I can’t Believe it, he is still sober

I started writing this two weeks ago, when Faith was sober, I never got round to publishing it. Since then things have changed again. But I will leave my first few hopeful paragraphs………..

What’s this? What’s happening?

I’ve  got used to calling Faith only to hear the drunken voice that I know only too well. Even when he’s sober I ready myself when I call him, to hear his drunken answer so I know he’s back drinking.

But this time, so far it hasn’t happened.

So I have told him I will visit this weekend with food parcels. I would give him enough food for a year if I thought he would stay sober.

But today he is, So today I will help him with food. He still hasn’t managed to sort his benefits situation, and I know it’s not because he hasn’t tried, so he has money to pay his rent but nothing else.

I asked him how many days he has been sober and he answered with “I don’t know, I haven’t been counting” This is a little different, he usually adds on a few imaginary days. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that he needs to stay sober to sort this benefits situation has been a factor?

Back to today.

I think the reason he wasn’t drinking was simply he had no money.

When I visited him with the food both he and his girlfriend were happy and thankful.

She had plans to see here son the next weekend. All positive thoughts and plans for the future. I think this is the first time they have ever both been totally sober together.

A few days later I spoke to Faith, he sounded very down and mmmm maybe he’d had a drink. He certainly wasn’t drunk, but, I had that feeling. I decided not to ask, it would change nothing if I did.

Then he started not picking up when I called, so I knew.

I haven’t spoken to him since until tonight. He said his girlfriend Hope, had gone out and was not answering her phone, he was concerned. He sounded pretty sober, but I knew.

I asked if Hope was drinking, he said yes she was and quite a lot. I then asked him, he replied just enough not to get the shakes. Well that’s a little different to the norm, usually he would be totally out of it.

I decided to broach the subject of rehab. He listened, he said he seemed to be in a cycle off being sober for a few weeks then drinking. I thought, he had been in that cycle for years, but didn’t say. He said his best chance of getting into rehab was if he was to go to ADAB, I might have that wrong, but it is support for addicts as far as I know. He said he could get a support worker if he went there. I said “but you haven’t gone, you knew about the place, even had an appointment, but you didn’t go”

I reminded him his life was not able to move forward while in this circle. Of course, it’s up to him, nothing I can do. He sounded OKish, he said I love you mum. So that’s it. Update. For once I’ve had a good few weeks without worry, let’s see how much longer it lasts.

Feelings of guilt

IMG_0987Why oh why am I feeling guilty?

I have had two very short phone calls with Faith over the last few days.

He is sober, how I wish I could feel excited and happy about this. I should do, it’s what I want more than anything in the world isn’t it?

I guess it’s because I know it won’t last and I don’t want to feel the pain of disappointment when he drinks again.

But when I have spoken to him I have been very negative and ended up raising my voice. It’s not what he needs and I don’t know why I’m doing it.

Well I do know why. He is now having to deal with the financial problems caused by his drinking. His benefits have been stopped. He has had no money coming in for 6 weeks now. The reason I sent him money to cover his rent.

The confusion of his alcoholic life means sick notes have not arrived on time and where they should. He has been unable to sort things out because he has been either in hospital or drinking and incapable. He has been told he now has to start again. Put in a new claim. Which asked questions such as can you walk 10 yards unaided? Well that’s a joke, it depends if he is drinking and how much. I know if he completes these forms himself he will not get benefits. He will need to start looking for work or get nothing.

I am totally against people claiming money and not working. I work full time and have worked most of my life. I also would love for Faith to be working. I also know at the moment he is not capable of holding down a job. If he gets a job and gets sacked for drinking or not turning up, which will happen, he will again lose the right to any benefits. He will end up homeless.

I have suggested both days he contacts citizens advice bureau. But he won’t listen. I know there are people there who can help him. Today’s excuse was OK I will do but then I can’t go and sort my housing benefit at the council and I can’t…….. the list goes on. Why can’t you do all those things? I juggle my time every day. I have had a particularly busy stressful day trying to fit too much into too short a time. But I gave it my best!.

But after the call I realise I am being negative, probably controlling, I never thought of myself like that before. I am telling him what to do instead of letting him make his own decisions and mistakes. But I know he needs this help, I know how difficult it is to get the benefits that he does need. I know who picks up the mess when it doesn’t work.

How do I shut up,  stop this interfering. Let him just do it his way.

My problem is my fear of him dying.

I know if he doesn’t sort this out it could send him spiralling  into a black hole. If he loses his room he will be on the streets without his girlfriend, I know she would go back to her family. I won’t have him back here.

I don’t think he would survive being on the streets and losing her.

So that is why my frustration with him for not just trying my advice, boiled over.

After our conversation I felt stressed and he felt upset, and I realise he is obviously trying to stay sober and my conversation hasn’t helped him.

I did say it was lovely to speak to him sober.

I just know how important it is to get this benefit situation sorted and quickly, not at his “this time next year pace”

So that is why I am feeling guilty. I pray I haven’t pushed him to drink again. I just find it frustrating seeing how naive he is about things but he won’t accept help.

This has been a change, we have not been like this before. Maybe it’s a good thing, he’s being more assertive. If he stays sober , he can work and it won’t be a problem. The trouble is I have no belief in him anymore.

Maybe I do need to get out of his life.

 

 

 

Less contact and a period of calm for me, but it doesn’t take away the worry

Well it hasn’t been exactly no contact over the last few days but it has been minimal and I have refused to be drawn into their dramas.

I finally had a phonecall apologising. It wasn’t a total apology and I still don’t think Faith realised how wrong and hurtful he had been. They tried to tell me the police had called and apologised to them!  What!!!  Are you serious?  I honestly believe they don’t know what is fact and what is fiction in their alcohol affected brains.

I’m afraid I didn’t just accept his apology simply because I felt he was saying sorry but he didn’t know what for.  I told him very clearly about the untruths he and Hope had accused me of. He couldn’t grasp what I was saying and phoned me later asking questions but he had the whole situation confused again.

I’m worried his brain is being permanently affected now.

The next time he called, I let it go to answerphone, he was looking for sympathy again.  “We are both sick,  we must have picked up a bug, we can’t keep water down”

This is where, what to you or me would just be an annoying unpleasant thing to deal with,  for a dependant alcoholic, it can be much more serious.  If you can’t keep water down you can’t keep alcohol down either. Which then causes much more serious symptoms.

I just replied by message “You had better both go to hospital then”

That’s all,  no sympathy.

I later hear they both were admitted to hospital at different times.  Faith was kept in for 2 days.

He called to let me know he was on his way home,  again it went to answerphone.  It was good to hear him sounding sober.

But I know it won’t last,  the hospital will have discharged him telling him to have small amounts of alcohol to help with the symptoms of withdrawal.

I didn’t believe this,  until I heard it for myself.

He is an alcoholic,  he can’t have “just a small amount”

So he will return to his drinking, I know this for a fact.

So it has worked for me, stepping back, life for me has been calmer.

It doesn’t stop this ache in my heart and fear in my stomach though.

Day 4

Day 4 of not knowing how Faith is doing.

How I wish it was him counting. Day 4 of being sober.

I have sent a message today.  He promised to repay me money I lent him to pay his rent as he had problems with his benefits.  I hate to think he might be using that money to buy alcohol. Why do I say “might”?

Angry with myself that I paid his rent anyway,  I just couldn’t deal with the thought of him being homeless again.

And now angry with him for not paying me back as he promised.

I kept it simple.

“I see you have not transfered my money into my account”

That’s it,  nothing else.  I don’t even know if he will see it.

I hate you alcohol!!!!

I feel an overwhelming sadness

IMG_0803It’s day 2 of no contact.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t heard from Faith, it means I haven’t responded.

I am starting to feel a terrible sadness inside. Do I really have to stop contact for him to find his way? Will it help him? Is this what I must do?

There are no guides  –

If  A doesn’t work then resort to B. If all else fails switch off and re-boot.

It has given me some much needed peace. And I am important, I work bloody hard, full time, elderly parents that also need and deserve my time and attention.

He has called twice, first time I’m at work and it’s easy to ignore, still more accusations left on my answerphone. Then again when he knows I am home and he sounds more sober. This is the first one that starts I love you mum, I want us to have a relationship, please call me. That’s harder to ignore, but I have, and I will today.

Maybe tomorrow I will send him a message telling him I will only speak to him when he is sober. I will not answer his calls until I can hear in his voice he is.

I’m really not sure if this is protection for me, or as I have read, what I must do for him to be at that place where he wants recovery beyond all else.

I always thought having children was a learning curve that you learn as you go. I didn’t realise that it went on into their adulthood. One thing I have learnt and I am absolutely certain about is, there are no rules, ever! You do what you think is right at the time, maybe you will fuck up occasionally, but one message I would always pass on to my children is “go by your gut feeling, and if you are told that it is wrong, and you still feel your way is the right way then just do it” Don’t be afraid….

As I am tonight.

Thats why I am thinking tomorrow I will send a message to him.

“I will speak to you again, but only when you are sober”

I would love a few responses from you peeps that have found sobriety, how would you feel receiving this message? how did you feel?

Sending out love

 

 

 

A quiet day, no madness, it nearly feels normal

IMG_0802

When I woke, I called Faith. Yes I know, I know I said I was stepping back, and I am. But he called me in the early hours, I didn’t answer but he left a message which I listened to this morning.

It was more accusations. “Why had I called the police, now I had messed everything up. I am so angry with you” I didn’t listen to all of it, there was no point.

I wanted to call him in the morning when he was sober tell him one last time –

I called the police last week when you were confused and sat by a busy road because I was frightened for your safety.

I did not mention Hope, your girlfriend or her son.

I did not call Hopes mother, she called me.

If you do not want me to react when I am concerned about you I cannot know what is happening in your life.

So I am stepping out of it .

Of course he was still drunk and groggy, he didn’t take it in. But I had said it. I needed to, to make it real for me.

I have had two calls today when I was at work. Both times I didn’t answer. When I listened to the messages he left, there were more accusations, I was glad I didn’t answer. It made me more determined.

Tonight I have been out for my excercise class and I feel more relaxed. The worry is still there but I feel calmer.

How long can I keep this up? I know I must for both of us.

 

 

A continuation of the madness and chaos, but enough is enough

After my last post “exhausted with chaos” things have been calmer. It has been wonderful to talk to my sober son, it feels like I have him back again, but I know it’s only temporary as he is doing none of the things he needs to do to stay sober. The fact he has no access to cash after his girlfriend froze his card is probably the reason he has stayed sober this long.

Today he got his  bank card back, today the police decided to check he was OK.  Today everything went into total chaos again.

I had a dentist appointment, the short time I was in the chair I had a 2 missed calls. One from Faith, the other from number withheld. I call Faith when I’m out.

I wish I hadn’t. “Why have you called the police about me? Why have you told them about x (his girlfriends son who she is not seeing because of her drinking) and more accusations and swearing. I cut him off. I then listen to the answerphone message left by the unknown number, the police.

” I have just checked on Faith, he appears less under the influence of alcohol than he did last time I spoke to him, his girlfriend tells me he has seen the doctor so we have no concerns over him, I hope this puts your mind at rest”.

Well, I don’t know, obviously last time my point that “he may sound like he’s drunk but he’s not, he is sick and needs to be in hospital” just didn’t get through. And now your visit to him has just caused more chaos and confusion.

I call Faith again to reassure him that the police were only checking on him to see that he was safe. All I get is more abuse and accusations, apparently they “interrogated” his girlfriend. I decide there is no point carrying on the conversation and drive on to work.

Lunchtime I look at my phone , that was a mistake. This is something new I have not talked about on here, my brother is estranged from his son. I think that’s the right word to describe it. I have been the piggy in the middle between him and his x wife trying to sort contact. My brother is very difficult to deal with, and things have broken down. Today is the day he announces that he wants nothing to do with the negative people in his life which starts with me and “my parents”

Just breath just breath and return to the office and work. My elderly parents will be traumatised, he has done this so many times to them but they are getting so old and frail, my dad is 90 this year. This could kill my mum, because she is like me, a mum, no matter what, you love your kids.

When I leave work I call Faith. More accusations, his girlfriend Hope has been interrogated by the police about her son who doesn’t live with her. I try to say I never mentioned his girlfriend or her son, I was just concerned for his safety. Where has this all come from, just the police checking Faith was Ok? I finally tell Faith I cannot deal with this anymore,  I can’t speak to him again until he is sober, enough is enough, I need to protect myself from the global amnesia I suffered in the past  when my brain actually says “enough is enough”

But it doesn’t stop. I turn my phone off. They both call the landline, I ignore it. I decide to make it clearer to him. I message to say I want the money I lent him for rent back (another story) I send my bank details. I reject calls but listen to answerphone messages left by both of them. It appears Faith is going to get cash out to pay me back. That’s a disaster about to happen so I call him to tell him not to get cash, to transfer the money. But, yeah it’s too late. He’s just got money out and some woman spun him a story and disappeared with the cash. I believe him, I know how vulnerable he is. His girlfriend doesn’t, she goes to the shop to check, it’s true.

I have a real heart to heart with his girlfriend, I pull no punches, I tell her straight how it is, why these things keep happening to them, I cannot deal with it anymore, she makes excuses, I will have none of it, I tell her everything, including the fact, she cannot see her son is down to alcohol. She won’t listen.

Then her mother calls, they called her by mistake now she wants to know what’s going on, I tell her everything, I cry.

Tonight I have taken to my bed. I can deal with no more. Tonight my other family has suffered, I haven’t cooked, my younger son quietly does household jobs to help me, I know he’s concerned about me. I cry, I can’t eat, tonight their alcoholism has consumed me. I know I need to step back, for my sanity I have too.

Tonight I have no pretty pictures to add, no spell check, tonight I just had to get my thoughts out, try and soothe my brain.

Thats it. My day, my evening, once again taken over by this addiction and its consequences.

Tomorrow I will go to work and smile, no-one will know, it’s not something to talk about.