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Dear Mum,

“I think I will come to Aunt Jan’s birthday party”

“Fantastic. She will be so happy to see you. Will you take your car?”

“No. I thought I could have a few drinks to celebrate her birthday.”

“But you are 4 weeks sober. You have been doing so well”

“I can have a few. Remember who the Mother is here. You can’t control me”

“Mum, please do not come tonight if this is going to be your attitude. Aunt Jan doesn’t need this just now. Don’t come if you are drinking”

You ruined so much that night. The entire party I was on edge, waiting for you to tumble through the door like you have done so many times before. The life and soul but shooting your family sly digs where you can to remind us just how shit you think we are.

Thankfully, unlikely so many times before, you didn’t show. Relief.

But we all knew what was going on. You were either going to show up, cause a scene and ruin everyone’s night as we Nanny you, or sit at home, drink and undo all the good work that you have put into being sober.

I understand that in our family there are so many examples of family members who have been able to drink in moderation before there habits stirred up. However, we know that won’t work for you.

The professionals have said it. Mum, please listen. Please do not drink.

Your son

Expert Response

Sheri Milan, Early Intervention Worker at ADA.

Thank you for sharing your experience I can’t imagine how difficult this situation has been for you.

It sounds like your mum has made some good progress but that it is early days. When people enter support in relation to their alcohol, use often we look at motivation and change in relation to recovery.

Scottish families affected by alcohol and drug use have an interesting and informative advice leaflet about change and support that can be provided at each stage of the recovery journey; please click the link on the right hand side if you would like to read more.

I wonder if you have thought about support for yourself to enable you to express your own frustrations in relation to the situation. Alcohol and Drugs Action can provide 1; 1 support through a duty drop in and we also have a family support group. The family and friends support group is a friendly safe space to share each other’s experiences and look at boundaries, coping strategies and self-care. To find out more about the services we offer we can be contacted on 01224 594700.

I hope you have found this response helpful.

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