Sister moving in

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Sister moving in

Unread postby marymo » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:56 am

Hi,
My name is Marymo & I'm new to online meetings. I've gone to alanon meetings on & off. Now I'm really in need of help.
My sister has been an alcoholic for years, but she recently was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning. She spent 9 days in the hospital getting her electrolytes back in balance & then was sent to a rehab facility for physical & occupational rehab. Nothing was done to address her alcohol & smoking addictions. She also has been in a deep depression.
Now she's being discharged & is coming to stay with another sister & me. I know that I cannot make her stay sober or face & deal with her problems. But, of course, I'm an enabler from way back. The sister I live with is also a smoker. She has said that when Kathy comes home she will stop smoking. We had talked about removing alcohol from the house, but decided that Kathy has to make her own choices about both smoking & drinking.
I want to just run away for a bit, but I'm the one that's going to have to take her for doctor app'ts.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
marymo
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Re: Sister moving in

Unread postby Sibling » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:18 pm

Marymo,
I am interested in your questions because they also pertain to my situation. My sister is an alcoholic also. For many years we've traveled together and have always had a great relationship. Three years ago, I developed serious back problems that have me disabled as a chronic pain patient. Since I'm on pain medication, I don't mix it with alcohol. It seems that my sister drinks even more now that I don't and I'm really having a hard time with it. She's also developed a mean streak and picks fights or goads me into arguements. I don't like how I feel when she drinks and know that I'm angry with her. I love my sister and want to enjoy our time together. I did approach her about her alcoholism and have promised to support her with whatever decision she makes. That was in January, and we've been tippy toeing around each other since then. We're due to travel at the end of the month and I want to enjoy myself and want her to as well. How can I stop being so judgemental?

As for your sister, I think that you should make the smokers go outside to smoke so that you don't have to deal with the odor or fear that someone's going to be careless with a lit cigarette. Has your alcoholic sister indicated that she wishes to stop drinking? It took me almost a lifetime to approach my sister about her alcoholism and I wish I'd done it much sooner as we'd be more flexible. My sister is 60 and I am 53. I'm worried about her health because she hasn't seen a Dr in years. So far, she has admitted to having a problem. We need to have more dialogue, but I don't want to hurt her feelings anymore then I have. So, it's really easy for me to say "ask your sister what SHE wants to do", but I can't do it myself.

I looked up Al-Anon meetings in my area and saw this website at the same time. I will be hard for me to get to the meetings, but not impossible, if needed. I was hoping that those with more experience could guide me on-line. I have a thick skin, so don't sugar coat it, just tell me what I need to do. Please?
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Re: Sister moving in

Unread postby marymo » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:08 pm

Hi Sibling,
I did find an alanon meeting close by & I'm going to go tomorrow evening. Between that & online, I hope to have the support I need.
Your sister's drinking probably bothers you more because you're sober. I did confront my sister with the "A" word & having pulled any punches about either her drinking or her smoking. My other sister says that she's not going to smoke around Kathy; originally she was stopping altogether.
As for traveling, the 3 of us have taken trips together often. As Kathy's drinking has gotten worse, we told her that it was her choice to drink or not. But we also told her that we were going to enjoy our trips & do things with or without her.
I have a lot of anger just simmering under the surface & really need to get away for a couple days of reflection.
marymo
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Re: Sister moving in

Unread postby Sibling » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:06 am

Marymo,
I understand the need to get away for a period to think. I used to need that when my kids were little and life became overwhelming. We didn't have money for vacations then, and I'm an unhappy camper (seriously!) because I don't find any pleasure in playing house outside when I can barely get it right inside. I used to hop on the casino bus for AC with a $6.99 Romance Novel. I read all the way to the casino, got my roll of quarters, changed into a swimsuit and walked out to the beach and boardwalk for the day. I sometimes didn't say a word all day, just smiled if someone spoke to me. I needed those few hours to collect myself, get some sun, fresh air, walk the boards and DEFINITELY see people that had way more problems then I could ever imagine. I usually brought the quarters back because I'm not much of a gambler. With lunch and a couple of soda's I think the day cost around $15.

I am alone a lot, but never lonely. I am really ANGRY with my sister, however it doesn't really manifest itself unless I'm face-to-face, on the phone, or IMing her on the computer. She can slur on the computer! Probably not true, but my imagination (combined with the anger) is making up all kinds of scenario's. I like, as well as love, my sister. She's a pretty smart woman and is generous with her time and resources. I am noticing a mean streak in her that she didn't have before and it's always fueled by several big drinks.

My anger is what I'm trying to get a grip on. I believe that I'll just let it out, hopefully in private, So what it she doesn't remember it the next day? I've always assumed that it was useless to discuss ANYTHING with someone who's drunk. Is that wrong?
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Re: Sister moving in

Unread postby marymo » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:31 pm

I never thought about taking a bus trip to AC.....that's a great idea! Yesterday I took a "personal day". I went up & saw a friend & bascially just enjoyed drving in my car with my music. It gave me a great sense of freedom.
Maybe it's worth your sanity to tell your sister how you feel, just to get it out of your system. You know that in Alanon we can't really give you advice. I do know that once I started calling my sister an alcoholic to her face, it helped me. When you just keep the anger inside, you're the one who suffers (headaches, stomach problems,etc).
marymo
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