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desiree333's avatar

I'm worried about her, do you think she has a drinking problem?

Asked by desiree333 (3190 points ) February 4th, 2010

I think my mother may have a drinking problem. She never really used to drink much, and she never went out much. Then she got a boyfriend who she was with for 4 years, and he drank every night, so she did too. They would just sit in the porch and have a couple of beers, while she went on her computer. I would come in the room, and there would be a grocery bag full of usually around 12 cans (approx). This may not sound like that much, but this was going on every night, and she would come upstairs at around 1:00 fairly drunk for bed. They broke up, but it wasn’t a big deal because they weren’t in love or anything, believe me. Then she was fine, she stopped drinking for a week or so. Then she started going out for “coffee” every night, without telling me. She would come back around 2 o’clock in the morning, not drunk but close. I thought she was seeing someone and I was right. Turns out they weren’t a couple, but they were starting to date. Then he sort of dissapeared, I think with another woman he had also been seeing. Anyways, for around the past 5 days she has been getting drunk every night, either with my aunt who lives up the street, or by herself. I am getting sick of it, and I think she may have a drinking problem. What do you think about it, and what should I do? Sorry for the long story.. It sounds like this has been a recent habit of hers, but it has been going on for most of my life, just on and off. Right now it is pretty bad. Help?

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17 Answers

chyna's avatar

Just to clarify, can you say how old you are? Our answers may differ depening on your age.

desiree333's avatar

@chyna I am sixteen, and I don’t see how your answers would vary because of that. Can you tell me why it matters?

mrentropy's avatar

I’d say she’s definitely working on having a problem if she doesn’t already.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t really know, does the drinking affect her job? Does she do reckless things? Does she get violent at all? I thought I’ve drank a lot at times in my life, but it was never every day, I don’t think the body could handle that unless she was in fact addicted to it to where her body is dependent on it.

mrentropy's avatar

What to do about it is a different matter. You can confront her about it. Although, when I say “confront” I mean talk to her. Don’t yell or accuse just say that you’re concerned about it. If she’s driving to a bar and coming home at 2am that’s a big cause for concern, too, because it could get someone hurt or arrested.

And, of course, there’s Al-Anon that may be helpful to you.

wundayatta's avatar

It sounds like a drinking problem to me. I don’t know what you can do.

People usually use substances to hide the pain. Her pain sounds like loneliness and heartbreak and low self-esteem.

I suppose you could get some pamphlets from 12 step programs, and then give them to your mother, and urge her to try them. You want her to stop drinking. Don’t tell her she should stop drinking. Just tell her you want her to, and tell her how it affects you. Then hand her the pamphlet.

Tell her there are a lot of people like her there, and she can at least talk about what it’s like. And find out what other people do about it.

You can also attend meetings if you have transportation. It’s not like she’s going to notice you’re out of the house.

desiree333's avatar

@mrentropy I think that is what’s going on. I wouldn’t say she has a drinking problem yet, but if it keeps on like this she will soon..

@Blackberry No, she only drinks at night, starts at usually around 8:00 pm. She does not get hangovers, I’ll never understand that. She could be totally trashed on a friday night, and wake up at 7 o’clock on a sat morning when she doesn’t work.. She doesn’t get reckless/violent. She does get very argumentative with me, and sort of acts like she doesn’t want me around. She always tells me if I dont like it that I can move with my dad, and that she’s “living her life”. I do think her body is dependant on it though.

@mrentropy Thanks, I plan on tallying what nights she drinks, and to what degree so she can see how serious it is. She thinks its normal, and I think if I confronted her it would turn into a complete warzone, she’s deep in denial. I will give it a try though I guess.

@wundayatta She does seem to have low self-esteem/lonliness. She always needs a man, even if I can tell he’s just using her. She was with her boyfriend for 4 years, a week later she had someone new. I really like your ideas, about how I feel, and how it affects me. Thanks for the good ideas.

faye's avatar

I think she’s sadder than sad that her life is winding up like this, and lonely. Try and ask her loving questions about her life and what she dreamed of at 16. It sure wasn’t a single drunk barhound- she doesn’t want to be like this. Alcohol and laughing at the bar are filling a hole in her gut for a couple of hours. Maybe talking with you, not accusing her (that will make her defensive and go onto attack mode) she’ll get some motivation back. Does she come home from work to a messy kitchen, clothes on the couch, dishes on the coffeetable?

desiree333's avatar

Yeah, just a little update on her condition. My neighbour just had to help her get in the door, it looked like she couldn’t even walk, and she had an empty wine glass in her hand. She was just at the neighbours house. I can hear her pouring more wine right now. She’s probably going to go on her computer and play music. She’s probably going to have a couple more glasses of wine, by herself. It’s a fucking thursday night, how is this normal?

desiree333's avatar

@faye Thanks, I usually just say “why do you have to do this?” and accuse her, but I will try to talk to her. Not now though, she wont listen to me now. And no, she;s very clean, but theres probably going to be dishes and laundry. At least she never lets the house get messy, because I have enough to worry about. I noticed now, that she makes lunches early. All my life she made them at night, but now she makes them early because she gets drunk every night. It’s so sad to see her like this.

faye's avatar

I meant do you leave a mess for her, sweetie! no don’t talk when she’s drunk. If you try to think how hurting and empty she is, it might help. Go to Al-anon. You’ll meet so many kids in your situation.

desiree333's avatar

No, I clean up after myself, because I feel bad for her, and I don’t want her to have anymore stress than she already does. I might try Al-anon, but I keep telling myself its not serious and I’m overreacting because I don’t want to face it. It’s hard to tell you sober mom that you want her to get help, and that you are going to al-anon when shes doing dishes, asking me about my day, with a nine year old sister in the next room. I don’t want to ignore it, it may get worse. But I’m too scared to say anything.

YARNLADY's avatar

Join Alateen which is Al-Anon for teens. You don’t even have to go to meetings, because there are several forums online.

pjanaway's avatar

Its only a problem if they can’t stop for a few days. Other than that, I don’t see the harm.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I think she has a loneliness problem and is using alcohol to get drunk, get numb and pass the hours away Like others write, her drinking is a problem when it affects how she cares for her health, handles her timeliness for work and other responsibilities. You can talk to her and tell her you love and care about her but right now she probably feels beyond that and might react out of guilt or shame by drinking more.

faye's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Look at your lurve!!! I van’t give you a GA because of it.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@faye: Oh boy, does this omen a swarm of bees or rain of frogs? hee hee hee

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