Alcohol Abuse

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    Community Voices

    Sandy Glover

    6 Tips for Letting Go of Guilt From Mental Illness and Addiction

    I harbor guilt because I couldn’t save my mother from her mental illness when I was a child or what I put my 32-year-old daughter through from infancy. My former alcohol abuse swirls in my mind. And the thought of what my three children endured due to my mental illness and behavior still haunts me from time to time. And even though they’ve forgiven me, it’s still hard for me to let go. Therefore, if I could tape one word across my forehead, it would be “guilt.” If you’ve ever experienced such guilt, you know how gut-wrenching it can be, and it gnaws at you. We feel this need to recriminate ourselves long after the incident(s) occurred, and yet why is that? It’s OK to experience some guilt because it shows that we have morals, but it’s self-punishment when we can’t let go of it. All it does is leave us stuck in a web of pain and self-loathing. So, here are some tips I’d like to offer to help release yourself of those chains. 1. Talk about it. Many of us struggle with letting go of guilt due to faulty perceptions and distorted thinking about ourselves. Therefore, if you are having a hard time, try talking with a therapist, or if you feel comfortable enough, a mentor or trusted friend who will listen without judgment. Having someone who can be objective and look at it from an outside point of view can help you feel better about yourself. If you choose to work with a therapist, they can help you with your thinking patterns. 2. Write it down. Have you ever tried to figure out where your guilt originated? Did it begin in your childhood? Did someone, in particular, make you feel guilty about everything? It is essential to get to the root cause of these feelings. And again, that might be something you can address with a therapist or trusted other. If you feel uncomfortable disclosing your feelings to anyone, journaling can be a good way of finding out its origins. And if you’re not much of a writer, maybe you can draw a timeline. Putting things down on paper can be cathartic, and reading about ourselves or events experienced might help us see something we hadn’t before. 3. Remember we are not perfect. Many of us who struggle with guilt tend to have low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness, and it’s like we feel this need to punish ourselves. However, nobody is perfect, and we are not the only ones who have made mistakes, and therefore, it’s what we do with that fact that is most important. So, try to remind yourself of that and live and learn. 4. Forgive yourself. Some individuals will forgive us, and others may not, and as much as we may yearn for that, there may be circumstances where we don’t receive forgiveness. So, what do you do with that? It is essential to learn that we can’t control how others think or feel about us, but we can control how we react. Yes, forgiving oneself is often easier said than done. Still, if you have made the necessary steps to make amends for things that might have happened to you or someone else endured, there is no need to condemn yourself for the duration of your existence. 5. Watch your words. Whether positive or negative, what we say to ourselves becomes concrete, whether aloud or in our heads. Telling ourselves that we are no good, failures, or ruin everything due to holding on to guilt is not doing ourselves any good and is like a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom. Would you talk to someone that way? If not, what makes you think it’s OK to talk to yourself like that? Imagine a friend tells you that they are no good. Wouldn’t you want to console them and affirm that is not the case? Yet, why would you not give yourself the same grace? Therefore, try saying or writing down a daily list of your positive attributes. Even if you don’t believe it at first, you can rewire your brain through time by changing negative self-affirmations to positive ones. 6. We can change the present. I’m sure many of us would change the past if we could. And though I’ve made many mistakes in mine, they have also been my greatest life lessons. I still carry some guilt, but I was tired of it haunting me and taking reign of my life. So, I gave up drinking and have been sober for five years, and took accountability for my behavior with my children. I also volunteer at inpatient facilities and write articles like these to help others know they are not alone. Doing for others feels good and has helped diminish a bit of the residual guilt. Your past doesn’t have to ruin your life either. Instead, let it be a life lesson. So, live in the moment, treat yourself well, and throw that guilt away.

    Community Voices

    Alcoholic mother

    As my family and I struggle with this never ending cycle of my moms alcohol addiction, I dwell in the thought that I selfishly hoped something bad would happen to her. Something not terrible, but bad enough to help her wake up and realize she can’t do this anymore.

    Idk what that will take, as her previous scary episodes didn’t do much in the long run.

    Is it fucked up that I wish bad upon my own mother? I love her but I have so many ugly feelings towards her that I don’t know how to deal with anymore.
    #Addiction #Family #AlcoholAbuse

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    What’s worse than your mom refusing to detox? Pretending to detox :)

    Once again, I’m here to vent about my alcoholic mom. I’m not sure when these posts will end, but my hope seems to be running on low.

    I’m not sure what is left to be done at this point, if filming her intoxicated and showing her the next day how she was passed out in front of mine and my sisters room on a Monday night wasn’t enough. If her falling down the stairs and not remembering the next day wasn’t enough. If her being found unconscious beside her car at work, being brought to ER, being TOLD HER LIVER IS GOING TO START FAILING is not enough. What will be?

    She spent the following days sick in bed making it seem to her family that she was detoxing. Asking us to get her food, water etc. Yet, she was just drinking a lot less (kudos to her) with only wine. She wasn’t taking her meds, even when I asked if she was she would say yes. Everything came to the surface once again and it is clear she is not sober and never was.

    I have offered her my support, I have found countless programs and resources and brought them straight to her. I have given her a safe space to always be honest and talk to me. I know I am not the one who can truely fix this, but this can’t go on much longer???? How do I get her to finally accept help before it’s too late.

    #Addiction #AlcoholAbuse #Family

    6 people are talking about this
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    Community Voices

    I poured out the last bottle — for good this time

    So that is the end of it (again). I’m tired of hiding, lying, spending money I really don’t have, feeling sick….none of these make drinking worth doing. I’m going to call my counselor tomorrow, we have an appointment on Wednesday but I’m hoping we can talk sooner.

    Community Voices

    Empty bottles

    As I find more empty bottles stashed away in my moms room, as I have been finding for the past couple of years. Is there any point in showing them to her? It seems like it creates a bigger mess when I do, but after seeing her almost fall down the stairs last night again I can’t let it go anymore. Do I just leave them out for her to see? Do I throw them out? Do I leave them? Does it even make a difference????? #Addiction #AlcoholAbuse #Family

    3 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    How do I deal with an alcoholic who is abusive... but still maintain contact with their significant other


    I currently have a friend ( I will call him Joe)I met because he is friend with my husband. Recently I met his fiancée (I will call her Jane). Both of there own admission, not my judgments are alcoholics. Joe takes total responsibility for his behaviors when he is drinking... makes 0 excuses for himself... has never been aggressive or violent in my presence or when living with my husband and I for around a year. Jane blames all her behaviors on her drinking takes little to no responsibility. I have heard her be physical and verbally abusive to Joe.

    Fast forward 2 months ... Joe is in ICU, on a ventilator and is medically sedated. His kidneys have shutdown and his liver is failing.

    One more than one occasion Jane has called or texted so emotionally distraught that my husband and I have to talk to her for long periods of times to calm her down, and even once we had to call ambulance because she attempted suicide... Fortunately she was reached in time.

    After these episodes anytime I try to explain how hurt she mad me feel because of the mean abusive things she said to me.... she first says well I was drunk... I don't remember.. she will give me an I'm sorry, which in my opinion she does just to divert attention from her.

    Next she will reach out to my husband saying how mean I am to her... how selfish...etc.

    Please keep in mind the time period I am discussing is within the last 3 weeks... 10 days of it being when Joe is in hospital. Thankfully in the last few days he is off ventilator, out of complete sedation and his liver has began to work some. He will remain on dialysis because his kidneys no longer function.

    Jane's behavior is triggering for me because her actions are exactly how my mom, maternal grandmother and paternal aunt behaved when and after drinking. I want to be their for my husband and Joe but cannot deal with any of Jane's drama.

    I know I am being selfish but I can't deal with the flashbacks, anxiety and anger it's triggering in me.

    I don't know how to handle this! #AlcoholAbuse #AlcoholDependence #EmotionalAbuse #PTSD #Anxiety

    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Stairway to Heaven -a memoir of hope

    <p>Stairway to Heaven -a memoir of hope</p>