flashie: i have a friend who isnt a bad drunk but feels the need to drink day in day out. a bottle of wine can be polished off in under 5 mins at any time of the day, sometimes with spirits in the mix too.
it turns my friend into a dip shit, like i said he's not a nasty or aggressive drunk but i worry about his drinking and useless attempts to pretend he doesnt have a problem.
anyway, i find it frustrating when he calls slurring and generally annoying me when im chilling at home sober on a school night. ive started to get narked with his behaviour and have made it known its not a good look getting smashed so often.
i hate myself for getting wound up about it and my friend is always kind in his response and says he understands and that he wants to sort it out, but as i keep pointing out is doing nothing but blowing hot air and nothing in action to curb it.
i usually rant and say ffs just take a day off, youre out for drinks with friends tmrw night so lay off it the day before - sitting indoors alone getting hammered then calling me interrupting my evening with drunken dribbling nonsense.
what id like to know is...
am i being too harsh? should my approach be a bit more gentle? i hate ranting at my happily drunken newt mate but his doc says his liver has abnormality and i dont know what to do to make him realise he's ruining his health.
Anne aka Mags: I hate to say this flashie, but all the ranting in the world is never gonna change him. I know this from experience.
My exhusband is an alcoholic. Like ur friend he wasn't a violent or abusive drunk. In fact, he was usually really funny!
My point is that i ranted, cried, begged for him to get help and while he was drunk, he'd be all sorry and asking me to forgive him. But once he got sober, he'd have no recollection of our previous conversations. It would continually break my heart to see him destroying himself.
We split up 11yrs ago and I thought that might be the wake up call he needed, but it wasn't. Sadly, he still drinks and has even lost the priviledge of having our son stay over with him. He is incapable of looking after himself, let alone our son.
What has helped me is that I joined a group called Al-Anon. It's for families and friends of alcoholics. I learned how to cope with the concern. I learned to realise that I could not change my husband, just how I responded to him. I should add that there were people there that still lived with their alcoholic partners as well as those who didn't.
Like Alcoholics Anonymous, there are many guidelines and support networks for you. Many of the same sayings were as relevant to the families and friends as to the alcoholics themselves including the focus on a 'higher power' who would help give strength.
I don't know what kind of faith you have, but the main saying/prayer that helped me was this:
God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and
the Wisdom to know the difference.
If you ever need to talk flashie, message me and I will help you in any way I can!
Anne aka Mags: Forgot to say that this is a global organisation and I'm pretty sure they have a website. Although, you should be able to find a group in your phonebook. There's bound to be groups in the UK.
ΩLucidΩ: Your friend has to be willing to accept he has a problem for a start. You cannot help those who do not help themselves.
Sables: Lucid is right, they have to be able to admit they have a problem, they are the only ones that can help themselves, all you can do is be there for them when they want the help.
I have been in your position and it is like banging your head againest a wall.
scargo: Your friend is an alcoholic and you as well as your son are the victim. As has already been pointed out, there are organizations to help you. These are of little value when the cause of the problem is ongoing. Since nothing seems to have worked during the last 11 years I suggest that you make the decision to change your life and get as far away from the problem as possible. I am assuming that this is an option? I have spent years in a relationship that was going nowhere and I can say with confidence; that "The day you decide not to put up with it anymore, or attempt to look after people who want to drag you into the gutter with them, the better of you are". YOu simply can't be responsible for someone elses life and you shouldn't even be putting yourself into that position.
ΩLucidΩ: I am speaking from experience as the sister of a drug addict and alcoholic, I had to cut her out of my life. Until she admits she needs help I am no longer a part of her life.
Bit of tough love won't hurt flashie.
Anne aka Mags: scargo u got me confused with flashie. I have moved on and so has my son. It is flashie who is dealing with a friend who sounds like an alcoholic!
thanks all for your responses, its not the fluffy reply i was hoping for but still im very grateful you all took the time to help me figure this out.
it does feel like banging your head against a wall having concerns for someone who seems to not care about themselves. tbh its sucking the life out of me.
my dad was a alchy but he died when i was a kid so i was ignorant of it. but i know the pain he put my mum thru, and ive told my friend all about this - hence my ranting, i told him im not good with kind of thing and it really pisses me off watching someone kill themselves while the ppl who care about them seem to waste their time and effort worrying about it.
another mate has said he needs to stop absolutely, i was hoping stupidly perhaps that he could just get it under control. so he says to me when were together he'll refrain from drinking - completely missing my point that i dont want him to curb it for me, but for himself when hes alone...
it sucks. and its so obvious he needs to stop or just keep it to weekends or somthing - thats what i hoped for.
the tragic thing for me is hes a really lovely person and wouldnt harm a fly, which makes its all the more frustrating watching that self destructive behaviour.
ΩLucidΩ: You cannot control what another person does. Step away, and let him come to you when he admits he has a problem. I know its a big thing to do, but in the long run you are helping him.
Anne aka Mags: I found I had to draw lines in the sand of what I would and would not put up with. For example, if our son was staying with him then he was not allowed to drink with him there (part of our div). When he broke this, I withheld his visitations.
As the others have said, you can't change him if he doesn't want to. All you can do is make sure you have a support network for yourself. Otherwise, it'll do your head in.
dave3974: I have known people that have had thsi detructive urge , some have seen what it is doing to them and given [ no half measures given up completetly] they are few , the nature of addiction is that it is difficult & you do not see a problem.
Remember alcohol and binge drinking is deep within our culture in the UK , a great factor in the saxons loosing at the battle of hastings was that most were pissed.
Anne aka Mags: LOL dave! No wonder we Aussies like to drink too! The convicts brought it with them
I find it interesting that there has been so much focus on changing our views on the culture of smoking, yet there's been barely a nick in the armour of the drinking culture!
scargo: Considering that less than 2000 people attended the battle of Hastings and less the 100 got killed or seriously injured according to the official records ( not the popular media created mythical version of history ) I am not surpised. It would have been hard enought to run in that iron and muck without a few under your belt, but given the tradition of breaking a few barrels to build the blood lust not manay staggered far. They probabaly would have ben better of with few f^$@ because it would have taken another 800 years for medical science to catch up. Or was that the Indians who used smoke the war pipe and the peace pipe ... Eitherway, dealing with drug dependence is a medical problem best handled by professionals. It is important to look after yourself and not become a victim regardless of any emotional ties. Kids most importantly must be protected from any harm or else we end with generations of victims, users. molestors and abusers. Someone has to break the continum. If you had an alcoholic father then you are the one who has the break the cycle for your kid.
dave3974: records of the hastings incident can not be considerd acurate by todays standards but it is genrally accepted accepted that about 5000 saxons died,[ and a more afterwrds] and 3000 normans ; i don`t think tobacco would have given anyone the same courage to take part; the 2000 people event sounds more like a rowdy night out
Around here a lot of the night time ecomomy depends on a lot of money being spent on alcohol, the responsble drinking message is promoted but not as well as it could be.
Anne aka Mags: If the powers that be were as active with anti-excessive drinking as they are with with promoting anti-smoking we might get somewhere.
dave3974: perhaps when the smoking issue is sorted out alchol will be next, but i have no problem with anyone enjoying a drink ,isn`t it great to go out and not have to sit in the stinking smoke though
Morsy: Yes its good to go out and not smell the smoke but it would be also great if the drinker would not fall and breathe all over you, they lose control and a lot become agitated and violent at a drop of a hat. I smoke but will refrain in company of non smokers or when not permitted a drinker carries on regardless. As for your friend flashie, stepping back is the answer although I feel for your friend his behaviour is self destructive and it hurts to see someone do that because they are suffering not only an addiction.
dave3974: The drinkers are fine as long as they do not want to punch you, and as they are not smoking i have no problem with their breathe.
But what is it about drink in some western cultures that makes people want to beat the crap out of others .
Perhaps the smokers are right and we should all be smoking a variety of substances , or is it taht the law is to weak on deling with yobs.
oldtimeracer: Flashie, until your friend realizes he has a problem, there isn't one thing you can do. Also, an alcoholic will never get his drinking "under control". After he realizes he has a problem, then he will have to admit it. That is a tough thing to do. I was in denial for years just like your friend is. One sad thing about an alcoholic is that they think they are only hurting themselves. They don't realize what they are doing to their family and friends that love them.
That was my favorite sob story that I was only hurting myself. I never realized the toll it took on my family and friends until I got sober. And some times it take people to hit bottom to finally look through that fog and realize "I just might need some help here". That is what happened with me. I had a nice house, a wife and three beautiful kids. Then one day, I woke up and I was sleeping on a park bench with the wife, kids and house gone!
I hope that your friend realizes that he is headed down a dead end road. I've been there and it is nothing to be proud of and I would never want to go back to that life again.