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Topic : 08/18 "Sober Up or Else!"

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Created on : Thursday, February 14, 2008, 03:47:29 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 02/18/08) Living with an alcoholic parent is one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching experiences a child can go through. Heather, 28, and Alexandra, 21, say their mother, Joey, is a pathetic drunk, and if she doesn’t get clean once and for all, they will walk away from her forever. Joey says she had her first drink at 7 and was drinking heavily every weekend by 15. She’s now 54 and about to lose everything she holds dear. Former guest and drug addict Joani began documenting Joey’s addiction a month ago. Faced with home video footage and testimonials from her family members, will Joey have the courage to take a step toward sobriety, or will she cave in to her addiction like she did after her previous stints in rehab? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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August 20, 2008, 5:32 am CDT

08/18 "Sober Up or Else!"

Quote From: zoe1107

My mother was a drunk.  She started drinking when I was about 5 and my brother only a few months old.  My father and mother in the middle of splitting up.  The divorced and we lived with my mom till I was 9, one day she dropped us off at my grandmother and never came back for us.  Two weeks later we were living with my father and his new wife.  Dad went to court to get full custody and mom never even show up in court.  A few years later she got sober and met some one at AA. They now had everything a new cars, good jobs, and a nice house on the lake.  But that didn't last long....soon they were drinking and lost everything.
Lived from place to place sometimes only in one room.  Police would sometimes call for us to come pick her up cause they found her drunk in the park.
We took her in a few times got her sober and she would leave and go right back to him and start drinking again.  It got bad, she'd drink anything with alcohol in it, and I mean anything. 
She was diagnosed with dementia I'm sure due to the alcohol. 
It was now to late to ask her any questions.  And now she is gone, she died last Tuesday from cancer and I'm sure the drinking.
I have struggled all my life with the question on How can a mother just walk away from her childeren?  how can you choose drinking over your kids?
and How can you go from knowing what it's like to have everything nice car, house good job and throw all that a way for a drink?
My brother said my mother gave up on her years ago, so...so did he.  I felt guilty and helped with all the funeral arrangements, and got mad at my brother for leaving everything to me.

I'm not sure if I had the answer to those question, I'd feel better or have closure?  I'm not even sure that anyone has the answer to my questions?


I am so sorry for the loss of your mother.  In that same sense, if must be a relief that she will no longer suffer with alcoholism.  It is such a selfish disease, and I use that term lightly because I don't think it is a disease like cancer.  I believe it is something that you choose to do even though you know the consequence of drinking.  Cancer you just don't have a choice.  I am happy that you did have a father and you didn't have to witness while you were young, a mother staggering and getting sick and passing out.  You didn't have to be embarrised when your friends came over.  So that was a blessing .  But you grew up without your mother.  That must of been hard at times.  Maybe some consellation would be that now she is passed she will do a better job and make up for all of those years, by watching over you in your journey of life.  Be well, jenny
 
August 20, 2008, 1:32 pm CDT

Growing up with an alcoholic father taught me alot about life.....

Quote From: cate45

This will be a sad show. My biggest personality problem is that I had a Mom with a drinking  problem, no she was a drunk, but when she was straight she was a  great dresser, a red hat wearer, a real looker but she had that awful disease. I have listened to you enough to know that both you and Robin had alcoholic parents, and it  is sad. The thing is you can not walk away from them. You have to learn to live your own life and detach from their lives. That way you can still see them but realize that they have their life and you have yours. My Mom lived to be 80 years old. She was diagnosed with dementia and she forgot that she drank and  smoked when she was 78. But hey, she could watch "It's a Wonderful Life" 52 times in a row and love it like it was the first!

 

Good luck to the daughters! 

My dad was an alcoholic - he started drinking when he was 7 years old.  His father drank, all his brothers drank.  It is really sad becuz' two of his brothers died from drinking and drugging at a young age.  It is unfortunate that the same thing happened to my father October 2007.  My father went to several rehabs and would quit for awhile and then he would go back to it.  The drinking had a tight hold on him and he was very addicted to it.  The last year of his life the doctors told him - if you don't quit drinking you will die within six months.  My mother passed away Dec. 2005, and that really took its toll on my father.  She died of liver cancer resulting from cirrhois of the liver and she didn't drink at all.  After she passed away my father got worse with the drinking and I was angry at him becuz' he wouldn't stop drinking.  I didn't talk to him for about 4 months and then he got sick.  He didn't have my mom anymore to take care of him, so as a daughter I took care of him the best I could.  I am so grateful that I had that chance with him.  We finally were able to talk about good memories and we made new good memories.  One of things he told me before he passed away was "he didn't want to die", but he had no one to blame but himself - he did it to himself.  That is what he said and I'll never forget it and at the moment I wanted so much to take all the pain away, becuz' he was in pain emotionally.  We made peace with one another - he asked me to forgive him and at that moment I had forgiven him a long time ago.  So what I would like to say about this show - was that there was a lot of harsh words said to the mom, and my heart broke.  Alcoholism is definite an illness and an addiction.  I truly believe that if they could stop drinking they would, but it is hard.  It is not fair to the daughters, but at the same time they are adults.  As children we don't have a choice, but as adults we have the choice to let mom or dad go.  They have to find their way, and most of the time it may be too late, like it was in my dad's situation.  I miss my dad so much and I would do anything to have him be alive today, becuz' no one can take his place.
 
August 20, 2008, 1:40 pm CDT

We do have choices......

Quote From: andy1969

For years I also had a "balance".  My mom kept her drinking out of my life and we could get along.  A few years ago this changed.  Her drinking became worse and I could no longer rely on her to stay sober when we were supposed to get together.  She would turn up to my house drunk or be drunk when I came to see her.  She was constantly cancelling plans because she wasn't "feeling well".  The plans that she didn't cancel I had to because the only reason she wasn't sick was because she was drunk.  I tried to talk to her, reason with her but she no longer respected the boundaries that we once had.  After almost 2 years of this I finally came to the conclusion that I don't deserve this.  I confronted her and told her that she needs rehab - long term, inpatient care and that I don't want to see her or hear from her until is well.  This is the hardest thing that I have ever done but as soon afterwards, I can' t explain the relief I felt.  I did the hardest thing that I knew for years that I needed to do and I survived.  That was 3 months ago and I haven't heard from her.

 

You were very lucky that she could keep that balance and be available to you.  I recognized so much of my mother in Joey - she can't be available to her daughters.  And I recognized so much of myself in Heather, angry, hurt, confused.  Constantly cleaning up after and caring for this woman.  Walking away is an option and sometimes it is the only one left.  Anytime I start second guessing myself I remember that every day she makes a choice not to seek out help and to drink instead because it is easier.  I have my choice too.  I have chosen that I deserve better.

That is a very tough decision to make when it comes to walking away from an alcoholic parent.  I pray that she does get help and some day you and your mother can have a productive relationship.  Remember, you did everything to help her and you should be proud of yourself for that.  Mom is and adult and she has choices and you can't make them for her.

 

Good Luck to you and your mom....

 
August 20, 2008, 11:22 pm CDT

I agree! Dr. Phil is keepin' it real!

Quote From: jewelsf

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe Dr. Phil might actually have known what he was doing? If you haven't noticed, he's not exactly a dumb man. He himself came from an alcoholic background and has seen first hand what this disease can do. That is why he has made the choice to "never", not one time take one drink of alcohol in his life. He is also fully aware of the cycle of alcoholism and has made sure that he himself does not fall into that trap. People on here keep talking about how abusive he was to his guest and how he did it just for ratings. I disagree! Above all he is a professional first. And unlike the people on this message board, he is the one with the degree and 30 years experience. If he had been worried at all that his behavior to this woman would push her over the edge he wouldn't have done it just to get ratings. That's a pretty sick accusation! Last but not least, he gave this woman a gift that is priceless. The gift of recovery at one of the best facilities in the USA. And yes, it's very expensive. And unlike insurance companies who cut you of after 30 days at the most, this woman will have the chance to stay as long as she needs to. He has given her the gift of sobriety, now it's her turn to do with it what she may.

Mean for the sake of ratings?  What a joke!  First of all, I don't think ratings are that big of a deal over the summer months since Dr. Phil and shows like his are often re-runs from the last season.  Second, Dr. Phil was not abusive he was realistic.  To say that his words could "push her over the edge" is a about as realistic as saying rock or hip hop music pushed some kid to shoot up his/her highschool.  Come on people - get real! I'm a little confused about this idea of "pushing" this woman "over the edge."  Push her over the edge of what exactly?  Is she going to commit suicide?  She's slowly killing herself every single day as it is.  Push her to drink more?  Umm, she's an alcoholic so the only thing pushing her to drink in any capacity is the addiction she suffers from.  Push her into some sort of breakdown perhaps?  She broke down a long time ago and has taken other people down with her.  Push her over the edge of addiction into sobriety? Ah, I might be onto something now.  What Dr. Phil gave this woman is what most addicts need from someone who truly wants to help - strong and yes sometimes harsh words that are meaningful; a compassionate, understanding heart; the wisdom to know when and where to draw the line.  I too have lived wih addicts both family and friends.  The only time I ever saw a change for the better in any of the addicts I know (knew) was when someone cared enough to push them. 

 
August 22, 2008, 5:35 am CDT

08/18 "Sober Up or Else!"

Quote From: mandydoll

My dad was an alcoholic - he started drinking when he was 7 years old.  His father drank, all his brothers drank.  It is really sad becuz' two of his brothers died from drinking and drugging at a young age.  It is unfortunate that the same thing happened to my father October 2007.  My father went to several rehabs and would quit for awhile and then he would go back to it.  The drinking had a tight hold on him and he was very addicted to it.  The last year of his life the doctors told him - if you don't quit drinking you will die within six months.  My mother passed away Dec. 2005, and that really took its toll on my father.  She died of liver cancer resulting from cirrhois of the liver and she didn't drink at all.  After she passed away my father got worse with the drinking and I was angry at him becuz' he wouldn't stop drinking.  I didn't talk to him for about 4 months and then he got sick.  He didn't have my mom anymore to take care of him, so as a daughter I took care of him the best I could.  I am so grateful that I had that chance with him.  We finally were able to talk about good memories and we made new good memories.  One of things he told me before he passed away was "he didn't want to die", but he had no one to blame but himself - he did it to himself.  That is what he said and I'll never forget it and at the moment I wanted so much to take all the pain away, becuz' he was in pain emotionally.  We made peace with one another - he asked me to forgive him and at that moment I had forgiven him a long time ago.  So what I would like to say about this show - was that there was a lot of harsh words said to the mom, and my heart broke.  Alcoholism is definite an illness and an addiction.  I truly believe that if they could stop drinking they would, but it is hard.  It is not fair to the daughters, but at the same time they are adults.  As children we don't have a choice, but as adults we have the choice to let mom or dad go.  They have to find their way, and most of the time it may be too late, like it was in my dad's situation.  I miss my dad so much and I would do anything to have him be alive today, becuz' no one can take his place.
Maybe it is easier for some than others.  My father was an alcoholic as told to me by my brothers and other family members.  I never saw my father take a drink until a year or so before he died.  that was only a glass of homeade wine.  What happened is that my father was coming home from work, my mother was very sick, he had to make a detour and saw a tent.  He said something said go inside, he did, and what the person said made him go home dump the liquor and cigarettes and he never picked them up again.  Was it will power or what?  I don't know but I had a different father than my brothers did.  They all left home when I was born to get away from my father.  I have know other people out of fear of health problems quit and never take another drink.  Is it fear then?  I truly believe that if you want to quit you need a over whelming desire of some sort to help you through.  You really need and want to quit.  If you don't have a overwhelming reason, you can't do it.  My husband is an alcoholic and so is his sister.  Uncle Carlo as we call it, is more important to them than the rest of us.  We are important but not enough.  jenny
 
August 22, 2008, 3:42 pm CDT

The voice of reason!

Quote From: lfenerty

Mean for the sake of ratings?  What a joke!  First of all, I don't think ratings are that big of a deal over the summer months since Dr. Phil and shows like his are often re-runs from the last season.  Second, Dr. Phil was not abusive he was realistic.  To say that his words could "push her over the edge" is a about as realistic as saying rock or hip hop music pushed some kid to shoot up his/her highschool.  Come on people - get real! I'm a little confused about this idea of "pushing" this woman "over the edge."  Push her over the edge of what exactly?  Is she going to commit suicide?  She's slowly killing herself every single day as it is.  Push her to drink more?  Umm, she's an alcoholic so the only thing pushing her to drink in any capacity is the addiction she suffers from.  Push her into some sort of breakdown perhaps?  She broke down a long time ago and has taken other people down with her.  Push her over the edge of addiction into sobriety? Ah, I might be onto something now.  What Dr. Phil gave this woman is what most addicts need from someone who truly wants to help - strong and yes sometimes harsh words that are meaningful; a compassionate, understanding heart; the wisdom to know when and where to draw the line.  I too have lived wih addicts both family and friends.  The only time I ever saw a change for the better in any of the addicts I know (knew) was when someone cared enough to push them. 

Apparently the two of us see this in the same light. Nothing soothes me more than to see another human being who is not so cynical to someones actions who are only trying to help. Thank you for your very well thought out input on this matter!
 
August 22, 2008, 4:49 pm CDT

Protect yoursel

I grew up in an acholic's house.  On my 18th birthday I left. My brothers and sisters have spent there lives being betrayed and hurt.  If my mother has had ANYTHING to drink I leave. I do not spend holidays with the family becuase of ruined days and my children will NEVER deal with that.  I know my siblings resent that I just walk away. I do keep a surface relationship with my Mom but I never expect anything from her.  My children know she is sick and they do not see her.  I can not trust her to have acceptable behaviour.
 
January 13, 2009, 6:27 pm CST

DUI Class wants to know?

Our DUI class in California watch this sigment. And we would like to knoe if Joey is still at the Hacienda or did she throw in the towel? Please let us know.
 
February 23, 2009, 6:36 am CST

Is my mom an alcoholic?

I've been looking all over for the definition of Alcoholic. From what I've found, my mom isn't considered one, however, I feel she has a problem. And I need help on ways to get her to stop. Here's the story......

 

           Since the beginning of high school that I remember about, 9 years now, she had drank every night. She would come home from work, make dinner, have a glass of wine, and then continue on. On average every night, she would have about 5 gulplets of wine. She would sit on the couch and just pass out and fall asleep. Everyone knows my family and I by asking how's our mom doing w/ her wine. Even 9 years later for people I don't see anymore, if i run into them that's all they remember. She would sit on the couch at night watching TV and trying to have a conversation with her after 3 guplets is ridiculous, have the time she doesn't rmemeber what I talked to her about the next day.   Now here's the thing....She has never missed worked, never woke up with a hangover that she had to nurse back to health, doesn't drink during the day, and when she goes out to dinner, doesn't always drink either. infact she's always the DD. She is overweight and needs help. We all tell her to not drink that she'd lose alot, and she says, "I know I have to, and I can. I'm cutting back."  She hasn't.  She buys a big box of wine everyweek and kills it.  The problem is she does it at night, for a short period of time from 7pm til 11pm. She at home not driving, just sitting on the couch. She's never violent, nor been dangerous to anyone. But 5 guplets every night for 9 years..... and sometimes i've counted more.  Is she considered an alcoholic? If so...what can I do to really hit it home to her to get her to stop. Please help, and respond all you want. thanks

 
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