Alcoholic friend Help or Let Go?

Old 05-05-2013, 05:43 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: NE Wisconsin USA
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Alcoholic friend Help or Let Go?

Dan(not real name) have been acquainted for many years. We were neighbors for several years. Within the last three years I'd say we became friends. He is alcoholic.

We do some mutual things together since I moved, like going to the food pantry and shopping at Walmart.

He is quite obese and handicapped, but can drive and walk with a cane. He is 60 and I am 52 but really no generational gap as an issue. I am able to help him with shopping and driving when needed.

Several years ago he loaned me several hundred dollars which I haven't paid back. So willingly I have been people pleasing and walking on egg shells about this even though he says he's not worried I won't pay it back.

This is my problem, and falls under financial unmanageability

He's known I don't drink, but not that I am in AA or Alanon. I am conflicted to tell him for many reasons which some are not rational.

I think I am showing him sobriety instead of telling him about it. I'd rather someone detached 12step him. I am selfish not in a healthy way in that my home group meetings are very personal to me. I think I would feel hindered. Maybe I still feel shame about the disease.

Totally irrational thinking here: I am afraid of rejection from him if I approach him to attend a meeting.

He crossed a few lines within the past year. One day he drove here after drinking to go to the store. My thinking at that time was ok he's not too bad to drive, let's get this over with. Afterwards I told him that will never happen again. I'm not sure when, but another time he wanted to visit me. His voice on the phone was extremely slurred and I angrily, vehemently, refused to have him over, that he was not welcomed.

Yesterday, after a sober shopping trip, and helping him pick out and buy a new DVD player, I called him later in the day to see how he liked his purchase. It didn't surprise me but within 6 hours he was sounding very drunk. I meant to end the conversation, but added I might like to get a flat screen tv.

And he goes off (which he has done before) not verbatim, but: Well that would be a waste it's just you and your cat, you only have one couch and that's full of cat hair. All you do is sit around and talk about your art. You don't have a girlfriend. You don't want people over. You can't even afford that.

For me: I enjoy my privacy, and if I do have people over it usually is a neighbor lady whom we share food with or a former professor, now friend, who we talk about writing and art. I don't like television and haven't had one in 5 years. I get all of my info and watch DVDs on my computer. I have a cat whom is my best non-human buddy. I keep a clean house, litter pan, and yes the cat hair is hard to keep up with. I'm a clean person. I don't even have my sponsor or family over. I don't have any secrets -- it's just that I am more comfortable with being with people outside of my home.

At first I thought he was being cynical, but then there was a meanness in his voice, critical, judging.

I cut him off with an "alrighty then I got to be going." and hung up.

A minute later he called back saying he didn't mean to be insulting. Again I said, " alrighty got to get going." And he repeated that mockingly and I hung up.

I am not going to call him back. He crossed several boundaries. No one messes with my living situation, relationships, nor finances. If he does call I will tell him not to call me drunk and what he said was unacceptable to me.

I think he helps me much more than just materially. He is intelligent and has a lot of great ideas. Very caring towards others. Just likeable to be around.

but with the drinking comes the meanness, dishonesty, denial, blaming, unreliability.

I know this is long, but one more. Dan became upset because I wouldn't visit another former neighbor who went to the hospital after a drunken fall in which a neck vertebrae was broken. I called the hospital but let's say (Jeff) wasn't listed. I didn't pursue it. This fellow did sober up for several months through outpatient but didn't attend meetings. After I moved Jeff would call me several times a day. After a week I just blocked his calls and haven't talked to him in several years.

I just don't have any feelings towards Jeff. There are many many other people who can help him. There is no reason for me to take responsibility say were doctors, nurses, counselors, and other people in recovery are already doing.

Like towards Jeff, I've had to take this stance many times with other alcoholics.

Once again it comes back to boundaries, self-respect, self-esteen, and remembering that I didn't cause the alcoholism, can't control it, can't cure, and can't take responsibility for it.

Well any advice would be great. Sometimes I get heavy handed posting advice to other SR members.

Best to all of you. SR has become an integral part of my daily sobriety and AFG recovery.
wiscsober is offline  
Old 05-05-2013, 06:27 AM
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Engineer Things; LOVE People
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Work on you.

When you have your stuff together, folks will want what you have.

Attraction -- not Promotion.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:26 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wiscsober View Post

Once again it comes back to boundaries, self-respect, self-esteen, and remembering that I didn't cause the alcoholism, can't control it, can't cure, and can't take responsibility for it.
This^^^^keep doing this^^^ and you'll be just fine, because you already know how to handle this situation! Well done, by the way. You ended your story with your own advice to yourself.

Intoxicated people can be super annoying and cruel. Ending the conversation when he stepped out of line was the right thing to do. Spending time with him only when he is sober is a good boundary. Whether or not you talk to him again is your choice, but it seems to me you are already living what you describe above.

And for what it is worth - there is nothing wrong with the way you live your own life, as long as you are pleased and happy with it. Just remember, what other people think of you is none of your business.

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