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Coffee With Clare

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Hi and welcome back to Coffee with Clare everything Thursday!  I am delighted that you are here!

Dear Clare:

I am so frustrated and upset.  I am a 39-year old divorced woman.  This is not about me, however.  I feel hopeless about my best friend, Teresa.  Teresa and I grew up together since the 7th Grade and all through high school.  Of course we were separated during the college years, but we have both returned to our home-town.  We have stayed close through thick and thin.  Teresa was there for me through my ugly divorce three years ago, and I have been there for her through her mom’s death from cancer five years ago.  She is in an unhappy marriage, but the real problem is Teresa is an alcoholic and will not admit to it.

I am quite upset and so worried…. I have seen this problem developing over the past few years, and it has increased as she gets unhappier in her marriage.  I have talked with her over coffee and lunch several times about my concerns with her heavy drinking, and now it’s to the point I feel like I am “nagging” her.  Teresa blows it off as “no big deal” and doesn’t see it as a problem – she thinks she is just one of the girls having some fun.  Last Saturday evening, she got in her car to drive home after dinner, and I know she should not have been behind the wheel; she was so drunk.  Two weeks ago, she mentioned that her boss was mad at her “for being late to work a few mornings”.  She is starting to avoid me as she knows I don’t like her habit.  Mostly I am just concerned for her.

What can a very concerned friend do?  I am concerned for her health and wellbeing, and now she is starting to display some very concerning and destructive behaviors.

Signed – Scared in Savannah 

Crying Woman

Dear Scared:

Oh, this is such a sad and frustrating dilemma you are in – one in which many of us find ourselves in your same shoes, unfortunately.  I know you feel responsible for Teresa, but your hands are tied to a degree because we adults know people have free will and make their own choices.

First and foremost, have an uninterrupted coffee or lunch date with her one more time and tell her how you feel – you are concerned for her health and wellbeing.  When drinking takes priority over getting to work on time and personal safety, it is more than just a “problem”.    If this uninterrupted session doesn’t seem to do any good, you may want to consider looking into professional help and possibly an intervention.   The National Council on Addiction and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has lots of valuable information on this and other areas of addiction:   https://ncadd.org/

Also, offer to take Teresa to a sober meeting such as Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-local-aa or Smart Recovery  http://www.smartrecovery.org/

Please consider that even after all of your efforts, there is the possibility that Teresa won’t be ready for an intervention or moving forward with any type of recovery.  Ultimately it is her decision whether she will accept the help to stop drinking.  Don’t feel bad about her self-destruction because you are trying to help her, and she is going to make her own choices – good or bad. 

Please remember to get the support you need in the interim – There is Al-Anon http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/ which you may find helpful.  Al-Anon is for family and friends who are working through many of the things you have described.  This many help you emotionally during this difficult journey.

Readers – Any readers who have experienced something similar who can help out?  We welcome your helpful suggestions!

I hope this works out for Teresa… and you.  

rainbow in the blue sky after the rain with lighting flare

Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: lifeainteasystreet@gmail.com   I would love to hear from you!

Until next time~

~Clare 

 

 

 

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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10 Comments

  • You are right. Many people struggle with this problem or know someone who does. You gave comforting advice, especially the part about even after all your efforts, she still may not be ready for intervention. It is hard to watch someone you love go through a hard time. Continue to pray for her and trust that God knows best.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks – and yes, it is hard to watch someone spiral out of control – people have “free will” so they unfortunately sometimes have to make their own choices. Yes, thanks for sharing to pray for her and trust God knows best!

  • Good advice. As a parent of adult children I understand how difficult it can be to let someone you love and care for continue down a self destructive path, but there comes a point in time where we really need to open our hands and let them go. And as Sheila said, pray and trust God. He will work, where we cannot. – Amy
    http://www.stylingrannymama.com

    • Clare says:

      Yes, unfortunately, sometimes we have to “let go” of people! Love that “God will work where we cannot”! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • That is such a hard spot. To risk telling your best friend they need help and losing them over it. I really hope Teressa accepts the help. I have my life long best friend from 9th grade she is getting married in 3 weeks and i can’t imagine 10 years from now having to face something like this. Much love their way.

    • Clare says:

      I hope her friend accepts the help, too! It is hard when we go through something like this with people close to us! Congrats to your best friend! 🙂

  • Karen says:

    Very good advice. You may be risking your friendship, but how would you feel if something happened to your friend, or God forbid, if she hurt someone else and you said nothing? It is so worth the risk.

    • Clare says:

      I agree – it is worth the risk trying to help in a practical manner… unfortunately, we don’t always like the choices they make! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mardene Carr says:

    She is acting like the typical person who is struggling with any kind of addiction. They are not going to just get up and admit it. We just have to find the best way to get them the help because right now it is hard for her to think straight

    • Clare says:

      So true… she is probably not very rational right now – and people have free choice and free will…. thanks so much for stopping in and sharing your tips!

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