Letting go for both our sakes

 

For the first time ever I believed he and his girlfriend were sober together at the same time. I probably didn’t question it as much as I should have.

I revelled in having sober conversations with Faith, he seemed to be enjoying it also even though he was in pain. He reconnected with his sister living in Australia. he asked for help to get to AA meetings. I told him to enjoy all the positives of being sober.  I delivered food.  And a tumble dryer, my mums, up until then he had not been able to think straight enough to work out where he could put it.

I thought, really thought, this time, he cannot get alcohol, so he will have no choice but to stay sober, at least for a while.

I am not stupid, I think I know my son well enough by now, well I thought I did, to know when he has had a drink, be it only 1 ( well it never is only one is it) . I would deny it to myself sometimes, but in my heart I knew.

So how the f… did I miss this one, I just don’t understand, I can’t understand. So….

Yesterday Faith had an appointment the hospital fracture clinic due to his last escapade. I thought it strange it wasn’t as the hospital he was admitted to but didn’t really think too much into it. It turned out they were actually more concerned about his liver than his broken bones. But he was fitted with better fitting “boots” and as far as I could make out, sent on his way.

Today his girlfriend called me at work to tell me he had been admitted to hospital.

What? Why? what has he done now?

He had 4 fits during the night then another big one this morning, he didn’t want to me to call an ambulance but I had to.

Why? Has he been drinking? Yes. What? For how long? Since he came out of hospital last time? Yes. How can that be, he has been sober when I spoke to him, this doesn’t add up.

How the hell has he got alcohol? He can’t walk? He got 3 bottles of cider at the shop.

None of this is adding up in my mind. I can’t talk to him his phone is off, only his girlfriend to give me information. They an doing ECG on him, they are not concerned about his mental state. From what she was telling me he will be discharged tonight.

I did eventually get to speak to him, I asked what the hell was going on, he just wanted to tell me he was going to be discharged but didn’t know how he would get home.

I told him that was his problem, if he could get out to get alcohol he could get home.

Once again I am feeling so disappointed, my fault, I should have learnt by now.

But I couldn’t help but just call him. He’s home, so I could ask him the question, how and when did you start drinking. I didn’t  want to, that’s why I went cold turkey last time, yes, so why and how did you start drinking again.? The only way is if she bought you alcohol? If she loved you and wasn’t drinking herself she wouldn’t do that? She wants you to drink so she can.

I have left him with that, telling him, he has to make some decisions. I’m angry, so angry with her, not with Faith although he has again chosen to drink. I thought this was a chance for both of them, I was so ready to support them.

Now I just feel empty, sad, he’s going to die, and she’s helping him along the way.

I have tried so many times to walk away from this.

Maybe this is the time I need to do it again for him and for me.

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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’m grieving

IMG_6070I really am struggling at the moment. I don’t know if I am preparing myself for Faiths death or just grieving for the family life the alcoholism has stolen from me.

And no one knows how much, other than you my friends.

I know I am still grieving for my recently lost parents, I think about my mums last moments surrounded by family, and I think about my dad, how I found him, lying cold and actually broken-hearted on the floor less than six weeks later.

But that is a grief I expected to come at some point. Yes it’s still upsetting and painful, but it is nothing compared to the grief I know I will feel when the life leaves my son.

And now I have this sadness, it just fills me, of the life I dreamt of, for my eldest son.

It used to be that he would take over his dads business, and then later when he decided engineering like his grandad  was what he wanted to do, I saw in my head, his apprenticeship finishing and him going out in the world, making a living, marrying some lovely girl, and then of course the grandchildren. As I got older they would come and visit, not as often as I would like, but they would be there for birthdays and christmases.

But that was not to be, this wicked wicked alcoholism has stolen all that from me.

Maybe that was all a dream anyway, but I was hopeful I would have a garden full of children again. When the children were growing up my house was very much an open house, I welcomed a broken family in, 4 children, they might actually be my saving grace when I am old, as they are still in touch and very much a family unit. In the summers, my garden and house were always full of children and friends and mums and dads. What happened?

And my daughter? She will bring my grandchildren up on the other side of the world. That’s hoping she eventually has some.

I’m wallowing in self pity, but I am so so very frightened for the life of Faith at the moment. Alcoholics die, that is a fact, and I am so worried he is on a path that he cannot escape from.

And no one, no one other than you my friends know how I am feeling.

Friends are concerned for me, work colleagues know I have a “problem son”, my partner? He has three normal adult kids, with partners and a sprinkling of grandchildren, just how I expected my life to be. He just doesn’t understand and doesn’t know what to do.  They are all lovely to me, but, just but.

In fact they are descending on us this weekend and I welcome them, I love their normality. But in between building sand castles and making sandwiches, my heart will still be breaking, for my son, for what should have been.

Hopefully my next post will be more positive. I don’t like this  person I am at the moment.

We have made peace with each other

IMG_4430Tonight I think I have had the most honest and open discussion with Faith that I have ever had. I believed every sad word that he said and we cried over the phone together.

I have seen things changing slowly over the last months and tonight I think we were both brutally honest with each other.

He knows he is on a very thin line, if he doesn’t stop drinking soon he will die. He wants to, and does have the chance of an in hospital detox, but he needs to ask for it very clearly himself. I believe he will.

But he still has the problem of his live in alcoholic girlfriend who is still in denial. He has to make the decision himself of how he is going to deal with it. He loves her, of that I have no doubt, be it the love of a fellow human who suffers as they both do, I don’t know, I can’t answer that.

My advice to him was to go and talk about it to as many people as he can, I pray they all give him the same advice that I give him. Trying to instill in him the things I have learnt at alanon, he is not helping her by letting her live with him and carry on drinking, she too will lose herself to this dreadful disease.

Tonight I pray, they both find the strength to do what they must do.

Please don’t let me lose my son.

Catch up

Where do I start, so much has happened since my last real post.

The biggest being the loss of both my parents within 5 1/2 weeks.

They were both elderly but reasonably healthy. My dad cared for my mum, more than we ever knew, especially in her last few weeks, I felt such a debt of gratitude and pride when I realised just how much he was doing.

I went away at the end of October for a holiday, I work full time, I needed the break. I worried my brothers wouldn’t check in on my parents, I don’t think they did.

The week before I went I organised a joint celebration for my mums 85th and my dads 90th birthdays. I am so glad I did, My mum didn’t want a fuss, she found reasons not to, they wanted to pay as they didn’t want to invite people and then ask them to pay, but they couldn’t afford much, their savings were needed to pay for their funerals, little did I know. But it was organised, my younger brother didn’t attend, he was just being awkward, my daughter was in Australia so couldn’t be there, my younger son didn’t wake up in time, I make no excuses other than he works nights and his built in clock told him it was sleep time. And Faith? No, he wasn’t in a fit state to come.

So to celebrate their 85th and 90th years , two out of three children and one Step granddaughter out of 7 grandchildren were there, and two great grandchildren. I felt so upset for them, but the wider family rallied and they did enjoy their day even talking to my daughter in Australia by video call.

That was October. When I arrived back from a weekend away in November I called them on the Monday after work to see how they were. I was greeted by my dad saying, oh yes, we are fine, but your mums legs aren’t working I’m a bit worried. After asking to speak to her and getting a totally unrecognisable conversation I told him to call 999 I would be straight over.

Whithout going into too much detail she was admitted to hospital. Her core temperature was very low and heartbeat very slow. After 6 days of positivity from the staff phnemonia diagnosed but was being treated, a week after she had been admitted we were called to be told they thought it best all support be taken away from her. She was made comfortable the family called and within an hour she was gone. We were all so unprepared. My dad , his partner of 63 years gone, was broken.

We got through the funeral (Faith actually got sober and stayed sober for a month, more on this later) and then Christmas, dad seemed to rally, doing excercises and looking after himself, he had the energy to make sure he was clean again.

New year And we were invited away, my best friend felt I needed the break.

When I returned I called my dad , he was Ok, I had arranged with work that I would do 4 days a week, at least for a while so I could help dad adjust and be free to take him for any appointments he needed.

I never got to do that, on Sunday I had arranged to take him food shopping, I was concerned when he didn’t answer his phone, by the time I arrived and saw the blinds still shut I knew, I just knew.

I found him on the floor in the kitchen, freezer door open,  oven on, fish a chips ready to go in the oven that was on.

He really had died of a broken heart, I was devestated but happy he was reunited, only having spent a short time apart from his beloved wife.

Life was taken over again by funeral arrangement, Having to wait weeks for a post Mortem didn’t help.  I carried on working, not wanting to be alone and think. I was too familiar with the funeral company, I worried I would have a third funeral to arrange “Faiths” it is a real possibility.

Faith has actually dealt with it better than I thought he would, fear of death has always been a worry for him. The fact he made a month sober, yes even over xmas, on his own without support, his determination to be sober for his nans funeral seemed to mark a change in him. I really believe he might have got to that point, the one you read about, where something switches in their head, I pray it has. But life is not that straight forward, he lives with another alcoholic, one who is in denial and expects to hold down a job whilst swigging vodka from her plastic squash bottle in her handbag.

So that’s it in a few paragraphs, my parents lives gone. I have so many more words in my head waiting to get out and onto this blog. I want to try and explain how it feels to be the mother of an alcoholic.

Hopefully I will have a bit more free time now to do that.

See you soon x

 

FAMILY…the word, brings so many emotions

IMG_3323I’ve just looked back on my last post and realised I obviously didn’t proof read it! But it was sent from the heart, I just typed, it was what I was thinking. I sometimes forget that others read my words, which really are just my thoughts.

So last time I was here I was feeling pretty low. I am again tonight, probably why I am drawn to my blog, to write, it somehow eases the hurt.

I have been lucky enough to have another short break, with a very very dear friend. She manages to ground me, her laughter heals me, her problems bring mine into line. Brain haemorrhage, breast cancer, a husband who contracted food poisoning and was left paralysed. Yes really, and on this holiday, her beloved grandson was diagnosed as autistic. There is actually more, but that’s on a very personal level I feel I can’t mention on here. So you see, how can I complain? Her laughter, her positive outlook on life rubs off on everyone around her. Unfortunately she lives a long distance from me so I only get to feel it occasionally.

So back to my son, Faith.

Nothing has changed. He had a fall due to being intoxicated which lead to  wound to his head and hospital for one night.

I am trying to arrange a family gathering for my fathers 90th birthday. Shouldn’t this just be such a wonderful celebration? Not in this family.

I have had bit of a meltdown, yes me, who hardly ever sheds a tear, sorts everyone else’s problems, but found suddenly, enough was enough. I have held back my feelings from family members to protect my elderly parents from further upset, they have had enough believe me, for far too long.

Money has always been an issue within the family, my parents on a basic pension, my younger brother has hardly worked in the last 10 years, my older brother has worked but found himself made redundant many times and living on a boat supporting his partially sighted partner. Divorce after 25 years married has had its impact on me financially, starting again with a mortgage which will be paid off shortly before I retire. But out of all of us I am the most financially secure, even though I work hard, full time to achieve that.

So I find myself helping out, my son who is in absolute dire straights financially. His benefits were stopped due to sick notes going missing, it has taken 3 months to finally get some benefits for him, in the meantime I have paid his rent and taken food parcels to him. Because he was getting no benefits he could not even register for the food bank. His girlfriend has of course supplied him with money for alcohol.

But finally his benefits be they meagre, have arrived in his account. And he has gone on a drinking spree. I have spoken to him in his drunken stupor, no, I have cried to him in his drunken stupor “your wonderful grandad who adores you, his eldest grandchild, is celebrating 90 years on this earth, and I cannot invite you to his celebrations” how that hurt to say. Especially when their step grandaughter who was not invited due to their limited finances (she of course said she would pay her family’s way) but as she wasn’t invited now refuses to come even though I have told her how welcome she would be.

At the same time my younger brother is going through a court case to try and have some custody of his son, of which I am totally in the middle, with his x wife. I have spoken truthfully with the social worker assigned to the case about my feelings towards my brother and his dominating controlling behaviour, his x wife’s lack of parenting skills, that poor child in the middle.

There was more upset with my parents over the celebration meal, my mum who is now partially deaf but refuses to acknowledge it , said she had not had enough say, the meal is too expensive (I opted for a roast, in a hotel that was easily accessible for people that were travelling) it’s just an average price, they are out of touch with prices, and I have asked for their opinion always.

I feel beaten tonight, well this week really. Tonight is my one night I have time to myself and go to a fun exercise class. I couldn’t face it.

And the very worst thing is? I have bought a bottle of wine, to ease the pain.

Will my next blog be (10 days sober)

At the moment I’m feeling that is a real possibility.

 

 

More Chaos

I think this is probably the longest period of time for a long time that I’ve actually not seen Faith.  I think I’m afraid to see him,  from what he’s telling me he must be thinner than ever.

So this weekend I made up a food parcel, called him to tell him I would be over to deliver it.  He was going down to the beach,  his words were slurred.  But his girlfriend Hope would be in I could give it to her.

It seemed odd to me he was going to the beach alone,  but there again their relationship is built around alcohol so it’s not a real relationship.

I took the food over later in the day,  as I was driving Faith called,  “Oh you will never guess what’s happened to me now?” Another bit of alcoholic chaos by any chance?

Yes, I right.

“I left my bag for a moment while I used the toilet and someone stole it”

So who leaves a bag on a beach unattended?  Someone who’s mind is fuzzy with alcohol, that’s who.

I can’t actually believe he’s dared to show his body down the beach. People must stare at him,  believe me he looks like one of those poor souls you see on the TV in Africa that are starving. But he seems oblivious.  I’m surprised he had the strength to walk there.  The day before he had called me as he was trying to make his way to catch a bus to go to hospital for blood tests.  “My legs keep giving way,  I have to keep sitting down or I will fall down”

So I drop the food off.  Hope actually looks well,  I think she made an effort as she knew I was going round. She is grateful for the food and apologises profusely for spoiling my birthday and starts crying.  I don’t tell her it’s OK, I tell her she will continue to hurt people while she continues to drink. Hopefully my next birthday will be better.

Later that I get a call from Faith thanking me for the food.

Then later in the evening another call “You will never guess what’s happened to me now?  I fell down the stairs,  right from the top,  my legs gave way, but I hadn’t been drinking had I Hope?” This is confirmed in the background by Hope.

No absolutely nothing to do with alcohol,  would you believe that?

“The whole of one side of me is bruised and I think I will have a black eye, I’m lucky I didn’t break my neck”

With the state of his body he’s lucky nothing is broken,  they were the stairs in the flats that he lives in, nothing cushioned with carpet.  He bruises easily so God knows what he will look like now. He wants sympathy,  he gets none.  I tell him it is down to alcohol. That’s why his legs are so weak.  He argues it’s not. It’s where he spent a week in hospital not using his legs. I ask him why he was in hospital,  silence for a minute, then “because of alcohol”

I’m woken in the early hours by another call,  Hope has called the paramedics,  she is concerned he has concussion,  she is also drunk and angry with him.

I wake this morning not knowing if he’s in hospital or not.  I hope he is. But I doubt it.