Alcoholism is a common disease, and I think it is much more prevalent than people realize. Obviously, the person suffering from alcoholism needs help and support. However, their family is also impacted, and they need help, too. My mother was an alcoholic, and it made life very difficult for me. I am sure that my childhood would have been very different without the constant presence of alcohol.
I had a lot of responsibility placed on my shoulders at a very young age. It was in middle school that things got really bad; my mother started drinking more frequently, and she was often with friends rather than running our household. As a result, I had to try and keep things together for my family members. The situation stayed the same until I was finally old enough to move out.
The emotional impact of my mother’s drinking has been incredible. My brother avoids our family home like the plague. He joined the military and has not been back in years. I think he just does not want to see our mother in her current state. My sisters visit, but they constantly talk about her condition and what needs to be done for her. My mother is still relatively young, only 50 years old, and we should not have to care for her like we do. Like my brother, I often stay away to ward off the feelings of sadness over her condition.
My mother’s health is suffering. She lost a tremendous amount of weight because of pancreatitis. She eats often, but she cannot digest her food well. She was prescribed medicine, but I don’t think it interacts well with all the alcohol. Therefore, she is basically wasting away.
My mother is now asking for help, which is a step in the right direction. However, after so many years of alcohol abuse, I just do not know what can be done for her. My hope, obviously, is that she quits drinking completely. However, even if that happens, I do not think our family can be repaired. There is just too much history there.
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