Newbie - Sharing my experience so I can try and help others...

Alcoholism was a very taboo subject when I was a youngster. My mum was an alcoholic. I talk past tense as she is no longer with us. She died tragically 2.5 years ago aged 61. Not directly from the drink but her health deterioration I believe played a big part.

I'm now 33 and to live with an alcoholic is one of the hardest things I've been through and difficult to explain. From finding hidden bottles, calling ambulances, repeated conversations, not being recognised, detox centres, hospitals, vicious words and overloaded perfume to hide the smell - to name but a few. I am an only child and wasn't able to share my experiences with anyone who understood. I'd stay in my room while she slept all day. It felt like I was the adult.

I'm sure I'm not the only person with an alcoholic parent to feel and experience these things. It's good to talk about it and share with people who understand. I just want to tell any COAPs out there that you are not the blame (even if they say you are!) you cannot make them stop.

All you can do is give guidance and support and if it's not accepted you can't fight it. You do have to think of No.1 no matter how much you love and care for them.