advertisement
Question
Posted by: Concerned Friend | 2011/05/13

My best friend is an alcoholic

I know for a fact that my 27 year old best friend has a serious drinking problem. I come from a family with alcoholic history, her mother is an alcoholic, so I know the signs. The question is what do I do?

She is VERY depressed, history of bad relationships with men aswell as her family and thus she has no self confidence at all. I have been friends with her for almost 17 years and am desparate to help her. I have tried talking to her about it but it almost cost me our friendship. She doesnt drink alone at home, but when she goes out she gets totally wasted and starts hitting on any man who looks her way - what if she hits on the wrong man? She drives drunk too, once she refused to give me her keys so I followed her home and she ended up driving on the wrong side of the road, it was the scariest night of my life watching her almost drive into an oncoming car!


From that night onwards i decided that for my own sanity I could not watch this anymore and I have since avoided seeing her where there will be alcohol involved, I know it sounds selfish but i spent about a year having sleepless nights worrying about this girl and it was starting to affect my relationship with my fiance and my own mental wellbeing.

She told me a few weeks ago that she thinks she needs to stop drinking because she is starting to suffer from memory black outs and thinks she may have a problem, she also went on to tell me that she drinks to give her confidence, but that she will stop.

Since then she has boasted to me that she has cut down and is doing so well. I was so proud of her, until her other friend emailed me and said that she is worried about her because she is drinking more than ever and getting totally wasted every weekend!

So now she is lying to me. What do I do?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Essentially, ONLY the alcoholic herself can change things for the better. What you can do as a friend is limited, but still valuable, in encouraging her to see and acknowledge that she has an alcohol problem, and to seek expert help with it. However difficult it may be for an alcoholic to control their drinking, it is possible, and it is especially possible to control the circumstances in which they drink - and her patterns of getting staggered in public places and picking up or luring strangers is dangerous, and her drinken driving is dangerous to other, wholly innocent people, as well as to herself.

Now that she is at long last beginning to face the posibility that she may be suffering serious and lasting harm fro her excessive drinking, this is a good time to encourage her to get the help everyone but she can see that she needs.
The drinks give her a delusion of confidence - CBT and similar counselling methods can give her genuine and lasting confidence. She may be lying to herself as well as to you.
Maybe an intervention could help at this stage - but involving other people close to her rather than just you. And she mustn't be allowed to get away with the usual whine "Don't JUDGE me !' People who drive drunk DESERVE to be judged by others - and ARE being judged by others, only most others are not telling her their judgement. And if she continues this way, she will be jusged by a judge ( if she is lucky ) or at the Pearly Gates if not.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/05/14

Essentially, ONLY the alcoholic herself can change things for the better. What you can do as a friend is limited, but still valuable, in encouraging her to see and acknowledge that she has an alcohol problem, and to seek expert help with it. However difficult it may be for an alcoholic to control their drinking, it is possible, and it is especially possible to control the circumstances in which they drink - and her patterns of getting staggered in public places and picking up or luring strangers is dangerous, and her drinken driving is dangerous to other, wholly innocent people, as well as to herself.

Now that she is at long last beginning to face the posibility that she may be suffering serious and lasting harm fro her excessive drinking, this is a good time to encourage her to get the help everyone but she can see that she needs.
The drinks give her a delusion of confidence - CBT and similar counselling methods can give her genuine and lasting confidence. She may be lying to herself as well as to you.
Maybe an intervention could help at this stage - but involving other people close to her rather than just you. And she mustn't be allowed to get away with the usual whine "Don't JUDGE me !' People who drive drunk DESERVE to be judged by others - and ARE being judged by others, only most others are not telling her their judgement. And if she continues this way, she will be jusged by a judge ( if she is lucky ) or at the Pearly Gates if not.


Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Kasandra | 2011/05/13

Trust me she is probably going to resent you for " dropping"  her THAT is what I use to think until later when I realised that my friends just couldnt keep being my friends anymore cause I just dragged them down and into my destructive live.

Its very hard but keep praying for her and then just distance yourself.

She will follow the booze and friendships which includes booze and always blame everything and anything accept the real reason.

You do not want to get into that destructive cycle.

I know its not easy.

My friend did the same thing, moved away from me and yes I did drag myself down till I reached rocked bottom and bad things did happen but that was the lessons I had to learn.

When I went into recover I found my friend again and we are now best friends.

For now just take a step back.

Reply to Kasandra
Posted by: Concerned Friend | 2011/05/13

Hi

Thanks so much for the advise. I tried an intervention with her and it almost cost me our friendship, she felt as though I was judging her and that I was jealous because she was going out and having a good time whereas I was getting engaged and settling down - so how do you reason with that?

I am busy following Kasandra''s advice at the moment, I distance myself completely from her drinking and only see her when there is no booze involved. However I cannot help but worry about her and fear the worst :-(

Reply to Concerned Friend
Posted by: Yip | 2011/05/13

Maybe you should try an intervention. Phone your nearest AA office and find out how to go about it. She is ignorant of her disease at the moment and is destroying herself.

Basically as far as I understand an intervention is where a couple of loved ones get together with her and voice their concern and clearly state that they will support her if she goes for help. If she does''nt then they will withdraw because as Kasandra says only she can help herself.

Good luck

Reply to Yip
Posted by: Kasandra | 2011/05/13

Hi There

First of all you are a really good friend and I can see you care dearly for your friend.

I was your friend back in the day. So I will tell you the best thing you can do is to distance yourself from the situation, untill she decides to get help. She is making the mistake in believing she can deal with the drinking on her own. BIG MISTAKE. But she has to learn from her own mistakes. You can''t decide for her to stop and you can''t protect her if she doesnt protect herself.

I sound very harsh but like I said I was your friend and I just dragged everyone that tried to help me down with me cause I didnt really get the professional help to stop.

The only one who can help your friend, is your friend herself.

Keep her in your prayers thou as I believe this has keep me safe and out of very sticky situations.

Keep posting.

Reply to Kasandra

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement