Tuesday, January 10, 2012

From Your Friend

***Submitted by Anonymous

I love you.

I always will.

We have been friends since high school and I want us to be friends for the rest of our lives. And I want the rest of our lives to be healthy and happy and long.

 I’m worried about you. I don’t say anything because I don’t want to wreck our friendship and I don’t know how you’d react. But when you can’t remember the funny things we talked about on a Friday night because you drank too much, it makes me sad.

I want to be able to make memories with you, and not lose them to a blackout. When you have to review the pictures in your phone to see what we did over the weekend, I worry about you. And I worry more when it doesn’t seem to worry you. Or your husband. Or your mother. Or our other friends.

When you finally come out with me one town over, you can’t drink as much since you have farther to drive home. So far, you’ve made an excuse each time about why you have to leave early. At first I thought you were uncomfortable in a new place, then I realized you were uncomfortable not being able to drink as much as you want.

It’s hard to be friends with someone who has to have everything on their terms, which always involve drinking. When you called and asked me to pick you up those times before we went out, you said it was because your night vision wasn’t good, and the brakes in your car were bad. It took me some time to realize that you just wanted a designated driver so you could drink more.

When you finally left the bar that one night after you did those things, the men I always thought of as heavy drinkers were talking about your excessive drinking and accompanying behavior. They said to me “it’s nice that you have all your faculties about you.” It made me sad that that was something to be complimented. And I wished that we could spend time together where you did not have to leave in a crumpled heap with people giving each other the nervous, sad smile as you stumble out behind your husband.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know how to have an intervention. Do people even have those?

I just love you.

And want a long happy healthy friendship with you. But it’s becoming more and more difficult.

I love you. And I will love you if you stop drinking.

And I will still hang out with you outside of the bar and without wine and do fun things with you if you stop drinking.

We all still will.

 Love,

 Your friend.

7 comments:

  1. Oh wow. I barely got through this without crying. I am sure this is exactly how my best friend felt for years when my behavior was out of control. You are such a great friend to care so much (even if your friend doesn't realize it at this point). The best thing my friend did for me was to listen and be there - she didn't enable my behavior by any means but was always there for me when I needed it. I pray that your friend gets the help she needs.

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  2. What an amazing post, from a voice I have rarely heard - that of a friend of an alcoholic. Thank you for writing. I hope your friend sees herself in this. I hope that you are able to have that long happy healthy friendship.

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  3. I see the leaving early as a sign not of awkwardness or shyness, but of wanting to get home so you can truly unleash into your drinking session. I love you too, we all do, it's time for you to love you too.

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  4. Wow, I'm reading this at work - big mistake, I've got tears rolling down my face. I feel like it's like a letter my best friend could have wrote to me in the past. It's hard to take but so needed to be heard by someone who's having a problem with alcohol - whether they want to hear it or not. I really do hope that your friend got the help she/he needed - either through an intervention, which is what I probably should have had, or that she's come to the conclusion on her own, which is finally what happened to me.

    Best wishes xo

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  5. Anonymous, writer of the post.January 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Thank you all for your comments. (This is the author.) I wrote this in October, and since then have decreased the time I spend with her going out, but I can tell from her late night Facebook posts (and early morning ones saying "ugh, never doing that again") that not much has changed in that area. I do get together with her for lunch, and invite her to other activities (which are usually declined.)

    If your friends had said anything to you, would that have made a difference? Did you really just need to figure it out on your own?

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  6. I think saying something could plant a seed, but be prepared for the friend to frost you out for awhile, or perhaps for good.

    My sister-in-law, who is muslim and has never drank, told me I shouldn't drink so much and I took it in stride, didn't get angry with her at all, but I kept hearing her words in my head. It contributed to my stopping, but I already had thoughts of stopping.

    If your friend doesn't have those thoughts of stopping and those around her continue to enable her, she may get uppity and cut you out of her life. But she will have your words rattling around in her head for a while, I'm sure.

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  7. Thank you for allowing me to see myself through my friends eyes back when....

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