I do appreciate your sharing this aspect of the reality of your mother's life--the genetics of both family sides (if one believes there is an 'addiction' gene in some of us...and I do)--her unhappy childhood--and her choice of the numbing remoteness and false 'bravado' that a alcoholic haze can bring.
I, too, grew up very closely with an alcoholic relative, and it was so painful. It affected everyone around her, but my sisters and I were very lucky to have non-drinking parents (except for the odd party drink). This, perhaps, made my own social drinking during my years living in England-- with the ubiquitous pub being the starting place for social gatherings--briefer than it might have been, as I soon became aware of the false and SHORT comfort a drink would bring to my basically shy personality.
What you quoted from the AA book about 'experiencing a psychic change' for real recovery was true for my relative--though she was 60, before she was willing to accept that change--a long time for loving, but frustrated relatives. She, too, finally approached AA--and though with difficulty--made it though and continues to do so.
It is extremely sad that your mother was never "ready". To her credit, though, her audiences and fans, saw nothing on the screen but a most unusually talented woman who loved her craft and always focused to improve it. And, how frustrating it is, when you admire such talent, that the only sources to learn more about that person is a few carelessly-written, mostly incorrect biographies. I'm sure you cringe at the 'amateur analyses' of her by those (like me!!) who read and come away with book loads of incorrect information. Thanks for setting us straight.
At any rate, we here are all extremely happy that when your own 'psychic change' came about--you were ready!
My best to you and your family for a wonderful New Year, filled with health, happiness and peace. (And trout! LOTS of trout!)
Tim..Thanks for putting things straight on all of this and the A/A quote, which I know so very well. We all have 'flaws' in our lives and if we didn't we wouldn't be here. It is part of life and how/when we handle it is part of what I have always called 'the tests in life'. It should be hard to judge 'others', even after we have taken it upon ourselves, to make changes we found we needed to change. I am so glad you wrote what you did on this....