October 2008 my mom decided to finally move away from where she had been living her whole life struggling and move in with my husband and I at the time. I invited her to come and live with me to start over and make a better life for herself. So we went to get her, packed her things and drove her 800 miles away from everything that was familiar to her. My wishes for her were to start over, find a better job, find a better relationship and my number one wish I had been wishing for 15 years was to help her stop drinking. She was working three jobs to try and make ends meet but never got anywhere with those jobs. So we moved her in with us for the next seven months. Little did I know the next seven months would be the hardest most challenging seven months of my life.
She moved in with us with only a little bit of money, her car and hardly any belongings. I at the time was 8 months pregnant so the thought of having my mom around was a good one because she could help me out with everyday things while I would wobble around and take constant pee breaks. She would help me grocery shop and with chores around the house. It also kept her busy because she had no friends where I moved her to and she had no job yet. I also thought it would be great to have my mom by my side as she witnesses her first grand child entering the world. Well, I didn't know what I was getting myself into.
Each day I would scour the paper, websites and anywhere I could to find her a job. I was doing something nice by letting her live with me and my husband and I were in no financial situation for her to become a financial burden on us. Each time my mom had an interview I would give her a bit of gas money to get her to her interviews. I would normally give her around twenty dollars and each time she took it she would put $10 of gas in her car and use the other $10 to get herself some liquor. I didn't catch on to this trickery until very far into it. When I finally caught onto it I would drive with her to the gas station and use my credit card to give her gas. That way it was making it so she could not buy herself alcohol with any extra money. That didn't stop her from asking each time I put gas in her car if we could stop at the liquor store on the way home. At that point I had the control and I was able to tell her no. I would tell her I was only supplying her with some gas for her car and the alcohol was unnecessary. Her own money had run out and it had run out quickly, with all of the times she had bought herself a bottle of some sort of alcohol. She hid the alcohol in her room next to her bedside on a side not seen when you entered the room. She drank it inconspicuously in a coffee mug. To the average person you may have only thought she was drinking coffee or tea from it but I knew what she was drinking. It hurt me to watch her drink it. She would ration it though. At that point in her life she wasn't drinking as heavily as she did near the end. Inside I knew she had a problem and I just wish she could control it.
At around three months in she had no job and all of her money had run out. I was not supplying her with any alcohol and she was starting to detox a bit. My husband and I are not drinkers ourselves but we do keep the occasional bottle of rum or vodka in the house for parties, events or guests if they'd like. After her own bottles ran out and she had no money to buy any more, she eventually found the two bottles we had in our house. I saw one day when I went into the cabinet that they were stored in that the bottle looked like it was lower than I last remembered. I thought to myself "could my mom be drinking this now and not asking us if she could drink it?" So in desperate times I decided to find out for myself because if I just asked her she would deny it. So I got my sharpie black marker out and made a dot on the back of the bottle where the liquid currently was. I went back to that cabinet a few days later and turned the bottle around where I had placed my black dot. That liquid line was now 3 inches lower than that black dot I had drawn on the bottle. That was my confirmation she was drinking it, not asking anyone if she could have any and it was just taking her edge off because she had no money to buy herself some. So I took those rum bottles and I poured them down the sink and threw out the bottles. I didn't need it in my house and I certainly didn't want to supply her with any.
At that point I could tell she was withdrawing and needed to get herself something to drink and fast. My home supply was gone and she still had no money to get it herself and every time she asked me I wouldn't give her money for it. So I found her searching high and low for any loose change around the house or in her car that she could use to buy herself one of those small airplane sized bottles of rum. The change quickly ran out and there was no where else to look. The alcohol and her addiction kept driving her to find a way. Just one little small way to get any alcohol she could.
That led to a spiral of downward effects. She then went through withdrawal, had no money, was losing the one job she ended up finally getting because she would just sleep the days and nights away and not show up for work. It led my husband and I to fight about her. That only hurt our marriage. To top it all off I had just become a first time mother and had a brand new infant to care for. I wanted to help her and see her succeed and overcome her problems. She seemed unappreciative of all that I did for her. She wasn't happy unless I provided her with money for alcohol or alcohol itself. No matter what I did to help, give her money, put a roof over her head, buy her anything she needed or wanted besides alcohol, help her find a job or drive her to job interviews, she wasn't going to change. She had exhausted her welcome at our home. I now had an infant to care for, a house to run and a husband to take care of, I could no longer support my mom and her habits. No matter what I did or said she was still going to need to drink. Her leaving our home was abrupt, led to fighting and lots of crying. She was sent out to find a place to live on her own, find herself a better job and a way to support herself. I needed to do it for my family and myself.
An alcoholic will do whatever necessary to find themselves a way to drink. My mom had her desperate times. She didn't really care about what people were doing for her around her. She only liked it when they provided the alcohol or money for her to buy it. She would be desperate for it at times. There was a barrier that kept my mom from the real world and experiencing life. That barrier is called alcohol. Below are schedules my mom would keep on how much she drank, what she ate that day and how she felt. They are very scary at times trying to fathom how much alcohol she actually drank in one day.