'My mother is a closet alcoholic'

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Silhouette of a woman lifting finger to her lips
My mother is a closet alcoholic. She wakes up at 4am every day for work, finishes at 2:30pm, is home by 3pm and thats when she opens her bottle.

She drinks until about 7pm where she falls asleep or passes out. Because she wakes up so early and goes to work, she uses that to justify having a drink. At weekends, unless we're out, she will start from as early as 11am.

I'm 21, my mum is 53 and I worry about her health so much I can't sleep. She knows it isn't good and she said she will 'eventually' stop, but when? When it's too late to do something? I hate the fact that she can't just try or use me and herself for inspiration.

She started drinking about seven years ago. She had a boyfriend for the first time since my dad who left us when I was two and the boyfriend turned out to be violent and mentally abusive to her so for the first time in her life, she turned to drink, and we instantly because another statistic family.

If I mention her drinking, she becomes cagey and accuses me of being judgmental, and that's not what I'm doing at all. She gets me so angry, I just want to look after her, and enjoy my mother's company which has always been a blur for her.

The most annoying thing is that she always repeats herself and never ever ever remembers anything I've said to her, even when I pour my heart out. I've been dealing with this since I've been 15 and I honestly cannot take it any further, I even see a therapist for myself alone because it's been so hard.

Please help me.

Sarah, 21, London*
  • Names have been changed

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hi hun im in the same boat as you my mum has drunk since i cant even remember she is now on so many pills to keep her alive we deal with the daily battle of trying to get her to stop but nothing has worked.she has been given at most 2 yrs left not even that can get her to stop im only 28 and find it hard to think that when im 30 i wint have a mum any more im so angry with her but im finally comming to terms with it not that it makes it any easier to watch her drink herselef to death. there is nothing you can do untill she is ready to admit she has a problem if she wants sorry to say that it wont get any better for you unless she admits it and gets help it gets so hard.make a choice stand by and help or cut her out but i always think when my mums gone i dont want to be left with any guilt thinking was there anything more i could have done??


I have the same problemm as well. I'm 15 and i don't know when my mum started drinking, I dont know whether she drank because my dad left or because my dad left because she drank. My whole family has been divided by her drinking problem yet she wont have any of it and I don't know who to believe. She hides her drinking very well, and it was only when her behaviour began to get really wierd, hiding bottles,shouting,falling asleep and never remembering what she or I just said (etc) that I began to suspect. I didnt tell anyone and tried to keep life for my self and my two younger brothers as normal as possible but then she started getting drunk in the daay as well as night and rang people up. Apparently she said she was going to commit suicide and when I got home from school the police and ambulance were there. This sounds bad but I just felt embarrased. My mum was taken into a clinic but she just told people she had depression/anxiety attacks and never mentions the alcoholism. If i ever bring it up she just gets mad. Right now my brothers have been taken away and this really upsets her and me but she just blames my dad. I dont know who to blame because i know she is a good mum she just needs to sort herself out because im ending up hating her and myself. Sorry i have literally told you my life but i feel better now!


my mother is an alcoholic. she has been for several years now. her mother died whilst i was doing my Alevels and she just got worse and worse and worse. I am now 21 and she is still abusive and drinks from as early as 4am in the morning. She is violent towards myself, my father and her own father - she gave him a heart attack and he threw her out of the house. she has nearly broken my nose twice yet when she is sober she loves me to bits and tries to do everything for me. then when she is drunk she hits me, she lies through her teeth and she abuses me. my parents are currently going through a messy divorce and she gives my father hell - her language is disgusting and grotesque, she follows me around the house and sings silly songs calling me a slag. its like mental torture. honestly, after all this time i have grown to hate her. the woman who was my mother is gone. it comes to a point whereby you have to accept that they are not there anymore, you will seek help from every angle and nothing will work unless they want to change themselves. which, many of them dont. its a shame but that is how it goes for so many. the best thing to do is to get on with your life and be as happy as you can be. dont let her get you down.


Unfortunately I'm in the same boat, My mum is an alcoholic. I'm 23 years old and I no longer live at home as I live at my workplace many miles away. My job is seasonal so I come home for the christmas period and a little while after. My mum has drank ever since I can remember, I don't think I've ever seen her sober. It's extremely upsetting as she's tearing our family apart. I'm an only child and my parents are still together, amazingly. My dad recently had cancer which was awful but he got through it. My mum just doesn't seem to care anymore - she drinks all through the day, she goes out to get either cider or wine and is constantly at it. Whenever we mention it - she just gets hysterical and blames us. She cries and then lashes out. She doesn't want to help herself and I've tried to help her but she just throws it back in my face. I guess I'll never understand why she does it. I just wish my dad wasn't going through this as he gets the brunt of it when I'm not here. Now I'm at a point where I think do I just cut her out of my life? Do I try again to help her? or Should I just give up. I can't deal with it anymore - I just want my life back.

Kathy T

My mother nows lives alone and I believe she starts drinking at about 11.00am. She does her shopping etc all first thing in the morning. She drinks until she falls asleep at about 2.00pm. She will then awake and be very low this is when she starts phoning crying and causing trouble. If nobody comes rushing to her aid she then will come down with various diffrent illnesses. She hides her drinking well and most people think she is a sweet old lady and she will never admit she drinks. Sometimes I can't understand her talking as she is so slurred. My life is a misery and I scared to answer the phone. 6 Weeks ago I made the decision to reduce the time I spend with her and she has become even worse as she is no longer getting her own way. I used to do anything for the quite life. She is now making out she is too ill to drive so can't do her shopping. She was however able to drive to the off lience to pick up her order of 24 bottles of Martini that were on offer. I am having to except that she will not change and only I have the power to change things by cutting her out of our lives. This is very difficult as we were a close family and it hurts when she is sobbing because i will not go round.


We are all in the same boat, our mothers bringing us down with their addictions. My mother has been heavily drinking for 6 years now, and it makes me sick deep down. The bottle is her best friend, im forever seeing empties in the bin and her making pit stops to the local grog shop for a refill. You can tell when she's had one too many, shes silly, the suddenly angry and very protective. It makes me soo mad, to see her in the regular state of being drunk. My step father relises her addiction but she just gets soo made when we try and help, and completly changes the subject to how its our fault. Its easy for me to escape to me room, and lock her out, but my step-father is there taking the full blow. Im sick sick sick of her S!@# and when im not sick im tired.


My story is pretty much the same as most of these, im 18 and my mother denies she has an alcohol problem and is tearing the family apart. The tricky part is that while I (and probably all of you) realise that once the addiction had been beaten through professional help it would make everyone's lives better including my mother, who i would get back, but I fear that addressing the problem initially would only result in her pushing me further away, which ofcourse i dont want. Should we enjoy those rare moments where we laugh together and endure the addiction, or address the problem and risk losing her all together. My main fear is that alcohol is stronger than my mother. Its been eye-opening reading all your messages though and i dont feel as alone as i did. Thanks


Is'nt it sad all these comments are about are mums and their problems... I have a morther that has the same problem.She will be druck..she'll work, she smokes and she has asma. She drucks all the time..i know soo many people that care about her. But some how she doesnt see wat everyone eles see- her drucking. I am only 16 now..and my older brother worrys about me and her getting in a car acceted...and be killed. I have had lots of closed call with being killed.. My whole family has tryed many times to help her and tell her on wat her problem and that we all can help but all she does just shuts us all out. She thinks cents im the smallest and youngest i can't see wat she has been doing all these years. I dont let any of my firends over cuz im nervous on wat she will do(none of myfriends now about her) well expect my long time boyfirend..( hes the only one that knows about her.. and her drucking..)He'll worryes about me but i just say im going to okay.I just hate living here.. in this house..its not even a home to me..cuz im never home. When shes druck shes not my morther i call her, "HER". I have been adopted and she not never really been my mom... I wonder wats so bad that she has to turn to drucking..i blame myself...i try my hardest to not get in her way..or..i do everything house everything.


I'm 14 and my mum is a alcoholic even thought she denys it deep down she knows she is. I dread coming home from school because I don't want to face her. She has a boyfriend who drinks a lot too and I have a 1 year old sister, I cry to her all the time but it seems like she just doesn't care. I feel like she doesn't even love me sometimes. And my mum and her boy friend fight and I've got good friends and family but I just want to be on my own, I can't wait untill I can move out and make my own like and not keep going through all this pain. Soory I just told you my life story but reading this and the comments its made me feel like I'm not alone xxx


hiya hun,have ya tried writing your mum a letter explaining how you feel perhaps this way you can tell her everything thats upsetting you before she has a chance to argue with you and deny maybe it will give her the fuel to make her think how much she is hurting and upsetting you,noone deseves that pet!If you've already tried everything ypu possibly can then i would continue my life withoout her until she gathers up the courage to admit she has a problem!Hope it all works ou4u pet xoxox


hi ya pet, i feel so sorry 4 ya. my mother has been an drunk 4 so long i cant rember when it started. im 22 with 3 kids and i cut my mother out of life 4 yrs ago,its the best desion ive ever made. my sis tells me she is getting up in the middle of the night to drink and is always having affairs.she always has an excuse 2 drink and now she is trying 2 say she is mentaly ill and tat is what causes her 2 drink. at one stage she weighed 18 stone and now she is 7stone,she dosnt eat just drinks. the whole family has done everything 2 help over the years but as she says "drink means more to me dan any of you lot" so my advice is cut her out of your life now before she ends up runing it on


i also understand wher your coming from. My mum was an alcoholic as i was growing up. it started when i was about 6/7. she would get up and start drinking untill she either passed out or fell asleep. I really feel for you. However nothing you do or say is going make a differance unless your mother can see the error of her ways and wants to change for herself. My mum sorted herself out after about three years so i cant really remember how she done it and we dont talk about it.. All i can suggest you do is call a helpline and ask for advice. I really do wish you the best of luck and i hope your mum comes round and realises what she is putting you through x x x


i understand exactly where sarah is coming from my mum was like that before she had my little sister was up at 10 first drink of the day was cider and didnt finish til she went to sleep, always sat on the computer-drunk and it upset me so much that she didnt have time for me or properly listen to how my day has been, she isnt half as bad as what she use to be i just dread coming home from work/college and seeing her drunk.

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