Friday, April 03, 2009


I have a friend who is so far gone that we don't know what to do... a friend who drinks vodka for breakfast (100 proof), a friend who spent time in jail recently from her first DWI. A friend who graduated from University of Texas back then, was so smart back then, but cannot today recall where she parked her car. I have a friend whose childhood was so messed up and physically abusive that all she does to survive is go deep inside her shame and her bottle. And everyone focuses on the details of the risk, of her driving, her car, THE RISK OF HER BEHAVIOR ON OTHER'S LIVES, while patting her drunken head because the nightmare in her head is not something we recognize or even have a clue how to help. Who is she? Do you know? She has trouble in her past, trouble like I can't tell you, and denial and a family sweeping it all under the rug. She's two years away from 50 and her birthday is in four days. She has an addiction to alochol but that's not her problem. Her problem is that her problem has gone on for so long that we have no idea how to help her now. Do you know how to help her? Do you know how to help us help her? If you do, I want to hear from you. After so many years, and many battle scars, we've run out of ideas.


Anonymous said...

yes, i know her. i love her. and over a 2 year period, i reached out to her, privately, time and time again, when i realized the magnitude of her problem. i arranged to meet with her, time and time again, each time stood up with no explanation. the last time i was stood up, i realized that her disease is bigger and badder than anything i can offer her. and that was a deafening realization.
it was the end of a friendship - a unique, rewarding connection that i really cherished. your passionate plea to want to help her is very moving. i have resigned myself as helpless to her, because she is helpless in her disease. i have to leave it to fate now. and i pray for her. a lot. if it helps at all, you have empathy.

Network Geek said...

I don't know her, but I know plenty of alcoholics and former alcoholics. Here's what to do. Suggest that she go to an A. A. meeting and get help. Then, get yourself to an AlAnon meeting and learn to let go of what she does with her life. Until she wants to change, until she wants her life to be different, there's nothing in the world anyone can say or do to make her see what's wrong. Not even you.

Soulful said...

I have offered legal help to her family. They did not follow up as they said they would. They are the only ones who have the power - the legal power - and she is the only one who has to have the will power.

I am as lost and clueless as you as what to do anymore.

Anonymous said...

Sierra Tucson, in Arizona. Little unassuning sign when you pull in says, "Expect a Miracle." They happen there.

maxngabbie said...

I've been thinking of a response to this post...well, since you posted it. My sister-in-law, 42 yrs. old, starts her day by cracking a fifth of whiskey, and has since she was 15 I've just found out. A fifth a day, she now weighs 85 lbs, skin is turning grey...organs MUST be shutting down. We tried a family intervention as suggested by AA, she did allow us to have her admitted, it lasted for three days. You cannot keep someone against their will, at least in Michigan anyway. Lost her marriage, lost a fabulous job that took her all over the world on a private jet...bla, bla, bla. After Christmas passed, I searched the internet for "the final stages of alcoholism", I didn't find much, but what I DID find from reputable sites is that she cannot stop drinking, as to do that alone would surely kill her, which in a strange way caused me to have more empathy for her. So what do I do? I love her, I just simply love her, I show her compassion, without enableing her behaviors. I show her more love than she shows herself, and I stopped being angry with her. No, I haven't given up, I just view her differently now. I have turned this over to God, and asked Him to please give me the strength to keep on loving her.
I am sorry about your friend Alison. She evidently has found great comfort in a bottle, something to curl up with when the pain of the past gets too great. As someone in the first post pointed out, this IS a big and bad disease, to those of us that are strong, imagine how huge it is to those suffering from it.
Sorry I've babbled so long.....just so you don't have any regrets, let her know you will always love her, for those words to her may be the lifeline she needs when she hits the very bottom of that barrel, and she will. I'll add her to my list of prayers, and you too.