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Alcohol support

Does this sound to you like someone whose drinking is out of control?

0 replies

deathbyprocrastination · 30/11/2020 11:39

I have a good friend who I also work with. I know he had issues with drinking at uni, he always drank longer and harder and more frequently than anyone there (and we all packed away a fair bit in those days). A few years after uni, I was worried and took him aside to say I thought he needed to stop drinking, he agreed temporarily that he had a problem but then drifted back into it and became quite defensive about my having mentioned it.

Skip forward to 2012 and he admitted to DH that he'd seen a doctor about his drinking and that he'd been advised that, at the level he was drinking, it would be dangerous for him to stop without proper detox support. That opened up the conversation again but we weren't in regular contact at that point and I didn't feel we were close enough to be able to raise it. The next time I saw him, he was drinking again 'normally' (i.e. no indication that drinking was out of control) and I didn't raise it though DH did and friend became very defensive again.

I now 'see' (offline or online depending on restrictions) a lot of him because we are working on a project together. He doesn't look in great shape. I don't ever see him drunk but his skin is terrible, his eyes are very bloodshot in the mornings and he just seems incredibly grumpy first thing. My suspicion is that he's drinking heavily and because he lives alone, works freelance and has no particular timetable, it's escalating.

When he's socialising in a group these days he never seems more drunk than anyone else but he does finish his drinks very quickly. I don't know if I'm being very hypocritical given that we will meet up socially and drink alcohol with him but I just have a feeling it's out of control for him. I would never dare raise it but it makes me anxious, largely because he's a good friend who is like a godparent to our DC and I'm worried about his welfare but also because we are now working together and I find his awful moods in the morning quite hard to deal with, though who knows if they would be better if he stopped drinking.

Anyway, I don't know what I'm asking, I guess I just wanted to get people's thoughts:

  • do the symptoms I'm describing sound alcohol-related (he says the skin inflammation is down to stress)
  • is there anything I can do
  • am I being irresponsible drinking with him/ in front of him? I'm sure a lot of people reading will be very disapproving about the fact that we have/do drink in front of him but he's a good friend and it's become totally normal for us to have dinner and a glass of wine with him - I'm not talking heavy drinking/hangovers etc and he's given no real indication in recent years that he has a problem, it's just my hunch

I grew up in a very alcohol-fuelled household and I guess my eyes have been opened to that in recent years but, for so many of my family and friends, regular drinking is just normal and I find it hard to know when/if intervention is helpful/necessary etc. I watch my own alcohol consumption much more carefully these days but don't want to become totally sanctimonious about what others choose to do. Equally I don't want to turn a blind eye if they are in a really bad way and I'm contributing to the problem by drinking with them.

Any thoughts appreciated
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