To be majorly pissed off with my friend?(13 Posts)
Friend (let's call her Fiona ) has recently gone through a bad divorce and is really struggling holding things together.
She is an alcoholic. She won't seek help. She has her good and bad days- she can go a couple of days without having a drink but if someone offers her one, she won't refuse despite saying she wants to quit. She lives next door to a woman who will frequently come round with a bottle of wine
or three and I will call round to check on her and she will be pissed as a fart.
She has recently lost her job. She doesn't have Internet access at home so has asked me to help search for a job for her. Which I've done- happily. But sometimes she won't follow up opportunities I tell her about. She is at risk of being evicted as she has fallen behind on her rent and a couple of other neighbours have reported her for anti social behaviour
She came to me last week to say she needed to borrow £50 as her cars MOT was due. Her appointment was today.
I'm really pissed off with her for two reasons:
1. I have been there to support her lots over the past couple of months despite my own marriage break up, my father being unwell and being stressed out at work. Whenever I need HER her phone is switched off or she makes the conversation all about her, her day or will talk about people I don't even know.
2. I lent her the £50 for this MOT and last night she chose to go out and get pissed and so has missed her appointment
What's the point in "naming" her to refer to her as "she" for the rest of the post?
Anyhow, YANBU. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. You've tried to help her, stop wasting your time
Some people just can't be helped as they don't want to be helped. She clearly has a lot of issues going on but doesn't want to face up to them properly. It'll be hard to watch but my advise would be to not allow her problems to become your problems. Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom themselves to be able to finally sort their lives out. Just make sure she knows you're there for her to talk to if she ever needs it
Stop enabling her. NO MORE MONEY. I'm shouting but if you keep helping her out she has.l no incentive to sort herself out.
You could ask her for the £50 back seeing as she didn't actually use it as intended but I think she won't have it to give it to you.
Write the £50 off, don't lend her any more money whatever the situation urgency or desperation, and withdraw from her.
She has to reach rock bottom and if people with their good intentions stop her from doing that then she won't feel the need to seek help for herself.
You are enabling her alcoholism currently. Stop it.
Now you have her all the time, are there clues here as to why she might be getting divorced?
Alcoholism is very complex. You can't help her. She needs to want to help herself and then seek professional help after that.
You have found yourself in a codependent role. Alcoholics are surrounded by codependents and enablers. It's easy to get sucked in. Of course you want to help. You're a good person.
You have tried to be a good friend, but it's all thrown back in your face. Now you are getting angry (understandable), but guess what? YOU can stop what you are doing right now.
Don't wait for Fiona to see the light - she may never see the light. Meanwhile, you could be putting your time, energy and money towards a better cause - YOU!!!
Presumably 'Fiona' lost her job due to poor timekeeping/not turning up/turning up drunk or very hung over. She chose to spend the money you lent her on alcohol.
I think you should suggest that she sells her car so that she can pay off debts, at the very least remove her keys so that she can't drive it while drunk. I doubt she will do as you suggest, and you won't get your money back, but when she gets evicted it won't be your problem to deal with.
I agree, withdraw from this, no favours, or money.
Can I just say everyone - as a recovering alcoholic - just go give "fiona" a bit of a break? Easy peasy answer - provide emotional support (which is free!), don't enable with cash - be honest with her! She will know she's in a bad place, most likely terrorfied, guilt ridden and desperate to dig her soul out of this dark hole she has unwillingly found herself in. So be honest, let her tell you her woes and just offer to be the person on the end of the phone when she's tempted to lift a bottle.......emotionally detach yourself and help her be kind to herself - and you will feel kinder about yourself too.
Excellent response ACARTI, hope you are doing well x
But emotional support isn't free. It carries costs.
One of the things I feel most guilty about, from the time before I got sober, is the emotional impact I had on my friends and the people around me. An addiction isn't a carte blanche to consistently treat people poorly.
While yanbu for being pissed off about the £50, your friend is ill and needs your friendship and emotional support, not money. She will only be able to begin to recover when she accepts she's an alcoholic and wants to turn her life around. Until then all you can do is be there for her. She will test the patience of everyone around her to the absolute limit, because they will think logically and rationally, whereas she isn't doing at the moment.
I have seen a family member go through this, it was a long and very painful journey for everyone close to her. She's much better now thankfully, and is a very different person to be around, although she has an occasional blip, they're few and far between now and she knows what she needs to do to move forward each time, and has a good support network to do so.
One thing you could do for your friend, if you feel able to, is speak to the neighbour who's taking drink to her and gently explain your concerns, and ask her to support your friend without the wine from now on.
I'd also say your friend's lack of interest and ability to support you in your difficult times is likely to be because of this awful illness, rather than the real friend she might be if she were sober. My family member did some truly shocking things that no sane person would have done, that massively affected those closest to her, and she'd never dream of doing them now she's sober / in recovery.
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