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amd52
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.
07:22 AM on 03/08/2013
What a sad and horrible situation you were in at that time of your life. How could you really know how bad that little young lady really was since they do hide the most significant things from you. I give you a great deal of credit and now all you can do is pray that she is in peace and let peace now come to you as well. You were a Great Friend in Tow.
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Lorraine455
06:54 AM on 03/08/2013
There is nothing else you could have done that would have changed your friend or anything else. One of the most devastating things about alcoholism is the inability of the person who has the problem to face the reality of it. They cannot acknowledge that they are an alcoholic which means they cannot begin the process of gaining control of their life and their illness.

My stepfather was an alcoholic who did many terrible things during that time, when he was in his 70s, he went on the wagon, but the physical damage had already been done, and he spent his last years constantly sick. All due to his inability to accept the reality and responsibility of what he was.
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06:20 AM on 03/08/2013
I know from personal experience, you did the right thing. Some of us recover, some of us are doomed to a life of misery. I could take the personal misery. I couldn't live with the harm I caused to family, frriends and neighbors.
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07:53 PM on 03/07/2013
Ronna,

Don't let guilt consume you - talk to someone if need be.
.
viciousvirago
Veritatum Dilexi
07:42 PM on 03/07/2013
A friend of mine came driving down our street after a major snowstorm and took out 4 mailboxes. I rushed to the window to look out and there she was driving on the sidewalk. She left her car in the middle of the street, got out and fell down about 3 times trying to walk to her home.

I considered going out to help her, ONLY if she fell down and stayed there because it was so cold, but she made it and I quit watching.

I knew Lorraine was an alcoholic, but never said a word about it because that's the last thing they want to hear.

The next day, she came to my home and wanted me to 'explain' to the insurance claims adjustor that she'd had too much of her 'medication' and lost control of her car. I said no, you were drunk again. She never spoke to me after that again. Or so I thought. One night, drunk as a skunk, she banged on my door around 2 a.m. and starting yelling all kinds of obscenities at me and I called the police and she was arrested; spent the night in jail.

Oddly enough, she was one of the few alcoholics I knew who actually hit rock bottom and started going to a.a. after that. She called me out of the blue about a year ago and has been sober for ll years now. I'm happy for her.
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Badgirl
06:40 PM on 03/07/2013
"I had an alcoholic friend in college. I told her the truth, abandoned her and she died at 53. I wonder now if I should have done something differently."

That's pretty intense statement - you sound incredibly guilty but are not more responsible for her actions than she is. You are probably not the first or the only person in her life who realized that she had problem. Alcoholism is like a drug addiction but worse because alcohol is legal, more easily available, and socially acceptable. Look how bars there are! You can't help / change someone who doesn't want to help / change themselves. Regardless of how destructive their behavior is!
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themightyabealrd
screw the real world-I'm an artist!
11:29 PM on 03/07/2013
Fanned & Faved big time. Yes, it IS a drug addiction....and the softpedaling phrases like 'drinking problem', coupled with lying language usage such as 'drugs or alcohol' make facing this reality tough for many.
I said goodbye to a 38 year friendship with a guy who had been like a brother to me because he was unable to make any effective inroads with his alcohol addiction. I don't feel guilty, just terribly sad. His siblings give me updates, all of which confirm my belief that I made the right choice.
06:30 PM on 03/07/2013
Please, please, please do not feel guilty. We have the "alcoholic gene" on both sides of our family. You did a very brave thing by telling your friend how you felt and asking her to get help. There is nothing else you can do. Even dragging them to AA or rehab won't work unless the alcoholic is ready to admit they have a problem and wants to get treatment. If you want more information on this subject from the friends/family perspective, I would urge you to contact Alanon.
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oral surgeon
to Life/L'chaim
06:15 PM on 03/07/2013
Alcoholism is a disease and therefore needs to be treated as such....like all diseases the person afflicted has to come to terms with the problem.....as a friend, you can be supportive, but never enable....loving and compassionate....yet, maintain personal boundaries....you would never kick any other sick person to the curb....an alcoholic is no different..
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05:35 PM on 03/07/2013
That is a very sad and tragic story. Though I have seen the ravages of alcohol on people over the years, it must've been particularly painful to watch a close friend slowly and humiliatingly drink herself to death.
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teatwerp
The remaining tea will be dumped in 2014
04:52 PM on 03/07/2013
Her choices were not your responsibility.
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JohnMavis41
Better than Broccoli
03:37 PM on 03/07/2013
You didn't do enough -- You needed to pick her brain and find what was causingher emotional state--
You abandoned her, and failed her as a friend
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Jo- Powers
09:01 PM on 03/07/2013
are you being facetious?
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maribelles
It's not NICE to fool MOTHER NATURE....
03:33 PM on 03/07/2013
Friends are people we have something in common with and can go and grow through life with.

I have no regrets separating from "friends" who were in the clutches of alcohol, or worse, and really only wanted to hang out with other drinkers. They wanted drinking buddies, not real Friends. I know many people like myself who "partied" in and around college days and then eventually grew out of it, learning the dangers along the way. It's not up to us to "bring" our friends out of alcoholism. There are plenty of books, meetings, resources, magazines, and other reflections for them to see that, and many don't want to. Denial is the close companion of alcoholics.
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Bills Catz
Don't believe everything you think.
03:22 PM on 03/07/2013
Psst.. only the individual can decide if he or she is an alcoholic - "problem drinker" is about as far as a 2nd party can go. Feel free to toss a lifesaver, don't just sit there and watch.
03:01 PM on 03/07/2013
Nothing and no one can help until the person addicted allows themselves to be honest enough to admit they have a problem and then make up their mind they want to do something about it, and then in fact actually do something about it. And they and the people who care about them must realize it will be a lifelong battle and always accept the possibility that it may not end well. Life is hard and we, the individual and not others are responsible for ourselves in the end. Love each other and beware guilt.
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wittyusername 29
Londoner in the USA
03:01 PM on 03/07/2013
My best friend was a drug addict for years. She finally cleaned up when they were going to take her kids away from her. She has now been clean for 3 years after many many failed rehabs.

So I know how hard it is being in relationship with someone you love and their crazymaking behaviour... but I could never have "abandoned" her. I maintained my own boundaries and confronted her with love. For me, it was better to stay in contact with her so that I could keep as much of an eye as her as I could... and try to reason with her when she was able to hear. She credits me with being the one to make her recognise that she was an addict - her husband and family were enabling her which made me very angry at the time. I dont know if thats really true or not, but regardless I'm glad she finally got help.

In any event you did what was right for you. As someone else said - she wouldnt have gotten back in touch with you if she hadnt "forgiven" you. I hope you don't have regrets or blame yourself in any way... you did what you did - I think it unlikely the outcome would have been different if you had done differently.