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My middle age sister is an alcoholic

Posted by DaveM on 20 February 2014.

My sister is an alchoholic, having had a problem with drink for many years.  As well as me, her eldest sibling, she has another brother and sister.  She also has 4 lovely children of her own and many grand children.  We all love her.  She has a very caring nature and needs to be needed. She's a qualified nurse and has been in the caring profession for many years. 
Unfortunately she is a drinker and has done her best to hide this from us all for many years.  However thiings came to a head a year ago and she ended up spending a month at a private clinic.  5 days after coming out she started drinking again.
Currently she is very up and down - one day happy and the next day saying she feels 'crap'.  On these days she'll speak very slowly,  as if in a dream world,  and often contradict herself.
We think she lies often,  and never really opens up.
She should be going to alcoholics anonymous 3 times per week - but doesn't go at all.
We would like to make things better for her,  but don't know how.
She's going on a 2 week cruise with our Mum soon .... but when she gets back what will have changed ?
Do we just stand on the side lines --- NO ---- but what can we do?  She  shows signs of having a nervous breakdown and being depressed - but won't go to the doctor or contemplate taking prescribed medication.
She sleeps a lot
I understand there is no magic cure - but we all want her to be happy.  Has anyone the same experience?  
Do we confront her - or will this makes things worse?
Does she need to hit rock bottom before taking some initiative herself?
How do we approach her in a constructive way without her getting all defensive?

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