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Thread: Alcoholic (Former) Friend

  1. #1
    Silver Member Goodfellas's Avatar
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    Alcoholic (Former) Friend

    Hello eNA,

    I was very close with a friend for about a decade until our mid twenties. He then started destructively using drugs and alcohol and become a burden on our friend group. What I mean by that is hed be asked to leave parties/not invited at all, hed lash out while drunk then apologize when sober and had many volatile relationships.

    Somehow he managed to become a pharmacist but eventually lost his license for drinking (mouthwash!) on the job and repeatedly showing up drunk. Hes lost his drivers and pharmacists license, by the way.

    From mid-twenties to early thirties we grew apart until, eventually, I just stopped answering his calls. Texts. Emails. Whatever. That was Super Bowl Sunday, February 5, 2017.

    A friend has kept in touch with him and hes reached out through him can you ask him to call me? Tell him I miss him type stuff but I never caved because I didnt want to invite that unpredictability and toxicity back in my life. Another friend has asked me to reconsider my silent treatment. After six months of no news, he reached out last week and Im torn.

    I truly believe hes a good guy, but hes a liability and was terrible for my mental health. On the other hand, everyone deserves a second (or fifth or sixth) chance, right?

    So, eNA, Im not asking for what I should doIm asking for insight into the addicts mind and if anyone has experienced something similar. Its been nearly two years of uncomplicated friendships and no scathing rants and Im debating pushing on or giving in.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Oh yes I've been there. I had a friend who is an alcoholic and he was volatile, abusive verbally, argumentative, accusatory, demanding, and #%^(#@ annoying to the point where I had to remove him from my life. He is truly toxic. An alcoholic makes a lousy friend and a lousy partner. It was no wonder he couldn't keep a girlfriend. His brain was pickled to the point where he would snap and go from being reasonably rational to totally irrational and yelling and ranting about everything and everyone.

    One of the worst times with him was when we were in a pub with him on a Sat. nite with a great band and people were having a good time. A woman was dancing with a man and they turned out to be police. So what? They can party it up on a Sat. nite like anyone else. This guy found out they were police and started spitting at the woman. I was horrified. He yelled and was very angry. I asked him what was the big idea of spitting at her and he said she's a cop, she should not be in here, this is our pub. I told him to simmer down, she's allowed to be here just as the rest of us are. I was beyond embarrassed, even tho the woman did not notice him spitting at her. I should have left him there and gone home but I was so shocked I didnt know what to do. Drunks are lousy friends.

    My advice to you is to leave this person out of your life, dont weaken and invite them back in or you will be right back where you started. Nobody needs that.

  3. #3
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    You are right to leave this toxicity out of your life.

    Since he will likely continue to try and contact you, via other friends, messages, etc., you have 2 choices:

    1) Block him completely. Block his phone number, block him from having access to you via SM, and tell your mutual friends to never mention his name to you again. I.E., treat this as a breakup from a toxic relationship.

    2) Call him and tell him that you are going to have to cut off contact and that you are unwilling to re-open, and that you wish him well. He may find lifelong sobriety and permanent employment, but that you cannot bear that burden. You cannot live on eggshells, wondering if/when the next shoe will drop.

    Since you are feeling empathetic towards this person, I'd opt for #2 myself, hard as it might be.

    But then, you'll have to stick to it.

    Just yesterday, I went to hear author Bren Brown talk about her new book, "Daring Greatly". She spoke of having tough, but honest conversations, and she had to do almost exactly what I'm telling you, with a longtime friend who got smashed at every Xmas party that Bren and her family threw. She finally told the friend that she could come to the party, but that she'd have to completely abstain from drinking, even one drop. The friend became indignant, and they've never spoken again. So Bren realized then, that the alcohol was more important to the friend, than the friendship.

    I feel this will ultimately happen again in your friendship: that the alcohol will overpower his desire for a friendship.

    If you do go the route of talking to him, and he presses for your friendship, and you feel the desire to possibly re-open that door, then I'd tell him this:
    Maintain 2 years of sobriety, and show me your AA chips. Once 2 years have passed, please call me, and we can discuss the possibility of resuming your friendship.

    **BTW, "Goodfellas" is one of my all-time top 10 faves. I've seen it recite-each-line-before-they-say-it amount of times.

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    No way. Bad news.

    Did he ever seek help?

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Keeping toxic people out of your life is having good boundaries. No one "deserves" anything. Perhaps he's in a 12 step program and is compelled to reach out to everyone he hurt as one of the steps. Stick with whatever is right for you. You don't have to forgive, forget or invite bad memories into your life. He chose his path, you chose yours.
    Originally Posted by Goodfellas
    I never caved because I didnt want to invite that unpredictability and toxicity back in my life.

  7. #6
    Silver Member Goodfellas's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your insight. Im leaving towards keeling the silence going so Im glad you all have nudged me in that direction.

    Replying from my phone so Ill keep it brief:

    Yes, he has sought treatment multiple times and comes out amazingly well but inevitably relapses hard
    Hes a master manipulator to friends and girlfriends
    I dreaded phone calls and hang outs even more, hence why I knew I had to go silent
    A friend took him in for two months recently and he claimed his sympathy quickly turned to anger as it was clear the alcoholic friend was not trying to better himself.

    P. S. LHGirl: Goodfellas is a top three movie of mine but I cant even recite lines like that haha. Thats impressive.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    Hey Goodfellas, it's good to see you. It's been a while.

    I agree with the others, if you already know he's been hard on your mental health, best to leave things as is.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I would not respond. Why risk provoking him with platitudes?

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    Ok, reading more about him, I opt for silence.

    The lies and manipulation would be enough for me.

    Unfortunately, he will live his entire life like this. Remove yourself from his web, and you will never again have to jump when the phone rings.

  11. #10
    Silver Member Goodfellas's Avatar
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    Thank you, eNA!

    This has been a trying week for me since he reached out but I now feel Im doing the right thing. I will stay the course, thanks again!


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