alcoholic & drug addicted daughter help PLEASE!

alcoholic & drug addicted daughter help PLEASE!

unhappy mum's picture
5 answers

Hi, my daughter is 23 & an alcoholic & drug addict. She has been living with me for 3 months & i am not coping at all with her angry outbursts, constant drinking (from the second she gets out of bed), drug abuse, sleeping all day, disregard for my happiness, lack of help around the home, untidiness & lack of personal hygene (& that's just the beginning!). I am struggling with day to day because of this & afraid to leave the house as she will go out & leave the home unlocked, forget her keys & break windows to get back in & i am worried she will also steal from me (I am currently selling personal possessions for survival as i am unemployed). Do i ask her to leave??? I am afraid she may commit suicide if i ask her to leave but i just cannot cope any more with her attitude or treatment of me.... I am getting pains in the chest (i have a bad heart) & am afraid she is slowly killing me! I love her so much but just cannot keep doing this with her! HELP PLEASE!!!!


unhappy mum's picture

PS: I cannot afford councelling or any other form of assistance, i am barely able to afford food & often have to go without a meal to ensure my daughter eats - she does have a job (she has admitted she sneaks drinks at work too) & spends her entire wage on alcohol & drugs - she contributes nothing to the household. Like i said, i am currently selling household possessions to pay the bills & buy food etc... I am at wits end! She is making me physically ill as i cannot cope & her father (who lives elsewhere) will not talk to her about her issues for fear she will move & we will never see her again. I am on my own here!!!

I have tried talking with her but she shoots me down every time. She refuses to seek help herself & has stated she enjoys what she is doing and has no intention of giving up - she recognises she has a drinking/alcohol problem & she boasts about it! She seems to think it is a cool thing to do & will NOT listen to anyone! I have suggested she see a doctor & the abuse i got was incredible. How can i help her when she refuses to help herself?

HELP! PLEASE! I can't take much more of this!!!

Songbird's picture

Hi Mum,

I'm so sorry for your pain.What you're experiencing is normal for the circumstances. I know it feels like "anything but" normal. I can completely, utterly empathize with everything you share. I have felt every single emotion you describe. And, it's's depleting...and it can create an intensity of feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, fear, anger, resentments and bewilderment that rise up like a looming tidal wave waiting to crash down yet again. When these kinds of feelings dominate there is little chance that "change" and "hope" can make a path to better lived moments.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE in feeling any of the feelings that you do. Your feelings are valid, and in many ways all your feelings are also necessary to the process of recovery. But, the stress these feelings bring on the body and the spirit can also be very counterproductive after a point because this stress competes with, and drains, your energy and hope reserves - of which you need both to begin to turn things around.

Mum...You need fellowship/support/education. EDUCATION/better understanding as to what it is that is contributing to your daughters choices is critical. Your daughter may be dealing with a mental health issue such as depression. Depression often has a "biological" root. It often lives in the family tree- just as blue eyes/brown eyes or height/petite-ness does. And, even in the absence of a genetic predisposition to depression or anxiety, long term substance abuse (long term especially) can cause biological changes in the brain that create a clinical depression.

Mum..the damage done to the brain as a result of substance exposure can literally impair the way it functions in decision making. But, the brain is a remarkable organ. It can and does improve as it "clears" from exposure to substances like alcohol and other mood altering substances.

You know instinctively that your daughter does not want to continue making the choices she is making -regardless of what she is saying to you. She's speaking to you from a feeling of frustration, anger and helplessness. No one is "proud" of their choice to use alcohol or drugs. No one. So keep this in mind when your daughter says those kinds of things. She's looking for an emotional reaction from you. Know that she is "venting" her own fear and anger and disappointment about self and life. She is venting the only way she knows how at the time. Don't doubt that she wants to be healthier. And know that she loves you and wants to do better by you. She is just in a real bad place. She "can" find her way from that place to a healthier, more purpose-driven way of thinking. It will take time and the right kind of support.

Watching her make the choices she is making is heartbreaking. I know. It's just so devastating to watch someone you love so much making choices that will lead to further harm of themselves, their life. It can get better...KNOW IT.

Based on your description of her behavior and choices in communicating with you, she sounds very stressed and angry. Mom...It could be that she is choosing to cope with her feelings/anger with alcohol and drugs because she has not developed better tools for communicating/asking for what she needs to be better, feel better, choose better. She may not know what she needs in order to make different choices, but she can learn -one choice at a time. Don't doubt it for a single second. And know that you too "can" learn to help your daughter discover what it is she can do to help herself. Parent’s instincts are to advocate/help their kid in a crisis of any kind -The crisis of addiction is no exception. Use your great instincts to its fullest potential. Have faith in those instincts.
“Do” stay close. "Don't" rush to disconnect. But "do" ensure your own safety. If you determine that ensuring your own safety requires a physical disconnect from your daughter then use good judgment about how you implement that physical separation. I would encourage you in getting advisements from vetted clinicians if your choice is to remove her from your home –choose a clinician with a broad scope in terms of their clinical/therapeutic background/education/philosophies/experience. Listen to advisements with an open mind and heart. But remember to apply your own instincts/discernments as to how to, (or whether to), use them in your own circumstances.
One size help/support/treatment will not ever fit all circumstances. Be aware that there are those cases and circumstances where disconnection executed under duress/stress/anger can increase risk of harm. There needs to be balance- a reasonable judgment call/agreement made (in the absence of anger) that your daughter can cope if your decision is to ask her to leave your home. And sometimes that decision is the right thing to do under the circumstances for everyone involved. But, if done under circumstances of anger, anxiety, and stress in the moment… it can serve to make things worse. You have the choice, right and responsibility to ensure your own sense of peace, safety, security. The way you react and cope with the unpredictability that comes with your daughter’s addiction choices is as much about what you choose, as is your daughter’s decision to keep choosing to abuse substances. Life always comes down to the single choices we make in thinking and acting on those thoughts. We are all individually accountable for the choices we make, but we are all served in better-healthier decision-making through the connections we nurture as well as those connections we are nurtured by. It’s important to stay engaged with your daughter in a spirit that serves recovery and peace. Learning about addiction and self is what will serve recovery-momentum. It will serve in your ability to create, access, and utilize energy reserves and creative problem solving and sustainable hope in advocating onward for yourself, and on behalf of your daughters recovery.

Keep communications with your daughter calm. Begin to take actions that will help you learn how to best influence your daughters choices -those that will serve to help her begin to recognize her potential/need to make changes and that will get her traveling a path that will give her a sense of control, purpose and peace -which is exactly what she desires...just like any of the rest of us. Gently remind yourself that while you cannot choose for her… you absolutely can influence her perspective and her belief in her own ability to make change a reality in her life. Our individual perspective is what leads us to any choice we make. The better balanced our perspective, the more creative energy and hope we have for improving our decision making and creating better peace.We have to work hard for that perspective, especially when addiction is part of our reality. Change requires change ;0) on the part of everyone in her life.
Her choices are her accountability. You cannot choose "for" her. But you absolutely CAN influence her belief in herself-influence her ability to begin to discover her own inborn ability to improve her circumstances... one choice at a time. Good communications and strategizing is the goal. You're not going to do everything right. No one has. But you're not alone in this challenge. SO many of us are out here sharing the same journey with you -soul to soul. Keep trying "the next thing"... whatever that is...Maybe it's a website, maybe it's making or receiving a phone call, maybe it's a support group, maybe it's a long sleep, or a short nap, maybe it's a deep breath, maybe it's communing with nature for a change of scenery, maybe it's the help of a therapist/counselor, or a friend, maybe it's something you read in a book, or something a stranger offers that serves your momentum to the "next" thing. Have faith that you'll figure out what that next "best" thing in your power is that you can do as long as you keep going. "When the world says, 'give up'...Hope whispers, 'try one more time'.” Try one more thing, then do that again...

Your daughter "might" benefit from a clinical assessment for depression. Do some research on symptoms of depression. In any case, mum...the more information you have about what elements are influencing your daughters repeated decisions to continue to use alcohol and substances as a way to cope with her emotions/perspectives/her daily life management, the better prepared you will be to take care of and advocate for yourself as well as your daughter.

YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. It takes education. Lots of reading, mum. It's worth it. Learn about addiction -"all" it's aspects. There are multiple factors involved in addiction. Every minute that you invest toward understanding "all" those factors better and better equates to life-enhancing change. You’re going to receive "return" in the form of increasing health, well being, better relationships, better choices and HOPE for the days ahead. Hope is the fuel that will serve to keep you feeling better about your circumstances -whatever they are, on any given day
You and your daughter deserve to live in better peace and health. And you will. Life...relationships...addiction -circumstances that are all so very challenging. But, people traveling the same path as you and your daughter enter recovery, maintain recovery, and change lives for the better all the time. It happens. It takes time, though. We, as parents, must prepare for whatever time it's going to take. That, "prep" in itself, our perception of that preparation, is a very individual thing -because no two of us perceive or think alike. Everyone will experience the process of addiction, at least, a little differently than someone else. But...we "all" are the same in that we all benefit in fellowship and sharing. We are designed to connect. We are healthier when we are collaborating and connecting and sharing hope.

So keep on sharing here at Time To Get Help. You can get through this and gain so much in the process –more than you can imagine right now, Mum. You "can" gain peace. You "can" create/restore balance and health for yourself and influence a healthier perspective in your daughter. You “can" improve/enhance your relationship with your daughter. The Partnership is a good, good place for discovering “the cans”. In addition, there are many resources you can access to begin to develop your own strategy to improve your circumstances and gain tools to cultivate your sense of can and to help you access increasing hope as a fuel for the journey.

Feel free to contact me if I can help support you in any way -in finding potential resources in your area that could serve to help improve your circumstances, or to share the heart of the journey : patti [dot] herndon [at] gmail [dot] com.

Songbird's picture

Sorry,Mum for those yellow-faced inserts in the text. I have no clue what I'm doing that causes those goofy icons to pop into the text.It's the second time I've seen that on one of my responses. Again, my apologies...Technology is not something I have much, if any, aptitude for *smirk*. I'll work on it, though ;0)

MotherWarrior's picture

What leapt out at me in your story was that your daughter's behavior and lifestyle were KILLING YOU. You, my dear lady, do not deserve to die too early any more than your daughter does. Please start thinking about yourself and making your own health your priority. I learned in AlAnon that I have to "put my own oxygen on first" as they say on the plane.

macandrew's picture

You should start searching for affordable counseling program, you can even find them for free if you live in a big city. It's really tough for you and your daughter to go through this situation, you both obviously need support to go through this. Here's a resource you might find helpful, it's a resource on cocaine treatment centers, you could find all the information you need there to start finding a support that fits your situation.