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A true story about an alcoholic
I am rather new to this forum but have enjoyed the numerous posts and supports I see as ppl help each other. That said, I have an amazing story to tell, but I will try to make it brief and I am curious if anyone can actually relate to this "impossible" but true story. I grew up in an alcoholic family. My mother was an alcoholic. She drank for 40 years. My childhood was rough growing up. I rarely ever saw her, she drank day and night, but I saw her intoxicated and numerous bad incidents over the years, family fights, DWI, domestic chaos, and lots of depression on my end and my two sisters growing up. My older sister took on the role of "mom" during mom's absence. Most of the time she was passed out in the basement or we would find her on the floor somewhere or in a closet. We found bottles everywhere. She went in and out of treatment centers for years, got sober then relapsed again and again.. Never thought it would end. Moved to Texas at 15 (my Dad got transfered with his job) and things got even worse. The drinking and fighting became worse and I saw my dad beat her once, not b/c he was an abuser, but b/c he snapped. He had done everything possible to get her sober and all of it failed. She went to AA, but would still drink. Alcohol was her DOC. She never abused other kinds of drugs. Finally her doctor told her she had liver damage. She continued to drink but then suddenly stopped and never went back to it for 10 years. We were free at last, but I felt that I had been robbed of a childhood and witnessed numerous nightmares in my family growing up with an alcoholic parent.
One day I came home and she was sipping on a glass of red wine. I was in total shock and disgust. I ran to my dad and told him. He told me it was alright. I was like WTF??? He told me she has an occasional glass of wine every now and then but has never reverted back to her old drinking. Today she has been "sober" for 23 years, and that occasional glass of wine still comes into the picture, but only like 3 or 4 times a year and only one glass. Sometimes she doesn't even drink half of it. She told me she had faith in God and the power to control her drinking. "If I want to drink, I will and If I don't, I won't" she once said to me. I was uncomfortable with the glass of wine thing, now it does not bother me at all. She hardly ever has one and when she does no-one says a word b/c she stops after one. It is like she knows she has the power to stop. I told this story to an AA group one time and no-one believed me. In fact, I was told my mother could never have been an alcoholic because once an alcoholic always an alcoholic was AA's motto. I was like BS. I saw my mother, witnessed over 20 years of how severe her drinking was and how it tore our family apart. Now she is a social drinker, and not even that, a rare drinker that stops at one glass on a rare occassion. Never have seen her drunk and my father swears by it, and now I believe it? How can it be? I have no clue, but my mother was def. an alcoholic. Is she today? I say "no way". She changed and could drink that red glass of wine on a random occassion and that has even been put almost out of existence. I have never heard of an alcoholic being able to do this, but she did. Has anyone ever known or experienced or heard of such a story as this? I am so proud of her today. She also quit smoking 7 years ago. She goes to church all the time and does not attend AA. She does not believe in their ways she tells me. Well I questioned "their ways" also when they told me my mother could never have been an alcoholic. Oh yes she was, def. was. You don't drink a bottle of Vodka and a 24 pack of beer in one day and repeat it over and over again and live to tell about it over a random glass of red wine? Crazy. Just thought I would share and get any opinions on this amazing story that has had a past horrible impact on my life and now a heavenly ending. God Bless her!
Interesting story to share
These are the stories that we never hear. What a great blessing for you all!
We only hear about the train crash stories, but the calm recoveries are lost in the noise of the messy addict/alcoholic.
She's lucky she can sip a glass of wine just a few times a year. Rare but not unheard of. I'd be a fool to say that any of us could count on being where she is today. The percentages say that we can't be as lucky as your Mom. Twenty-three years of controlled drinking is amazing.
I hope your story doesn't encourage some naive addict/alcoholic to think they can be like her, and dabble.
I think you are really lucky that a miracle has occurred in your Mom's life, and it is unique to her. Not a lesson for us all, but a one-off.
I can relate only to the earlier part of your story. I am smack dab in the middle of 7 children in my family. It was my Dad who was the boozer. He, however, after way too many years of damage to himself and his family died..a boozer. My mother was just tired and died years before him. With so many kids in the family over a period of such a long period of time, we actually thought of ourselves (parents included) calling us "the older kids" and "the boys". The older kids consisted of my two older sisters (one now deceased at the ripe age of 26 from cancer) and my older brother who was sent to reform school (that's what they called it in those days) by the time he was 11 and then in and out of jail until he hit his thirties. There he stayed until almost 60 when he was finally released two years ago. He just found out he has cancer and is not good, jobless, almost homeless and has not a clue how to conduct life on the outside. Then there's me. By the time my Mom had "the boys" I was becoming the eldest in the family with my two sisters ready to be married and my brother away someplace. Then came the three "boys" leaving me the oldest at home and quickly becoming the caregiver of my younger siblings.
When I graduated high school, I was offered full scholarship to go to college. At that same time, as fate would have it, my mother had the opportunity to go to nursing school. She quit school at 16 so she got her GED and then the decision was made. She went to school and I graduated high school and stayed at home to raise my youngest brother. I had just turned 17, graduating early was my reward for doing well enough in school that they allowed me to "skip" a grade. Yay for me...lol.
The eldest of the three boys died of an overdose in his 40's, the second is an over-achiever with an awesome family, and the youngest who got the least attention of all because my Mom died by the time he was around 10. By then I was married myself with two kids and two jobs but I lived not far from him and my ever drunk and missing father so I continued to take care of my brother as best I could. After a few rough spots, I suppose one would say that he's surviving.
While my Mom was dying and totally unable to care for herself, our new insurance regs were entering the picture in a big way. The one I myself enjoyed the most was when she couldn't stay in a hospital "because they couldn't help her". My father still believing that the bar was far more important than wondering if my mother had anything to eat on any particular day had me packing her up to bring to my house. I swore that day that my father would die alone and that he did. I visited him ONCE in the hospital days before he passed and it was only because I was afraid I would one day regret it if I didn't. I was wrong. If I hadn't gone, I don't think I would have regretted it. Funny (peculiar?), out of 7 kids I know I was his favorite although he loved each and every one of us. The middle child, the caregiver. I suppose it's no small wonder that between my childhood ending at about the age of 13 and resisting drugs and alcohol at all costs thru the 60's, I found my relief in drugs in my 30's. It may have taken me 20 years to get clean for any amount of time but at least I tried, countless times. My Dad never did.
That was a very long winded response to your story, Primetime. Your mother and your family have witnessed nothing short of a miracle. I think my story is the norm, unfortunately. This said with much love for you, my friend.
Oh, Catrina, YOU are the miracle in your family's story. Thanks for sharing your touching story.
Your story has touched me to the core of my heart. I am in tears. My wife's father died of alcohol abuse. He had cirrohsis of the liver and passed. It was totally devastating and that happened 10 years ago and my poor wife still mourns today. I know what alcohol abuse can do. I used to drink very heavily myself in my 20's. U think I would have learned from my mom, but no... many children of alcoholics become alcoholics themselves. I remember taking my first drink at 12. I wanted to see why mom made such a big deal out of this. What was it about drinking that she liked so much?, and back in the early to mid 80's alcoholism was really just starting to be understood better in contrast to today Well, I quickly found out and progressively became an alcoholic throughout my teenage years and got real bad in my 20's, along with drug abuse with coke and LSD. I am so sorry about the suffering and pain you have been through in your life. My blessings to u for fighting and staying strong. Shrimpboat, u also bring up a very good point in your post. I hope no-one thinks he/she can take this "miracle" story and think it will work for them. Most addicts are addicts for life and have to stay away from the booze or their DOC. My mother's story was the exception to the rule, and thank God she is alive today after the abuse she put her body through and the psychological toll still lingers today in my mind, but I do forgive her and I love her. God Bless u both!
Originally Posted by Catrina
Last edited by primetimegrape; 09-06-2011 at 11:37 AM.
I am the youngest of three girls then after me came twin boys. My sperm donor is an alcoholic still and or family is still very dysfunctional. I can relate to these stories and they bring tears to my eyes. I am not sure if I will ever forgive my sperm donor for what he did to my mother and our family.
Wow! I wasn't expecting that kind of reaction to my post. It wasn't supposed to be a sad tale, really! Just the flip side of Primetime's miracle. Ever the optimist, I believe to the depths of my soul that we are the product of our life's experiences and those people that touch our lives. We weren't a sitcom family, for sure but that was then and now is now. I have few if any regrets from my childhood. In fact, I was always proud of myself and reveled in the role of caregiver..gave me purpose, I suppose. A shrink would have a mayday with that, wouldn't he? LOL
I abused opiates for 20 yrs and during that time I forgot that I used to really like me. Now, 20 months clean I'm finally reuniting with the old me and we're getting to know one another again. 20 months ago I would not have imagined that I would ever like myself again but I think I do! I'll let you know once I get to know me a little better! Please note quote below my signature.
Hi there - touched by your story and all the stories here. My dad too became an alcoholic after my mum left him when i was 11. He got diabetes in his forties but carried on drinking. If i ever needed him, like when my friend was committing suicide on the phone, I had to find him in the pub. ANd I looked after my younger sister. Anyway, in his sixties, he learned that he was going to lose his leg unless he stopped drinking and smoking. He did both and on his own. He still lost his leg but is still alive, despite all the complications that go with diabetes, like heart trouble at the age of 75. And he's still a miserable old g*t. (Even shop assistants call him that) I have seen him only drink a glass of wine at xmas. Looks like he will probably lose his other leg and has two pacemakers(one for a backup) but he is doing pretty well considering his life style. Haven't spoken to him in two years cos his reaction to my chaos was to be abusive and critical and nasty IMO when i needed support but I am pleased that he took control of his life and is a good grandad to his grandchild (my nephew). PS will be going down to london to see him and my sister soon for first time in two years. Love Jay xx
Very interesting thread, and thanks for all the posts.
I suppose if I am really honest about it I would say that I have life problems I have never completely faced, and any excursion into drugs or drinking just puts off those needed changes.
I do go to AA (for the community and the wisdom there) but I am not a dyed-in-the-wool AAer.
Life seems to require my presence, all the time. That being in the moment is hard enough without the softening effects of drinks or drugs. I WILL say I am never happier than when I am with people, and I know alcohol helps lots of others to "relax" in those occasions...
No judgement from me.