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How to talk to an alcoholic
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This patient support community is for loved ones of people who drink and are trying to quit for discussions relating to abuse, behavioral issues, caring for yourself, counseling, divorce and separation, enabling, guilt, and when to get medical help.

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How to talk to an alcoholic

I need help. I'm 22 years old and currently live with my mom (due to lack of jobs in my town). I'm the oldest of 4 girls. My two younger sisters are too young to drink, but my recently turned 21 year old sister is out of control with her drinking. She works but EVERY day that she has off, she either goes to a friends house or a bar/lounge/club. She started drinking at the age of 17. It was nothing too bad. A drink or two here and there. It progressively got worse. When she goes out she doesn't come home till well into the early morning (anywhere between 4am and 8am). Legally my mom can't do anything with her being out since she's an "adult."  We've tried telling her about her destructive ways and how we've had many relatives die due to alcoholism. And it doesn't seem to phase her. This is causing my stepfather to "talk crap" about her and myself. My sister and I are ALWAYS in the wrong. No matter what we do. But my two younger sisters (16 and 10) are his and never get criticized or get in trouble and are quite spoiled because of him. I think that's because we're not biologically his. But his comments toward my sister and I are getting a bit out of hand. I've tried everything in my power to get my sister to calm down a little with this but nothing seems to work. Someone help?
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Hi honey, having a step parent treat you differently that a biological child can be very destructive for both you and your sister. The best thing that you can do is to talk about this to a therapist, both you and your sister. It might be a good part of the reason why your sister is acting out and drinking so much. Is there any way you can get to see a therapist?

Have you discussed with your mother how this it feels to be treated differently than your younger sisters? What does she think and say about your stepfather talking "crap" about you and your sister? I find it odd that you haven't mentioned you mother, is she somewhat emotionally unavailable to you and your sister? That can be a huge problem too, and one that can be discussed in therapy!!

You've mentioned that the job situation in your area is dire. Have you thought about getting a higher education while your at home? That would help a great deal, i think, in that it would be preparing you to leave this situation as soon as possible. You're sister is working? Can she take any additional courses to further her opportunities. I think the best things that you two can do, is to further your education so that you can become truly independent of this situation.

You are not alone, my dear. I'm here for you should you wish to talk privately.

Liz
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wo hard to get someone to stop using… i put my family through hell, and until I was ready, there was nothing they could do.../
ny best advice would be… there is no scense in getting angry and fighting with them about it. (it only justifies their entitlement in their mind).
Dont make it easier (no funding/money)…Use an approach like: "How can we get past this together?"
Dont minimize the difficulty in stopping but dont act like you can relate to it.
Anger and guilt-tripping do not work…
I wish i had the answer… they say 'cut the person off and let the hit the bottom'. I have a hard time with this because the bottom could be dead or in prison… However, there is truth to it… when things get bad enough the will to stop gets stronger… maybe drinking wont be as appealing if is costs her her home, family, support, etc.
the mind of an addict is extremely selfish… yet at the same time they dont care for themselves or anyone els… they are the best liars and are drawn to what/who-ever makes using more convenient and they will avoid or manipulate what/who-ever stands in the way.
Its and ugly illness without a cure and a treatment that is hard to take-on and successful in few.
Looking back, I dont know what would have helped me to stop… but i know what made it easier to continue… until I eventually got in so much trouble it just was not worth is anymore (and it was time for rehab).
Good luck
dont give up
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