This is the cycle of addiction in action:
Me: Where does your daughter live?
Mom: With me and my husband. She’s 50 years old, her husband asked her to move out because she won’t stop drinking and he’s just had it. But all she does is stay in her room all day on her phone. I’m afraid she’ll never get a job, get out of the house, etc.
Me: OK. Does she admit she’s an alcoholic?
Mom: Oh, yes. But we told her there is absolutely no drinking in the house. If we catch her drinking at home, we are taking her to a homeless shelter.
In this scenario, all that’s happening is someone is learning how to not get caught, how to be more sneaky, how to hide better, how to not let her parents see the bottles.
When you really understand addiction, you know that alcoholics will drink even when they say they are not.
Even when you ask them not to.
Even when you can’t see it.
This boundary or request does not make someone well.
When you understand that addiction is a family disease and admit that you are in over your head and that you don’t know how to handle this, you can learn how to speak about your boundaries in a clear, firm way and how to actually ensure someone is not drinking and getting the help they need.
If you are one of the millions of people who live in a similar scenario, we can help.