My mom was in desperate need of inpatient alcohol treatment. Her drinking was out of control, and there was nothing that we could do to convince her to stop. She even underwent surgery to remove part of her large intestine in order to curtail some of the damage that she has already done to her body because of the large quantities that she ingests, daily. But as soon as she was discharged from the hospital, she was drinking again – not even 24 hours later. The doctors warned her against drinking heavily again. They told her, point blank, if she were to continue drinking, she would kill herself. We knew that they only way that she could safely stop drinking would be under supervision at an inpatient alcohol treatment center. The trick was getting her to realize that she needed to quit her lifestyle. But, that is always the obstacle family members face: getting their addict to agree to inpatient alcohol treatment and surrender to their disease.
But if she would not listen to her family, and she would not listen to her doctors, who would she listen to? We were at a loss. It did not matter how much we begged her. It did not matter how much we researched inpatient alcohol treatment and showed her different brochures with beautiful landscapes; she was a stubborn alcoholic, stuck in her ways.
We all became frustrated with her and started exercising our only remaining option. We started building fences. We agreed to put boundaries on my mother. She did not take kindly to the boundaries; she was not a fan of the word “no.” Two of my brothers completely cut her out of their lives. They were embarrassed by her behavior and refused to be a part of the family until she agreed to go to inpatient alcohol treatment. It broke my heart to watch her suffer from that emotional pain. But I bit my tongue and allowed the situation to unfurl. I thought that would be enough to convince her to stop. Only, she began to drink even more. I didn’t know that was possible. Her moods became increasingly unstable. She was constantly switching between ecstatic and depressed, content and melancholy, furious and joyful.
I am a young mother who works full time, with a husband who works full time. Daycare was not something we had the budget for and we were relying on my mother to watch our son during the day. But as I watched her disease progress, I became increasingly uncomfortable leaving Noah in the care of my mother. I knew that it was not uncommon for her to drink during the day, and if she was also watching Noah during the day, she could not commit her full attention to him. I struggled with the decision to take Noah from her life as well. I didn’t know if she could suffer another loss like that. But, we did it. We promised her that he would never have to know his grandmother as a drunk. And, we promised her that she would only be able to see him again if she was sober and had completed an inpatient alcohol treatment program.
Well, that day, my mother agreed to treatment. It was a miracle. When she finally realized that she stood the chance of losing her entire family, she realized that inpatient alcohol treatment was in her best interest. Today, my mother is 90 days clean, and she looks happier and healthier than ever, and has stable moods to boot!
West Columbia, SC