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Need some advice
December 29, 2002
2:13 pm
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Anonymous
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I am new to message boards but feel like I need some advice. I am from a family with a history of alcoholism.

My older sister is an alcoholic and seems to self destruct and expect family and friends to always pick up the pieces. This has been going on for years.

When does the obligations stop?? She has had counseling/rehab and continues, the most recent issue being drinking and driving at Xmas.

I want to help (and have by providing money) but have such feelings of guilt. I do not want to see her hit rock bottom but it seems she preys on our families guilt. Like she is our responsibility (she sis 50 years old).

I have a good life (do not drink) but always expect to get the phone call asking for money etc. My parents always bailed her
out ant then her husbands (she is single now).

This legacy seems to have been passed on to my younger sister and I. How do I break this cycle? I do not want to see anything bad happen to her - but I can not control what she does.

Any advice or sources of guidance (books etc) would be appreciated. This is causing problems with my husband who says we can not help her and it is not our responsibility.

Thanks

December 29, 2002
8:42 pm
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Anonymous
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your husband is right, she's not.

I have 2 brothers w/ serious dysfunctional personalities. You are not her keeper. I haven't talked to my alcoholic/drug addict brother in over 8 years. He's been in/out of jail and dryout tanks for years and he's 50! If it means nothing to her to ruin her own life, it shouldn't mean anything to you.
You aren't the one who drinks.

You are only responsible for yourself and your behavior. I know how hard it is to let go of a sibling who is self-destructive, but you eventually get over the guilt.

December 29, 2002
9:47 pm
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Spinner:

When you "bail" your sister out you are only enabling her - to continue and not reach out for real help. The hardest thing a loved one has to do is say no to their alcoholic/addict. I learned that my "helping" was only prolonging my agony.

Look up your local Al-Anon group in the telephone book. I promise that you will feel at home as soon as you attend. I would not be so peaceful as I am today without my "home" group, that has been there for me through awfully troubling times.

You say you do not want to see your sister hit bottom. I understand your fear - although you may want to be brave and pray that she does hit bottom - and HARDD and that no-one enables her by picking her up! She is strong - she is a survivor and she will be fine on her own. In order to get help she so desparately needs she needs to hit her bottom though.

And for you, find an Al-Anon group to share your concerns at. Take good care of you! That is what is most important....

December 30, 2002
10:05 am
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Hi Spinner,
I agree with all that has been said to you, great advice!
Al-Anon is for families of alcoholics. You qualify. Al-Anon literature is available at meetings.
When we love our family, it hurts to see them making bad choices for themselves. Enabling only maintains their ability to continue without accepting responsibility for theirselves.
Maybe your husband would attend the meetings with you as your support.
Good Luck!

January 3, 2003
8:41 pm
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Spinner, I am in a similar situation with my older brother. Mt parents have bailed him out of jail three times in the past two years, two for drinking and driving. Well the last one was my last. I used to get torn up inside about him. I wanted so bad to fix him and make him right. BUt I now know that I can't. I do everythign I can to avoid seing him. I've even convinced my husband who used to be a good friend of my brother to support me and stay away from him. I now find that I am more at peace. My brother is not doing well at all at the moment, but I can not longer continue to ruin my life over it.

January 10, 2003
1:33 pm
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Okay I don't know spinner and I don't have any advice for you really. BUT, I saw nobody had responded yet and I didn't want you to feel like noone cared. I hope you find an answer and if you ever want to just vent, I for one will listen!

🙂 Have a good weekend!

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