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I always liked an occasional martini, but now it seems I need to drink, and often start early in the day. It numbs me from this miserable life. And then I beat up on myself for doing it, which only makes it worse.

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Dunwoody, you are a strong, loving and caring man who has stood up to take care of his own Mother in the midst of some unfavorable conditions from the past. You are AWESOME and I'm so proud of you for stepping up to the plate. No, this job is not easy, and yes, sometimes we lose things along the way like time to ourselves, friends, and just time to take care of you. I generally do not like to keep any type of alcohol in the house, but on occasion, i will have a glass of wine and I have been gifted with a fabulous bottle of Crown which is my favorite next to Margarita's. I make it a point to try to not have a drink but if i do, it's definitely just one. I am deathly afraid of having an emergency and not being coherent enough to function and I would never forgive myself if that happened. Please don't succumb to the alcohol. We are all here to support you and help you through. Try to take a bit of time to your self. Get someone to stay with your Mom for at least a couple of hours a week. Believe me, it will do you some good to get out, get refreshed and just chill on your own for a while. Hell, I get excited going to work every day and try to get out to lunch with friends when i can and sometimes my eldest sister will stay late on her day so I can go to a happy hour or dinner with friends. You hang in there. You are of value and a tremendous man of honor. Please do ever forget that. God Bless you.
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Something else that I consider when I think of having a second drink is what if there is an emergency. Up until recently there might be the nighttime fall or the medical emergency. I always feel that I am on call, so don't want to be impaired by too much alcohol.
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Dunwoody I read your book and found it irreverent and funny. Now I have a book suggestion for you. It isn't funny but I found it extremely helpful. It is by therapist Pauline Boss, called "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia." You may be particularly interested in what she has to say about caring for someone who neglected or abused you. (That is just a small part of one chapter, but interesting.) If you do read it, I'd be interested in what you think of it.

As for the drinking ... I don't suppose it matters to your body whether you have a martini at 10 am or at 10 pm. But the total number of martinis per day does matter, and you sure could get more in starting at 10 am. You are a worthwhile, valuable, and unique individual. You are irreplaceable. You deserve excellent care. Please see to it that you get it. If that includes making adjustments to your drinking habits, please consider it.
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Laugh when I can, MishkaM? I always try to laugh, and even wrote a book on Amazon called Dunwoody Journal. This was my therapy, and only others in my situation would probably understand the humor, which is quite outrageous at times. But the laughter often goes better with a drink (at least for me)!
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when I was still staying with my mom several weeks ago, it got to where I so looked forward to having a couple of beers after she went to bed. It was something to look forward to ... but in my case I am not supposed to drink AT ALL because of medications I take. The last time I went to the specialist's, they reminded me to not drink, and so I have been going back to just 1 or 2 drinks a week -- it is hard -- I realize I have been giving up so much of my free time for the last four or five years to try and help my mom. Even if I don't give up a lot of time consistently, I'm still a lot more chained down than I used to be. Please try to find something that you can look forward to each day, whether it's a walk or a visit with a neighbor or something.
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Sorry,Dunwoody, I was so melancholy before. Rough time of year. Just try and hang in there and, maybe, think about placing your Mom in a NH. You may have reached the end of your caregiver role as a solo player. Maybe it is time to get others involved. You are still young and need to have a life. You will still be so important to her and part of her life but with more balance. I am only a part time caregiver for my Mom but by the end of my week or long weekend with her I am pooped. I also have my daughter's needs , of course, so that makes it a little different but she is my daughter so I am more hard wired to care for her I think. And ,remember, find the humor. Laugh when you can. ((((hugs))))
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Dunwoody, first of all, let me say how proud I am of you for at least looking at this as it may be a problem..... caregiving will drive us to make choices we would have never considered in our 'other' life..... one thing I would suggest, is get on this site and vent, vent, vent... make some friends here.... please know we do not judge you, and will help you to pass the time if we can....There are many many wonderful loving people on this site, we all have our own issues, and you are not alone any longer... I appreciate that you have reached out and there will be love and support here for you... so maybe instead of reaching for a drink, reach for you computer and talk it out, maybe you won't want that drink and get some relief, and maybe even some laughter....
But something for you to think about... hell, even going to an AA meeting would get you out of the house... !!!! and I'm not making light of this situation... by no means.... but we are here for you... you are not alone, and we do understand.. sending you lots of hugs and an angel or two to lift your spirits.... thanks for sharing with us.....let us hear from you again...
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Hey, Dunwoody I feel your pain. I too am all alone. I open my blinds in the morning and close the blinds at night with lots of caretakin in between. I cannot take mom outside as it is -15 below wind chill right now. I am so bored I could scream! My mother too was not the best..really selfish..I have 2 sons and I was not selfish though..they say I was a really good mom. I tried to break the pattern of her endless critizim and meaness..She is a mean person, and even now she is mean. Senile did not change her personality much. I do love her and I promised my dad when he passed I would take care of her. So I am. Well, hang in there. Be careful with the drinking though..if you get sad and mad, you dont want to have your inhibitions down and take it out on your mom at all. But one or two drinks are probably good for ya..I have a glass of wine before I go to bed so I can pass out and live the movie "groundhog day" again and again..lol
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I'm so sorry you are sad and discouraged. It sounds to me like you need some TLC yourself. Do you have any friends you can turn to? Is there a support group nearby? If you are substituting drink for caregiving to your own self, things will just get worse I guarantee it.
Can you find a way to get some relief? Is there anyone you can call to give you a break so you can get out and do something for yourself? My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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JessieBelle, thanks for opening up to me. So many of us are in this situation and being able to communicate with others makes me feel not so alone. Since I moved down to Atlanta to care for my mom, I can honestly state these have been the worst two years of my entire 57 years. But she's my mother. And no, she wasn't a good mother when I was young. But she is my mother. When people tell me I'm a good son for taking care of her, I don't feel it. Perhaps I'm hard wired to take care of this old woman. But why at the expense of my own life?
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A bit of a change of subject, but it seems to fit in here. Sometimes I wonder what it is about caregiver type people that we put ourselves into such joyless situations for such a long time. Sometimes I wake up feeling good and ready to face the world. Five minutes with my mother's glumness and negativity takes care of that right away. I've been here for three years now and there has been no break in the grey cloud that covers the house. My only respite is being able to get away from it during the day to do things between medication times.

And I wonder how some people grow so joyless as they age. It is like a depression pulls them down, but they won't do anything about it, because it is everyone else's or their disability's fault. It is very hard to live with. It would be nice if we could inject some joy into the surrounding. In my case, my mother just gets irritated when I am too happy. Can't I see how sick she is?

Pardon the vent. Maybe I should have a drink, too. :)
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I think that having a drink or two at the end of the day is not a bad thing as long as it doesn't become a need. Sometimes alcohol takes the place of friends and relationships we're missing out on. I have been through this a couple of times and worried about it. However, it was easy to quit -- thankful I wasn't an alcoholic. I think it was just situational drinking. One way to get out of it is make yourself be around people who aren't drinking and do things where you can't drink. That is not so easy for caregivers. Really... I wouldn't beat myself up if I had a drink each evening to wind down and enjoy me time. But starting to drink early each day is just going to make us feel bad. Maybe something like a cold beverage would substitute well. Sometimes I reward myself with a bottle of Lipton sugar-free green tea. It is really good and hydrates, instead of dehydrates. I guess if I really wanted to, I could imagine it was a beer or a Tom Collins, but without the hangover or rough edges the next morning.
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A band aide with a hangover, unfortunately. And the guilt- like you mentioned. Ugh- I hated that! That was what finally got me to quit. I had to stop hating myself. I am working on that part but waking up without a hangover helps. It is the little things. It really is day by day. But , boy, I miss that first drink and smoke after the kiddie was in bed- outside , on the deck, on a warm Summer's eve.. But then I remember that after that first drink and smoke it really wasn't all that good. And so now I watch a lot of TV at night, read a lot of books-- I am really boring-- but I don't hate myself quite so much.
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Thank you for your support, MishkaM. Yes red wine or vodka probably doesn't make a difference. The alcohol makes a grinding, tedious existence that has no end somewhat better to deal with. Although I know it's a band aid to the situation I find myself in, The problem is when dealing as a sole caregiver to an elderly parent with Alzheimer's, all you have are "band aids." There is no solution.
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Hi Dunwoody101, I am sorry to hear you are struggling. I have been through "red wine therapy" myself and it is not a good solution - I imagine "martini therapy" is no better. What , exactly, is it you are numbing yourself from? I am here if you need an ear/eye. I don't know what kind of help I can offer but that of an empathetic listener.
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