Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: My mother left us when I was 6 and my brother was 10. That was 25 years ago. Even though Mom showed up for holidays and birthdays, we were raised solely by my father.
When Dad passed away three years ago, Mom had a nervous breakdown and started to drink excessively. We know she is manic-depressive, and now we believe she is also an alcoholic. She has battled depression her entire life. The problem is that Mom lives alone, but she quit her job six months ago, and we have no idea how she is supporting herself. When we ask about her financial situation, she refuses to talk about it. If we offer money, she won't take it.
My brother and I suspect there isn't much money left from Mom's savings, and we worry what will happen once that money is gone. My husband and I invited Mom to live with us, but we told her she would have to stop smoking and drinking and take her medication regularly. She refused.
I do not have a close, loving relationship with my mother, but I still feel responsible for her and want to help. She started going to AA meetings again, and we are hopeful this will work, but it's hard to trust her. She has tried AA before and could never stick with the program. Should I allow her to move into my home, even though she still smokes and may not be able to stay off the booze? I am confused and lost. Please tell me what to do. — Bowie, Md.
Dear Bowie: If you allow your mother to move into your home, the results could be disastrous, but please give her one last chance. I strongly recommend that you check out Al-Anon (it's online), and learn how others with similar problems are dealing with theirs. The fact that your mother is seeking help bodes well for her recovery. I wish her luck, and you, too, dear.
Lonesome? Take charge of your life and turn it around. Write to receive Ann Landers' booklet "How To Make Friends and Stop Being Lonely." To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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