: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

5 replies

Crack Addicted Mum

Please can someone offer me some advice?

I cut my mum out of my life about 6 months ago... she has always been a bad alcoholic (I have tried all my life to help her to no avail and finally realised there was nothing I could do to help). Her drinking was destroying my own life and my mental health and relationship with my partner so I cut her off.

She came into some money recently (not good news at all when the person is an addict) and she has gone from bad to worse. I heard today she is now addicted to crack cocaine and it has completely destroyed me. I can't stop thinking about her sat there getting high, smoking crack... she's my mum and I am so angry at her and it hurts so much... what can I do to try and get over this/stop thinking about this? She's 60 years old for god's sake....

Please can someone offer some advice because I am driving myself insane and it is affecting my life again...

Thank you

replying to Salboo

Salboo, so so sorry to read your situation. My boyfriend is a life long crack addict, I know first hand what it does to the user and to anyone in their life. You’re clearly very worried about her, so you must have found it really hard to cut her out six months ago. It could be a blessing in disguise that you’re back in touch, all be it for bed circumstances.

Do you know what started your mums addiction and who, if anyone she’s involved with got her into it?

Having addiction in the family is such a heartbreaking thing. No matter how much much you want for someone you love to see how dangerous and harmful what they’re doing is, you’re also helpless as trying to reason with them can only lead to arguments and frustration, and even make the problem worse.

My only advice to you, and it’s not professional, just from my first hand experience, is to try not to fight the addiction for her. Perhaps instead try to establish why she’s got into this position in the first place.

Is your partner supportive of you in helping her?

Thinking of you, sending care xxx

replying to Salboo

I had an ex addicted to crack. I usecto think hecwas making it up but his selfishness and crazy life got worse. It sounds hopwfully tat yiur mum is early in the crack stage. My unprofessional advise is get in touch at arms length. She is lost and clearly having a bad time in life and thatvif she wants to have a better life yiud be in it with her, but she must getcaway from anyone who has a drink or drugs habbit. It will be tough but she will get through it.

This is a really tough one and sorry your going through this. Do not ket it affect your self esteem or life. Its okay to feel uoset about this but keep your head high and sleep well knowing yiure offering an olive branch. Key is to rember its not you and she is lost. If she wants to continue in tge darkness tgis may take longer during which step back with firm belief that if sge wants a nicer life your there.

Much love xx

1 reply

replying to Salboo

Thank you both for your replies, I did find comfort that you understand. It's such a horrible situation because there is no win... I leave her to it and I'm in despair and when I try to be there for her she throws it in my face and hurts me to the core.

It's all a huge mess. Like I said she has always been a non-functioning alcoholic (due to many traumatic life events) and has dabbled with all sorts of drugs, anything she can get her hands on. She has been in and out of rehab and has catagorically told me she does not want to get better... she has told me so many times, don't bother because this is how I want to be. She enjoys the lifestyle... it was when she came into the money that it all went so badly wrong... usually, if she didn't have money for a drink (I certainly would never give her money), she would withdraw for a few days (or however long until she got some money) and then go crazy again... but the periods of her having no money were a slight break where she would be OK again. But with this money there is none of that because she can always have more and more and more.

It sounds insane (and please don't see this as a reflection on me as I find it just as insane as anyone else would) but it's actually my ex partner that has been getting the crack for her (probably in an attempt to punish me after we split) and of course all the old 'mates' have come out of the woodwork now she has some money... didn't care whether she was alive or dead before the money and now she has a house full.

I have heard from various family members who have tried to help her in recent months that she has been nasty to them and told them to **** off and so everyone has given in now... however my aunty got in touch with me earlier today and said she has been trying to ring her for about a week now and can't get hold of her so she is going round tonight... she honestly can't last much longer living this life.... the last time I saw her she was emaciated and literally on another planet, she has a list of ailments and like I said she's 60 now so I feel like every time a family member gets in touch with me it's to tell me the news I really don't want to hear.

replying to Salboo

Salboo, I completely understand. Every time she disregards the love and care of you and everyone who cares about her, it’s easy for the anger and sense of loss to creep in. I feel the same. My boyfriend is stuck in a horrible cycle, he does really well, is really positive, we start to plan for the future again and then, he disappears, he’ll start smoking crack and all of a sudden, he’s just a satellite with no care for me, our future and the only win is money for the crack and the high, no matter the risk, no matter anything. When he’s had enough and the comedown kicks in he wants me again. What he never seems to notice is that every time he stops being engaged and connected with me, to me he’s suddenly lost. Completely gone. It could be for a few days, a week, with the risks of crack use, it could even be forever. And it is loss I feel every time, boarder line grief, all the things we speak about for the future are a world away, maybe for a short time. Maybe for good.

My boyfriend has covid recently. Given his age and poor lifestyle, for so long, naturally I wasn’t sure how it would affect him. As it turns out, he did get very sick, fortunately didn’t require medical intervention, has stayed at home (we are living apart at the moment, he’s alone and I’m here with my elderly mum), and he’s since recovered, but at his worst I realised that those periods in between when we spoke, while he was sleeping and I didn’t know what to expect of the next few hours, I considered if I was more scared or less. With covid being a fatal virus, how worried was I? It turns out, the feeling of concern for his health and life matched the same feeling of worry and expected loss that I have every time he gets on the crack. It gets to this big seemingly irreversible point almost every other week, sometimes more frequently. Sometimes less frequently. I’m so used to feeling like I’ve lost him now that if I actually did, I doubt it would be much of an impact on my life, which is so so sad. Living apart for us has definitely made his addiction worse, if it weren’t for covid preventing him from working, I expect it wouldn’t have got as bad as it has.

I believe the person you are trying to help overcome the addiction, in this case your mum, has to commit to wanting to give up, all be it in a small way. It doesn’t happen overnight, small steps, one at a time, but ultimately they have to want to change, otherwise, it will always just be that perpetual cycle of you trying to help, them using again, you feeling that sense of loss.

I agree with what publican said, if she could start by blocking out people who only make the problem worse, not better, that’s surely a positive thing. Anything like that will help. Until the point she will accept your help, there is not much else I think you can do, other than try in small ways to reach that point, which is (or has been in my case) a really long hard road.

I know some people do recover, but personally, I don’t know anyone who has.

That x of yours sounds like a terrible person, does he really hate you so much that he’s become an enabler to your own mothers drug addiction? The lowest of the low, you are well rid!

It sounds like you have good support of your aunt and your boyfriend, I hope that keeps you strong, I send you care and remind you to take care of yourself xxx

replying to Salboo

Thank u Liberty and I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through similar with your partner. I totally understand the feeling of grief. I am definitely going through the same. I always a say this woman is not my mum, the drugs and alcohol have made her into someone else entirely. There is an amazing woman under there somewhere but I haven’t seen her in such a long time and don’t know when (or if) I’ll see her again and I totally would describe this feeling as grieving.

I spoke to someone online a few weeks ago in a similar situation to me but whose mum actually died of a heroin overdose a few years ago. She said when her mum passed away she felt numb and didn’t even cry. Her therapist said that was because she had grieved whilst her mum was still alive and had been preparing for the death. That is definitely something I can relate to and I’m sure you can too. This explains why I feel such dispair and sadness.

I understand what you say about the inconsistency of care and sense of rejection... one minute they’re sorry and want to be around you the next they reject you and couldn’t care less. I know it’s the addiction that makes them do this but it’s so cruel. It hurts so much. I dint know about you but my mums addictions have caused me so many mental health problems myself. I have so many issues that I relate to those experiences. When I look at the list of typical attributes of an adult child of an addict I tick every box.

I know of a few people that have managed to get and stay clean, but like you say it has to come from the person and our hands are tied... it’s a horrible position to be in.

I hope your boyfriend manages to break the cycle and that you can find peace xxx

replying to Salboo

Dear Salboo,

Your circumstances resonate. I’m deeply sorry to hear of your anguish.

I lost my mother in her early 50’s as a result of alcolhism. She hid it very well and by the time we knew it was at the point of no return it was too late. You blame Yourself for not seeing it sooner not knowing how to deal with or actually believing the consequences will turn to reality.

Addiction is an illness the most powerful thing you can do is continue to love your mother who brought you into this world and if you can let her know how much you do care but how much her abusing is destroying you. Stay as strong as you can maybe write her a letter explaining your emotions and grief. If you have done all you can your conscience should be clear.

I tried everything I could with my mum and I hope you don’t suffer mate. Best of luck to you and your family.

Is there any way to get her to rehab?

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