Post # 1
Long time creeper. Finally decided to reach out to this awesome community for advice.
Short back story: we have been best friends in high school. In fact, we used to party together – she was my favorite drinking buddy. However, as I outgrew the partying lifestyle she began to encounter serious alcohol-related problems. From peeing her pants to getting hauled to the drunk tank at a football game to hurting (cutting) herself while black-out wasted…clearly, alcohol has developed into a problem. She admits she as a problem. She will be sober for a few days or weeks or months but the relapse seems to happen. She is annoying, rude and overly confident when drunk. When she drinks, it is regularly to the point of slurring her speech and/or blacking out. She comes from an unsupportive alcoholic family and she herself has very limited financial resources and is currently uninsured.
My wedding is approaching in May and I have relied on her for a lot – she has been to my dress fittings, venue walk throughs, catering tastings, etc. We do not have a formal wedding party since we are having a small 50 person wedding but she has acted as my maid of honor. She has been quite supportive (other than the occassional falling off the face of the planet while wasted). But, the fact that her alcoholism is still a huge issue and relapses continuing happening really concerns me. Sure, I am stressed about the idea of her showing up hot mess wasted at a pre-wedding event (bridal shower). But, mostly, I feel incredibly worried about her. I don’t know how to help her. I regularly check in with her and ask her how she is doing. She will lie to me about her drinking but I always find out (hiccups are a dead giveaway). I wish I could just check her ass into rehab. But, I can’t because she is an adult. Beyond that, I also worry about dragging this drama into my new marriage. It doesn’t necessarily seem fair to bring this drama into his life. I try not to get upset over it or let it wear me down but it does. And he has to deal with it.
How would you handle this situation? The idea of breaking of our friendship breaks my heart. But so does watching her repeatdly harm herself.
Advice? Opinions? Insight?
Post # 2
I’m sorry that you have to worry about a good friend of yours while you’re planning your wedding – it’s stressful enough. Do you discuss your feelings with her a lot? You said that she knows she has a problem. Is this because you’ve brought up your concerns to her? Do other people acknowledge her problem? Is her alcohol abuse bad enough to lead you to coordinating an intervention?
I think that it would be really nice of you to try to support her if she works on her problem, especially if she’s a good friend and is supportive of you and your life events. But if you continually express your concerns to her and she does nothing about it, I think that you are entitled to distance yourself from her, because it’s upsetting you so much. In fact, it might be the catalyst that causes her to change her ways.
I don’t have much experience with this, so it’s just my opinion. But I think that if you’ve told her how her actions make you feel, and she does nothing to change her behaviours, then you should protect yourself and your relationship with your husband by distancing yourself.
Good luck 🙂
Post # 3
MsGolightly: Thank you for your insight!
I have spoken to her numerous times – along with our other 2 close friends. However, her family enables her and would not participate in an intervention. She has been to AA but it doesn’t seem to stick.
Post # 4
mswest323: ahhh such a tough situation..
well 1. Intervention show was cancelled so no A&E 🙁
I know you mentioned her family wouldn’t be interested in helping, but do you guys share mutual friends who are concerned for her? or anyone else in her life?
Sometimes it is hard for people to change because they are comfortable and have not hit their bottom yet. Can she hold down a job? Does she support herself? including paying for the alcohol? Or are there others enabling her?
I know she admitted she had a problem, but does she admit she actually wants to change or does she just say she *knows* she should change?
AA doesn’t work for everyone – but there are a lot of different groups that aren’t AA, although i am sure it follows similar steps. Doesn’t hurt to look into them, maybe she would find another she likes.
If she is not willing and you expressing your concerns doesn’t help, than all you can do is let her know you will be here to help when she is ready to change. You can still be her friend, but it might be best to distance yourself a little, especially if she causes drama between you and your new H.
Post # 5
mswest323: Have you been to AA? Seems to me there would be a wealth of information from the attendees on what might have helped them – or what did help them – to decide to attend the meetings. Even if she doesn’t return to AA you might learn a great deal. Just a thought.
Post # 6
leisha606: We do have mutual friends who have discussed it with her although we have never done an intervention. Her mother is an alcoholic who likes my friend for a drinking buddy. Her dad was a meth addict but has become an alcoholic over the years and rarely talks to my friend. Her family provides her with no financial support but will drink with her.
Currently, she has a sugar daddy who pays her rent so she can live on her own. As far as I know, she essentially prostitutes to pay her bills the past 6 months (another issue in and of itself). She went to school to become a massage therapist but hasn’t completed the licensure process. She is not applying for jobs and basically spends all day at home when she isn’t with clients.
She is just a hot mess in general and I thought she had hit rock bottom. She has been sexually assaulted by clients, molested by her own grandpa, mugged multiple times, been thrown in detox by the cops, hurt herself (cutting) while drunk, broken phones and other expensive items…It has been a lot of stuff. But it just never seems to be enough to make her quit fully. She will stay sober a couple months (maximum) at a time but then relapses. She is rarely (if ever) drunk around me but I only see her a couple times a month.
Luckily, my FH is super supportive. He loves my best friend – she really is an amazing person when she is sober. She is a truly talented, gifted massage theraist as well as an intelligent, loyal, caring person. Other than her self-sabotage and alcoholism, she is the best friend I could ask for.
I am thinking that al-anon meetings may be my best choice to figure out how to handle this. I want to continue being best friends with her but I just don’t know how to establish healthy boundaries to keep my own sanity.
Post # 7
Also one last thing:
Her sugar daddy is married. So she is sleeping with a married man. Which I have an issue with – especially as the wedding gets closer and closer…it bothers me more and more. Which I have expressed to her. But, if she stopped seeing him, she would have to move back home (or find a job) since he pays her rent.
Post # 8
mswest323: You sound like a very good friend. You’re not judging her, and not making it about you which is fantastic. I’d expect a bridezilla to be mainly concerned about this girl ruining your wedding but you’re obviously way more concerned about her and her health and life. Good on you. From what I’ve learned alcoholics will only stop when they themselves choose to. You can’t make them sadly so interventions are only so helpful. They have to want to stop and choose to stop and not lie to themselves or anyone else about it. Until she does this I advise be there for her, try to manage it and like your poll said don’t enable her. You’re a good friend.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
There’s nothing you can do but stand by her when/if she ever decides to get her life together. And there is no guarantee that she will do that. I don’t think you should distance yourself from her; but don’t enable her either. When she’s on a bender, stay away (or take her to emergency if needed). That’s really all you can do.
Personally I wouldn’t distance myself from her b/c of her love-life. This girl has SERIOUS issues aside from just the alcoholism stemming from abuse and who knows what else in her childhood. She is making decisions because of poor self-esteem and addiction, rather than lack of moral fiber.
I think the idea of going to al-anon is great! You sound like an excellent friend, by the way. I’m glad you AND your Fiance can see the wonderful side of her despite her disease. 😀