Agony Corner: 'My Daughter Can’t Control Her Drinking' - Mother
Dear Relationship Guru,
My daughter is 34, with two children and I’m worried that she’s becoming an alcoholic. Her husband recently sent her packing because of her excessive drinking habit and she now lives with her kids. She drinks at least a bottle of wine a day.
I try to help with the children and give her money whenever she’s short of it, even though she has a decent job. Everybody keeps telling me to break off contact with her and let her stand on her own two feet, but I’m terrified she might harm herself. I think I’m the one who needs help so I can understand how to help her.
Fadeke, by e-mail.
I’m sure every mother reading this understands why you feel you can’t just walk away. When you have a baby, your instinct is to protect that precious bundle and that doesn’t change, no matter how grown-up the child is. You need to get support for your daughter. Talk her into seeking help at any of the teaching hospitals. Since your daughter knows you’ll always be there to pick up the pieces, she might have no idea what the consequences of her drinking are.
Asking for outside help is like sending for an advance party – know what you’re dealing with before marching into battle. Let your daughter be aware that apart from her general well-being, she has the future of her children to consider.