My father was an alcoholic and depressive . I also had a drink problem which fortunately I managed to control before too much damage to myself and my family was done. The sad thing eldest son has a bad relationship with alcohol and my daughter showed signs of intolerance as well. Devastatingly she was killed in a car crash four years ago. (if ever a time to hit the bottle...but I didn't). So my problem is ..."been there , got the t shirt.,done it all and know more than most about drinking" but feel that no one,mainly my son, wants go listen and learn from my.mistakes and thus stop his life from slipping down the slippery slope. How do I approach him...tough love's scary.? Al anon for families.. But they don't give advice. I know in my heart that people will say that he has to learn his own Lesson and make his own mistakes. But it's exhausting and I go from loving him to hating him for putting me through nightmares...dreading phone calls ..looking for signs? I actually feel rather selfish for writing this, but am I so wrong for me to wish he would for once say..I should take a leaf out of Mums book. I must say that he is a good man, who should have everything going for him. I know what you are all going to say, but perhaps there is someone out there in the same boat!

Add comment | Report | Private message  Grannyknot Fri 21-Sep-12 14:56:04
sorry meant to


vampirequeen Fri 28-Sep-12 10:21:06

I'm sorry hunni but you're have to leave him to make his own mistakes. He's been warned but until he's ready to stop there is nothing you can do. My ex was a very heavy drinker (to the extent that he hid the stuff) but he would never admit to being more than a man 'who liked a drink'.

Grannyknot Fri 28-Sep-12 10:38:37

Hi granny2shoes there is nothing harder than having to watch from the sidelines as an adult child deals with a major life issue. There is nothing you can do other than lead by example (which sounds as if you're already doing). It's not selfish to look after yourself by sharing on these forums. Perhaps you could have a conversation with him just once (or once more?) along the lines of 'if you ever need help you know where to turn'? So many good people are affected by addiction and alcohol is a real b*gger because socially acceptable. One ray of hope is that (despite powerful denial mechanisms) most good people do realise when they've run into trouble, it's about having that lifeline ready to throw when they ask for it whatever form it takes. My FIL sobered up when he was done for drink driving and no one came to bail him out - a family decision at the time, before that everyone was always running around to 'make it right' - a natural inclination. And as parents we often want to not only fix it, but fix it immediately. Took me ages to learn to let things happen, otherwise, where's the lesson?

Ana Fri 28-Sep-12 10:53:46

Very wise words, Grannyknot.

Stansgran Fri 28-Sep-12 11:31:18

But what about the damage done to you*Grannytwoshoes*? Is there no-one to care about you?

Movedalot Fri 28-Sep-12 11:32:18

I agree with all the above G2shoes and send you heartfelt sympathy.

Tishie Fri 28-Sep-12 16:13:41

My daughter and brother were/are alcoholics. Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic.
Thankfully they are both dry and have been for some time. In my daughters case, 10 years.
I am so proud of them.
My father was as near as damn it an alcoholic.
You cannot stop anyone drinking, it has to come from within. In my brothers case with AA.
My daughter did not benefit from AA but joined some other organisation in London.
Having suffered for 10 years with my daughters illness, as she did, I have every sympathy with Grannytwoshoes, but as my son said to me if ? Wants to kill herself there is nothing you can do about it.
In a strange way that helped.

Grannyknot Fri 28-Sep-12 16:57:44

Thanks ana nothing quite like learning the hard way, is there. tishie and everyone flowers. I've just finished reading a book by Tim Lott, The Scent of Dried Roses. Whilst not about alcoholism, it is a memoir about the suicide of his mother and his own depression which ran parallel with hers generations apart. Sounds awful, but it isn't - what a beautiful story and beautifully written too. He uses amazing, almost old-fashioned words in such a clever way. Anyway, his mum committed suicide and he sort of forensically analyses her story looking at what brought her to that point, he said somewhere in an interview, an attempt to gain mastery over the situation. In part cathartic because he felt guilty, as at one point when she is nursing him back to health when he comes home a broken (adult) man, she sits on the bed and says to him 'You're bringing me down too'. Strangely, I didn't find the book sad at all, I just understood the characters better. It's an excellent social commentary on post war Southall.

dorsetpennt Sat 29-Sep-12 17:02:57

Grannytwoshoes how brave you are and how sad to lose your beloved daughter. I cannot relate to this as far as a family member but did have an alchoholic friend over 25 years ago when I lived in New York. She had three children, two of whom were the same age as my son and daughter. When she was on the wagon she was a delightful friend but when she fell off it... My ex and I had to harbour her children and husband many times when she was on a bender. She would not have hurt her children but her husband didn't want his children to witness their mother in a drunken state. When she was in a state she wasn't the friend I liked so much, she was totally selfish and obnoxious. I left in the summer of 1984 and did have contact for a few years. She rang me once out of the blue after 10 years and she was totally drunk and I had to listen to her ramble on for ages until I hung up. Sadly when I went to NY in 2004 I didn't look her up. Too scared maybe of what I'd find?

Ian42 Sat 29-Sep-12 19:29:43

Twenty plus years ago I had a serious drink problem, once drinking 2 bottles of whiskey in a night. (litre bottles) I had very lucky escape soon after and do not drink alcohol anymore.

Grannyknot Sun 30-Sep-12 10:47:55

ian42 that's interesting, did you just hit it on the head yourself, or did you need treatment or go to AA? I'm always interested - given that it is accepted that willpower doesn't come into it, when people say a fright (or lucky escape) was enough to make them rethink their drinking habits.

Grannyknot Sun 30-Sep-12 10:49:25

granny2 so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I was so focussed in my earlier post on the problem with your son, I didn't acknowledge the devastating loss of your daughter flowers.

Littlenellie Sun 30-Sep-12 11:13:39

granny2 for the loss of your daughter flowers it is hard when you see your children set of a course of destruction wether it be drugs,alcohol,or a destructive relationship,I too have lost a daughter to the latter.
I understand how easy it would have been to drown your sorrows with alcohol when your daughter died,but your strength of character is to be respected for this ,although not dependant on alcohol ,I have at times used a bottle of wine to numb the edges when it has all got too much,thankfully not habitually,therefore by the grace of godxxxxxxlove nellie

Barrow Sun 30-Sep-12 12:25:49

Not having had children I can't begin to imagine the devastation at the loss of a child.

It is very easy to turn to alcohol when things get tough - I did when I lost my husband - I was fortunate in that I had friends who saw what was happening and helped me come to terms with my grief without using alcohol to try to deaden the pain. I still feel the loss but no longer turn to alcohol.

Grannytwoshoes Thu 04-Oct-12 21:21:02

Dear All, thank you for your kind words thoughts and experiences of this ghastly disease. Sorry it has-taken me so long to reply but stiil getting to grips with this "machine"!' think I knew what the general thought would be...but wonder what the opinion would be on me showing him this thread? Why do I have this desire to try and shock him into sobriety. Confused

annodomini Thu 04-Oct-12 21:44:03

How do you think he would feel about you discussing him behind his back? I fear that he would see this as a breach of trust, though that is what happens every time he raises a glass or bottle to his lips. Alcoholics have a very skewed view of relationships. Sadly, I feel that he will go his own way, no matter what you do. Sorry.

Ian42 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:02:56

Quoted by Grannyknot.
(ian42 that's interesting, did you just hit it on the head yourself, or did you need treatment or go to AA? I'm always interested - given that it is accepted that willpower doesn't come into it, when people say a fright (or lucky escape) was enough to make them rethink their drinking habits.)

I had an incident while driving and it seriously woke me up, I didn't need AA or treatment, the incident was enough for me to give up.

AlieOxon Sat 06-Oct-12 12:04:19

My daughter has at last said to me 'I know I have been drinking too much.'
She has her reasons, but I hope this is a turning point.

kittylester Sat 06-Oct-12 14:56:00

AlieOxon hope so too sunshine

Grannie2shoes flowers

AlieOxon Sat 06-Oct-12 15:22:15

Thanks, Grannie2shoes