BPD and alcoholism

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Groundhog Day

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BPD and alcoholism
« on: July 11, 2019, 09:38:27 PM »
I have been NC now with BPDm for 2 years now. I used to get news from M by relatives, friends and neighbours but M has moved away a year agao and we had no news at all for the past year.  I happened to contact an old family friend of my parents who lives in the same city as M and I inquired about M.

She told me that M is drinking alot. She goes to get her booze at the store and brings her own bag to put the bottles in so nobody would notice. If she goes to an event that has no alcohol, she will get a can of pop and pour alcohol in it. She loved to line dance and show people how to line dance. She did it for a month but they noticed she had drank so they told her if she wants to dance she needs to be sober. So she opted not to go back. She went to bingo and disturbed everyone so they warned her twice, so now she is not allowed there anymore. She has lost her passport. She had driver's lisense, but lost them 2 years ago when we contacted doctors that she was drinking and driving or taking extra meds. She told us the doctor in the new town gave her lisense back. Which I doubt very much. I know she got pulled over last week and dont know if she had no lisense and was inhibriated at the time. Hopefully they can take her car away.

Have any of you have had parents with BPD and dealt with alcoholism? Also, had your parents choose booze over famity and gave up on any relationship which include friends, family, etc...? Her BPD has taking over since F passed away and now the drinking has increased as well.

I am just amazed at how social my M used to be and now chooses to be a hermit with her alcohol. I cannot comprehend the choice and the pleasure it would give her.  :stars:

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MamaDryad

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 10:42:46 PM »
That's really rough; you have my sympathies. It's hard how we still worry about them, even when we can't bear to interact with them.

My experience is a bit different; my mother's alcoholism (and my knowledge of it) dates back as far as I can remember, but it's only recently that I've realized that she must have a PD as well, most likely Borderline. She definitely used to use alcohol as a way to be social, in addition to drinking alone, but as she's gotten older, she's become more isolated and hermit-y. In her case, it's because she's alienated just about everyone, and she's no longer young and beautiful, and decades of drinking have robbed her of her sparkling wit, so it's harder to attract new people. And she's in the grip of her addiction and has no insight into what could make her life better.

I mention all this because based on your post, I can't tell whether your mom was a drinker before or whether this is a recent development. But I think aging is very hard on people with personality disorders, because the superficial charms of youth wear off, as they do with all of us, but they lack the insight and empathy to develop deeper ways of connecting with others.

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Groundhog Day

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 12:46:29 AM »
MamaDryad,
I remember as a child she was a heavy drinker. She then slowed down but as you mentioned, she did use alcohol as a way to be social. She would be loud and very verbal and demanding when she had too much to drink. Maybe she's getting drunk to forget that anybody that was close or dear to her has now left her? It would be heartbreaking to anyone of us but for a BPD the choice between admitting they are wrong and apologizing for their wrong doing is not an option. And I guess this is why this disorder is so difficult to understand. Being stubborn to a point of self destruction?

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all4peace

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 12:41:17 PM »
Groundhog Day, I'm so sorry that you face this painful situation with your BPDm. I believe the nature of addiction is that the addicted person chooses the substance or behavior over all else, compulsively. The very nature of addiction is narcissistic in the sense that the person lives to feed that addiction without regard for the harm it is doing to themselves or those around them. What a painful thing to hear about.

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Kiki81

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 07:50:48 PM »
She is living her life the way she wants to live it.

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GentleSoul

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2019, 09:40:47 AM »
Sorry you have this situation going on, GroundHogDay.

My parents were alcoholics and my husband is too.  It is usual with alcholism for people to put it above all other relationships and activities.  It is like a lover to them.   It is not personal to anyone else, it is just what addicts/alcoholics do.  They prefer to isolate to be at home wiith their bottle.

I found attending Al-anon an enormous help.  Myself and my siblings were very much second to alcohol and the drinking behavoiurs that come with it. 

My husband is currently dying of the disease of alcoholism.  He continues to drink.

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MamaDryad

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 08:35:25 AM »
What All4peace says is such an important thing to remember, too. It's why it took me so long to see the underlying PD in my own mother (and why I still second guess myself sometimes-- If she's really stopped, maybe she's changed! But that's magical thinking and disproven by her continued behavior).

Addiction shrinks your world. So do personality disorders. When both are in play, that world gets very, very small and empty. It is sad, and it's okay to have sympathy and mourn for that, as long as you keep yourself safe.

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GentleSoul

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2019, 09:53:18 AM »
With my uPD alcoholic husband, it seems to me that his drinking makes him feel better about himself and life in general.  Is only temporary, of course, but it does seem to help him so in turn, helps me by him being less angry etc. 

He quit drinking for a few months in the past.  It was hell.  For both of us.  A great relief to us both when he started again!

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Groundhog Day

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2019, 01:19:43 AM »
I guess I do not comprehend the reason in drinking yourself to the point of depending on it, making a fool of yourself, saying and acting stupid, loosing loved ones. There are no positive gain. But, in reality, is there any gain in any addiction? Maybe in their subconscience they think they have control or they can forget their problems by getting drunk. I am sorry GentleSoul to hear about your husband. I have never been to therapy or even Al-anon meetings.

I just wonder if most BPD/N are also addicts. Does it go hand in hand or if it has no relation what-so-ever? It is sad to see someone destroying themselves when others are fighting cancer, and dealing with health issues.

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all4peace

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2019, 08:31:54 AM »
Groundhog Day, I'm not sure logic can be applied to addiction. Some things are chemically addictive and our bodies crave them, some processes are addictive and our minds crave them. If people looked at addiction logically, we wouldn't have a problem with it. From my limited reading and understanding, we get addicted because we as humans are prone to over do things, and we as humans have an awful lot of pain in our lives that we would rather not have to feel, and then there's the fact that some of the things that are available to us are extremely addictive substances.

The "gain" is that people can numb out from their pain.

It leaves a path of wreckage behind them, and I'm so sorry that you have to deal with some of that in your own life because of your parents' alcohol use.

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Andeza

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2019, 06:53:26 PM »
I once worked with a lady whose husband was a recovering Meth addict. She theorized that certain people had "addiction personalities." Her explanation was that some people are prone to addiction because of either genetics, or something that has happened to them. I don't know enough about addiction in general to agree or disagree with her statement, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

My uBPDM, I am fairly certain, is addicted to prescription medications including barbiturates. She occasionally goes cold turkey off her meds and acts all proud of herself as though to say "see, look! I can quit whenever I want to!" But if this were her choice, she would theoretically not need a refill on that medication until later than usual correct? That's never how it plays out though. She gets her refill exactly when the pharmacy allows, regardless of whether she went cold turkey a couple of days or weeks.

I am also fairly certain she would be an alcoholic if not for those same medicines. They don't play well together... But despite the fact that she has always said drinking is bad (moral standpoint with her) she will drink anything within reach if she's feeling down enough, and generally too much of it.

Her medications and health problems are all she talks about. She has no hobbies, no interests, no anything else to occupy her thoughts. Phone conversations are solely about her health and doctor/ER visits. I'm sick of listening, everyone else in the family is also sick of listening. What she doesn't realize is that she is very close to alienating everyone in her family circle (she already has no friends) because of what she allows to rule her every waking moment.

She absolutely thinks she is in control of her medications. She absolutely thinks she isn't addicted to them or the endless cycle of doctor's visits and mini health crises. She has no clue that anything is wrong, never goes anywhere unless forced by need, and doesn't understand why with each passing year she gets fewer and fewer Christmas cards in the mail... It's sad. But there's nothing I can do about it except protect myself from the cycle of self-destruction. I do that with distance, primarily, and VLC.

It may never make sense to those of us that don't have and have never had an addiction. But that may actually be a good thing, and keep us out of the same dark hole.

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scapegoat/caregiver

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2019, 10:09:13 AM »
so sorry you have had to deal with all this.  I can completely understand.
my NPD mom is an alcoholic.... but growing up with it I did not know.   
found out later in life and made this as the EXCUSE for her behavior  then made adjustments
did not serve or have any alcohol during my family dinners....boy,  did that make them mad!!!  so they countered at bringing their own.
second thing I did was not communicate or visit after 2 in afternoon. --she was too drunk after that
well,  after many attempts at trying different things came to the conclusion her problems weren't JUST alcohol..... she was a narcissist too.
she sits at home gets drunk every day...counts her money every day... hermit like..... she basically is alone with her bottle
     

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P&K

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2019, 02:30:31 PM »
My bpdmil is an alcoholic. Has been as long as I’ve known her and long before then by the sounds of it. She universally chooses to drink despite having very negative impacts on all aspects of her life, losing both her adult children and their families and unable to make or keep friends. We also don’t understand why it happens this way but couldn’t deal with it any more.  I 100% believe it is a form of self medicating as she couldn’t ever be honest with her doctors or be consistent in seeing the same ones. Previously, it was always present and used to help her socialize which inevitably ramped up the bpd behaviours. Vicious circles.

I’ve heard “I’ll always choose family over booze” while she was wasted. When she realized we were serious about the zero tolerance, we heard “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m BPD!”   This is in addition to the scathing voicemails and verbal attacks.  :blink:

I do not expect this person to get better and no longer welcome a true relationship with her even if she does climb out of this spiral.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this, it’s very painful and most definitely a family disease. My FOC story reflects many of the others who posted on this thread.  It’s not easy to witness and we  certainly can not help them until they are ready(and maybe even then)

I hope your bpdm’s situtation doesn’t get worse and/or that the newer authorities in her life see what’s going on before she or someone else is hurt. No amount of logical explanation worked, being cut off from her kids and grandkids hasn't worked. It has only reinforced her beliefs that she is a super victim who did everything for everyone her whole life  and we are ungrateful brats trying to hurt her.
 
Please be kind to yourself. Learning about detaching with love and focusing on our FOC’s wellbeing has been a lifesaver for us. 3 C’s!  You are a strong, kind person and it shows in your post.  I hope you find peace and daily happiness :bighug:
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 02:44:00 PM by P&K »

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Groundhog Day

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2019, 11:34:11 PM »
Scapegoat and PK, thanks for sharing your personal experience about this subject. There are so many families divided by alcohalism, drugs, prescribed medications and PDs. Losing out on seeing your children, grand children and great grand kids and opting for a bottle or medication is devasting. The damaged is done, hurtful words and many arguments, deception to end up with no hope of reconnecting. As time goes by, I realise nothing will change. I do pity her for having a mental condition and now turning to her bottle to deal with her anget.  Being by helself trying to convince herself that her children are monsters and a disgrace since they do not side with her views. Being a victim is such an important thing in her life. Now people don't buy her stories anymore as she cried wolf too many times.

Sitting at home drinking in self pity instead of spending time getting to know her great grand children is sad. But I sincerely think that the alcohol was always an important part in her social life and now it has become a survival part in order to cope with life and broken relationships since she can never admit her wrong doing.

Andeza, I do agree with the theory that addictive personalities are geneticly proned to addictions. As for myself and my sibblings excessive drinking was something we steered away from mainly because we witnessed how M was acting when intoxicated. The one good thing that came out of this was that we drink very moderatly.

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NotFooled

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2019, 03:36:11 PM »
My D is an alcoholic.  D is now in his 70's use to be very sociable.  Now I notice he doesn't seem to have many friends his wife drives him everywhere and the last time I visited him he got really mad when I just mentioned that his drinking could be unhealthy. 

No I don't think he'll ever give up his drinking, and my Stepmom will be taking care of him for the rest of his life unless something happens to her then not sure what will happen.  But I see my dad once or twice a year and maybe talk to him on the phone once in awhile but we aren't that close.  It's hard to be close to an alcoholic.

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theonetoblame

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2019, 07:38:59 PM »
Groundhog Day, your struggle sounds familiar. I've known a number of alcoholics over the years, some more progressed with the disorder than others.

You may find the movie by Kevin McCauley "pleasure unwoven" provides an interesting neurological perspective on the development of addiction. Reworking those pathways in the brain once they are 'burned in' can be a lifelong process and something some never achieve. In that context, abstinence is sometimes not sustainable even for the highest functioning people with addictive histories. "chipping" at the addiction through occasional use sets up the risk of cyclical relapse, which so many of us know all too well.

Too often recovering addicts 'white knuckle' their way through sobriety, then lurch uncontrollably towards their next relapse as the stress of remaining sober overwhelms them.

In the context of BPD, I think it is important to keep in my that people suffering with BPD experience a lot of emotional pain and overwhelming difficulty with self regulating in response to this pain. Alcohol is a soothing balm, as are many other forms of addictive behavior.

I have a person in my life who seems functional and almost PD free during periods of sobriety. I think they still struggle though, just more internally than outwardly. This person lurches towards relapse like clockwork and when using all of the toxic BPD behaviors come pouring forth. I still choose to interact during the sober times as I care about them and want to support efforts to emotionally recover. I've learned over time though, at the first indication of alcohol use it's time to just quietly walk away for a few months as the booze becomes the first and most important thing. The closer and more supportive I've been the more likely this person is to sabotage our relationship -- I've come to see this as 'necessary' in order to overcome the cognitive dissonance of choosing alcohol over life and the knowledge that I am a witness to this decision...
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 07:43:11 PM by theonetoblame »

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theonetoblame

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Re: BPD and alcoholism
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2019, 07:58:04 PM »
My D is an alcoholic.  D is now in his 70's use to be very sociable.  Now I notice he doesn't seem to have many friends his wife drives him everywhere and the last time I visited him he got really mad when I just mentioned that his drinking could be unhealthy. 

No I don't think he'll ever give up his drinking, and my Stepmom will be taking care of him for the rest of his life unless something happens to her then not sure what will happen.  But I see my dad once or twice a year and maybe talk to him on the phone once in awhile but we aren't that close.  It's hard to be close to an alcoholic.
@ notfooled, you may already know this but your family may want to keep a watchful eye out for neurological damage from chronic alcohol abuse such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernicke%E2%80%93Korsakoff_syndrome
I've known a number of older adults to fall victim to this disorder, especially if they are daily drinkers and don't have periods between 'binges' where they recover and have good nutritional intake. Confabulation about events during previous heavy drinking was one of the early warning signs, gait ataxia followed soon after.