DD, Aged 17

    When people would talk they didn't know what to say which was understandable.  more...


    Mimi - 15 years old

    I lost myself doing stupid things, angry and sad and depressed at everything. I ended up failing my classes, not caring about school, and getting into fights.  more...


    Chelsea - 14 years old

    I stuck my head round the door in the room mum was in, and she looked really ill. I couldn't understand what was happening - one minute my mum was fine and the next she was ill.  more...


    Clair - aged 14

    Something I wish is I could just have one more day with my dad! - to tell him how much I love him and how sorry I am for all the bad things I have said and done to him!  more...


    Nicole - 17 years old

    This time the doctors are unable to operate. He has already had 6 sessions of chemo and is having another 6 sessions. I cannot help feeling I may lose him.  more...


    Rirrif - 15 years old

    I have been staying with my dad because my mom doesn't want me around when she is sick, which is all the time. My dad works at night so I spend a lot of time alone since I'm not with my mom. I'm afraid she is going to die and I'll blame myself for not being there more. more...


    HT - 13 years old

    She has been so strong about this and is keen to put it all behind her.  more...

My mum has a drink problem

There have been a few occasions where my mum has had a drink within the past few months and she's told me that she's getting worse. The thing is, she doesn't remember this and as far as she's concerned I only know the little bits she's told me. I've been trying to bring myself to talk to her but I can never get her on her own because she's either working or my dad or brother are around. I can never find time where it's just us two so I can talk to her. The last time I said anything was around two months ago and all she said was "Don't ask right now, all you need to know is I'm still here." The worst part is not talking to anyone about it because she doesn't want anyone at all to know. I'm glad I found this website, however, because maybe I'll find people in the same boat as me.


You've raised an important issue here that doesn't get talked about enough. It's more common than many people think.

It is a distressing sight to see a parent who is drinking more and more alcohol. It may often start as a way of coping with stress, maybe problems at work, relationships, or when an illness such as cancer is in the family. Your mum maybe doesn't see it as a problem, although she did admit to you it was getting worse, possibly a fact she doesnt remember telling you. Drinking more isn't her fault - it may have just become a habit which she cannot break out of...

It sounds like your mum and you are close, and you can say to her that seeing her drink makes you worry about her health and it's making you feel anxious.

I'm wondering if your dad and brother may have noticed too, but no-one is talking about it. Perhaps when you've got your dad on his own, you could say that you are worried about your mum's drinking. It feels a bit unfair of your mum to expect you to keep your worries to yourself. She may not be an alcoholic yet...if it's a recent problem...and often people who drink will deny strongly that it's an issue when asked about it.

If you feel you can't talk to anyone at home about it, (and I can understand it's not always easy), then perhaps you could have a word with the school or college counsellor, or someone else you can trust?

There's a helpful webpage article 'Coping with an alcoholic parent' (Teens Health, which is an American website) which may help you see you're not alone. There's also an organisation called 'Alateen' which has a website and meetings for teenagers between 12 - 17 who has a parent who is an alcoholic.

If you'd like to talk things through more privately, please do message us here at riprap, using the 'get in touch' form. You'll need to tick the box that gives consent to us emailing a reply...

Warm wishes

Sue - riprap