Let us delve into the deep realms of possibility that our loved ones will never get sober…
What would this mean for you to accept that concept?
What would it mean to acknowledge that they may never get better?
That this may kill them?
That their actions could lead to killing someone else?
That this is your life?
Does it mean that you may have to leave them? Does it mean that you have to give up the life in your head that you imagined for yourself? Does it mean you have to give up the life in your head that you imagined for them?
I am not married to an alcoholic, I am the daughter of one. My situation is slightly different from others. I can’t get rid of my mother. I can’t “leave” her. I am a grown woman. I live with my husband away from my family already. I can’t exactly break up with her.
I can set boundaries, absolutely. And I do. I have finally given up enabling the situation but I can’t cut all ties with her and run.
I can accept that she isn’t going to get better. It isn’t out of anger or hurt just being realistic. Accepting that this year was the hardest thing for me to do because it meant a lot of things I had planned were going to change.
My future children will not be babysat by their grandma.
We won’t be taking family vacations together.
My in-laws and my family will never be truly close.
I may be disliked by other family members because of the boundaries I have had to set.
My mom may die because of her drinking.
These are pretty distressing thoughts. These are also self-healing thoughts. Accepting that these things are possible, and most likely probable, has helped me let go of a lot of unrealistic expectations.
My sister, who is swimming in denial, can’t accept these things. For her, it would be too painful. She can’t imagine my mom not in her children’s life. She can’t acknowledge that we won’t be having a normal family one day. She is clinging to that hope/denial. I am not sure what you would call it. Maybe me calling it denial is my pessimism while others would call it hope is their optimism.
For me, letting go of hope…it was incredibly freeing. I cannot control my mom, only my response to her behavior. My sister chose her response to be one of hopeful wishing and I have chosen indifferent acceptance. Neither of us are “wrong” but some days one of us is stronger than the other.
Where are you in your journey? Do you think they’ll get sober one day? Do you think the damage in your relationship can be repaired? I love hearing from people and would like to hear your thoughts on this.
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