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how do I help my friend when I can't even help me?

Old 11-30-2009, 03:08 AM
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how do I help my friend when I can't even help me?

My friend broke her leg yesterday while drunk. She'd asked me to help her move but I knew the situation was going to be a mess so I said no. I just knew I could not walk into that whole thing. I was thinking I'd drink and I don't do the drinking and driving thing. However, had I been there, I bet she would not have broken her leg. Somehow I could have controlled my own addiction and seen that she did not get out of control.

I cannot even take care of my own place or get it together. I've had a hellish month drinking and hopefully I am winding down. At least I think so.

Now I am going to have to help her and I still can't help me. That could be me in that hospital bed right now and I just have to be there, but I am barely hanging on myself. What do I do?
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:18 AM
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Hi Recovered1

I had many times when I should have been helping friends or fufilling some obligation... and I couldn't cos I was drunk.

I had to get myself right before I was any use for anything, or to anyone else.

Your friend obviously has her own journey to make.
Focus on you.

Start today, recovered - when I was 'winding down' it mean putting things off ...it meant probably another week or more of the same old same old to this alcoholic..

Make today the first day you get back to being well.

Go and see a Dr as your first step.

Also check out some face to face support whether it be AA, Smart, LifeRing, counselling, rehab....whatever.

heres a link to some of the main groups

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...resources.html

D
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:33 AM
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The truth is that I know her friends will bring me down. This is really why I wasn't there for the move. These are just not the right people for me to hang with. Plus, her two roommates have expressed interest in me and that is just not what I want to deal with. So I bailed. I could have helped but chose not to. I would have helped HER ALONE but not with these guys around. The whole situation is a mess and I'm being dragged into it now whether I want to or not. I know she needs help.

I'm afraid I will never get around to taking care of me. It's the middle of the morning where I am and I am disturbed and not sleeping. I don't even know what to say to her at the hospital. Yet I could be in her shoes right now very easily. Dang, I hate this addiction stuff and just want to be normal. I wonder if I should tell her she must go into treatment or I can't help, but then I feel like a hypocrite. I don't have a grip on me and just don't want to get pulled down further.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:37 AM
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I wonder if I should tell her she must go into treatment or I can't help, but then I feel like a hypocrite.
I dunno about you but I wouldn't have responded well to ultimatiums in my drinking days.

I found you cannot make someone else well. It took me years to get that, but it's very true.

The desire to stop can't be an external one. It just doesn't work like that.

Your friend may or may not get sober - you have no control over that.
What you do have control over is getting yourself sober, recovered1.

D
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:14 AM
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I don't believe that you should hold yourself accountable for your friend's misfortune. I do believe that it would be ok to go to her and tell her just what you've said here. You seem to be dealing with guilt over this matter and that is something you need to shed. Going to her and telling her your true feelings may be the best thing you can do at this point. Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:52 AM
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I believe you said it yourself. You can't help others when you, yourself, need to take care of you!! Even today, I have people that will ask for help, I have to say NO!!!! I come first, what others have to deal with is theirs to deal with.

I hope you will keep the focus on yourself, you deserve it.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by KenL View Post
I don't believe that you should hold yourself accountable for your friend's misfortune. I do believe that it would be ok to go to her and tell her just what you've said here. You seem to be dealing with guilt over this matter and that is something you need to shed. Going to her and telling her your true feelings may be the best thing you can do at this point. Good luck.
Thanks, I just don't want to face anything. I don't want to face bills, this situation, anything. I don't even want to turn my phone on this morning. I just want to hide.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:10 AM
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It sounds to me she had enough help. 2 guys should be moving stuff anyway IMO.
How is it your fault for looking out for yourself? If you didnt feel comfortable and felt you be drinking more when you didnt want to. Then I think you did the right thing. Whos to say she wouldnt have still broken her leg unless you were right under her the whole time to catch her or whatever. Maybe this will be a wake up call for her to not drink and do things or maybe not drink at all.
Go see her in the hospital like a friend would do. Let her know how you feel. If she is a true friend she will understand.
Keep the focus on yourself and getting you where you need to be.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Aysha View Post
It sounds to me she had enough help. 2 guys should be moving stuff anyway IMO.
How is it your fault for looking out for yourself? If you didnt feel comfortable and felt you be drinking more when you didnt want to. Then I think you did the right thing. Whos to say she wouldnt have still broken her leg unless you were right under her the whole time to catch her or whatever. Maybe this will be a wake up call for her to not drink and do things or maybe not drink at all.
Go see her in the hospital like a friend would do. Let her know how you feel. If she is a true friend she will understand.
Keep the focus on yourself and getting you where you need to be.
Thanks, Aysha. Everything you say makes sense. However, I still can't get past the feeling that had I been there it would not have happened. However, had I been there I might have drank and then gotten a DUI which is part of why I didn't go over there.

And, yeah, her two roommates (guys) should have been pitching in more. Maybe this is why she got so drunk. Maybe she was angry. It was their move and I was really pissed off that these two guys were not stepping up to the plate. I didn't think I'd be able to control my feelings over everything and that I'd drink and it would lead to no good.

At any rate, I have to take care of me first. It's my job to not drink and pay my bills. My apartment is a disaster and I am not paying bills on time. My shrink told me to go get evaluated for ADHD (I already have bipolar and the alcohol thing). My electricity was almost turned off last week. I caught the notice on my door at the last minute. I am not coping. I think I'll call and check in on her, see how long she is going to be there and then go see her today or tomorrow.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
I dunno about you but I wouldn't have responded well to ultimatiums in my drinking days.

I found you cannot make someone else well. It took me years to get that, but it's very true.

The desire to stop can't be an external one. It just doesn't work like that.

Your friend may or may not get sober - you have no control over that.
What you do have control over is getting yourself sober, recovered1.

D
Maybe I watch too much Intervention. They always issue ultimatums on that show. I am not trying to be a hard ass. I am just trying to help.

I guess I am a horrible codependent - looking at others and how to fix them and forgetting about me in the process. Thanks for your take on things.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:15 AM
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youd be surprised how uncomplicated life gets when the drama of drinking and every that goes with it stops.

if your an alcoholic why not try AA.
or plenty of other recovery program available i think....

then you could be of real use to your friend.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Recovered1 View Post

My shrink told me to go get evaluated for ADHD (I already have bipolar and the alcohol thing).
Definitely follow the advice of your physician. Please, please, please be VERY transparent regarding your alcoholism with anybody who pulls out a prescription pad. Stimulants are used, quite successfully, with ADHD... but they are wicked addicting. My personal experience with stimulants led me to some very bad places. I am not the only one here who has experience to share regarding this.

Do not take my suggestion as advice, except for the transparency thing, but more of a question to ask yourself.

Also ask your physicians about what role alcohol has in making the diagnosis of things like bipolar, ADHD, etc... be an informed and active participant in your medical care.

PM me if you want to. This is serious business.

Mark
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Cubile75 View Post
Definitely follow the advice of your physician. Please, please, please be VERY transparent regarding your alcoholism with anybody who pulls out a prescription pad. Stimulants are used, quite successfully, with ADHD... but they are wicked addicting. My personal experience with stimulants led me to some very bad places. I am not the only one here who has experience to share regarding this.

Do not take my suggestion as advice, except for the transparency thing, but more of a question to ask yourself.

Also ask your physicians about what role alcohol has in making the diagnosis of things like bipolar, ADHD, etc... be an informed and active participant in your medical care.

PM me if you want to. This is serious business.

Mark
Thanks, Mark. I was sober for 45 days and then decided to quit my volunteering due to H1N1. I didn't want to leave my house. At that point, my Dr. put me on an SSRI (OCD and all that stuff. I was googling H1n1 updates around the clock). Well, I didn't like that. I started sweating all the time. At the end of October, I completely went off 4 psychotropic drugs and started drinking. I didn't want to feel slow and stupid anymore. November was about hot flashes and most likely detox off the drugs. Plus, I started to drink super heavily and didn't understand why I wasn't ending up in detox. Maybe I had a manic phase. At any rate, it's been one thing after the other. When I went to my shrink and told him my electricity was to be turned off AGAIN, even though I had the money to pay for it, he suggested ADHD. I cannot get it together. My apartment continues to be a mess and I wonder when my water is to be shut off. Yet I still don't pay the bill. I cannot focus. What I do is to try to detox myself and just maintain. I am fully aware of the risks of drinking and driving and have steered clear of that.

Now that my friend is laid up, there is extra pressure on me. I am just not functional at all, save for typing on this computer and not getting a DUI.

Thanks, I may PM you and maybe I've provided TMI, but it's just where I am at.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Recovered1 View Post

I cannot focus.
I need to be careful, I am not going to give you any medical advice.

Speaking in general terms, there are many, many reasons why a person is having a hard time focusing... Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Medication, Illness, Intoxication, Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal, PAWS... to name just a few.

Follow your physician's advice and don't take any medical advice you get here. But, speaking as a fellow traveller, get informed and ask a lot of questions and be absolutely honest with your health care providers. About how you feel "slow and stupid" with the medication, about your alcohol (other??) abuse.... be honest and open about everything!!

Going off four psychotropic medications, all at once, cold turkey.... that had to be a rough ride, definitely not recommended.

If your psych suggested ADHD, get a great book "Driven to Distraction"... it has some NON CHEMICAL ways to get yourself focused.

BTW... ADHD is NOT a diagnosis anyone should make themselves, ever, so don't even try... don't google that all day like you did with H1N1.... Just work with an expert in it so an expert can tell you what it is.

Mark
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Cubile75 View Post
I need to be careful, I am not going to give you any medical advice.

Speaking in general terms, there are many, many reasons why a person is having a hard time focusing... Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Medication, Illness, Intoxication, Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal, PAWS... to name just a few.

Follow your physician's advice and don't take any medical advice you get here. But, speaking as a fellow traveller, get informed and ask a lot of questions and be absolutely honest with your health care providers. About how you feel "slow and stupid" with the medication, about your alcohol (other??) abuse.... be honest and open about everything!!

Going off four psychotropic medications, all at once, cold turkey.... that had to be a rough ride, definitely not recommended.

If your psych suggested ADHD, get a great book "Driven to Distraction"... it has some NON CHEMICAL ways to get yourself focused.

BTW... ADHD is NOT a diagnosis anyone should make themselves, ever, so don't even try... don't google that all day like you did with H1N1.... Just work with an expert in it so an expert can tell you what it is.

Mark
Thanks, Mark. I will work with an expert. I have to call tomorrow and make an appointment. The insurance thing had me preoccupied. And I really need to detox myself off of this demon rum, once again.

Yes, going off four meds at once was something. I was involved with someone who implied I was "slow" so I just stopped them. What followed was weeks of sweating and the like with much drinking. I called my Dr. and made an appointment and now I am on a minimal dose of a mood stabilizer for the bipolar.

I cannot be completely honest with my Dr. or he will fire me. I am not prepared to get fired. He fired my friend and now she is in the hospital with a broken leg. Not his fault. (Coincidentally enough, we had the same shrink.) It's just the person he referred her out to is hardcore AA and that isn't an option for her or me. I am trying to do the best I can with what resources I have. I go to WFS and I called a woman today and her husband told me she was non-responsive, due to the booze. At this point in time, resources in the world are very limited to tackle the whole problem of addiction.

Ah well, this whole thing sucks all the way around. Thanks for your post.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Recovered1 View Post

I cannot be completely honest with my Dr. or he will fire me.
Hmm, you must really like this physician, or, he may be the only one available to you. He cannot fire you without giving you a grace period, and if necessary, a referral to someone else in his capacity.

I don't know, nor necessarily need to know, the details... but that's no kind of doctor/patient relationship... so if you have to, find another doctor and have the kind of open and honest relationship that you need....

So I take it AA is not an option for you?

Mark
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Cubile75 View Post
Hmm, you must really like this physician, or, he may be the only one available to you. He cannot fire you without giving you a grace period, and if necessary, a referral to someone else in his capacity.

I don't know, nor necessarily need to know, the details... but that's no kind of doctor/patient relationship... so if you have to, find another doctor and have the kind of open and honest relationship that you need....

So I take it AA is not an option for you?

Mark
He's not a bad Dr. I am just not a very good patient. He has really tried to help me but the truth is I have to be willing to not drink and see whatever hellish mental health issues through. I couldn't make it past 45 days as I was just so freaked out over that whole H1N1 thing (so far my diagnoses are bipolar, alcohol dependence, possible ADHD, OCD and a phobia thrown in for good measure).

So I take another stab at this. AA is great for meeting people and forming a social network (I've met some very good people there and some not so good people there) but I simply to not subscribe to the 12 steps. If I were to go I would tell people I want no steps, I want no sponsors and the only reason I was there was to make friends. The only problem with that approach is I would be shunned and that is not the best way to make friends. No, I have to be true to me and just muddle through somehow. I have given the AA program a LOT of shots and it's just not for me.

Anyway, I really do appreciate your thoughtful input
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