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My friend fell off the wagon

Old 11-06-2010, 12:21 PM
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My friend fell off the wagon

Hi everyone,

I'm new here.

My friend has just fallen off the wagon after seven months of sobriety. I've know him for four months.

He called this morning and told me that he had started drinking again and he asked me if I would come and pick him up. I brought him back to my place, gave him some and he's sleeping it off. He's been very apologetic about asking me for help.

I'm starting to feel anxious about what I should do and say when he wakes up. I'm concerned about how best to offer friendship and support without rescuing or enabling. While I am somewhat familiar with the ideas around co-dependency, I'm feeling overwhelmed, sad for him and anxious.

Any advice would be much appreciated
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:18 PM
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Welcome to SR!

We specialize in information and support!

Here is a link to a post that contains steps that have helped many of us:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html

Stick around - read and post as much as needed!
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:15 PM
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Many thanks, this was most helpful!
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:20 PM
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Why did you need to go pick him up? Didn't he have a home to go to?

I'm kind of confused.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:21 PM
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I'm confused too.. you said you picked him up and 'gave him some'.. some what?
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:25 PM
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Oops! I picked him up brought him to my place and I gave him some tea.

I didn't question the request, which in hindsight I probably should have. He said he needed help and without thinking, I responded.

My plan when wakes up is to ask him what his plans are. What does everyone think about that? I also thought I might ask him if he wants me to go to AA with him.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:26 PM
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He can only rescue himself Dorthea. Try not to take on his worry or anxiety. He can numb it with drinking but you can't so who ends up feeling more anxious? Us, the one who isn't the alcoholic.

Don't second guess how you offer friendship or support. You do it in a way that you would any other friend. Probably with boundaries and compassion but aware that it is his battle, not yours.

No point in asking him what his plans are. His plan is probably to drink until HE decides he wants to get help. Hopefully sooner rather than later but 7 months of sobriety isn't that long sadly. It is a good start but he may have been pretty bad off before he went sober the last time.

Anyway, there really isn't anything you can do. Hard I know because we care etc but trust us on this, it isn't your job.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:32 PM
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Stop while you're ahead! Please, don't go to an AA meeting with him, unless you're also an alcoholic wanting to quit drinking. His recovery has to be purely self-led and self-maintained. I know it feels like a friendly supportive thing to do, but just about the LEAST supportive things to do when it comes to this stuff is to try to help anyone's recovery along, especially when you're not qualified to.

He does NOT need your help to get or stay sober, I hope he's not making you feel that way, and please don't think that. In fact, the LESS help he gets outside of himself, the BETTER his chances of recovery success. I want to repeat that in a different way.. the MORE he has to figure this out, and implement his next actions, and the LESS he depends on anyone else to do any work for him, the BETTER chance at success.

You are a friend, and as a friend allow him to create his own recovery journey. Step out of the way.. don't rescue, don't hold hands.. for anything to work (if he even wants it), he has to take the lead and walk without you.

Maybe I'm being dramatic.. maybe my mind is jumping forward in a few months imagining you're still here totally sucked in to a codependent/enabling mess of a relationship, wondering how you lost yourself along the way. It's because it happens, so quietly.. so often.

Pop him back at his house, let him know AA is in the phone book under the "A"s, and go about your life as if this never happened. Sounds weird, I know.. but it's best, I promise.

Originally Posted by Dorthea View Post
Oops! I picked him up brought him to my place and I gave him some tea.

I didn't question the request, which in hindsight I probably should have. He said he needed help and without thinking, I responded.

My plan when wakes up is to ask him what his plans are. What does everyone think about that? I also thought I might ask him if he wants me to go to AA with him.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:35 PM
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I had a friend once, ask me if I'd drive him to the rehab if he asked me to. I said yes, of course. I didn't know much about alcoholism back then.

I'd still say yes. He's no longer around though.
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