Helping a friend

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some days ago a friend called and asked if I would take her by the hand to an AA-meeting. This friend is a former coworker and she is a nice and creative person. But it was many years ago I told her that I would not spend time with her when she was drinking because she could not hold her liqeur well, she got boring, aggressive, tearful and overall very embarrassing. Four or five years ago she was caught for drunk driving and had to do time for it. When I started to attend AA we talked about it some times and she said that she admired me but did not feel that it was something she could do. I did not try to persuade her, just told her that it was one of the best thing I´ve done in my life and that I was so relieved not having to drink any more.

She belongs to a female "gang" of ours, we usually meet once or twice a year and have a very fun time, discussing and laughing a lot. The other usually drink wine at these occasions except me and those driving. Lately the others has asked me not to invite this freind because she ruins the party, and shamefully enough we have not invited her. I have had a bad conscience because it would have been more decent to tell her why she was not invited, but since I HAVE told her a couple of times that I refuse to socialize with her when she drinks I have not been totally deceitful. She is not a close friend (although she will probably become one...)

Anyway, I was happy when she called, I like her and wish her well. The turning point was that her daughter had told her that she would not leave her grandchild with her, because she did not trust her mother to be sober and taking good care of the child... any of you that have been there can probably feel the shame. I was lucky enough to stop drinking before I had any consequences apart from my own anxiety but I remember that one of the reasons was that I did not want to risk to be too drunk to drive if anything should happen to my daughter... she was four at that time and I thought about when she will become a teenager and maybe phone home late and ask me to come get her because she was in trouble - I want to be able then!... Hehe, I was probably at least ten years before it might be needed, but anyway I am happy that I gave up alcohol and it has been remarkable easy to let go.

My friend had been sober on her own for two weeks but was scared of the upcoming weekend, she was free from work for four days and she knew that it would be easy to start with the wine then... I agreed to take her to a lunch meeting yesterday.

This stressed me a lot - I was nervous because I was offering "My baby" to her, I LOVE my AA buddies and I LOVE my meetings but I know that they might seem peculiar to those not used to them and ther is a lot of talk about God and I live in a very secular country... I was also nervous for her, my codepenadancy kicked in and I want her to succeed and need to work on letting go of that, I can be supportive but I can´t make her sober.

We were lucky, it was a great meeting with a lot of great shares. It made a deep impact on my friend that could not take the words "alcoholic" in her mouth when she was introducing herself. Amazing, I did that without effort when I started but that was part of my people-pleasing, I run with the crowd and if everybody´s an alcoholic, I´m an alcoholic too... To be honest I am still not convinced that I am one, but luckily I do not have to think that I am an alcoholic to attend AA, it is enough that I have the desire to stop drinking, and I do. I usually say that I joined AA to get help to become sober and I stay sober to be able to attend AA.

Yesterday was one of those blessed meetings when I feel so enriched by all I am getting from my AA-friends, their honesty, strenghts and experience is carrying me through my hard times.

My friend was very moved and we will attend another meeting tomorrow. I just hope that she will stay sober until then.

But the experience leaves me restless and stressed, I do not know why. I will have to meditate and focus on serenity for a while...

.. I forgot to write about the hardest thing... not to tell the rest of the gang that this friend is trying to get sober. I love gossip but this is AA and I am not allowed to tell who goes there or what they say... everybody will be happy if she becomes sober but I cannot tell about my part in that (if it happens...)

Then I fell out of balance immedeatly this morning because I forgot to release my car battery last night. There is something wrong with my cars electricity, something stays on and the battery is empty if I leave it for too many hours. Until I get an appoinment at the workshop I release the battery cable during night. But yesterday I forgot so today the battery is all empty and now I have to ask a neighbour to help me start the car with start cables and I feel burdoned because I hate to be a bother...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I knew you would be a grand friend to help another. Those who have been helped are grand at reaching out to others! God made us all just right!

    Get that battery fixed soon, you need transportation to stay healthy!

    3537 days ago
    How cool you are helping her! I would not be where I am today without my group!
    3540 days ago
  • SILLYHP1953
    I don't know what I would have done without my 12-step meeting, Al-Anon. It saved my life...sanity. I really think we people who love alcoholics are much crazier than the alcoholic!!

    3540 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    I really enjoyed your blog and could relate on so many levels. I have been the friend telling the drunk friend (and it is SUCH a hard thing to say) and years ago I WAS the drunk friend being told no one wanted to be around me when I drank. It was the most uncomfortable and, ultimately, the best thing any of my friends ever said to me. It is so hard to know where to find our level of responsibility to speak up to those who are drinking. Even 26 years into sobriety I still find this is not as easy as I think it should be. You handled this beautifully- prayer and meditation and willingness do tend to take us in the direction we need to go, don't they? PS Sears DieHard battery -because car problems are SOOOOOannoying and I, like you, hate to be a bother (and I don't own stock in Sears though I wish I did ;)
    3540 days ago
    It's very strong of you to support your friend. And I hope for your friend's sake she'll find the strength to stop drinking.

    About that personality test: I think this one might be usable
    om/cgi-win/jtypes1.htm Then google the letter combination for more info. :)
    For me it's scarily true, I know others who don't recognize themselves at all with the descriptions.
    3541 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    You are a good friend! emoticon

    Make sure you keep being a good friend to yourself too.


    Donna x
    3541 days ago
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