In thinking my friend is too old to do this?

(45 Posts)
ouestlechat Wed 30-Jan-13 21:22:36

And - does she have a problem?

We've been friends since we were 11, although we live miles away from each other now.
Every weekend (and sometimes weeknights too) she gets absolutely blind drunk and ends up either snogging someone unsuitable (someone married/someone she works with etc) or passing out on trains, falling out of taxis, losing keys etc.

We're both 37 - I never thought about it much when we were younger, but I got a text today from her at lunchtime to say she wasn't in work as she'd woken up in a train in a siding and it had taken her ages to get home.

I don't drink, so I know my judgement is sometimes skewed, but is this normal for a 37 year old. I'm really concerned about her safety too.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 30-Jan-13 21:27:44

Not normal for any age. Sounds like she has an alcohol problem.

Latara Wed 30-Jan-13 21:30:34

I know people in their 50s & older who drink far too much... but i'm 36 & i don't drink like that now personally.

Going to bars & clubs is fine at 37, there are lots of places with a variety of age groups in larger towns so you don't feel out of place.

But drinking that heavily is just stupid at any age.

The problem is that she's drinking an amount of alcohol which can really affect her health badly; as well as putting herself in potentially dangerous situations.

I did used to binge drink in my 20s & behaved in a similar way, now i've stopped drinking.
A person has to want to stop though & it's very hard to stop.

Bobbybird40 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:31:21

But why are you bothered OP? Seriously.

ihatethecold Wed 30-Jan-13 21:31:36

Definitely not good.
Drinking to oblivion is a problem. For her health and her safetysad

It's not normal to pass out from drinking and wake up in a siding. At 18 or 37. She has an alcohol problem. Are you going to ask her about it?

ihatethecold Wed 30-Jan-13 21:33:11

Why would she not be bothered?
It's her friend!!

Purple2012 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:35:49

She is bothered because she is her friend and worried about her safety.

Latara Wed 30-Jan-13 21:36:12

I can understand why OP is bothered too; i have a relative who i'm concerned about who's a bit younger but drinks far too much as well; also a colleague who's close to being alcoholic.

It's normal to worry about people you're close to!!

ouestlechat Wed 30-Jan-13 21:39:36

I have tried to talk to her about it before, but her response has always been 'You don't drink, and you don't live in the city, therefore you don't know what's normal,' or some other excuse.
I'm bothered because she's my friend, my very good friend, and although she claims to be happy, I don't think she can be.
I need to speak to her about it, but I would like to do it face to face really.

Bobbybird40 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:42:29

Well yes OP but who is to say that her way of living isn't the right one - for her? Way makes you think you know best?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 30-Jan-13 21:46:42

I take it she's single OP?

ouestlechat Wed 30-Jan-13 21:51:46

She is single now, yes, she broke up with her boyfriend of two years about 12 months ago, but to be honest this was happening even then.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 30-Jan-13 22:06:43

Do you think her behaviour is a result of her relationship?

Purple2012 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:10:07

bobby the op is worried about her. Getting so drink you pass out on a regular basis is not a good way for anyone to live. She could lose her job if she keeps doing this and is constantly late for work/not turning up.

And more seriously something could happen to her.

pointythings Wed 30-Jan-13 22:13:05

I doubt your friend is going to accept help from you, but YANBU to be concerned - it makes you a good person. This level of drinking will have an impact on her health and will likely impact on her job as well, and it's very sad that she doesn't see that. Her age has nothing to do with it though - this behaviour is harmful at any age.

Bobbybird40 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:14:58

OP if she claims she is happy you should take her at face value - surely? What should she be doing with her life?

katiecubs Wed 30-Jan-13 22:16:39

Bobby what stupid comments?!

Annakin31 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:18:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 30-Jan-13 22:20:38

I think you're right to be concerned for your friend especially as she's compromising her safety.

Bobbybird40 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:23:07

Seriously OP are you a bit jealous of your friend's partying lifestyle?

Nothing to do with age - she has an alcohol problem.
A problem drinker does not have to be physically addicted to alcohol to be damaging their mental/physical health, their relationships, their work prospects etc.
Your friend has a problem.
There is not much you can do until SHE realises she needs to get help/stop her self-destructive behaviour.

sukysue Wed 30-Jan-13 22:27:24

nothing you can do as dogwood said she is a binge drinker probably alcoholic and she is going to end up really ill and ruin her life.

katiecubs Wed 30-Jan-13 22:27:33

Yes bobby she is clearly jealous WTF?!

You are getting boring to be honest now - go away snd stop spoiling for a fight.

katiecubs Wed 30-Jan-13 22:29:19

OP I think talking to your friend face to face would be the way forward. I eouldn't suggest that she has a problem just that you are concerned for her safety when she gets into certain situations.

trio38 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:29:29

Yes Bobby, I bet the OP is really wishing she could wake up with a massive hangover in a train siding.

GrowSomeCress Wed 30-Jan-13 22:29:35

Oh FFS bobbybird wtf are you talking about?

OF COURSE she is concerned about her friend, getting blind drunk every weekend is reckless and dangerous!

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 30-Jan-13 22:33:10

Can't believe Bobbybird's posts.hmm
Op, I suppose it's more common for young people like students to behave like this, we've all done it, it's a rite of passage for may of us.
At 37 it is a problem, but like Pacific said, there's little you can do, she has to realise it too.
I'd just repeat your concern, but don't lecture her, it'll get her back up.
<speaking from experience> blush

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 30-Jan-13 22:34:15

OP, what sort of job does your friend have? How does she get away with this behaviour at work?

SirBoobAlot Wed 30-Jan-13 22:38:51

So glad you're not my friend, Bobby. Bloody hell. You think the OP is jealous that her friend fell asleep on a train, and woke up in the railway siding? Seriously?!

OP all you can do is tell her you are concerned for her, and tell her that you will listen if she needs to talk at all. You are not wrong to be worried sad

Pandemoniaa Wed 30-Jan-13 23:02:13

It's not healthy to drink yourself comatose at any age. I suspect that the older you get, the more cumulative damage you do to your health though. This sort of drinking makes your friend incredibly vulnerable too because clearly, she has no idea what might be happening to her once she is blind drunk.

YANBU to be concerned or to raise your concerns with her. But sadly, until she decides that she needs to stop binge drinking, your words will probably be disregarded.

suburbophobe Wed 30-Jan-13 23:07:26

Bobby needs to go off now and do something useful.

OP, there's nothing wrong with partying and having a good time - at whatever age.

However, when you are comprimising your own safety it's obviously on another level.

Have you had the conversation with her that she could end up raped and/or dead? The bottom line.

If she is turning it around as your problem, just tell her "Denial is not a river in Egypt" hmm

Writehand Thu 31-Jan-13 14:29:43

I'm an alcoholic, more than 20 years sober. Your friend sounds as if she has a problem, but she also has a good friend in you. Speak to her. Tell her that what she's doing is dangerous. There's a simple 5 question diagnostic test:

1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?

(0.0) Never
(0.5) Monthly or less
(1.0) Two to four times a month
(1.5) Two to three times a week
(2.0) Four or more times a week

2. How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?

(0.0) 1 or 2
(0.5) 3 or 4
(1.0) 5 or 6
(1.5) 7 to 9
(2.0) 10 or more

3. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

(0.0) No
(1.0) Yes

4. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?

(0.0) No
(1.0) Yes

5. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hang-over?

(0.0) No
(1.0) Yes

A score of 2.5 or greater indicates possible alcohol misuse and the need for further evaluation.

In my view, it's questions 3 and 4 that are the crunch ones. Lots of people drink a bit too much. It's when there's guilt and others being affected that you know you've got a real problem.

There are a number of ways people use to stop drinking. The only one that worked for me was complete abstinence and my beloved Alcoholics Anonymous. AA gave me my life back, and it was also much more fun than most people suspect. But AA only works if the person -- your friend -- wants to try on her own behalf. It's no good if they're nagged into it.

If it's possible, residential rehab (usually 6 weeks) is the easiest way in (though none of them is easy). There are NHS rehabs, but they're often booked. If rehab isn't an option, the Fellowship of AA recommends 90 meetings in 90 days. But that's way in the future. The first thing to do is get her to acknowledge that there's a big issue. Good luck! smile

frumpet Thu 31-Jan-13 15:23:52

Should does sound like she has a problem with alcohol , but her age is imaterial really .Her behaviour as a result of her alcohol intake sounds risky , thats the thing that would concern me .

maddening Thu 31-Jan-13 15:28:08

Well bobby - a person passed out at railway stations are v vulnerable to attack and the elements - apart from health problems the binge drinking is leading this woman to put herself at risk of physical harm - I would be worried if her friends thought there wasn't a problem.

I do have friends who drink (and take drugs) themselves in to oblivion and they are not sound mentally (one bipolar another with some major depression) - another has been sectioned - they are destroying their lives. When sober they express that they don't want to drink etc but they are in a cycle of destruction that only they can break - they are all over 40 and I doubt they will ever stop now - they were all very bright and full of potential with lovely characters when not wrecked.

KellyElly Thu 31-Jan-13 15:31:04

Bobby you seem a bit defensive. Do you like to get shit faced and pass out on trains?

ivanapoo Thu 31-Jan-13 15:35:00

I acted like this in my 20s. I live in a city too (woo get me)

Did I have fun? Yes, of a kind.

Was I happy? On the surface, yes. Underneath, I was deeply unhappy and unfulfilled. YANBU to be concerned, but I doubt anything you say will make a difference, except perhaps to your relationship with her.

Well it doesn't sound good. I like a drink but not to pass out or not remember.
That's just not right at all. A bit tipsy to lose inhibitions etc.... OK, but still not nearly every night and certainly not on a school night.
Try to have a word with her but I think she needs to hit her 'rock bottom' before she will turn it around.
Just be there for her.
Good luck.

Writehand Thu 31-Jan-13 16:25:18

YANBU to be concerned, but I doubt anything you say will make a difference, except perhaps to your relationship with her.

Thing is, Ivanapoo, alcoholism as a mental illness has a very high death rate. You can't ignore that. And if the OP is really her friend, she pretty much has an obligation to say that this level of drinking is massively dangerous.

That's how most of us realise we're alcoholics: because people tell us, and we either ignore them, or fall out with them. And time goes on, and we fall out with someone else, or ignore the fact that we're no longer getting so many invites. Because our social circle gradually changes: people start backing off when someone gets uncontrollably drunk. At 37 most people are leading more sober lives, with less room in them for heavy drinkers. Drunks typically end up with friends who are also drunks: those are the only ones who'll put up with them.

It can take the loss of friends, family, job, home for an alcoholic to finally recognise what they're doing. But if we want to help our friends the only way is to tell the truth as we see it. We have to hope they'll wake up earlier rather than later. I was a high rock-bottom: I still had my DH and my family, and I went on to have kids of my own. Low rock-bottom means living rough.

I got a text today from her at lunchtime to say she wasn't in work as she'd woken up in a train in a siding and it had taken her ages to get home.

This is hugely abnormal drinking, OP. There is nothing social about it.

DontmindifIdo Thu 31-Jan-13 16:33:57

Actually OP, in most cities, it's not considered normal, because at 37 she should be able to act professionally - even in some really hard drinking working cultures I've experienced, it was a given you made it to the office, perhaps a little late, but not at all because of drinking wasn't acceptable - beyond perhaps after a big one off work do (like a big Christmas party).

If she's in any sort of professional environment, her drinking partying like this will be seen as something she should have out grown by 25 at the latest, so will be looked down on/overlooked for any promotions etc.

If she's doing this regularly it sounds like she's stuck in 19 year old behaviour, at best she's not grown up and moved passed that.

It does sound like she's got a problem with drinking. It is probably easy to dismiss you saying it because you don't drink, but other people will be saying similar things who are able to handle their drink and know when to stop.

ouestlechat Thu 31-Jan-13 17:06:08

Thank you so much for your advice and suggestions, writehand this does seem to be a clear indicator. I'm going to invite her down for a weekend sometime soon, as I can't get up to see her, at least then we can have a chat. Many of you are right, I don't know how much help I can be, but at least then we can chat in person.

AnyFucker Thu 31-Jan-13 18:47:46

I would be terribly worried about a friend who was acting like this. Who wouldn't ? There was a news item recently about a woman who froze to death in a car after a night out on the lash. Horrendous.

When you speak to her, play down the sexual stuff. If she wants to shag around that is her choice and not necessarily a dangerous thing to do. But passing out in a railway siding is very risky, if only from the elements. Drinking enough to do that on a regular basis will be very, very bad for her health, and her looks too. If she values those things, I would play that aspect of it up (and it comes across as being much less judgemental, which is a potential enemy to your communication here)

Good luck, and I hope you can get through to her x

HoHoHoNoYouDont Thu 31-Jan-13 19:14:51

OP, your friend doesn't happen to live in the Manchester/ Cheshire area does she? Only she sounds like someone I know.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:22:22

Ah yes, the party in the gutter, the party puking in the alley, the party snogging some random.

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