View Full Version : Addiction and Access

04-25-2017, 10:36 AM
My sister, who is now 26, is already considered a sever alcoholic and bulimic on occasions. She only recently admitted this problem has been going on since her teens but has advanced dramatically in recent years. This problem is complicated for me to figure out the best way to address, I understand she needs to diagnose herself, which she has. The problem lies in she is young and very connected to extremely rich men. She has lived in 5 countries in the past two years and has no limit to the relationships she can burn through until the other party can't manage her anymore. Between each fling she returns to my parents and begs for help (the first time was when my mother got her new dental vaneers because the bulimia had decayed her teeth and others were falling out). The most recent time she returned to my parents my father had a heart attack and 5x Bipass open heart surgery. This was a trigger to her and she threatened my mothers life with a knife. She was admitted to a mental institute where a "jet-setter of her status" would never be comfortable. She was released and now running off to her next suitor. Her access to the world and ability to burn bridges without remorse is her super power, leaving her family helpless to even communicate with her.

I understand this is a complicated issue for anyone but any advice on how to help her is greatly appreciated. My mother has been preparing us all for her death, my husband and I have already discussed which of us would travel to retrieve her body from whatever country she ends up in. This is a morbid conversation no one should have about a 26 year old. All the doctors and family in the world can't talk sense into her and I'm not content enough has been done yet. I also live in in another country with my husband so my access is limited but I hurt for my family who she abuses.

God bless you all.

04-25-2017, 12:22 PM
Dearest Seester,

I really do feel for you in your pain. However, the fact is that every addict has to desire and choose sobriety on their own. That you think more can be done to change her mind only shows that you need to do your own grief work, and face your own helplessness and sadness about her choices. Sister can't make choices to make you feel better anymore than you can make her make different choices. She likes her lifestyle. She believes in it. She desires it more than she desires the family. I don't need to share any details of my own extended family issues. You know your own grief, and it's always similar but different for everyone.

The only way to help sister is to stop rescuing sister when she gets in trouble. If she doesn't have to experience her own consequences she will never change her choices. She doesn't have to grow up and be responsible because others take responsibility for her. She has to hit whatever is the bottom for her. We can't define that for other people. Some people never care how low the bottom is. It is just one of the hard facts of life.

If she has not made that choice you can't will her to do so. You need to not be an enabler. It is imperative that she experiences pain and regret for her choices. so far it seems she has not had to do that. People put into 'recovery' are rarely helped because they did not themselves choose sobriety. They almost always are just seeking an easy way out of the trouble they caused.

The best thing you can do for sister is let her know that because you love her so much, you reject her addictive decisions and that unless she gets serious about sobriety that she has to keep the messes she makes away from you and your own family unit. Every other family member needs to make that decision also, but we cannot make that choice for other people. Some other family members may be enabling her. We can only be an example to them. We need to do it out of love and understanding, and express the genuine grief that the addict is causing us. We have no other control in the matter of addiction. It isn't illegal to be an addict and we can only control ourselves.

Obviously she has not hit what would be the bottom to her. It's not for us to be anybody's co-dependent. Each person has to choose to be healthy on their own. You have to choose to not obsess over sister and choose to be healthy in your own thinking. The family's mental health is not and cannot be based on your sister's choices. Unfortunately, the best way to help is by example. Quit stewing about her mental & physical health and take care of your self and those who are choosing health, those ones who actually want and need your assistance. so far from what you shared, sister is not one of those people.

Even when she does someday hopefully make the decision for physical and mental health, she will have to face her past and herself on her own. No one can do that work for her. That doesn't mean you give up praying and hoping for her. It means that you stop trying to control what happens to her. She will only keep running until the family allows her space to choose responsibility for herself, if she will.

I know it really hurts to watch loved ones be self-destructive. But unless she herself chooses sobriety, whatever you try to do for her won't be effective.

Meanwhile, take care of yourself. Get counseling to open up and express your own grief about this. Go to co-dependent meetings if you need that support. Let us know here how you are doing. I understand what you must be going through and I'm sure others can relate.


04-26-2017, 09:28 AM
Incredibly helpful! And we'll said. I appreciate the time you took to read and respond to my life. I guess it's what I was hoping to hear in a way, as it's been easy to blame myself. You gave me a peace of mind that it's not my responsibility and I don't need to ruin my life over this as well. Thank you and god bless you

04-26-2017, 09:45 AM
Dear Seester3,,
Love your name BTW! :)

You are very welcome! I am grateful that you are able to accept the facts and begin the process of releasing which will make you a real help to sister.

I believe sister really needs to run into solid barriers. Hopefully not any that damages her body! Unfortunately there is an unlimited availability of co-dependents that might aid her. It seems like a good sign to me that she isn't completely disconnected in that she still wants family to be there. The desire for family might still one day win out. That is if everyone can stand firm that this is her own doing and that she has to take responsibility for herself and change her choices.

We can't control what other family members do, but when we unload the burden of false guilt, I think it helps everyone.

God bless you and your sister! May He wake her up.