by Daughter of an alcoholic
My mother’s neighbor found her on the bathroom floor twelve days ago. She was 69 years old and in the acute stage of Wernicke-Korsakoff (wet brain) Syndrome. She has been a chronic alcoholic since 1985. I could give examples of her “reasons” and “why” she drinks and how everything is everyone else’s “fault” and how she’s been “screwed” out of everything her whole life, but I think we all know how to fill in those blanks. She has never made any attempt to stop, other than to get her family, friends, or boss off her back. She has never apologized for anything. She has never done anything except drink. There’s a pathology or even a sociopathy to it, where I think that she wants everyone around her to feel as badly or worse than she does. Then she “wins.” She has never been suicidal, but I think she has long thought that if she went to sleep and didn’t wake up, that would be okay.
On 9/27/12, her life essentially ended. There is a lot of evidence that she had been doing nothing except drinking for about three weeks before that, and in her rare lucid moments she sort of confirms that. She makes no bones about it. My husband asked me if I thought she was faking any of it, and my answer was that I thought she was not. In an ironic way, she has gotten exactly what she always wanted – someone taking care of her and nothing to worry about. Bear in mind she is now in a nursing home, and I don’t know what the next step is, but she seems okay with it. She just doesn’t care at all about anything or anyone. She isn’t eating and has said that it’s a combination of can’t/won’t. Even if she wanted to get better, she’s a chronic repeater and we would end up back in this same place 6 months or a year from now.
In an ironic twist, after living 2 miles from this nursing home for years and never going to see her own 95-year-old mother, she is now in the room next door. My mother has said many times she did not want to end up like her mother. Well…
There are so, so many open questions and problems (physical, psychiatric, financial). It has not been easy to deal with 27 years of this. I am not optimistic about her future. I will never, ever understand how someone looks at life as a constant curse, rather than the beautiful, wild ride it is.
Thanks for reading.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.