How many of you have experience with alcoholics?
At what point do you push them away and get them out of your life?
A friend of mine who I love dearly is one – he teaches me art, we go on adventures, but lately he has been drinking bottles and blacking out. While blackout, we’ll argue a little and get lost in the city. He’ll usually ask me to punch him and when I do, I feel bad the next day.
I’ve never had to deal with an alcoholic before.
@birdflyinghigh, I used to be an addict myself and the truth is, their is no point trying to support an addict. You can’t do anything to protect or help him. He needs to come to a point where he wants to change. And no one can get him there, no understanding friend, no crying wife, no confused children, no worried mum.
I would better leave him alone but make sure you’ll be there for him when he hits rock bottom.
@revolutionaryroad, What is rock bottom?
He’s in love with me and has told me that if I asked him to change, he would. But I refuse to do that, or to be that person/reason for him. I’m not sure what to do other than stop drinking with him or stop being around him when he’s really drunk – I don’t like the responsibility of making sure he passes out somewhere safe or the feeling of guilt if he tells me to punch him/beat him up while drunk (he was teaching me how to spar for a while so I always think he just wants to practice).
I’m just not used to this level of feeling responsible for my actions with people.
@birdflyinghigh, I agree with Bettyblue there is nothing you can do to make this person change. I feel that a persons sobriety has to do with themselves, it is not your responsibility.
Though, sometimes a little push can help. You don’t have to be the hero or anything, just suggest getting some help. Sometimes substance abuse is a way of numbing yourself and is a symptom of a deeper rooted problem. Also you mentioned he said “if you ask me too I will stop” so he at least is starting to come around to the idea of change, this is good.
Rock bottom can last for days/months/years and this I can tell you from self experience as an alcoholic myself(I don’t drink, have not for 5 years but I am still an alcoholic) Rockbottom is diff. for everyone and since you know him best you can tell if he is there.
Love of my life — severe alcohol problems. We met in college, but she’d taken to the bottle in high school. She would mention something about problems at home (really conservative folks, according to her) but not divulge too much. There came a time when she’d be drunk day and night, wouldn’t know reality from imagination, and had severed ties from everyone. I tried my best to make her stop, but she just wouldn’t listen. I tried. I tried for a year and a half, but then I couldn’t take it any more. There comes a point in a relationship when, after trying everything, that you have to look out for yourself.
Of course there’s a difference between a friend and a significant other. I don’t have friends like that, but if I did, I would try even harder to help them (given that we were close friends).
@birdflyinghigh, I gotta break it down to you. He’ll be in love with you even if he doesn’t drink. What I’ve learned from personal experience is that alcohol and love go together like strawberries and ice cream. Anyway, forget the analogy. If he just wants you to hit him for him to come to his senses, then it’s alright. But if he is the violent emotional and hostile type who prefers the bottle more than you or friends for that matter, spending all of his money on it and neglecting you, then he’s a real alcoholic. Self-destruction is not always harmful to others. If his addiction is serious, he realizes that he is going to need you if/when he needs to quit! But for that to work, he’s going to need a person that’s going to be around for moral support and definitely not judging him. “But I refuse to do that, or to be that person/reason for him.” It’s about fucking support, why would you refuse? You’re afraid he’s going to become obsessed with you? He IS already in love with you so that doesn’t make any sense. He’s not stupid, alcoholics almost never are.
My mum died in late march this year and she was an alcoholic. She had been one all my life. I didn’t have the best relationship with her because of this. All the same I loved her dearly, but she was in utter denial. From my experience all I did was try and help her, but it doesn’t matter what those closest to her did. An alcoholic needs to get help themselves without being forced, as well as being a physical addiction it is also a mind set. If he’s asking for your help it means he trusts you and you can’t break that trust. My mum’s ‘boyfriend’ did that and after what seemed to be a recovery, he broke her trust which got her back up to top shelf spirits at 9 in the morning. It takes alot for an alcoholic to ask for help and trust me it a privilidge that he’s asked for it.
Hey, How about getting him to read this book.. ‘How to beat the energy thieves- Alcohol’ by Jess Miller. I was not an alcoholic but it really helped me to stop drinking altogether.. Although he first needs to accept he has a problem. I tried to tell a friend he may have a problem but denial is the first sign of an alcoholic.