- Wedding: July 2017 - State Park
My mom was an alcoholic. Wonderful, attentive, giving, caring mother and person. Cared about everyone but herself. She never got real help, mostly because we lived in a place too focused on image and getting help would mean tarnishing an image she didn’t want touched. And mental illness of any kind was absolutely seen as a weakness in the family – that’s how it started in the first place – self medicating.
There is NOTHING you can do to fix or change it, and it has NOTHING to do with you. I understand being stuck with the idea that she’s making choices and letting you down and all of that. It is a disease, and it’s a disease nobody chooses, and it’s probably way worse for her than she lets you know or lets on.
I don’t doubt your daughter’s safety with her. Like you said, her fiance is there and can handle it if anything were to go very wrong.
Being harsh and pulling away emotionally or pulling away your daughter is likely to only make the situation worse, not better. I think people suggesting that stuff just don’t understand these situations. I’d suggest partial hospitalization after she retires. It’s intensive rehab, just during work-hours and she’d go home at night. It keeps normalcy, and since she won’t have to be at work she might be more agreeable to it than other things.
I think you’re best off letting her know that it hurts you that she can’t stay sober for JUST a brief period each month. Not that it concerns you because that’s going to lead to 100 jumps to places you don’t mean for it to go. But that it hurts you that she can’t be there for your daughter in the way she needs. And that you love her and that you don’t like seeing her like this. And that you support her. The best approach in these situations is always positive. You don’t want to cut ties, you don’t want cause extra problems, you’re just feeling a lot of really legitimate feelings. It’s fair to let her know that, but the most productive way is to let her know in a way that’s supportive and loving. It’s a DISEASE. You wouldn’t be upset if she couldn’t stop having cancer for one weekend a month. I 100% completely and totally get where you’re coming from. That perspective is SO SO SO easy to lose.
She likely needs significant support to get through a weekend without drinking, and it’s a possible a weekend without drinking isn’t safe for her.
Tell her how you’re feeling, and offer support. If I had it to do over, that’s what I would do.
My mom died of liver failure 7 years ago. I remember wishing for that sometimes, because at least then I could start to heal and stop worrying and and and. Now I just wish I knew then what I know now. And being angry was certainly justified, but it wasn’t productive. Being silent, likewise.
I don’t know if there’s anything or any series of things I could have done differently. But I’d try a very long list of things knowing what I know now. Making my feelings clear, offering support, and knowing more about programs and treatment available to addicts are my top 3.