DEAR DEIDRE: Do I invite my alcoholic sister for Christmas, knowing she will ruin the day, or do I leave her on her own to drink herself into a stupor?
My older sister is 53 and I’m 48.
She has a long history of drinking and although our parents paid for her to go to rehab twice she has never stayed sober for long.
Now the rest of our family have turned their backs on her but I’m not ready to give up.
But I am reluctant to invite her for Christmas.
My husband and I have teenage daughters – 17 and 18 and I know she’ll be slurring all over them before we’ve even cut the turkey.
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Last year was awful.
She broke three glasses and a photo frame because she was staggering everywhere.
The added complication is she doesn’t drive so if she comes it would be for a few days until she could get a train and bus home.
I’m not sure my family can cope?!
DEIDRE SAYS: You have clearly given your sister a lot of support over the past few years.
And I would like to assure you that you are not responsible for her.
She has to understand if she won’t get help to stop drinking, then there are consequences.
Unless you’re prepared to become her carer, you don't have any other option but to be cruel to be kind.
Please believe you don’t have anything to feel guilty about. You and your husband shouldn’t give up your Christmas for her.
I am sending you my support pack, Dealing with a Problem Drinker which has helpful information and sources of support.
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