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Mom Despairs of Alcoholic Daughter's Future

DEAR ABBY: My 33-year-old daughter recently moved back home after failing to finish a graduate program. I discovered she was an alcoholic a few years ago and encouraged her to get treatment. She was in an outpatient recovery program and making progress, but recently relapsed.

Before her relapse, her dad and I helped her to buy a business, which is not doing well. Her employees quit, and she lost a lot of income. She started going to AA meetings, and hired some people she met who attend and live in a halfway house.

I regret helping her, and I now realize I must stop all interactions with her. She has a huge sense of entitlement and does not appreciate my help. I feel I have failed as a parent and hope I can move past this and work through my depression. Any advice you can offer is welcome. -- BEST MOM I CAN BE

DEAR BEST MOM: You have not "failed" as a parent. Your daughter has an addiction. Her addiction is not your fault. Substance abusers have been known to fall off the wagon on their road to sobriety, and this is what happened to your daughter.

It would be helpful for you to talk about your depression with a licensed mental health professional who is familiar with addictions, and to attend some Al-Anon meetings. Because you feel your relationship with your daughter has reached the point that she can no longer live with you, tell her she must make other living arrangements and set a date for her to move out. Do not do it in anger. In fact, it may be better for both of you.

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