Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 years

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Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 years

Postby worrieddaughter » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:10 am

My mum has been an alcohlic for at least 30 years if not longer - my dad would probably say she has been an alcholic for probably 40 years. As far as I'm aware she hasn't seeked any help for at least 20 or so years. She became a very bad alcholic when I was about 15 and without the knowledge or access to things like this - I tried to help her but without success. She was checked into an alchol and drug centre at the hospital but checked herself a few hours later. Since then has lived on her own with very little family or friends around her. My brother and sister have not spoken or seen her for about 7 years or more and I am the only family she has narby all her brothers and sisters live in Northern Irelenad. Since then she has had good times and bad. She was very bad in 2002 and was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver, had to have a blood transfusion and was down to about 4 stone. Other times she seemed to have not drunk for a few months at all and seemed to be doing really weell. She almost appeared to be "managing her alcholism" with the occasional really bad spell but often managed to get by - or so I thought.

She was admitted into hospital last Tuesday after her neighbour had gone round and she had basically not moved from her sofa for over a week. She had not eaten or drank and had soiled and defacated where she had sat. I was shocked. It now appears that she had been lying to me about her ability to live - cook herself food, going out etc My neighbour has said she pretty much hasn't been out of the house for about a year. I only visit once every 1-2 months as I no longer live near near and I know that she needs real help now or she will leave herself to die. I have contacted social services and am waiting for them to assess my Mum but am wondering whether trying to get her into the AA would help - or if realistically it may be too late?

Still to this day she won't always admit to being an alcholic and lies particularly to me more than anybody about whether she has drank, or eaten etc so it's very difficult for me to have a conversation with her about it or whether she wants help or actually wants to quit drinking. Is it advisable to get an impartical person to chat to her about it? (e.g. someone with an alcholic background?) Also is it possible after such a long period of drinking to every fully recover? As in be able to live a normal life and look after herself? Some of my family have said that as she has drank for so long - her brain is damaged and this will never recover.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 ye

Postby positrac » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:05 am

I believe she has a chance to get sober only is she desires it. But physically your mum is not going to recover from the damages done by alcohol and this is the hardest to accept. I wish we had magic wand to cure this ugly disease and make then/us right again and it just doesn't work this way.

As I see your mum she is far from AA as she needs in patient care to get her body to detox and get the proper food and nutrition before anything else could be considered. Hope is a tall order and yet our hearts feel the pain and I wish you peace, prayer over this terrible revelation of late.

As it is said over in the US: You can lead a horse to water, but unless his food is salty he won't drink the water. Kind of like us and our disease and our willingness for change.

Recovery----- I will always be in recovery as I haven't drank in decades and I am one drink away from being pissed. So recovery is one of those words that we should use carefully because false hope for some can lend to disastrous outcomes.

Hope you have better days.

Cheers
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Re: Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 ye

Postby worrieddaughter » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:40 am

Thank you for your kind words and i think you are right that she is far from the AA. It is helpful to hear from someone with real experience that this is the case. Thank you.
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Re: Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 ye

Postby Duke » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:41 am

Welcome worrieddaughter. I've seen worse cases than your mother's find sobriety through the program of AA, but as Positrac put it, it won't work if she doesn't want it and it can't reverse actual physical damage that's been done.

I hope you have or will explore Alanon. I attended for several years after having been in AA for a while because of all the alcoholics in my family. I found it very helpful in learning how to detach from situations I could neither fix nor control.

Best of luck to you.
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Re: Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 ye

Postby positrac » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:32 am

worrieddaughter wrote:Thank you for your kind words and i think you are right that she is far from the AA. It is helpful to hear from someone with real experience that this is the case. Thank you.

Thank you and try and put this into perspective: How do you make a pickle? Now the question is can you turn a pickle back into a cucumber? No. So we in AA kind of keep that idea around as a reminder of our past and our future if we decide we know more than others who have gone back out and failed and returned to find sobriety.

All you can do is try and keep the prayers going for yourself and for your mum because self will is a powerful tool and yet can let us down because we can't control everything as we might like.

Hope today you can smile and think of nice things as you deserve to be happy and serene.

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Re: Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 ye

Postby clouds » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:16 am

Go to
al-anon-ireland.org

It looks like there are a lot of alanon meeings in Ireland. This is for you, it really helped me!

Find someone there to talk to about your situation and exchange phone numbers. Talking it all out with someone who understands is a great relief and they will also show you how to live more peacefully with the problem of alcoholism in your family. The people there are easy to talk with and don't worry, they will understand your feelings, as they have been there too.

Best wishes and I hope your mom gets better soon.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 ye

Postby Blue Moon » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:49 pm

There's no reason not to be able to live a relatively-normal life. She will doubtless have some sort of complications whether she quits drinking or not, but we're all going to have failing health sooner or later even if we never drank, smoked, etc. The bigger question is whether she wants a different life. To her, drinking is the only "normal" she really knows, and perhaps the only one she wants. To her, sober living will seem thoroughly abnormal for a while, so for that she'll need regular ongoing support. That support is available, but only to those of us who want and accept it.

Others have suggested Alanon. That's worth a try for you to get help for the worry she's putting you through.
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Re: Is it ever too late? 67 year old an alcoholic for 30 ye

Postby Noels » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:35 pm

worrieddaughter wrote:My mum has been an alcohlic for at least 30 years if not longer - my dad would probably say she has been an alcholic for probably 40 years. As far as I'm aware she hasn't seeked any help for at least 20 or so years. She became a very bad alcholic when I was about 15 and without the knowledge or access to things like this - I tried to help her but without success. She was checked into an alchol and drug centre at the hospital but checked herself a few hours later. Since then has lived on her own with very little family or friends around her. My brother and sister have not spoken or seen her for about 7 years or more and I am the only family she has narby all her brothers and sisters live in Northern Irelenad. Since then she has had good times and bad. She was very bad in 2002 and was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver, had to have a blood transfusion and was down to about 4 stone. Other times she seemed to have not drunk for a few months at all and seemed to be doing really weell. She almost appeared to be "managing her alcholism" with the occasional really bad spell but often managed to get by - or so I thought.

She was admitted into hospital last Tuesday after her neighbour had gone round and she had basically not moved from her sofa for over a week. She had not eaten or drank and had soiled and defacated where she had sat. I was shocked. It now appears that she had been lying to me about her ability to live - cook herself food, going out etc My neighbour has said she pretty much hasn't been out of the house for about a year. I only visit once every 1-2 months as I no longer live near near and I know that she needs real help now or she will leave herself to die. I have contacted social services and am waiting for them to assess my Mum but am wondering whether trying to get her into the AA would help - or if realistically it may be too late?

Still to this day she won't always admit to being an alcholic and lies particularly to me more than anybody about whether she has drank, or eaten etc so it's very difficult for me to have a conversation with her about it or whether she wants help or actually wants to quit drinking. Is it advisable to get an impartical person to chat to her about it? (e.g. someone with an alcholic background?) Also is it possible after such a long period of drinking to every fully recover? As in be able to live a normal life and look after herself? Some of my family have said that as she has drank for so long - her brain is damaged and this will never recover.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Hi worried daughter and welcome to e-aa :D I am really touched and grateful to meet a young woman who still cares so much about her parent as to seek assistance for them. Bless you for that.
From your post I understand that your mom don't really know what alcoholism is about since you posted and I quote

"My mum has been an alcohlic for at least 30 years if not longer
as well as
She became a very bad alcholic when I was about 15 and without the knowledge or access to things like this - I tried to help her but without success, also
She was checked into an alchol and drug centre at the hospital but checked herself a few hours later, and
Since then has lived on her own with very little family or friends around her. My brother and sister have not spoken or seen her for about 7 years or more and I am the only family she has narby all her brothers and sisters live in Northern Irelenad."


I can relate to that since I myself had no knowledge about alcoholism and because I was unable to control my drinking or remain stopped for ever I lost all confidence within myself and assumed I was a failure. I was ashamed of this, believing that I was undisciplined, had no willpower and was an utter failure I withdrew within myself and deliberately lost contact and started pushing friends and family from me.

It was raised a number of times by friends, relatives and close family that I was an alcoholic but I remember feverishly denying that I could not possibly be an alcoholic simply because I had a “screwed-up version” of what an alcoholic is. You know …. To me an alcoholic was that homeless person or person “lying” at home doing nothing but drink from morning til noon. Perhaps if I was better informed of what an alcoholic really is that knowledge could have saved me many years of pain, suffering and guilt so if you’ll bear with me I’ll share with you what an alcoholic really is ….

An alcoholic is someone who have a two-fold disease – firstly our bodies function different to the average person on the inside – in simple words, we are allergic to alcohol in that every drink we take create a reaction in our bodies that causes a “craving” for the same amount of liquor that we’ve just put into our body. So when I drank 1 glass of wine my body automatically – because of the allergy – already craved a glass of wine. When I had a second glass of wine my body automatically already craved two glasses of wine. This allergy is similar to lets say an allergy to peanuts with the difference that the physical symptom is to have more of what we’ve put in in equal amounts - rather than appear as a “breakout” or “rash” on the outer physical. The second part of the disease is called a “spiritual malady” or in simpler words “block of spirit”. So being unable to “control” my drinking was not because I didn’t want to, intentionally proceeded to have two bottles of wine per occasion or because I was a “bad”, undisciplined or “spineless” person, no, it was because I had an illness which the ordinary person (and myself at that time) did not know enough about.

I am not qualified in psychology but having taken care of my own elderly parents and observing the behavior from other elders around me id say its very possible that your mom is exceptionally lonely especially considering the feeling (which becomes a belief) that she is a complete failure and embarrassment to all around her because she is unable to stop drinking.

I would personally suggest its worth a try to contact AA in your mom's area, discuss mom's situation with an elderly alcoholic who have a few years of successful recovery behind her and request that she please visit your mom. To me while there is life there is hope and since mom possibly don't have the knowledge now available regarding alcoholism well .... its worth a try. Most definitely so.

I myself skip meals on a regular basis and in the rooms ive heard many other alcoholics who don't really eat regularly so it is possible that unhealthy eating habits could be common in alcoholics. I am unable to confirm this though so it is only a personal theory. Apart from that, when I am on my own it seems pointless to cook for one person so many times I tend to grab whatever's the easiest - when I really have to eat - or simply skip a meal or three if I can get away with it. I am making a conscious effort to change this very unhealthy habit so there's hope for mom :D .

Regarding the drug and rehab facility I can also relate since I myself is an older alcoholic and most of the patients in the addiction facility I attended many years ago was filled with young drug addicts and we - at that time - could not relate which is why I specifically suggested an older female alcoholic to visit your mom.

Regarding the possible physical damage caused - I am not qualified to remark. I have, however, met quite a number of elderly alcoholics in the room who was in exceptionally bad shape before they received help and they have fully recovered physically - apart from the "usual growing older pains" which most experience later in life.

I sincerely hope this help and wish you the best of the luck. Please continue to stand by your mom. I'm pretty sure she needs all the love and acceptance she can possibly get from you right now and who know ..... miracles do happen :D

Please approach us anytime here should you require any further assistance.

With much love and Light
xxx Noels
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