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October 6

My son is dumped and desperate

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:54 am

Motherly advice on August 17, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have a son that has been dumped after a 3 1/2 year relationship. He is a total basket case, almost suicidal and drinking HEAVILY. If he continues trying to drown his sorrow, he’ll turn into an alcoholic. How, as a mother, can I help him????

— Polly

Dear Polly,

Go, Mom! Excellent question. Over to you, Belleruth: “What you should do depends on whether he lives at home or not and how long this is going on and how bad the drinking really is. If he’s at home and it’s been going on for a long time, then it’s definitely your business, cause if he’s with you, his moods, habits and behavior affect you directly. It might even be useful to him for you to tell him to shape up and get a grip, cause he’s driving you nuts and you’re tired of tripping over beer cans and trying to keep your mood up in the face of such perpetual, unmitigated anguish. If the drinking is out of control and he lives at home you can tell him to stop, get help or get out. If it’s only been a few weeks, you can listen, make encouraging little noises, occasionally suggest something helpful, like “Why not go out and make believe you’re not miserable for a coupla hours… maybe you’ll even wind up having a halfway decent time…” etc etc., and when his friends call, you could even occasionally intervene, as in: ‘Yo, Bob, take him out, will ya? He’s turning into eggplant parmesan on that sofa.’ And if it’s been a really long time and nothing is changing, you might want to suggest AA, therapy, a support group, etc. for him, or try Al-Anon for yourself — or at least see a drug/alcohol counselor and get a professional evaluation on how bad it is and what you can do. Otherwise the best — and most difficult — thing a mom can do is take deep breaths and try not to die a thousand deaths while watching the kid suffer, wish him well, and know that this too will pass.”



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