Family Matters,  Moody Blues

Dear Alcoholic in my life,

I’m really angry at you. I’ve been angry at you for a long time. I get a little bit less angry sometimes because every time we have an episode like this, a little part of my love for you dies. Pretty soon that part of my heart that is reserved for you will just be dead and black and sloughing off into ashes on top of my other organs. Someone will call me up and say you have finally passed on and I’ll just look out the window and think about the weather or something.

When bad things happen I almost wish that the part of my heart was already dead. Stop the pain already or something. I just get so angry and I think horrible thoughts and write horrible letters like this and I know it’s toxic. I know it is not helping me and it’s not helping you and and it is probably not helping anyone who is reading it.

I’m scared that all this anger and hate I have towards you, someone I love, is very very very bad. I’m scared that my little baby daughter is going to be hurt in some way by it. Even worse, I’m scared that she is going to grow up and have this problem too. It’s in her genes. I just want to rent my garments and die if she becomes an alcoholic too. I could not bear the pain. I can barely handle the pain of telling her that you are “sick” when she asks for you.

She does not deserve to be hurt the way you’ve been hurting everyone in your life for years. I didn’t deserve it. Toby didn’t deserve it. Can’t we just stop this cycle of hurt? How many generations have to pay for the sins of their fathers?

You don’t deserve her love. But she does love you and sometimes you are such a sweet old woman. I do love you. I don’t know what part of you is the alcoholic/drunk/liar and what part of you is the real you.

Which reminds me of why I am so angry in the first place. I’m sick and tired of getting played by you. I’m not that stupid!!! Don’t tell me your lies and think you’re so clever. You’re only fooling yourself. I know you’ve been drinking. I can hear it in your voice. I can see it in your apartment that is trashed from top to bottom. I don’t want to hear about some bug you’ve caught that you had to be hospitalized for. I know why you went to hospital. You’ve been doing this for years.

Sometimes I just want to yell at you and tell you that it’s ALL YOUR FAULT and you should stop being so selfish. But I realize that I am just making it worse. I am just making your mental illness and your anxiety and your guilt and your depression worse. And then I feel like crap. It’s just not fair and I wish you would stop it.

Why can’t you be like all those other alcoholics and stay sober for ten, fifteen, twenty years? Even a year would be nice. I know you are too old to learn new tricks but can’t you just try?

I’m sorry I’m so angry at you. I wish I could do something to make a difference but right now I think I just want to walk away and not look back. I won’t cut you off. But I want to.

I’m sorry I wouldn’t talk to you today. I just couldn’t. I wanted to say all this and I couldn’t because I knew you wouldn’t listen.




  • ninabi

    My husband and I grew up with an alcoholic parent in our homes. Sometimes I’ve fantasized about what life would be like if there was no alcohol available to drink.

    It’s sad to watch people we love ruin their lives and ruin relationships and the aging process only makes matters worse. For my MIL, rehab was of no use. All we can do is treasure the times when she holds it together and hang up the phone when she chooses to do her infamous “drink and dial”.

    Bug will learn from you telling her your concerns as she grows up. And maybe, like with my kids (now 18 and 21), she’ll see the unglamorous side to cocktails and keggers from knowing her grandmother and she’ll won’t be keen on going down that path.

    To this day I cannot abide the sight of vodka bottles or beer cans. What a wreck they make of people’s lives.

    Very brave, honest post. You aren’t alone in this. Hugs to you.

  • Oopsy Daisy

    God bless you for having the courage to put into writing what you are feeling. You expressed my feelings exactly that I have towards the alcoholic in my life. You are braver than I though. I am taking the cowards way out and moving 700 miles away from my alcohlic son because I can not bear to watch him killing himself any longer. Not only has it broken my heart and caused trouble in my marriage but it has also made me numb inside towards him.

    Again, God bless you for saying what I couldn’t/wouldn’t.

  • Uncle George

    I have to add a Thank You to all of you who have posted. Your support is so wonderful, and I’m sure SAJ will agree with me.

    She married Toby, not his mother or her disease. Yet now it’s affected her life. It breaks my heart to see her so hurt. Supporting her so gives me the warmest feeling. There’s no replacement for that.

    Thank you all again.

  • Jummy

    I’m late but I just want to echo that I want to hug you SAJ, and I think it was very brave of you to share this. You may be surprised by who might be reading this and having a light bulb go off in their head.

    You’ve done a lot of good with this and I’m glad that you found it helpful for you too.

  • bluejaye

    The cousins were BB’s age when I told Brion she had to get out of my house. I would come home from work and daycare and wouldn’t even get our coats off and she would be at the door. I was terrified of how I would find her when I was alone with the kids. You and I did not grow up with this and I ASSUMED that grandchildren would make her happy. How couldn’t they? The deal breaker was when I realized she had stolen a towel from the nut house and was using it at my house. It just reminded me everyday that she was crazy and she was in my house with my toddlers.

    Amazing about her timing. Usually she waits until mothers day/her birthday. This time she waited until Toby was out of town.
    For someone who has “practiced” killing herself, you would think she would get it right one of these days. We will all be sad, but it will finally be over.
    My kids are finally old enough to know the truth about grandma…guess I better figure out what to tell them.

    Call me.

  • comfortablycrazy


    I’m going to say thank you for what you just said. We all feel this way at some times towards her. Rapunzel still calls her Grandma, even though she isn’t related to us, and it’s hard to explain why she’s “sick.”

    I can’t imagine how hard this must be on you guys.

    Sending love to your family. Hang in there, one day it will end, and we will be sad, but relieved at the same time.



    Hang in there.

  • Susan

    This brought back memories of my mom’s brother Charlie. He was an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. His first wife died from it in her 20’s. Can you believe that..20 something years old? Crazy! Not sure its politically correct or whatever but I am praying for you all!

  • the chauffeur

    Alcoholics and addicts can’t ‘just stop’. It’s a disease. As you know, I have been battling a pill addiction off and on for many, many years, and I WISH I could ‘just stop’. I can’t. We can’t. It’s very sad. So I can relate to you-know-who and also to you…it is sad for everyone. As for me, I will always be an addict, whether I am popping those stupid little pills or not. I am ashamed of it. People say alcoholics and addicts should not feel ashamed or guilty…afterall, if that same person had a different disease, like leukemia or something, why should he or she feel ashamed for THAT? I don’t know…I feel guilty and ashamed anyway.

  • Ashley & Family

    I am so thankful to you for writing this – I was exactly where you are a couple of months ago. It is a hard road but you are not alone. The only thing that brought me through this horrible ordeal is alanon – it is not for him but for you and it seriously saved my life! I will be thinking of you and if you need to talk or anything don’t hesitate to email me.

  • gorillabuns

    I understand this more than you’ll ever know. I’m quite sorry your daughter won’t “really” know her grandmother. Sometimes, this is a good thing. as in my children don’t know my father. I’m okay with it.

  • Lisa V

    I could have written this letter word for word. We’ve been doing it for 8 years. The last year she says she has been sober- and I really have no evidence otherwise. But because of the previous 7 years, I don’t trust or believe her. Several times I’ve not only not cared if this person lived or died, I wished she was dead. And truthfully, she can be sober now for the rest of her life, but because she lied to me over and over and over our relationship will never be the same.

    I worry about my children. Both seeing her and inheriting this monster of a problem. It’s hateful. It’s awful to be in this place and be a person you don’t recognize.

    Truly, I’m wishing you peace. And I’m hoping Bug has some how been spared addiction, as I wish for my children.

  • Jessica

    Alcoholism sucks. Someone in my family is an alcoholic. Most of the time it does not effect me be a little over a year ago it got bad. We don’t live in the same state but the phone calls were ugly and the visits were not so pleasant. I was so glad I lived far away.

    He is still an alcoholic but things have changed. His schedule doesn’t allow as much drinking and I think he saw what he was becoming. Thanksgiving before last when Lil’ Bum and I made a visit he made an obvious attempt to redeem my trust in him. He tried very hard to show me he could put us before the beer. I wish all together he could stop but I don’t think he ever will.

    Hang in there.

  • Charles

    You have eloquently spoken the words of all who have lived with a practicing alcoholic. on the flip side, there is nothing more wonderful than the discovery and acceptance of AA and a higher power. I hope you can rediscover your loved one if that loved one can find themself.

  • Amy Sweet

    This really hit home. I am dealing with an a.i.m.l. as well and always feel like its only me suffering!

    For me, its always the lying, facial expressions, voice inflection, body language, and the list goes on. I hate this disease and I wish I could fold my arms, not my head and make it all go away.

    Thanks for writing something so powerful yet so personal. I hope it hit home! (it wouldn’t for me; it would be a complete waste of air)

    I have begged the a.i.m.l to get help but refusal is always the answer. If I pull the ultimatium, the alcohol wins; ultimatium loses. So unfair.

  • Jen

    SAJ, whether or not you leave the post up or take it down, the feelings are yours and you are entitled to them. You’re doing a very difficult job with grace and compassion. BB has love and support from you and Toby and I know that will outweigh all of the demons. Take care and big hugs.

  • Reesie

    Wow! I just found this. Google reader recommended your blog to me. The AIML is MY mother and I am an only child. It’s a major PITA.
    I wrote this last December after another one of her episodes. This will be her last. This time, she disappointed my kids and I’ll be damned if I let them live that life. We are blessed to have a sane and sober Grammy who lives right next door. She’ll do nicely thank you.
    Hang in there!