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I don't get drunk but it takes the edge off. I take excellent care of my husband but i know this is wrong. Is there anyone else out there that can relate and help me. Being a Christian i feel like my faith should be my strength and so i feel so guilty.

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I'm in the same boat. I'm the caregiver for a special needs brother and elderly mother who is totally driving me insane. I'm depending more on the whiskey than I should to relieve the stress, and I'm not particularly interested in a lecture by the addiction police. I'm not an alcoholic, but I am going through hell as the point/primary caregiver for two people at the same time.
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dkjellander, sounds like you are blessed with a loving and supportive husband. There are many who would gladly trade you theirs for yours! :-)
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loopholerdh, you have established a working relationship. It is not perfect, but it works. In her very insightful book "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia" therapist Pauline Boss writes of the "Good Enough Relationship." With dementia in the mix, a perfect relationship is just not possible (even if what existed before the dementia was perfect). So we learn to work toward a "good enough" relationship. I don't think she deals with alcohol use in the book, but I think you would find in helpful in many ways.
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Maxine, I can relate - for some reason, about 6 months ago, I started drinking 1 glass of wine each evening inbetween dinner and bedtime. at first it was more just the ritual of doing something by myself - my only break from my mom is when i go to work and she goes to daycare. otherwise we are pretty much joined at the hip. so i started doing this as a way to have this little time to myself. each evening i pour the glass around 8 or so and then take periodic walks out to the kitchen to stand and sip it - all by myself. it's a simple little thing that i really look forward to. i'm a Christian too and i know that God has helped me immensely to deal with the stress and frustrations and whole huge range of emotions that go along with caretaking - and I'm sure He has helped you too. I wouldn't feel too bad about the beer. Just be aware of it and don't let it get out of hand. This site is so great isn't it!
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Dear Beers, call me Mimosa, I too am in the same fix with a husband with
dimentia plus has been drinking "hard Liquor" on top of it. So difficult to know
what the H to do. I have cried for weeks about this, plus other serious family
issues (not related to dad). I got tired of myself. I know the risks of over doing
it and I have made it my mission to stay within some boundaries and to never
drink too much that I would suffer a hangover or other disabilities. I enjoy the release that a few
beers, and/or mimosas allow me throughout the day. We usually go to bed
early and end our evening with a nice dinner and a glass of milk. Further, I
did go to my Doctor to explain my recent behavior (is it ok to have a few mimosas )and the circumstances of my husband's latest intake of hard liquor
and his bizarre behavior when he does that. Anyone is welcome to say whatever
they think will work but the truth is, he can get booze anytime he wants, not from
me but from friends, getting it himself etc. There are no remedies. My husband
and I have had serious talks when he is more lucid in the AM and no hard stuff
involved. My doctor advised this: walk away from the situation (which after 32
years of a wonderful marriage is not an option) or just accept what is happening,
knowing that I cannot control the situation, and "let it go". If that means an earlier
demise or other consequences I cannot do anything about it. He also adjusted
my medications (I had breast cancer 21 Years ago, blah blah, couldn't take
hormones and began a treatment of antidepressants which have served me well
over the years. We have had a wonderful week, no hard drinks, just beer, in
moderation (which for my husband is still about 10 a day) and I don't know if
this will last but I am prepared to accept what I can't control. We have cleaned
the house, done some gardening, worked around the house and started sp,e"spring cleaning"
as well. Cooking together is also another activity we can still do together, again,
only with limitations on consumption. In addition, the best advise I would give is
just "shut up" everytime your partner makes a mistake, misplaces things, does
things that you consider so stupid and you want to point it out, etc, etc. My best
defense is to say nothing, or say "no big deal, I can replace such and such" and
realize that all those little things that go on aren't really important at all, it just
is different from how we have always lived. I have made a huge effort to keep
my critizsm and opinions to myself and be as loving, hugs, kisses, terms of
endearment and we have once again established a working relationship. Certainly
not perfect, not like it was, but a companionship that we both cherish. I am just
hoping he doesn't "fall of the wagon" and then we go back to square no where.
I am taking it a day at a time, as they say. Hope this helps and is not too
contraversial for some of your support team. Love, Mimosa
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Wayne,

Men can be caregivers! My husband sits with my mom so I can have time away and get a break. He will even take her potty. He also does laundry, dishes and vacuums. He is extremely helpful so I do believe men can do it, but he also did help with his own mom.
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beer is good , dont feel quilty . i like margaritta . , anything is good , just to help u take the edge off is good too .
its all good .....
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That is true, purplesushi. I didn't address the fact that she feels guilty. Personally, I feel guilt is a useless, destructive emotion. So to the OP, heck no, you shouldn't feel guilty.
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Everyone's tolerance to alcohol is different - 2-3 for my husband is NOTHING, whereas I'd be under the table. The point to this discussion is that the asker feels guilty about it. Ask 100 people a question and you'll get 100 different answers..in the end, it doesn't matter what others think - it's how YOU feel about it that counts.
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I dunno, I am not religious and I do drink, but 2-3 beers every night sounds like a lot to me. I am drunk after 3 beers. Can you cut down to one and just have 2-3 once in a while? You don't want to wreck your liver.
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I have bee reading all these posts on not having a drink to relax and I don't see anything wrong with it....after a long hard day of being a caregiver why not? Just don't burn down the house or drive make sure everything taken of .....matter of fact I am drinking a beer now my mom is sitting in her chair watching her favorite program I have feed her a good dinner and we are fantastic and life goes on .....^ -^
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Wait a minute! Who said men can't be caregivers? Probably a feminist. Don't worry, Wayne. We got your back. Can you do the dishes, too? Lol:) Hugs!
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Wait a minute here. I'm a man. I know of other men who do caregiving. If you look at the statistics you will find that the percentage of male caregivers is increasing. To say that most MEN can't do it is pure nonsense. :-) Wayne
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Check out day care. My SIL got my MIL into a day care a couple of days a week - it was only about $60/day I think and gave SIL in some for herself. My mom has more resources (and is more difficult), so I have some ladies that come and take her out for the afternoon - I am feeling waaay better. I think some other groups may have some volunteers to give you a brief break - take any break you can get and don't spend it on a to-do list for your relative - so easy to take those extra few minutes and spend them making doctors appointments, etc.
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All I have to say when it comes to care giving or taking care of ones parent or parents is NOT EASY and is a very hard job. Most MEN can't do it! I know cause my mother has Dementia, some people have a way and can deal with it at least try to be sane and most can't i know. I can't. I almost kicked the bucket a few times came close. Look with or with out booze it's going to get you one way or another. These people need the proper treatment special care it cost to much money to care for proper place they need
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I strongly agree with Invizanon, if you are one that does not like to drink or does not believe in drinking, please remember that is your choice.

Every care giver has to find a way to deal with their stressful and 2- 3 drinks will not make an addiction and it does not make someone impaired. If I had a couple of drinks and my mom needed to go somewhere I would call 911.

The fact is caring for someone you love and watching them go through things that are unkind and becoming people they would not want to be if they were in control. It is a very stressful job and a couple of drinks is not the end of the world by any means at all.

So we should not judge anyone because a couple of drinks relaxes them. Believe me if I want to relax I will have a drink that is far stronger than beer and I am far from impaired or drunk.

Guilt is an awful feeling and as individuals in similar situations, we need to be supportive and caring. I am sorry but I have issues with someone saying not to have a drink. We have to remember personal choices and we each have to find a way to relax and deal with the wonderful task of caregiving.

Care giving is very challenging, but yet it is very rewarding. You care enough for your loved one to not abandon them to the nursing home and possible abuse they could encounter. Our family members might be disposable to others, but you love them.
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Maxine, et al! Wow--alcohol is such a trigger.
Some who answered are alcoholics, may God Bless you all:)
However, I disagree with: if you are concerned about drinking 3 beers a day, then you have a problem. My brother used to drink A CASE OF BEER EVERY NIGHT AFTER WORK!!!! and he never blinked an eye.
I would drink a bottle of water with every beer, or glass of wine. That way you stay hydrated, as mentioned above. Plan your meal before you start drinking or you may eat the wrong things, due to blood sugar spikes.
Do not judge yourself for this. Caregiving is THE hardest, most stressful job in the universe:((( Crazy making!
I say "Cheers" to you, Dear One:) xoxo
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I must say that zoomdots must not be an alcoholic.I never encourage anyone to drink,and three drinks a day is not something I would ever do.It can indeed be harmful to some.If there is an emergency,she is not going to be able to drive legally,either.sorry,but I have seen much harm done in self medicating with alcohol.
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Having 2-3 drinks a day to relieve the stress of caregiving is only an issue if those drinks start to increase in consumption because those 2-3 drinks aren't enough. Now you are dealing with an addiction. Coping with caregiving that leads to addiction is physically and mentally unhealthy. This may sound cruel, but I do not believe a life should be sacrificed over the needed care of another . Extreme alcohol consumption kills sooner than the effects of aging. Even people of deep faith are not immune to the effects of alcohol addiction. Sounds to me like you could use the benefits of a support group and some outside help along with your faith. Good luck!
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Two or Three beers?

I am an occasion wine drinker

You do no harm to yourself or others

A drink cant harm you- however there are lots of persons who disagree
especially of the christian variety

The faith of this god has many paths

It is a firm belief of mine that to care for yourself and hold true to what will
give you peace of mind and ease your burdens in this lifetime

Could go on & on like on a soap box however I am not going to

When working as caregiver or CNA drinking on the job is not ok
however the rules change with the description as a CNA within the
bounds of a professional relationship

Eat well & stay hydrated today!
Another day will bring natural highs & lows to challenge you
Mindful of how your body tolerates the sugar-the risk of depression should this
be a longterm habit

Your own health must be optimal in order to care for others
Seek outside assistance should you feel this is necessary
Lots of qualified health workers ready to be available for private hire
CARE.Com or agancies cush as ACCENT CARE
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I gave every person here a like because I believe you all gave a good answer from your perspective. We all deserve a break of some kind. If someone is running away from a problem and not dealing with reality and makes excuses for being ignorant, this should be a reason for feeling guilty, the ironic thing is the people who chose to ignore reality don't feel guilty. We feel guilty because no mater how we try.... doing our best is never a permanent solution. Peace is all we want for our loved ones and ourselves. The majority of people who are here already have a special goodness at heart, and those who don't have this quality, simply will never understand, so we feel we need to be rewarded in some form. No one else is going to satisfy our need to be appreciated, we've taken on the most Thankless job there is!!!
If you use a crutch to cover up the fact that you've taken a back seat instead of becoming a driver this I feel is a problem. If you reward your self by whatever the choice of a stress release you chose, and this gives you the gas you need to move forward, it's better than running on an empty tank.
The most important thing is the gift life and as long as you focus on protecting a life and you need to refuel to continue, not to ignore, you're not lost.
I feel that faith is a guide and if you hit a bump in the road, your faith is there to smooth out the road you travel to move on.
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Well, I think the issue is that you are concerned. Alcohol can become a problem for caregivers. Also, 2-3 drinks a day can be a lot for a woman. Yes - pay attention to your intuition if something doesn't feel right. If nothing else, it's a sign you need some pressure relief!
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Don't feel guilty about a couple of drinks here and there, just be cautious...more than 3 a day that you can't live without, and you're well on your way to a problem. good luck!
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i do the same thing and think that it is the only perk to my "job" of caregiving, after all, I cook, clean, dr appts, shop, sit, care, listen, etc. etc. etc. The beer (ok I sneak it) is the only thing that I enjoy and do for myself. If it's bad, well so be it, because it's the ONLY thing that I have that is all mine anymore. I guess "how sad is that" but true
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This is a very touchy subject, bu the fact that you brought it up makes me think you are worried about it. There are a lot of other ways to relax...many have already been mentioned in the posts. I would suggest finding another outlet because 2-3 can easily turn into 4-5 or 9-10 before you know it! Pray, meditate, do tai chi, take a walk, take up an instrument or painting, but don't rely on alcohol or even legal drugs to get you through. All those things can be habit forming and have long-term, unknown side effects. You might end up paying a very dear price for a temporary good feeling. I was on anti-depressants for about 16 years until I got smart and said, "No more". I weaned myself off which took a couple of years, but despite all that I'm facing with my husband's sudden, dramatic downturn, I will not take another one. It isn't easy, and sometimes I cry a lot, but I pray and vent here and do tai chi and take a walk, and do something constructive to ease my mind. Not easy, for sure, but I am so afraid of what long-term effects might still be lurking in my body because I took pills for so long (under doctor supervision, of course). I never abused them, took only what I was told to and when. But never again.
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Maxine,
Been there, got the T-shirt !
As a couple of others have said, a few beers now and then won't hurt - in fact it may help, but only short-term.
Don't over-use. Don't feel guilty. Relax and enjoy! You deserve the wind-down! God will understand your need to unwind. Have faith - He is there for you!
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MAX:

As a recovering Catholic (and I don't mean drugs), a few beers on weekends also helped me relieve stress. For a while I was able to formulate practical responses to my caregiving woes rather than react every time things got difficult. Then I became dependent on the suds; to the point I couldn't begin the day w/o at least 32 ozs..

To drink or not to drink. That is the question which only you can answer.
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My dad is going to be 90 in April. This is his second time living with me and my children, and he is more work than before. The first time he lived with me I too had a couple of beers to relax. Then a couple turned into a few, and I seemed to spiral out of control. I have dealt with depression and anxiety disorder most of my adult life and found that beer only depressed me. I am handling things differently now, to try to focus my energy on other things. I feel I was self medicating because I felt trapped and needed an out (I still do) but have since learned that drinking wasn't the answer for me. I enjoy quiet time to myself after everyone is in bed with a good book or even this site has given me a place to vent when I felt like nobody would ever understand what it is like being a caregiver....If the one or two beers works for you kudo's if you see you need more to get the relaxed feeling you need to find another solution that works best for you. Good luck my friend.
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Hi Maxine. Some very good suggestions for you in these comments. Castle's remarks were really helpful...I like the frequent cat naps, which are amazingly refreshing, and reading poetry, a nice escape. Sandfoxs' suggestion about exercise is one that I'm going to try more regularly. So helpful for stress, but often I feel just too tired to do it! Once started, it makes me feel so much better afterward. But, I can totally relate to your BEER method of relaxation and stress reducer. I'm probably like the alcoholic that Castle spoke of in his post, because I very much look forward to "cocktail hour" and actually, so does my Mom. Usually it's 5:00, newstime, and dinner prep time. I pour us a glass of wine, (my husband has a beer) and we gather in the kitchen as I prepare the dinner, sip on the wine, and watch and comment on the news. I look forward to this time SO MUCH. I have two glasses of wine. It's really enjoyable, and definitely takes the edge off. I know that's one of the reasons I so look forward to it. I do like the taste of the wine, and I do like the relaxation and just not feeling like everything is such a bummer or big crisis, etc. It doesn't make me forget things the next day....or even that night...and it doesn't turn me into an angry person or any of that stuff. It just seems calming. And another thing which struck me in your comment is the fact that having a few beers is a contradiction to your christianity, as you feel you should get all of your strength from God. I'm a person who believes in God, and I say a lot of prayers. God is a strength to me, and yet I don't believe my few glasses of wine in the evening after a long hard day, is a bad thing. Not at all. I truly believe if this is making your life just a tiny bit easier, and lifting that load, then you should continue to do it, and stop feeling guilty about it. Unless, of course, it is making you become a different person ie: angry, sad, or irresponsible. AND, if you start thinking you'll go on to a fourth or fifth, you should probably think about putting the brakes on!! :) Cheers, Maxine. I'll think about you tonight when I've having my glass of wine.
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Maxine, It sounds like a reasonable amount and a well-deserved reward for you. Just be careful that it does not creep into more and more of your day. Set your time frame, and stay within those boundaries. My parents have a very hard time dealing with stress and self-medicate with alcohol (wine). It was all good until it began to creep earlier and earlier into the day. Now it has a negative influence on all aspects of their life and they are nearly non-functional. If you find depression increasing where it was not before, then you probably should drink less. My parents drink because of their depression, and are more depressed because they drink. I enjoy beer, but after watching my parents lose control of their drinking I have set a window of time at the end of my work day and don't drink outside of that. I run my own business and it can be a very stressful 7-day per week job. The temptation to self medicate can be there, for sure! Good luck to you and enjoy what you can (in moderation, or course!)
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