Fran Hankins Posted July 3, 2020 Report Share Posted July 3, 2020 My Mum is my best friend and she is fighting a losing battle to alcoholism. She has done since she was in her teens. I became very aware of her alcoholism from an extremely young age and have cared for her for over 2 decades. I am 31 and still run to her rescue every time she gets really bad. She's been in and out of hospital with severe pancreatitis since I was about 15. Having witnessed her as a bag of bones convulsing in pain but at the same time, unable to move, have created images in my mind that I will never forget. I often get flashes of these vivid memories and they take my breath away and make my chest tight. I have suffered with anxiety and depression regularly since I was a teenager and now I'm in my thirties, it has only grown worse. The pure dread I feel when thinking about my Mum and how her days are numbered, leave me crippled with panic. I recently went off work with stress for the first time in my life. Because I put so much pressure on myself to do well in every aspect of my life, I have always ploughed through the stress and continued to work and study. I realised last Tuesday that enough was enough and needed some time to catch my breath. I'm battling with feelings of failure for finally resorting to going off on sick but more intense are my feelings of dread and hopelessness when I think about how little I can help my Mum. She is the most wonderful woman when she is sober but she has split personalities because of the alcohol. She is a completely different woman when she has alcohol in her system; she's not my Mum anymore. Recently she has deteriorated even more and all I can see now is the day I find her slumped at the bottom of the stairs, dead in her bed or having to answer the door to police officers who then deliver the news she was found dead and alone by someone else. We still have good times every now and again when she's having a strong day and resists the poison. We even sunbathed on Scarborough beach last week and ate fish and chips and ice cream. But throughout the day I'd get the stabbing pain in my chest that leaves me breathless whenever the stark reality set in of how grave her situation is. So it seems now, I cannot even enjoy those potentially final moments with her anymore. I suspect I've always suffered with anticipatory grief as when I was a teenager I used to dream about her falling off sky scrapers, peering over the edge and having to see her all mangled on the concrete pavement below. I apologise for the strong language I use when talking about this but I came here to be 100% true and candid and I am hoping that by facing these demons in the crudest way possible, I can face these feelings of despair head on. After giving it so much thought recently, I realised why I am always going through cycles of rage, apathy and exhaustion and I think I am going through repeated bouts of anticipatory grief. I have researched it before but didn't realise anyone could feel anticipatory grief as intensely as 'normal' grief. Now I know that's wrong, I am desperate to connect with others who have experienced or are still experiencing similar circumstances. I have tried Al-Anon before but after a while found the sessions didn't help me anymore. I think I need something different. I'm also speaking with a person centred therapist once a week but again, need something more. If anyone is out there and can relate, it'd be so helpful to hear from you. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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