Trying to help a Friend

Old 05-14-2008, 06:58 AM
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Question Trying to help a Friend

Well, I am new to this but am trying to find out a way to help a sweet guy that is dealing with addiction issuses. He is in a treatment center now, but I want to be supportive of him in there and when he gets out. He is going thru a divorce and his wife is not helping the situation; had an affair, hangs up on him, won't let him talk to his kids, says he can be replaced...etc. I just want him to know how great he is and that I will be there for him no matter what. How can I do this without seeming overbearing?
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:23 AM
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I had to step away about ten times before deciding to respond.

If you really want to be his friend, encourage his recovery and sobriety but don't be an enabler and stay out of his private life. Regardless of what he's said, you only have half the story and it comes from an addict. Do yourself a big favor and read the sticky called What Addicts Do.

His counselors and group can help him tackle his personal and private issues. If he brings it up, you might want to suggest he talks to them because you're out of your league.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:41 AM
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You could just be a friend... a person whose there to hear him talk when he needs it. Dont fall into the trap of enabling him.

But as for his wife you dont know what she has been through entirely to judge her. I know from my experience with my boyfriend of four years... I know I told him he could be replace because of all the pain I suffered from his addiction. The same way addiction changes the addict it changes the spouse too. She has probably has been through so much turmoil with him that she cant possibly be able to support him.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:05 AM
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I understand that I only have half the story. And he has also told me that he knows why she went and had an affair, and that he has caused her lots of pain over the years; he just wants to get better and be involved with his children. And I just want to be his friend.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:38 AM
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Here's a copy of the sticky Chino mentioned:
What Addicts Do

My name's Jon. I'm an addict. And this is what addicts do. You cannot nor will not change my behavior. You cannot make me treat you better, let alone with any respect. All I care about, all I think about is my needs and how to go about fulfilling them. You are a tool to me, something to use. When I say I love you I am lying through my teeth, because love is impossible for someone in active addiction. I wouldn't be using if I loved myself, and since I don't, I cannot love you.

My feelings are so pushed down and numbed by my drugs that I could be considered sociopath. I have no empathy for you or anyone else. It doesn't faze me that I hurt you, leave you hungry, lie to you, cheat on you and steal from you.

My behavior cannot and will not change until I make a decision to stop using/drinking and then follow it up with a plan of action.

And until I make that decision, I will hurt you again and again and again.

Stop being surprised.

I am an addict. And that's what addicts do.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:16 PM
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I posted about this in another thread about a month or so ago. I happen to be the horrible, terrible rotten ex of a crack addict. We never married and there are no kids involved, but I stood by him through about every possible recovery option under the sun, and remained with him long after everyone else had rightfully, totally and completely turned their backs on him. Many of those who had supported him in recovery eventually were on my side and extra supportive of ME.

By the time I finally turned my back, he hated me... and to some extent I even hated myself. I was a wreck in so many ways BY THE END of the relationship that I wasn't acting completely myself. I was stressed out, depressed, anxious ALL THE TIME. Almost afraid of my own shadow at times.

When I began to hold him accountable for things he had to own up to, he hated me even more. It's that point in time, AFTER I ended it, that he uses to smear me. Even today. Some years AFTER I dumped his ass.

So, if I were you, I'd be extra careful about what you believe. How ever it is his wife is acting is most likely because she, too, is at the end of her rope and has been pushed. HARD. If he's an addict, then his WIFE has been the only stable force in those kids' lives. Certainly NOT him.

Really and truly, let him talk to people in rehab or where ever his is about his horrible wife. Don't get dragged into ANY discussion about her or the kids. That's an issue that you really should avoid at absolutely every cost.

Just my $.02...
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:26 PM
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remember to breathe
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You can still be a friend without getting into his business. Listen but do not advize, listen but do not act, listen but do not judge.
His sobriety will be reward for him and once sober for a time he will know if and when to approach his children. Only sobriety can give him the clear head to know what to do.
be a friend and "let him" get sober.
I hope I am not sounding too stern but it's what I've learned and it works for the rest of the addict world, lol.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:46 PM
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Just be his friend. You don't really have to really change to much to be the friend of an addict. I think that is where some of you get confused. You think the rules change just because someone uses. Personally that is exactly why I don't tell hardly anyone my story, I do NOT want to be treated any differently.

My issues, my problems, my stuff is not for anyone else to deal with.
My problems, my addictions does not need to become your problem.
If he needs something from you, then that is his responsibility to tell you.
Hey, I'm having a bad day today or whatever.
You don't need to guess, hmm, should I be more understanding today
because he is in recovery, etc.
He should have people in recovery and people who are trained to deal
with addiction to help him deal with his rollercoaster of emotions.
Honestly I use to SR and other sites to deal with stuff that I would never
expect my friends to deal with.

I made the mistake of telling of one my X best friends that I was in recovery,
and omg, everything became about my 'recovery'..
I ended the friendship eventually.
She tip toed around me, or babied me, or in her defense without knowing it,
she used it against me.

Just be a normal friend, and do not let him manipulate you, just as you wouldn't
let anyone else.

JMO :day4

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Old 05-14-2008, 07:02 PM
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One quick thing, Milf-

That's nice he wants to have a relationship with his kids NOW, but he could have been having a relationship with them all along if he decided being with his wife and kids was more important than using, right?

This is AT LEAST ONE consequence of his using that HE'S going to have to come to terms with. The more he blames his wife, the easier it is to see he's not entirely ready to hold himself COMPLETELY accountable for his actions and his addiction.

Unfortunately, his being in rehab isn't a completely accurate measure of how serious he is about his recovery. Only time will reveal exactly how serious he really is.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:01 PM
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Update: Today my friend gets out of rehab. He is very nervous and I think that is a completly normal reaction. I'm excited and nervous for him, I hope he is able to use the tools that we given to him in rehab to better his life. :ghug3
Everyone gave me a lot of good advice and I took all of it into consideration and I was just there at the other end of the line when he wanted to talk to somone (other than counslers) and it wasn't about anything just talk. So thanks everyone.
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