Our expert says:
I'm not sure how useful the term "functional alcoholic" is - it may just mean they're better able to drink more, and to falsely persuade themselves that there's really nothing wrong.
If she has drunk to the point of significant pancreas damage, then she is very seriously ill indeed, and her alcoholism could very easily kill her.
As a nurse she knows this, even if she tries hard to ignore it. But you can't stop drinking for her - she has to want to do that, and to do it, herself.
Maybe she is depressed and feels guilty about what she has done ; maybe she does't care whether she dies. Don't allow yourself to fel guilty - you did not do this or cause this, and it is indeed highly frustrating to see someone you love doing something so damagin and unnecessary, and to be unable to do anything about it. Do see a therapist or counsellor to help you cope with this. And let your mother know how she causes you to despair because you want to be able to help her stop this self-destructive behaviour, but can only support her if she decides to do so, herself
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