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…..

 

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