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Caregiver/alcoholic
abgame65
Posted: Friday, June 10, 2022 7:04 PM
Joined: 6/9/2022
Posts: 2


I have been in recovery from alcoholism for 23 years and caregiver for 3 years.  But stress from caregiveing is about to break me.  Any thoughts out there?
M1
Posted: Friday, June 10, 2022 8:14 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2498


You've come to a good place for care giving support, for sure . hope you have other recovery supports in place too? Because it seems more than likely that you'll need them. There are plenty of other folks here in recovery too. Welcome and good luck.
Victoria2020
Posted: Friday, June 10, 2022 10:45 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1298


Hi abgame65--

Ideas--

If you don't have a current sponsor, call your local AA office if that program appealed/s to you.

Also, there are Zoom AA meetings still on line all around the world.There is something so lovely about seeing folks in the middle of their day in Europe/where ever , sunlight in their windows when it's feeling dark here in the middle of the night, dawn will  soon be here too and nothing is worth losing the gift & grace of 23 years of sobriety.

You're not alone.

That said, read other threads about care giving issues for ideas to lighten or if necessary shift the care. It's all one unique day at a time for us all.

Good for you reaching out. Being alone is the worst place to be. Glad you found us.


abgame65
Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2022 8:42 AM
Joined: 6/9/2022
Posts: 2


I have actively participated in AA all 23 years of recovery, have very good sponsor, have deep understanding of 12 steps, etc.  But AA only addresses alcoholism.  What I seek via this post is a place to discuss caregiving and the burdens of remaining sober, both at same time. While members of my AA home group know how hard caregiving is for me they can only offer their own experience, strength, and hope related to alcohol.

If there are 16 million caregivers for ALZ then statistically there are about 2 million alcoholics amongst them, myself one of them.  I have yet to find Alz “meetings” but currently searching for same.  As they say in AA, “meeting makers make it”.


MN Chickadee
Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2022 9:12 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1540


Without knowing much about your situation, I'll throw a few ideas out - is there any way for you to get some respite? Some memory care/nursing facilities provide respite care, like a 2 week stay. You need a break to get yourself in order. Or hire someone to come to your home? Have you considered placing your loved one in a memory care facility? Sometimes it's what needs to happen for the well being of everyone involved. The stress of full time care giving is immense and it makes sense it would wear you down to a dangerous point. Your own health matters too. You won't be any good for your loved one or be able to advocate for them if you too are sick, or drinking, or not right so make yourself a priority too. In addition to finding the support you need for the sobriety piece, there may be resources and options in your area that can help ease the burden of care giving. Your local chapter of the Alzheimers Association or your county's Agency on Aging would be places to start. I hope you find help and peace.
emmamom
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2022 2:46 PM
Joined: 4/24/2022
Posts: 8


Maybe you have loved ones who are ready to help you overcome this?
jmlarue
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2022 3:58 PM
Joined: 12/12/2020
Posts: 282


I'm so sorry you are finding yourself in this very difficult situation. You are facing a real challenge to stay sober as a caregiver. As this disease progresses, the burden of caregiving becomes more and more difficult. If you read through the other threads on this forum, you'll find that the vast majority of caregivers will eventually admit that they are exhausted, overwhelmed, and emotionally broken. Many report feelings of hopelessness and depression - for which they have been prescribed anti-depressant meds. You may wish to consult your doctor. I know there are some antidepressants that are available to treat depression issues associated with alcoholism. That might help you to deal with the emotional upheaval associated with your role as a caregiver for a PWD. Perhaps your AA sponsor can offer some insight on that, too. Additionally, I think you might want to prepare for the possibility that your LO will need placement in a care facility sooner that you may have hoped. If it comes to a situation where you break your sobriety to cope, placement would be the best solution for both your sakes. The overarching advise for all caregivers is to not neglect our own self-care. We always need to remember that we are no good to anyone if we become sick, begin abusing drugs or alcohol, or worse, yet...die. Please take care of yourself. Don't sacrifice your sobriety on the altar of dementia. Not good for you. Not good for your LO.
elhijo
Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2022 12:23 AM
Joined: 7/16/2018
Posts: 44


Hello abgame65,

I commend you for being in a difficult spot -and taking care of your LO. If you call the ALZ line they can refer you to men's groups you can do either in real life or online via Zoom or Skype. I say men's groups as men have more experience with alcoholism than women on average and so you might find a group that's male where at least guys know what it's like to be a male caregiver, and might offer up some words of wisdom or camaraderie about how to deal with the other. I'd call the line and have them do a search for male caregiver groups for you. You might be surprised what's out there.

 

God Bless 


Fairyland
Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2022 5:16 AM
Joined: 5/5/2021
Posts: 137


I would also review the situation with your own PCP, I did that over my caregiving and got my antidepressant dose upped, and another health issue I had neglected sorted, as well as lots of help and advice for dealing with the LO.

Your local “milestones” area on ageing r similar  (even if you are not that old) will have lots of experience and resources too.  I think daycare or respite for LOlneeds to come sooner rather than later if you have issues because you can snap and break suddenly, sooner maybe than average.

Squeaky wheel gets the grease, I say that about once a day to myself, as much as to anyone!


Hoot619
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 5:26 PM
Joined: 3/30/2022
Posts: 22


If I didn't have my meetings the way things are going here with DW, I would probably be back out there.  If I work my program right I don't have bad days but sure have some bad moments and some are quite long.  I let others know how I am doing at the meetings.     I'm going thru the process of getting  her on medicaid . The last 6 months have been all down hill for her. This forum here sure helps, I can laugh at some and darn near cry at others.  We are all in the same fix.  We have to use both oars to make headway.  I turned 80 Sunday and have been in sobriety for almost half of that, 3 months 11 days less. Hoot
Love&Light
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 9:39 PM
Joined: 8/11/2021
Posts: 56


Abgame, 

I commend you for being vulnerable about your concerns of caregiver stress affecting your sobriety. I think it's admirable and your transparency about it and wanting to connect with others will be a sober support you can lean on in your journey.

I became sober on the advice of my PCP when I asked him what I needed to do to avoid succumbing to this horrible disease I was losing my father to. Quitting alcohol was at the top of his list because of the correlation between alcohol consumption and dementia. I was never one who was really great at moderation, so it was all or nothing for me.

My brother also quit at roughly the same time as he was terrified with our family history and risk of getting it. We would regularly talk and that certainly helped me feel like I had an ally in remaining sober as we were going through the shared responsibility of care giving for my father. It was hard as hell to be honest. There were times it would have been so easy to 'escape' from the pressure and stress so easily with a glass or two or four of delicious wine. But, that really ultimately would have made my job so much harder. And then the shame of facing up to breaking my sobriety would have probably broken me much more than any awful hard stressful day of care giving.

We actually discussed this just last week at my father's memorial service. How proud we were of each other for not 'going off the rails' during these last couple of years. Honestly, I feel like if we could maintain it through that, than we can maintain it through anything.

If you can find someone who is sober and an ALZ caregiver I think that would be ideal.

In addition, I love this site: https://www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com/

You can sign up for her daily emails (free), and sometimes just reading a few of her words was enough to give me the strength I needed to get through the minute, hour, day.

You can do this Ab. Strength and peace to you.


 
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