Here’s the problem I was asked to help out with:
I have a friend who is bordering on becoming an alcoholic, or he already is. He drinks every night, usually alone, and although it doesn’t usually affect his job, it affects his decision making on a regular basis. He has made some very poor choices, because of his drinking. Should I do anything to help?
OK, first thing’s first, yes you should help. The fact that you are concerned about this is a good indication that he has a problem. But, be prepared for the consequences. He may cut you out of his life.
It’s best, before you discuss this with him to talk to some of his other close friends and share your concerns. If they also have concerns, then he probably has a serious problem or is on the verge of a serious problem. Once you have discussed it with his friends, sit down with him and let him know that you are there for him as a friend, if he needs to talk. If that feels awkward, find a way to make it comfortable. If you get no response from him, talk to him straight on. Put it in terms of thins he can relate to, like, I’m concerned about how much and how often you’re drinking. I don’t think you have a serious problem, now (no one likes to hear that they have a problem). But, I am worried that if you continue on this path, you won’t even be allowed a glass of wine with dinner. Or to have a beer with your friends. Instead of stopping right now, maybe, cut back a little and give your body a chance to have a break from the alcohol. I will hang out with you, go out for movies with you, stay home and play games. Whatever you want. What you have done is given him something to think about, basically you’ve planted a seed and hopefully it will grow enough for him to want to change.
What if I’ve done all that,he said he wanted to change, but, he still drinks and now he has pretty much cut me out of his life? However, the friends that I talked to about his problem, encourage him to go out drinking with them, despite the fact that he has a problem.Well, sadly, this is what happens with people with people who have addictions. He is not ready for help and he has cut you out because you remind him of the fact that he has a problem. You have done what was right for him and you have done the right thing. As for his other ‘friends’, it appears that they aren’t truly his friends and despite what they say, they may see him more as a drinking buddy than a true friend. You’re fighting a losing battle and sometimes we must admit defeat. He needs to want to change and if your talk didn’t shock him into changing, then, he’s past a point from which he can easily return.
The fact is, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. But, in the end, if you know that you are true to yourself and have done everything you can, then you have to know that you have done right thing. It’s all up to him now. I hope he realizes his problem before he hits rock bottom.
All the best.