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a letter to an alcoholic

Old 02-02-2012, 03:32 PM
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a letter to an alcoholic

After a grueling three hour phone conversation with yesterday with C I was drained on every level. These phone convos used to be a fun way to socialise and we got quite close. Now that I am in recovery, she is drinking more and yesterday she ended up just being obnoxious. I returned her call which was a lifeline call (so she said) because she had spent a whole week watching daytime TV without alcohol which left her with an empty brain. She was desperate for my intellectual input with which to help her back into the real world.

By obnoxious I mean she interrupts me constantly, more still when she is drunk. She always preambles these interruptions with "if I can just interject....." Yesterday I was just about to tell her of one of my happy times and after three 'interjections' I just thought to myself, **** it. I was exhausted, insulted and I tried to not take it personally.

I am learning about the selfishness of alcoholics and this need to be heard all the time seems to be one characteristic, even if it is not relevant to the subject. ( I just took a huge breath of despondency then.)

I don't think I hate her now - it's worse - i pity her. Why? Because I have decided to take a difficult step and end this association. I believe that if you keep hanging out with difficult people, then the real genuine people will never know about you. It's a psychic thing.

I have had an easier time ending an abusive relationship with a man. I am more assertive in writing and I may have to write a letter. I need suggestions as to what to say and how to soften the landing. It might be the tonic she needs in order to reform but as she said herself, she will never reform.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:24 PM
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Ann
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It's hard to suggest what anyone else should say in situations like this.

I think the best way is to just be truthful, brief and to the point. And maybe keep kindness in your tone.

I love something that an old member here, Hangin' In, once said "Say what you mean, mean what you say, just don't say it mean.

Can't give you any better suggestion than that.

Hugs
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:32 PM
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Thanks Ann.

Here is a draft.

Dear C

Since I have nearly cut out alcohol altogether I have realised that our friendship has been compromising my recovery and because of this I need some time away. I don't know how long that will be but please take care of yourself in the meantime.

Sincerely
T

Howzat?
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:02 PM
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forgive me ajna T for asking... but to be blunt,

How is "nearly" cutting out alcohol considered recovery?
Isn't that like being a little bit pregnant?

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:55 AM
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Good point, sofacat. By 'nearly' I mean I have gone from being drunk almost everyday to having one or two glasses of wine every few weeks and that is to be 'sociable'. I barely like the taste.

I just feel so positive about things now that it almost feels like I never drink at all.

As for being slightly pregnant, I have a smaller beer fetus than I had six months ago, possibly regressing to a beer embryo.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:15 AM
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I think what you wrote is fine. Just don't get drawn into the "Why?" "What do you mean?" followup that may happen.

You said it clearly, that is enough.

Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:16 PM
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Is it really about "compromising your recovery" or is it because you no longer find her amusing?

How about, "since I very rarely drink anymore I find that I don't enjoy our conversations as much as I used to. I don't expect that you will, but I hope you understand. I wish you every happiness.".... or something along those lines? That's more honest, don't you think?
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:20 PM
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I need to learn to be assertive, not one of my stronger suits. I have always been afraid of hurting people's feelings and it is easier for me to end a relationship with a man, no explanations.

When it comes to women, this is a first. I was dissed many years ago by a female friend I held dear to me and she did it in an insidiously gradual way. She stopped returning my calls and invited everyone to her parties but not me. When I found out about this I felt extremely hurt and humiliated. The process left me wondering and hurting. Our mutual friends were put in a position of secrecy.

I know how it feels and the woman I need to sever ties with is very fragile but puts up an aggressive front, yet another facet of her personality I dislike.

I would be doing her a favour as well by cutting her off.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:04 PM
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Well, I'm thinking that perhaps "the truth" of the matter will help her to face her own addiction....or not....but at least it's the truth and she can't argue with the truth. But, hey, I probably wouldn't be able to be so forthright either....I'm just sayin'

(((Hugs))) Bleh. I know its hard, but you'll be better off for it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:49 AM
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For the record she has schizophrenia and is on some pretty heavy meds for it. She has also been diagnosed with alcoholic epilepsy so she decided to resort to grapes and not grain, just to be on the safe side. (sarcasm) She repetitively tells tales of nearly burning her house down while drunk and waking up to a pillow case covered in blood but not being able to recall going to bed or how she ended up in the state she was in.

She's suicidal. Well I will not be held responsible if she carries it out.

I walked away from an abusive mother when I was 41 and that was easier than the prospect of walking away from C.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:45 AM
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I understand -- I've been there, too. I have a dear friend that is seriously bi-polar. When she's 'up' she is so much fun to be around! But when she's down, OMG -- she can be depressed like that for months at a stretch. She brought out the best of my rescuing tendencies and I must have loaned her $2-3000 dollars over the years -- of course never a penny was re-paid. That was part of her issue, of course. She would over-spend and then get depressed about her financial state. She filed bankruptcy twice, allowed her house to go into foreclosure (which then had to be demolished because of the condition), etc. I woke up and realized that she was leaning on me way too heavily and I had my own problems to deal with. When she "emancipated" her 16 yr old daughter and allowed her to move to another city alone, I said, "That's IT. I can't watch this potential train wreck anymore." It was just causing me too much heartache. I walked away.

I run into her sometimes. Last time she told me she's recently been thru a series of 13 "shock treatments" to get her depression under control, she lives with her also-seriously-bi-polar mother, and her daughter is now 20 and an alcoholic.

There was nothing more I could do to help her and being a part of her life was tearing me apart. I was WAY too enmeshed. I could probably handle it better now, but I choose not to renew that friendship although I do miss her sometimes.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:43 PM
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Mental illness and alcohol do not mix. I ended a seven year friendship with a very close male friend with schizophrenia a few months ago because his condition is deteriorating quickly. He cannot keep a Housing unit for longer than three months and inevitably he ends up living back at his mother's place. She has dissociative disorder and although she is a strong pillar of the community she can't say no to her son. He sits in a dark room all day, drinking watered down cask wine and thinks he is still in his salad days as a 'rock star' before his illness kicked in.

Over the months he has been ringing my mobile phone from her home and leaving threatening messages on voicemail because he resents my self-preservation. The local mental health crisis team is actually the constabulary and I have reported his calls (and saved them) to them on numerous occasions. They can't do anything about it unless there is concrete evidence of violence. The mental health system here is a disgrace.

I can accurately predict C's reaction to my incipient estrangement. She is a drunk dialer and is loud and uncouth when she leaves messages. I know I am strong enough to ignore her pleas for reconciliation. The reason I predict this is because recently she told me that if I wasn't in her life she would be bereft.

I guess she has already predicted our relationship's demise, probably because she has been in this postition before.

That was a deal-breaker for me.

This forum is helping me immensely and I thank everyone for their input.
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