Does an alcoholic ever register the real pain they have inflicted

IMG_8386Gosh it’s been a while since I sat and wrote down my feelings.

There always seems to be something or someone needing my time, the summer has been busy, more work commitments which I won’t even start to go into, I work full time and have been given more responsibilities, which at 60 to be honest I don’t really want, but it did mean more money, so….. as I seem to help the world out financially (OK slight exaggeration) but it does feel like it sometimes, I’m a soft touch I know, I said yes.

It’s not been an easy summer but I have been lucky enough to celebrate my special birthday a few times and I have been spoilt by friends and more especially my partners children and family. They have spoilt me and rejoiced with me like I would love my family to do. I get so much love from them, but it just makes my family’s lack of it more obvious. Not that it is my family’s fault, my daughter did come back from Australia for a week which was amazing but was so rushed with everyone to see, my younger son is just awkward with himself and doesn’t have the confidence to arrange things, and then there is Faith, which of course is who this blog is really about.

I don’t know how to explain where he is on his journey now, it’s such an up and downer, probably just easier to jump to how he is right now.

Three weeks ago he was admitted to hospital after another bout of drinking. This is the pattern now, he cannot sustain drinking for a long period, a positive.

While he was in hospital the liver specialist came to see him (he had an appointment but missed it) It seems as a result of that visit it was arranged that he could start a day release rehab which he was really happy about. I do believe at the moment he wants to get better. And he started, and he loved it, a week in and he was so positive being able to talk to people that understood him, making new sober buddies, he was smiling and happy and positive again.

And then…..there is always something, his new phone contract which he had sorted out with his drinking partner whilst he was drinking and which should have halved his payments was rejected by his bank as it was over £100. Need I say any more, he is incapable of dealing with stressful situations without drinking. Although I told him I would help him sort it, it was already too late, and with a partner who still drinks the inevitable happened.

That was a week ago and he has been back in hospital, but cannot go back to the rehab until he has had a period of abstaining, which so far isn’t happening.

That week he was sober we had all the “I’ve been told by experts that it just won’t work living with an active alcoholic, I’m going to do something about it, I have to change my life” which I had known was true for ages but, to hear it from Faith really gave me hope, false hope once again.

Today I took him some vegetables from the garden, he was drunk when he came out to the car, and those were his first words, “Yes I’m drunk” which is good in a way, as we at least have an open honest relationship, but he knows now he can’t lie to me anyway. I just gave him the veg and said OK, call me when you are sober, I refuse to speak to him when he is drinking now, I don’t like that person as I’m sure he doesn’t, it seems the easiest solution.

So now I sit and wait, for the phone call to say he is in hospital or the sober call.

But I don’t just sit and wait, I have to get on with my life, so tomorrow it’s back to all this extra stress and responsibilities, guess I should be grateful they think I am still capable.

OK, that was written a week ago, I didn’t get to post it. Faith is still drinking, my heart is breaking, do recovered alcoholics ever get to realise the real pain they caused? This pain I feel is so real, and I am powerless to stop it.

It’s been a while

IMG_7793Just a quick update really.

I guess it’s positive that I’ve not been needing to write down my feelings, but I think that could be a mixture of an improvement in Faiths world and me making a definite effort to get my mind and life in a calmer place.

For me, I have started a mindfulness course, well started and finished as it was only for 5 weeks. I loved it. I loved being allowed to have that me time, time to just stop that chatter in my head, time to just stop. Stop thinking, analysing, worrying, trying to sort the worlds problems, just to relax. I can’t recommend it enough.

I try to do a bit at home when I can. I have found it helps when I cant sleep.

It has also reintroduced me to yoga, a class followed on from the mindefullness , I thought I was too old and stiff, but it is such a relaxing class, and at the end we get 10 more minutes of blissful relaxation, with warm lavender pillows to cover our eyes, the stretching is worth that 10 minutes.

And so to Faith. Things are better. Because it seems he fits when he drinks now rather than when he stops. So when he drinks now it’s for shorter periods, he has more time sober than drunk now, which is an absolute positive.

He has put on weight, gained in confidence, enough to start going for interviews for jobs. I don’t think he is ready for that but when he tells me he has a second interview I have to respond positively. And now he has been offered a job. Nearly four weeks sober, a miracle for him.

He should have been ecstatic when he phoned me to tell me, but he actually forgot to tell me, because he was drinking.

Ive had the reasons or excuses. His girlfriend continues to drink, she seems to manage her drinking where as Faith can’t, he is either totally drinking or totally abstaining. I can only guide him, he has to make his own decisions.

Whether he will be able to get himself sober and in the right place before he starts this new job, his first job in over four years at least, I don’t know.

Today his dad, my x husband had an accident, they think at the moment it was caused possibly by a heart attack, he is OK but in hospital. I give Faith positive comments, he is worried about his dad, another reason to drink. If he only knew, him being sober would be the best medicine for his dad.

He has remarried so I am out of the loop shall we say. But my other son has given me information I can pass to Faith. I don’t want him stressing about his dad, he cannot cope with stress.

So, a positive post in that Faith is a lot healthier than he has been in a long time due to longer periods of sobriety. I have found a way to help me cope with his drinking and the sadness in my heart.

But tonight he is drinking.

If anyone would like to pray for him to help him, to help him along his troubled road I would be grateful.

I have got used to just waiting and seeing what will happen.

I don’t hold out much hope about the job, but who knows……

I will let you know.

In the time I have taken to write this, Faith has called in secret from his bathroom. His girlfriend lost her job today, they found alcohol on her. She wants sympathy, he is struggling to give it while drinking himself. He has promised to see the doctor tomorrow to get something to help ease withdrawal symptoms when he stops drinking.

We shall see.

Sending love to anyone else struggling with this disease, either themselves or a loved one.

 

I should be happy but I’m very very frightened

IMG_66342 days, that’s all, 2 days and I will be flying off to the sun (although looking at the forecast I would be better staying here). I should be feeling excited, but I’m really really concerned for Faith, and he is sober!

After yet another emergency admission to hospital and a five day detox (the two week detox never happened) Faith is back out and living with his drinking girlfriend. But this hospital admission was different. In the past he has been warned he is at the point where his liver will develop cirrhosis if he continues to drink. This time he was told to forget that, he will go straight to liver failure.

Update update….. I started writing that a few weeks ago.

I went on holiday and oh my god he stayed sober for the time I was away. I think he actually made 5 nearly 6 weeks sober. But of course, living with another alcoholic eventually got to him.

He has been drinking for about two weeks now. Well he was until yet another hospital admission yesterday. (I so must start this chart of expenses to the NHS)

He was left in the corridor as they were busy where he had a major fit.

He had been admitted because he had been sick with fresh blood

They were thinking about taking him to resus because his heart ♥ was struggling. This is the third time now his body is starting to give up.

But, after yet another intrusive expensive camera down his throat, white blood cells  and vitamins into his veins he seems to have recovered.

Enough to apparently maybe go home tomorrow. But I know, 3 days? 3 days is not enough for him not to have the DT’s?

Surely they will not send him home saying “drink small amounts of alcohol”

All I know is he cannot go back to that flat with his drinking partner.

If he does will his next hospital admission be his last?

I am burying my parents ashes on the 11th September.

The plot is big enough for 4.

Please please god don’t let me be putting my son in there to join them 😭

I am running out of hope and things to say.

Life just seems to be on repeat with just a little more anxiety each time.

In fact I think for the first time in my life I am starting to have anxiety, awake in the night not being able to calm my racing mind. I guess I have done well up until now to be OK.

But what choice do I have, I still love Faith, I will until my last breath as any mother would. But, I am facing the facts that my last breath will be after his.

Sorry, a rather negative post, I guess that’s how I’m feeling right now.

I know I need to go into rehab….

IMG_1998

As usual I don’t know where to start. How to describe this chaos that hard as I try not to, I get sucked into.

Once again I am on holiday cover at work. Another really stressful job,  made worse by the fact my boss “helps” because I’m sure she doesn’t have faith that I can do the job.  It involves allocating to accounts all payments that come in that day, BACS, cheque’s and cash, balancing and banking them. I’m not talking small amounts here either in quantity or entry’s. The lady I am covering has worked doing this job since forever.  It obviously takes me longer as I’m not used to doing it and there is s deadline when you have to get to the bank. Sorry to go into detail about this but just wanted to explain how it is genuinely stressful for me.

So I purposely leave my mobile in my handbag.  Fridays are particularly busy as staff can buy goods that day so the amount of cash being handled goes up. Even though I’m running behind I decide to take a very quick lunch break (salad is difficult to eat at your desk).

I make the mistake of checking my phone,  3 missed calls from Faith. I don’t call him.  Just as I finish my lunch he calls again. So get ready, here we go again……

“mum I’m really worried about Hope, she went out this morning and she’s not answering her phone, she’s been gone ages, she was only popping to the local shop, she was confused, I’m really really worried” All this in the slurred voice of a drunk, repeating himself and not making too much sense.

I tell him there is nothing I can do,  I have to get back to my desk, I suggest he calls the hospital to check she hasn’t been admitted “I have already I think I should call her mum and the police and report her as missing”  Now if you have read my earlier posts you will know this has happened before on two occasions, one being my birthday so I tell him not to call her parents or the police,  she will turn up.

Back to working, it’s full on as I am now under pressure to get this banking finished and balanced. My boss is ‘helpfully’ listing cheques for me, she is backwards and forwards to my desk.  My phone is on my desk and I ignore it’s ringing (it’s on silent but it vibrates)  I should have put it out of sight in my bag.  Hey guess what? The cheques don’t balance so now my boss is standing at my desk going through them with me,  time is ticking.  My phone rings again,  I see she notes it. I ignore it.  I noticed it was From Hopes mother. Cheques now balanced and another rush to get the cash balanced,  I’m winging it now, it doesn’t quite balance but I have no time to check it so finally,  phew, it’s all done and sent to the bank.  I take a deep breath, I still have lots to do but the time pressure is off now.  I call Faith,  he’s still extremely worried. She still hasn’t turned up,  he ignored my advice and called her parents and the police.  He’s still drunk, I tell him it’s not my problem there is nothing I can do, and I get the”oh great, it’s not your problem, thanks a lot” And it is not my problem, I have enough dealing with Faith,  I can’t take on responsibility for Hope aswell, I’m sorry but today they will have to deal with it even though they live a journey away.  I work late,  catching up and trying to prepare to do this job again on Monday.

It’s nearly 6 when I’m finally finished and I look at my phone again. There is an answerphone message from Hopes mum, I listen to it.

I can tell she is crying as she says she is sorry to bother me, Faith called them and said Hope has been missing since last night and her other daughter is picking her up so that they can come and search for her, they don’t know the area, do I have any idea where they should look?

I stop the message, What? Why did Faith tell them that? I know she was there this morning, Oh my god they must be worried sick. I call her realising they are probably already here, wishing I had looked at my phone earlier.

She is still sounding shaken when I speak to her. “Faith lied to us, she hasn’t been missing since last night, and the phone that he was calling was in his pocket all the time, she had been out trying to sort their benefits as they have no money, she is safe.

I try to make sense of it all, I tell her he is drunk and confused, he would not have purposely lied, I work out the confusion with the phone, he gave Hope his old phone,  he has just managed to get water in his phone, so he has gone back to using his old phone. I feel I am making excuses, I feel embarrassed he is my son. Then she tells me, her daughter in panic to get over here has put petrol in her diesel car, it’s been towed away, it will cost them a lot to get if fixed. I end up apologising for not taking her call, it’s OK she says she understands. Oh what total total chaos he has caused this time.

I was going food shopping after work, I can’t face it, I’m just totally exhausted.

When I get home I just collapse on the sofa, I try to find the strength to make this call I know I need to make. He will have been given the riot act by Hope, god only knows how they will deal with this, all fuelled by alcohol.

I call him. He is more sober, very subdued, apologetic, admits to everything, admits it’s all because of alcohol, admits he needs to stop, admits he needs to go to rehab…… woah, rewind, what was that? Admits he needs to go to rehab?

I ask him what he is going to do to start that process, it’s not easy to get into rehab, I know only too well. His answer is I don’t know. I tell him, like I have a hundred times before he needs to go to adactive, where there will be someone who can start guiding him through the process. He can’t go until Tuesday when they have an open door policy.

Do I hate him? Has he lost me, he asks?

I tell him I really am on the point of walking away, he has one chance to show me he is serious about not drinking, if he does not go on Tuesday that is it. I don’t want empty promises I want evidence that he is serious this time…..

Time will tell. My guess is he will be in hospital before Tuesday as he tries to stop drinking himself.

Dare I allow myself to hope this will be the time? Or am I setting myself up for more disappointment?

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.

 

Exhausted with the chaos

My posts might be a bit mixed up and sporadic.  I write when I have time and when I feel I must.

I actually don’t know how to write about today.  It started last night. Faith had come out of hospital that day and he was sober.  I cannot explain how good it feels to talk to someone who is sober after days or weeks of rubbish conversations.  Well they are not conversations, just me listening.

He called about 10pm to complain about his also alcoholic girlfriend. She had gone up to the shop with his bank card to buy them a pizza.  In her muddled alcohol soaked brain she had put in her pin not his and the cash machine ate his bank card.  Now I need to mention he has no photo ID as he has lost both his passport and driving licence at different drunken times. So the still in detox without supporting medication alcoholic is dealing with another alcoholics chaotic life.  I calm him,  tomorrow it will be sorted.  30 minutes later,  11pm ish,  another call,  she has tidied up while he has been in hospital,  and now can’t remember where she put all his bank papers.  A lot of expletions……

I calm him a little and try to sleep.

6.30 next morning he is on the phone.

I think I have to give his girlfriend a name now…. lets call her “Hope” how fitting, Faith and Hope.

He has walked out of his flat because Hope thinks it’s only 6am in the morning, it is in fact 6.30 am, she wants to sleep, Faith thinks it’s about 11am, he has had enough, all she does is sleep, and these other guys in the room “are they twins?” I am thinking woah,  what’s going on here, it doesn’t take long, the withdrawal symptoms of confusion are here, out in the real world.

I call 111, I know he needs to be back in hospital.  “If your not with him,  there is nothing we can do,  call the police”.  Oh I’ve been here before,  mental health,  the support is zero.

I call Faith. He is sat on a wall by a busy road. He’s not sure where.  I get some details of what he is wearing.

So I call the police,  not 999 just the none emergency number. It rings for 10 minutes before someone answers,  I’m watching the clock as I need to get into work.  They take all the details but say if he doesn’t want to go to hospital they can’t make him.  I tell them I realise that but when he is in hospital and sick like this they take away his rights to leave.  Still the same answer but they will check on him.

I call Faith again. He has gone back to his flat and he and his girlfriend are in the middle of a big argument. It’s impossible to talk to Faith as he is too busy shouting at Hope.  I ask to talk to her,  ask her to be quiet for a moment so I can talk to Faith,  it doesn’t work,  I put down the phone.

I’m late for work, I rush to get ready.  Faith calls again,  he’s left the flat, he’s not going back.  As I’m driving to work I call the police again.  Yes as I am driving I call the police!  All the time I am driving I am looking for the next place I can pull over safely to talk when they answer.  I’m actually just walking into work when they answer.  I try to explain that Faith may appear drunk but he’s not,  I think it’s important they know that.  She interrupts me to say she has an update on the case.

“We called him on his phone and spoke to him, he is fine, we have no cause for concern ”

I try to explain that he might say he is but he is not.  She is very dismissive. I’m just a neurotic mother,  she has more pressing problems. I can tell that’s what she’s thinking.

As I walk through the doors of my work place, late, I struggle to keep back the tears,  she might be busy soon dealing with a road traffic accident, unidentified male has walked out into busy traffic…….

So there we have it,  it’s 8.45 and I feel like I have run a marathon but have a full day at work ahead of me.

I try to forget,  I work.  At lunchtime I call him again.  He is sat in Macdonalds eating a burger Hope bought him.  Yeah he’s fine,  has no recollection of anything that happened earlier that day, “Why was I concerned?”

I can tell he’s better than he was and certainly less agitated, it’s good he’s eating. That always seems to help with the healing of his brain.

When I get home from work I feel total exhaustion.  I can’t explain it. This is the impact the alcoholic has on my life. This is why al-anon tell me to step back and let go,  for my sanity.

How in God’s name do I do that?