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How to handle my friend's drinking...

Old 06-02-2017, 08:28 AM
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How to handle my friend's drinking...

A woman (about my age) starting working for me about five years ago. The assignment itself (where she came into the office every day) only lasted about four months.

However, right from the start I noticed bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol when she would come to work. Then it became tardiness and many days of 'calling in sick'. Being a heavy drinker myself I knew the real truth so I never said anything as to not be hypocritical.

After the full time assignment ended we stayed in touch via phone and she still joins us for screenings and events from time to time, but has embarrassed us several times by passing out at the table, etc and has canceled many of the events at the last minute (due to hangovers). This is a big part of why I started distancing myself from her. However, she's been calling me more and more lately just to chat and I think she feels like we're more friends than I do.

However, yesterday, after speaking with me the night before and agreeing to ride together the next morning to a very important event, she texted me at 9:00a (I was set to pick her up 10:00a) and canceled once again citing 'asthma'. Said she had been up since 3am not able to sleep because she couldn't breathe.

And, while she may indeed have asthma, my feeling is, if you can't breathe, either use your inhaler or take your meds or go the hospital. Don't just lay there all night suffering. AND if she really is inflicted with something so serious, why does she drink to oblivion every night? It just seems like an excuse to me.

I distinctly remembered hearing slurring in her words the night before as her 'drinking routine' seems to be that she starts drinking around 3:00-4:00p and is drunk by 7:00p. I know this because she's called me many times just to chat during those hours and it's always the same thing. I am acutely aware of her increasing drunkenness as the conversation continues. Many times I've had to just hang up on her. Not because we get into any fights or anything, but because the conversation becomes ridiculous the more she drinks.

I've never confronted her about her drinking and how it's embarrassed/disappointed us because of my own issues. But now that I'm committed to staying sober and changing my life (on day 11 now) I feel like I must take some kind of action.

There are only one or two more events regarding this project, the last one being tonight, to which she just texted me again to say she can't make it, and then I likely won't have to deal with her anymore for work things. But she is likely to still call me to chat as friends and we're friends on Facebook and know a lot of the same people. So cutting her off completely is tricky.

I know I have to remove her from my life but I'm just not sure how to go about it. I don't want to reveal my own issues with alcohol to her as she just doesn't need to know that. So how do I end things? Do I just ghost her and avoid her or do I address her drinking and cite it as a reason to part ways? She knows I drink and might throw that back in my face. Or do I make something up like being super busy? I honestly don't feel close enough to her to try and help her (seeing myself in her could have played a role in my distance) and I have to focus on me right now.

Anyway, I've never had to deal with anyone else's drinking, just my own so I'm at a loss for how to handle with this. I don't want to seem judgmental or condescending but something needs to be done. I just don't want to deal with her any more. Adding her stuff to my stuff is just too much.

So any and all thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

I am truly grateful for this group as I believe I would still be drinking today if it weren't for SR. :-)

Thank you all so much! Looking forward to your thoughts!
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by NewLife310 View Post
Anyway, I've never had to deal with anyone else's drinking, just my own so I'm at a loss for how to handle with this.
There is no way to handle that isn't going to hurt her feelings to some extent. The point is to handle it, not worrying about handling it gently.

If your only contact is chatting on the phone, stop that contact. If you don't want to block her calls, then stop engaging in long conversations. Start cutting them shorter and shorter until she figures out you don't want to engage in these conversational outlets.

If you have contact in person after these work events, then you might have to be honest about your desire to be sober and how her drinking and drunken antics affect that. Drinkers don't want to hang out with non drinkers, so all you may have to do is tell her you quit.
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