Dear Annie: My 40-year-old son is an alcoholic. He recently went through a divorce and is currently living with my husband and me. He has two beautiful little girls, both under the age of 6, whom I adore. He is unemployed, and while I know he is deeply depressed over losing his wife and job, alcohol is to blame.
I am reaching out to you and your readers to see what I can do. His Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor recently dropped him due to lack of commitment. He refuses to go to rehab – he’s been twice – and I worry that he will drink himself to death.
We have tried everything, from tough love (kicked him out) to trying to help and understand his pain and being there for him. I will do everything to take care of my grandbabies. I watch them during the day while their mommy works, and we have them every other weekend when my son has visitation (only because they are with me).
My therapist tells me he has to hit rock bottom, and that may mean homelessness. I am just so heartbroken and cannot see myself doing this. – Out of Options
Dear Out of Options: I’m so sorry for all the suffering you and your son have endured. Alcoholism, like many other diseases, often affects not only the alcoholic but also the entire family and group of friends. I recommend you try Al-Anon, a support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s alcoholism. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, group members can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic seeks help.
You sound like a wonderful grandmother. Keep up the good work, and know that people do recover from this terrible disease.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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