Alcoholic Mother. Stage 3 Decompensate... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

22,187 members11,554 posts

Alcoholic Mother. Stage 3 Decompensated. Now drinking...again


After being given a 50/50 chance of making it out of hospital 12 months ago and being very ill, my Mother over the last 6 months has self prescribed herself back onto the drink again.

The position last year became unmanageable and the state she was in and living in was grim.

She has since shown zero interest in getting any support with her drinking, The lies have started again, some return of confabulation and other associated issues that we recognise from a year ago.

She is convinced that the Dr/Nurse has basically said her bloods are back to normal, (She is now on a permanent daily intake of about 5 different medications) and basically given herself the green light to get back on it.

We’ve seen it all over the last 5 years but since diagnosis of Stage 3 Decompensated 12 months ago, drinking again is the last thing that should be happening.

She’s 69 years old, verging on impossible to deal with....

Would welcome any thoughts!


12 Replies

Alcohol is such a powerful addiction. Unfortunately she has to take responsibility for wanting to live. I know it’s hard to stand by and watch but it’s all you can do and be there for her when she wants help. Ask why she has a self destruct button.


Hi and welcome to our forum,

We are sorry to read your mum is ill with liver disease. You may find our website useful as we have a lot of patient guides:

If you are in the UK, you may also want to call our nurse-led helpline on 0800 652 7330 and we can have a chat.

Best wishes


Belleben in reply to Trust1

Hi trust 1 my last scan was last Nov and the results showed my liver was improving it says I have nodular margin & rounded edges also I have about 5 cysts on it. The largest is in segment 1 and measures 27mm. The solid lesion is seen and the hepatopetal flow in main vein & the hepatic veins are patent can you explain this please and it says the bile duct is prominent at the ports hepatitis measuring 7 mm but tapers distally at pancreatic head.

Trust1Administrator in reply to Belleben


I am keen not to take this thread away from the original author.

We cannot legally interpret scans however, if you are in the UK you can call our nurse led helpline on 0800 652 7330 and we can have a chat.

In the first instance, i would suggest that you speak with your own medical team for clear clarification of your scan.

Best wishes.

Belleben in reply to Trust1

I have asked lots of questions and they have said everything is improving well and that my last blood results which was last month all showed good. I was just wondering your thoughts I have tried the helpline but constantly busy. Thanks

Trust1Administrator in reply to Belleben

Apologies it is just me today on the helpline and has been non stop. There are two of us tomorrow so you may wish to try then.

Hi - I’m in a similar position. My daughter was in hospital for two months and came out in April. They had said she would not survive. She’s 32 and we have her son who is 7. It was fine for three weeks when living with us but she has now started drinking again too.

All I can say is look after yourself. Only your mum can make the decision not to drink. Encourage her to either AA or NA ( my daughter prefers the latter as younger people there).

My daughter has some mental health issues too which is hard as she won’t address them. Maybe your mum has too. Maybe some counselling might help.

She is in denial it seems - as is my daughter who blames everyone else for her relapse.

It’s been 17 years for us - 6+ lots of rehab at huge cost and now even recovering from acute alcoholic hepatitis isn’t enough.

So - a long way of saying look after yourself and recognize as I’m having to do that however much we love people we can’t make them change. Sending a virtual hug!

Addictive behaviour is a very powerful tool in the armoury of everyone who struggles to cope with the difficulties encountered by just being human and alive. I have never drunk alcohol or smoked or taken illicit drugs but, I do have an addiction many of you will identify with - namely - eating more ‘wrong’ foods than is good for me!!!!!

In addition I have always hated exercise like the plague, and so, Gradually over the years, I have played my own part in my body’s slow destruction, just as your mum has. There are no easy solutions to addiction. Your family seem to be the main sufferers of her ‘seemingly bad behaviour’ but, in truth she is actually the main sufferer (your mum, myself and others like us).

None of us start our lives being alcoholics, addicted to the demon drink, or illicit drugs or bad eating habits, so - why do we do it, or at least not seem to have the willpower to take control of what we put into our bodies - eventually succumbing to liver disease, plus multi co-morbidities. We cause untold horror, shame, distress and heartache to our families, and leaving the NHS to pick up the tab for our inability to control ourselves.

It’s a conundrum that has dwelt on the minds of many great philosophers, specialists, psychologists and our families, who are generally worn out and frustrated by their attempts to get us to change our behaviour which,as you will know, is impossible and only makes families of addicts , unhappy and frustrated by their loved ones.

Before I add further comments on this topic, perhaps some of you can suggest how to solve this centuries old burden of life, how you have ‘overcome’ or helped others change their ways???????

Laura009 in reply to Splodge60

In answer to your last question Splodge. The only thing that stopped my husband drinking was to chuck him out ! He then realised just how much he had to lose. I took him to his Mother's where he realised eventually just how ill he was and completely addicted to alcohol. His Mother then realised just what l had been living with, stealing money, sneaking out to buy booze or sitting in a pub for hours on end, staggering back then denying he'd had a drink at all then fall asleep, wake up and start all over again. That was his existance! Then another spell in hospital saw him admit he may have a drink problem and finally asked for help. He had home visits at his Mum's by a councellor who asked about triggers and goals and he answered he wanted to go back to his home and family and from that day he never drank again.

I can't help wondering if l had thrown him out sooner he would have quit sooner and may not have died 3 months after quitting. But that we will never know the answer to 💔

Splodge60 in reply to Laura009

I’m so sorry about all this. It will have been so hard for both of you. However please don’t knock yourself with ‘what ifs’. All that does is make you feel bad about yourself Just try and choose now to move on with your life. Put what you have learned into something constructive and try to help others by sharing your knowledge gained, with others experiencing what you have been through. You have my love and best wishes to help you on your way, plus all the Forum to turn to. Good luck xxxxx

Laura009 in reply to Splodge60

Hi Splodge. That was 10 years ago and my story has been well documented on this forum to help others. My life is wonderful now with my current husband and my family is free of the torment living with an alcoholic brings so we are all incredibly happy. Only sorry my late husband was robbed of seeing his children grow and flourish into the adults they are today.

Very difficult for JJD and Peony and so many others who are going through it too.

Thank you for your kind words

Laura xx


I’m so sorry to hear that you’re mum is drinking again, I’m afraid that if someone is not going to take in that they have a problem it’s very difficult to make them feel life is better without booze.

Drink is a very powerful drug and can get anyone, please just try to be there for them ,it’s very hard for the family harder than it is for the person drinking so good luck the wife and I send our best thoughts 💕.

Stay Safe All

Dogbot 🐶🌈

You may also like...