Did my son really need Resusitation?

IMG_0616.JPGI knew the respite would not last for long. I thought it would end when Faiths girlfriend had enough and went back home. But that wasn’t the case.

I had a phone all at work from Faiths girlfriend, she sounded distraught, I had trouble understanding what had happened. What I grasped was Faith had been at the doctors, he fitted while he was there, he had another fit in the ambulance. He is now in resus , they are working on him, “they had to revive him”

OK, so remember I’m at work. My boss and close colleagues know about Faith. They don’t know how to deal with it. I don’t want them to make exceptions, I don’t want Faith to have any effect on my work life. I have been here so many times, I don’t up and leave, it would have happened so many times if I did. But I have never heard those words before “they had to revive him”

I try to put things in perspective, he has been blue lighted to hospital a fair few times. I know how alcoholics exaggerate, I’m sure they didn’t need to revive him, they never let relatives in while they are trying to stabilise someone. There is no point rushing there, I couldn’t do anything, he is in good hands. Work is ridiculously busy due to Easter, it wouldn’t go down well if I left now. And ….. I am trying to step back.

I knew it didn’t go down well with his girlfriend, but hey, this is exactly what you do to your parents! She thought I didn’t care when I said can you keep me updated.

So I carried on working, one eye on my phone. I hold a pretty responsible job and could make a mistake which could cost my company thousands, it was hard keeping my concentration. I called her again, she still wasn’t allowed in.

When I get home I finally hear he is OK, in fact “would you like to talk to him” How could he be so ill then able to talk to me? I decide I won’t go and see him, tonight was my only night of the week where I go and do my thing, I’m too tired to go. He has impacted on my life again.

A little insight into why he gets so ill.

Faith has been drinking for over a month. As I know only too well his body starts to reject the alcohol, he starts being sick. Because in the end he can’t keep alcohol down he goes into withdrawal. That is why he had a fit.

I will explain more next time, I did say I would talk about wet brain, tonight Faith is still in hospital, I have just had a lovely conversation with him, he told me all about the long walk he had today, about being on a bus, the bargain burger the lovely lady served him, he doesn’t know why his girlfriend changed her name, all while he has been safe in hospital.

Thank you wonderful hospital staff, I don’t know how you do it. I hope he sleeps tonight, I know how difficult he can be when he is confused, You have the patience of saints, where would we both be without you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

Tomorrow I will visit him ,

Tonight my only positive thought is

I know they will keep him safe 

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Stepping back, enabling, how to know when or when not?

I have to write this now.  Yesterday I was talking about encouraging Faiths girlfriends family to speak out and stop enabling.  Also, how I could step back and not worry because I knew there was someone who could step in and call the emergency services if necessary.

I’ve read lots about stepping back and letting go.  I have done this in the past and it pushed Faith to dark place’s,  which I was told was what would need to happen for Faith to get to a place where he wanted recovery enough to make it happen.

He has slept on the streets, been homeless, he has been abused because he was not sober enough to realise what was happening, he has been arrested, he has been so weak through malnutrition that he could not stand, he could have bled to death as he had such a low count of blood clotting cells, he has broken ribs, collar bones fingers and toes, been covered and I don’t exaggerate in bruises, and he has lost his mind. and still he continues to drink. I can’t see a place that’s worse than this other than death.

I read with interest how other mothers have been strong and refused to give money and have stepped back with the wonderful results that their child no longer drinks and how wonderful that is, how hard it was for their mothers to do this.

What about me? I’ve done this, so why do I still have to watch him destroy himself? Did I not do it well enough? Do I have to do more?

When I read back through my old blogs I see I was  enabling, I was learning also, but without a teacher. But I learnt, and I have disowned him, threw him out, didn’t contact him, refused to have him back in my home. What else can I do?

So really what I’m saying is, yeah I get enabling, but there comes a point when you are so scared for their life you have no choice but to step in. I am positive there have been two occasions where, had I not checked on him because I was concerned for him and called an ambulance he would be dead. That final place.

Which leaves me with thoughts of why do some people win this fight with alcohol, while others are taken by it? It can’t just be that the ones that died were enabled to do so? It must come from within that person, how strong they are, how much they want to live?

My worry is Faith is not that strong.

So please don’t judge me and say I am enabling.

While I write this Faith is in hospital, I will write more about this and “wet brain” next time.

I nearly forgot my positive note, I’m really struggling with this one today, I guess it has to be

Through my sons struggles, I have found how how strong I am.

I have just been looking through the many drafts that I have never published and found this, I would have written it in 2015 around the time I have finally accepted that Faith was an alcoholic. It links very well with what I have written above, this was my early days of learning about…….

 

Letting go

Letting go, something that was talked about a lot at the al-anon classes I went to.

It took me a long time to get it.

This is my story of my journey to the place where I let go of my son and his alcoholism and handed him over to his own higher power.

Faith had lost his very lovely girlfriend to the alcohol. She went. she’d had enough of his lies and secret drinking and just his drunkenness. She had tried very hard, but the addiction won every time.

I had become involved in the arguments and I would shout and scream,”Why can’t you just stop drinking, why are you doing this, why are you like this?” So many nights of arguments, telling him he needed help,not knowing where to go to get him the help.

He lived with me, he had come back after he split with his previous girlfriend, I thought because she had a drink problem, I can laugh at that now.

And then his job went, it was suggested he handed in his notice before he was sacked, alcohol had been smelt on him too many times and too many days of calling in sick.

I thought he could not afford to live somewhere on his own, I have always worked, never claimed benefits, I didn’t know how the system worked or anyone that could tell me. So I had no choice other than to let him live with me.

The drinking escalated, I didn’t know I was enabling him, I didn’t know he was piling up huge debts on his credit cards to pay for the alcohol.

He finally admitted he needed help, the months went on, he sometimes managed to get himself to meeting that he was supposed to go to, sometimes not.

He hated himself, he cut himself, how many times I was called into his bedroom in the night because he had cut himself. “if only you would stop drinking, everything would get better” more shouting, screaming and crying. I didn’t understand that he could not stop.

Then what I thought was our salvation, He was given 2 weeks rehabilitation.

I remember taking him, He could only be admitted if his alcohol limit was below a certain level, He sat with a bucket between his legs, being sick and shaking. I cried when I left him, but the relief of not having to worry about what state he would be in when I came home from work, not being woken in the night by him hitting the walls because he hated himself, not having to listen to his crying or being sick, was immense.

My son had been saved. He could do this I knew it. When I went to see him for the first time I was sat down and asked if I had any questions. I had lots, and then I asked “What are the chances of him drinking again” Oh I was so naïve, and when I got the answer I was devastated, it was very rare for this to work first time, most patients needed many admissions. Oh but my son was different.

I picked him up the same day that I took his sister to the airport to go off on her travels. I cried twice that day, once because I felt I was loosing my daughter, if only for a while, and again because I had got my lovely sober son back.

I can’t remember how long it lasted, but it wasn’t long and we were back to the same chaotic distressing unhappy lives.

It was then that I decided that I needed help and eventually found Al Anon. But of course I went looking for help for my son.

I remember that first meeting, a few people spoke about their recovered alcoholic. Ah so there was a cure, I was desperate to find out how they had done it…..

 

As things are now…

IMG_0568Well my last blog was a pretty basic update on how things have been for the last two years.  I have so many other events to share.  I call them events because I can’t call them stories,  they are just things that happen because Faith is an alcoholic. Things that happen in his life and consequently affect mine.

But first I need to explain how things are now.

Faiths girlfriend has now moved in with him. She lived with her parents and, after a drunken episode, things came to a head,  as they do,  and she walked out.

In a way I blame myself. Here parents were in the trap of pretending. Pretending she wasn’t drinking so much. Afraid of her reaction if they dared to face her with the truth. Afraid themselves of speaking the truth.  I knew, as I had been there. I knew the consequences of trying to make them face their alcoholism, and you as a parent feeling you let them down in some way. How did this happen to that little child you held in your arms and protected from the world? But I also knew to help her they had to do it.  No more hiding it and talking behind her back about it.  No more hiding it from the family.  I knew the shame of telling family members your child was an alcoholic.

I also knew that this was enabling. So I encouraged them to speak more openly with her and other close family members about it.  Force her to face it. And they did.  It was no longer a secret. But I guess she couldn’t cope with that and the consequences of family knowing,  wasn’t ready herself.

So she did exactly what Faith did.  She ran from the truth.  Didn’t want to hear it,  so forced a situation that gave herself the right to run away. Put more hurt on her loving family,  because to stay with them meant she had to face her own self loathing and be truthful. So just like Faith she chose to run,  and she had the perfect (not what you or I would call perfect) place to run to.  Somewhere she could drink and not be judged for drinking.

So now they live together,  not because they love each other (although I think they do in their own way)  but because now they can both drink and not be judged.  But of course,  two alcoholics living together brings its own dose of madness.

Faith is back drinking daily, unable to moderate his drinking.

Over time I have learnt to step back when he is, there is no point trying to talk to him, I just wait for the next crisis to happen as I know it will.

This time I have been able to step right back. He has someone with him now who will call an ambulance if necessary, encourage him to eat and see the doctor. So I can relax and let go, actually try to forget for a while. I know she brings new problems, but at the moment I am able to let go, but not worry, too much.

So my positive today is……

“I really can let go and relax, sleep at night without worrying, nearly be normal”

That was until the call I got an hour ago 😦

Update, and double trouble

sunset 13

Well I promised an update yesterday, so here goes.

It looks like it’s been two years since I really wrote on here. I’m sad to read back through my last few blogs and realise not much has changed. Faith is still drinking., still having spells in hospital, then short spells of sobriety.

He still has the girlfriend that he met when he was in rehab. That, you would think would be a positive. But it has just caused more chaos in his already chaotic life.

She would visit every few weeks as she lived a fair distance away. And it was a relief  when she visited. Faith was drinking heavily, when she wasn’t there, he would go days or even a week sometimes without eating, just drinking, he became very thin and weak. Sometimes he wouldn’t answer his phone and so many times I had to go check on him, afraid I might find him dead. So when she visited, she made him eat and controlled his drinking a little. I was always happy when she came to visit him, a break for me from the constant worry.

She had not had a drink since she had come out of rehab. I couldn’t understand why she kept coming back to see him. When she visited she always seemed to get sick, she said it was the stress of looking after him. Sometimes she was physically sick, then she started having fits when she visited.

Faith was having periods of sobriety during this time. When he got really sick he would be admitted to hospital, the hospital would put him on detox tablets. I started to notice a pattern. If Faith was drinking his girlfriend seemed to stay well during her visit. When he was sober, she would be ill, sometimes admitted to hospital.

I spoke to Faith about it. I asked the question that had been going through my mind for a while “do you think she could be drinking” “of course not, no, no way, she doesn’t drink, no she wouldn’t.”

Then it happened,  He called me one night “mum she’s had a fit again, but she won’t go to hospital. It’s OK I know how to look after her” OK, but if you get worried, if she gets worse, you must call an ambulance I told him.

He called me later from the hospital. She’d had another major fit, she had been taken through to majors, and then “They are treating her for alcohol withdrawal”

So the truth was out. Faith afterwards admitted he had noticed how she always took her handbag to the bathroom and found excuses to go to the shop on her own. I was surprised he had been taken in for so long, he should have known the signs. He was angry she had deceived him when he had always admitted to her when he was drinking, even though she said she would leave him if he drank again. Now he knew why she never did leave him.

So it was left to me to call her parents, they needed to be told she was in hospital, I had to give them the news that I thought would devastate them. I knew the feeling only too well. When they are sober and you hope with all your heart, this time will be the time they stay sober, when you discover they are drinking again, your heart  dies a little more, your hope is gone, you know it’s back to the madness. And I had to deliver this news.

I don’t know why I thought they wouldn’t know, she lived with them, how would they not know. I was the one who was shocked when they told me she had been drinking since she came out of rehab. They couldn’t understand why Faith still wanted to see her, they didn’t know he was drinking. What a web of lies and deceit this alcohol spreads.

So now I have two alcoholics in my life.

And there’s more to tell, the story goes on…….

I’m going to try and add a note of positivity at the end of each post. There must always be a positive.

Today my positive is the fact I have found a friend that understands how I feel, that I can talk to and know they won’t judge. Faiths girlfriends mother of course.

 

I’m back……… how I wish I wasn’t

Hello my friends

How I wish I wasn’t back here writing about the life I lead with an alcoholic son.

Why can I not write a nice upbeat blog about family’s, you know, day to day funny things and sometimes difficult things that happen?

I did start another blog. It’s all about positivity and how I am going to change my life for the better, I was so very determined.

I haven’t been back writing there for a while either.

So to explain, I took this blog off from view of the public because I had pointed my son towards the many useful blogs on here of recovering addicts. I found their blogs so inspiring and learnt so much from them, I thought he could too.

But I’ve come to realise that he’s not going to read them, and won’t find links to my blog, so although as I said I wish I wasn’t back here writing, in another way I am glad.

I know there are other family’s out there in my situation and it helps to write, to share, to get a response from people. Because the harsh reality is in real life, friends, colleagues, family, try to understand, want to listen a little, but they just don’t get it, don’t understand why, after so many years of dealing with Faiths alcoholism and its consequences I’m still there for him, in the background now, but there, I can never totally walk away.

So this is a quick post, at the moment my life is so very busy, I will write more and fill you in on what has been happening, there has been a lot, but tonight I just want to reach out again to my followers on here and say “hey, we are both still here and alive, surviving, getting by, let me know how you have been”

I should be cooking dinner, I will be in trouble, but, I’m so very glad I’m back blogging 👍

PS. Sorry I’ve not had time for pictures or checking my spelling etc, I just wanted to get this out there, and this is me.