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‘I loved and hated her in equal measure’ – life with an alcoholic mother

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

When Mum died, I vowed to talk about alcoholism because I can’t bear to be complicit in the silence surrounding the issue

It’s two-and-a-half years since I lost my mum to alcohol. At the time I was 21 and she was 49. It was a bitter yet inevitable end to a battle with a drug that had gradually increased its merciless grip on her over many years. Ashamed as I am to admit this, her death brought momentary relief. I had suddenly been liberated from an all-consuming anxiety; I wasn’t waiting to be called with yet more bad news. I wasn’t dreading talking to a mother whom I loved and hated in equal measure, whose wildly erratic state left me unsure of how to address her, what to say. Yet a harrowing period of depression quickly ensued, and I once again found myself doing what life as the child of an alcoholic had made me an expert of: concealing my true feelings and putting on a brave face.

Related: The secret alcohol liaison nurse’s diary: ‘Cuts are having a devastating impact’

​It is only by reaching out to the children of alcoholics that we can hope to definitively break the cycle of addiction

Related: How far can the NHS go to support addicts who won’t help themselves?

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