Fixing Me, Not You

I thought Al‑Anon was my ticket to fix my daughter. But in return, it saved me from myself. I have found friendship, unconditional love, hope and serenity. I realize how alcoholism affected my life growing up, and I now see it in my grown children. I can’t change the past. But I am setting an example for a better way of living.

Today, I have a better life free from drama and emotional stuff that wasn’t mine to carry. I can laugh, love and be gentle and honest with myself. Sometimes I struggle, but I have tools. I know I can’t do it alone, and I’m always welcome. But the best part is that I don’t need to try to fix everyone anymore.

By Roxanne R., Ontario, Canada

The Forum, February 2018

2018-02-02T11:47:47+00:00January 31, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Child, The Forum|


  1. Gretchen October 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I’m concerned about my 25 year old son. He lived with his brother, who’s 29, but just recently has moved to Thailand. He drinks too, just not as much. My younger son manages a restaurant and just broke up with his girlfriend of 2 years. She’s a beautiful girl…and he’s doing her a favor. He started dating another alcoholic and she’s living w/him now. I needed to get hold of him so I can use his brother’s car while he’s gone. He never answers his phone or any messages. The only way I can reach him is if I call his work place. Its ridiculous. He says he doesn’t have a drinking problem but when he lived w/me, he would black out every night. His father was the same. I also had an alcoholic father. I am so tired of it all. I told my son I was done. I have to let it go for my own sanity!

  2. V October 2018 at 10:37 am

    Reading this page has been so helpful. As a mom with, and I am finally admitting to, an alcoholic son. Your stories are so similar to my own. I am very close to my son and admittedly probably an enabler. We don’t live in the same state but he calls me often and drunk. Recently he came for a visit and well when you do not see someone in a while you notice the differences. He poured a drink in the morning and when I asked his response “it’s only four shots”. When I confront the issue he says he doesn’t have a problem. However, he has been to the ER multiple times for an IV to help him over his withdrawals then back he goes.

  3. Anonymous August 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I don’t want to leave a problem. I want to leave an answer

  4. D July 2018 at 8:03 pm

    I have a 22 year old son who has been drinking for over a year now. He also has Asperger. He lived with my husband and I till he was 18 then he moved in with his dad. We did spoil him way too much, I guess because of the Asperger. I get calls about once every week or so from his dad saying he’s drunk again and I go over to see what I can do. He falls down a lot when he drinks, he’s 6 ft tall and only about 145 lbs. We worry he will hurt himself and fall down the steps and also drinking and driving. 2 weekends ago he hit a car and kept driving saying he doesn’t remember it. A lady saw it and took his license number and called police. They showed up at his dad’s house about 11 pm too many hours past for them to test him. He was scared out of his mind the day after. I went over from 6 am to 10 pm waiting for the policeman to come back to talk to him and he never showed up. His dad was away and my son’s grandmother lives with my ex husband. She has to handle all this when my son’s dad is not home which is often. She is 84. The day after the hit and run my son was so worried and said he was DONE NO MORE BOOZE. That was a Saturday and by Tuesday he was back to drinking again and trying to hide it now. We are waiting to see what he will be charged with. I did not want my son to move there in the first place for this reason as it is not her responsibility to baby sit him. I know he is a grown man now and shouldn’t need that but she still has to deal with a lot. I did not want him to move with his dad 4 years ago but he was 18 and what could I do. We have talked to him so many times and sometimes when he’s drunk he’ll cry and say he’s an alcoholic but when he’s sober he says he’s not. I worry so much about him and I just can’t seem to reason with him about anything. I need to find a meeting to go to. God bless all of you dealing with this. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

  5. Michael H. June 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve been dealing with my alcoholic son for a long long time. My grandfather was an alcoholic that committed suicide in a drunken stupor. Both of my brothers are alcoholics and only one has been to treatment. Last I heard he was still sober but we have no relationship. I witnessed the destruction alcoholism has caused and I decided to just swear off alcohol. It’s been decades. I never really cared for alcohol. Now my youngest son, aged 33 3/4, is an alcoholic. He drinks until he blacks out. He puts food in the oven but then walks away and forgets it. He’s been living in a small studio that was built out back, to be a place to make art. I’m 100% disabled, as is my wife. We’re in our early 60’s but we’re being forced to move because our home isn’t suitable for my wheelchair. He wants to continue living in the house we’re in now. Last night he fell against one of our outdoor hydrants and broke it off below ground, leaving us with a huge mess to clean up. He also walked out of the studio and went over to a neighbors house, leaving the studio standing wide open for anyone that wants to, to come in and steal. He’s abusive and rude. Totally beyond talking to. My wife and I are not gonna let him move in with us because we just can’t take this anymore. I know he’s hurting and scared. He hasn’t held a job for more than 2 weeks, for the last 7 years he’s been with us. Now we’re moving and he’s drinking to avoid his own issues. My wife has been far more patient than I but it’s just turned into enabling him. He refuses to take advice or hear logic. He talks about going to AA but, when he’s got a meeting to go to he makes every excuse possible to avoid it. I’m at the point that I’m afraid of him. He’s very obnoxious when he’s drunk and the next day he doesn’t even remember how he treats us or what he’s done. I’m afraid to leave him here for fear he’s gonna burn the place down. He’s started fires before. We’re at our wits end. I MUST move and I don’t dare leave him here. But I can’t take him with us because we can’t handle him anymore. The next local Al-Anon meeting isn’t for several days but we need help now. I’m afraid FOR him and I’m afraid OF him. I fight Multiple Sclerosis and all this stress has me super sick. Stress causes real problems with MS. I need advice from someone that actually knows what all goes on in alcoholism, not just someone that wants to pontificate about his moral failure. When he’s sober he’s a prince. When drunk, well, you know….

  6. Candy June 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I have a 32 year old foster daughter she is on drugs bad. She only contacts me when she needs money minutes on her phone. Any other time I’m mean or too controlling she says she don’t have a problem. Reading all these comments has really help me. Thank you

  7. Lauretta K. May 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I am not myself and feel no joy in my life because of my constant worry about my daughter. She is 41 years old and has been drinking heavy for the past 20 years plus. I have raised my grandson/her son as I felt he needed my care. I have tried tough love. Actually I have tried everything. I am at my wits end and don’t know what to do anymore. I have a wonderful husband of 35 years, he is not her birth father but loves her as his own. He has been by my side through this but he does not know how to help me. She has my grandson and myself in constant worry of loosing her. She travels for work and just a few weeks ago on mother’s day, she got drunk at the airport and was taken to the ER by ambulance out of state leaving us in such fear of not knowing if she was going to make it. I just bought a house in for a winter home as a means of getting away thinking that if I didn’t see what she was doing that I wouldn’t worry so much. I feel like I’m having buyers remorse because I’m afraid to leave the state and be so far away if thing get any worse. I have already lost my son to this disease. He was 23 years old. My fear of loosing her is always on my mind and like I said I feel no joy in my life.

  8. Patrica May 2018 at 4:58 pm

    My 28 year old daughter has a drinking problem that has gotten worse over the last 4 years or so. On April 30th she was arrested for DUI. She didn’t have to post bail, they let her go into the custody of her husband who picked her up from the police station. Thank God she didn’t hurt herself or anybody else. She was an emotional wreck the first week after the arrest, swearing off alcohol forever….
    She has lost at least 3 jobs because of her drinking, yet, she always tells me and my husband that it’s cut backs etc…The most recent job was a week before her DUI. She kept that job for all of two weeks.
    Her husband works nights, so she is alone in their house for hours on end, drinking and binge watching old tv shows.
    Last week, she came to stay with me while my husband was out of town on business. We are very close and love to do things together. It was going well until Wednesday when she went to visit her grandmother. She called me and I could tell she was drunk, I begged her not to drive, but she denied that she had been drinking and drove back to my house anyway. (I was at work)
    She got home safe, but it could have been so much worse!!!! I confronted her about what she had just done and the denials started again. “I’m not drunk, I haven’t been drinking, etc… She knows where we keep our alcohol, and she knows that I know exactly how much is in each bottle. She found a bottle of tequila that was about 3/4 empty and must have finished it when I was working. So on that day alone she drove drunk twice.
    I am really worried. I confronted her about this on Wednesday and of course nothing was resolved, but on Thursday I asked her about it, and she still denied that she had been drinking, and also that she had driven in that state.
    I am worried that getting a DUI is not going to be her rock bottom…
    I don’t know what to do anymore….

  9. Susan May 2018 at 2:52 pm

    I fear that my 20 yr old daughter is an alcoholic. She has smoked pot heavily and been on anti depressants for a couple of years. She suffers from OCD/anxiety/moderate depression and easily blames me for driving her crazy. My husband is a functioning alcoholic and the two of them now drink together. They both get drunk to point of passing out and both apologize profusely the next day and promise that was the last time. I am at my wits end and have no idea how to get through this. My daughter is failing out of a university that she worked so hard to get into and yet doesn’t think there is a problem. My heart feels irreparably broken but the tears won’t come. I’m pissed off as much as I am hurt.

  10. gracerose May 2018 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this, and to everyone else that has posted their stories with their alcoholic children. I’m new to this, am going to attend my first Al-Anon in person meeting today, and I am terrified. My life is out of control with the constant worrying over my son and his alcoholism. In my head I know this is a family disease, my father died from the effects of alcoholism over 9 years ago. My ex husband died from the same thing almost 20 years ago. I’m in my mid-50s and raised my only child, my son, pretty much alone. He is now in his mid-30s and is an alcoholic. I don’t drink, besides the occasional social drink I used to have, I have no drinking problem. But do I have a problem with this family disease. I’m finally ready to acknowledge that I need recovery too. I have tried everything to try and get my son to stop drinking…pleaded, cried, threatened, acted logically, you name it – I feel like a crazy woman. I know I cannot love him into sobriety or coerce him or guilt him into stopping his drinking. He’s been living at home with me for the past year and a half, went to rehab and came out not even 2 months ago…and on late Friday night or early Saturday morning he left and I haven’t seen him since. I do not know where he is and he won’t answer his cell or reply to my texts. I’m beside myself with worry. I have decided I need to help myself as I cannot make him do anything. It’s very scary and I need to be around people who are going through or have gone through what I am going through. I feel very alone in this, it is a very isolating thing this family disease of alcoholism. Thank you for sharing your stories here, they help me and I pray for you all and for every parent who is suffering this way, and for their children who are suffering with active alcoholism.

  11. Caren May 2018 at 8:31 pm

    I’ve been trying to fix everyone while neglecting me. I am caring for an aunt with dementia and my son smokes too much marijuana. He isn’t supposed to because he gets psychotic when he does. He left home with a backpack on his back yesterday and his skateboard. I haven’t been able to sleep since. I am really concerned about his well being. He is on the street with no phone, no money and no guidance. I wish I had a crystal ball to see answers. I keep blaming myself for his actions. I feel there is no hope.

  12. Kat May 2018 at 6:35 pm

    My son is in the Air Force and when he came to visit me a few weeks ago he wound up in the hospital with seizures and went through severe withdrawals for a week . He got out and started drinking, secretly, and won’t even talk to me about it . I’m terrified. I had no clue he was an alcoholic

  13. Cindy D. May 2018 at 8:34 am

    My son is out of state, I just got the call, god I have been down this road. He was arrested for DUI, causing great bodily harm, while on a revoked license. I don’t have any more money to throw at this and frankly I wouldn’t do it even if I had the money. What is the point? I am looking for a local chapter to talk to someone so I don’t feel so alone. I feel better even typing this. The latest event just happened this weekend.

  14. P C. April 2018 at 6:37 pm

    I am struggling with my 50 year old daughter who is a alcoholic going through a nasty divorce.

  15. Judy M. April 2018 at 9:43 pm

    I have been dealing with an adult alcoholic daughter, for many years. The past few years has gotten worse, as she is a single 50yr old. She nearly died last week. Hours after she was released from hospital, she was drinking.

  16. wendy March 2018 at 3:28 pm

    wow, that second paragraph is powerful. it really hits home, i was always the one fixing or trying to fix everyone around me, except ME!

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