SRS How can I help her?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Epicman, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    I have a friend that has been through a lot and it seems like lately it's really affecting her. I don't know how I can help her as she lives in a nother city and comes here occasionally. Last time she was in town we were laying in my bed talking and she started crying. After I pressed her as to what was wrong she mentioned something about having found a guy that shot himself last year and also that her mom doesn't seem to be following her chemotherapy like she should.

    She just graduated high school, when I fist met her she was your typical high school. Drank at parties and smoked weed often. Lately she has been taking xanax almost every night since a friend of her started dealing and she can get it for free. Tonight she calls me at 2 in the morning. I couldn't get to the phone on time but she left me a message about just wanting to say hi but she sounded fucked up. I finally got a hold of her and she told me that tonight she did coke, xanax, drank, and smoked 4 blunts. It seems to me everything she has experienced is catching up to her and she is turning to drugs. Not to mention she is done with school and that's a major hit to anybody. How can I help her before she goes too far with this?

    Cliffs:
    Friend did coke, xanax, drank, and smoked weed tonight. Seems to be using drugs to mask her problems.
     
  2. Metal

    Metal Active Member

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    Drugs have turned into her way of coping with the problem and this obviously isn't any good.. She needs to face the underlying problem and get that taken care of before she can become recovered from the xanax/drink/pot addictions..
    Luckily the only hard drug it seems she has done is coke.. xanax shouldn't have done too much to her, drinking can be controlled, and a lot of people smoke weed.. at least she isnt into hardcore drugs.

    Try to get her some help before she gets into a deeper hole, she needs to go through the proper type of grieving process for losing her friend, even if it was to suicide - otherwise it will always be there to haunt her and she will be stuck in this black hole..

    Try to suggest some kind of therapy, just see if she will at least talk to a neutral party and maybe you can even offer to take her there or be an advocate for her in a meeting with a counselor or therapist if she doesn't feel comfotable talkng about her way of dealing with the problems yet.

    I used to deal with ALL of my problems plus some with alcohol and it got me deeper and deeper into a deep black hole, it was fucking terrible! I don't wish this upon your friend so I hope you can do whatever you can to the best to of your ability to try and help her..

    Also remember not to beat yourself up over any of this if she is refusing help, it's not your fault, addiction is a disease.. In my prayers :wavey: Good luck
     
  3. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    When we were talking the night she started crying she said she doesn't like to talk to anybody because all they suggest is she see a psychologist. I told her she can talk to me whenever she wants/needs to. I made her promise she would call whenever she needed to talk but it was really an empty promise. I know the only way she'll talk is when I drag it out of her.

    Today when I told her she needs to be careful she just said she'll be alright...which is scary because it's what you always hear everybody say before they are in too deep. I really want to help her but I don't think her being at home, not having a good relationship with her mom, and seeing her mom not take care of herself is helping any. Plus, her having found that person that shot themselves, I can't imagine what that must do to a young girl.
     
  4. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    Well, I just talked to her...she says she doesn't remember anything from last night. Her head hurts really bad. I tried telling her she needs to see a therapist and she says she won't because she isn't crazy. I tried explaining that doesn't mean she is crazy but that she needs to speak to somebody that can help her. She refuses to do so....how can I help her?
     
  5. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Epicman

    I'm sorry to hear that your friend is in crisis. This is one of the truly devestating aspect of addiction....that loved ones are as powerless over the disease of addiction as the addict themselves. It's truly heartbreaking to have to watch those we love go through the wringer and sometimes the desire to "help" can seem overwhelming.

    It seems as though your friend has really painted you into a corner though. She refuses to talk to people because they all tell her that she needs therapy but then she refuses to go to therapy. Meanwhile, she's spiraling out of control and refuses to seek any help and she'll just handle it. Great...how???

    The sad thing about addiction is it tells us there is nothing wrong with us...it's the rest of the world that is fucked up. It sounds like your friend is probably thinking this.

    I really identified with your friend because 1 year after graduating HS my brother died, 2 years after that my dad died. It was the worst 2 years ever and took me many years of counseling and therapy to get through. However before I sought help I turned to drugs and alcohol.

    Friends tried to get me to stop using but I wouldn't. The pain was too great, the wounds too deep. They couldn't possibly know how devestated I was because I never let them in....sure I talked about my pain but they didn't know....they couldn't possibly understand or relate to the fact that the grief was ALWAYS there. The pain would never go away it always tormented me....day in....day out. The only thing that would relieve the pain was drinking and drugs.

    So here's the situation....I'm in CoNSTANT pain, emotional pain, and the only thing that relieves it is alcohol and drugs and now you want me to give it up. HA! Fuck you! no way!!! But I usually didn't say it like that....I just smile and say, don't worry....I'm ok. I just got a little crazy last night that's all. Make up some excuse to "fade the heat" my friends were laying on me. We addicts are masters at this.....it's part of the disease.

    Are you familiar with Al-anon? These are support groups for the loved ones or friends of addicts and alcoholics. They have regular meetings and functions similar to AAs and they are a great help in dealing with the twists and turns of addiction.

    It can be very difficult to be in your position becasue you may think...there's nothing wrong with you and you don't need those groups. But they are there not only to help you understand the addict but also to help understand the confusing nature of the disease....from your perspective. This can actually HELP your friend even if it doesn't seem like it is helping her....becasue its focused on you.

    Remeber that unless the addict wants to change, very little can be done. Yes I know that's probably not what you want to hear....especially if you are a guy. We are taught early on to "fix things" and you've identified a problem that needs fixin'. Unfortunatly, you are as powerless over drugs and alcohol as the addict. That's why a group like Al-Anon can help.

    I will pray that your friend finds the help she needs. I truly hope she seeks help soon.
     
  6. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    Thank you for the reply. I quoted you and sent her the message so hopefully she can relate to what you went through and maybe that will help her see where she is headed.

    If anybody else has anything more to add I would appreciate it.
     
  7. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    You are most welcome and I hope your friend chooses to seek help.

    In case you don't know, there are 2 types of AA meetings. Open and closed. Closed meetings are for alcoholics only. Open meetings are for everyone and anyone. If your friend is not sure where to start, sometimes an open meeting can be the best place and you can go along for moral support.

    There is also anonymous phone support in most towns. Just look in the business section of your phone book for the either Alcoholics Anonymous or Intergroup Offices.

    Good luck and I'll be praying for your friend.
     
  8. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    I've yet to talk to her today but she replied to the message I sent her with your story. She said she did it again(the mixing coke, xanax, weed, and liquor) last night and that she is scared and doesn't know what to do. She also said your story made her cry. I'm hoping it's because she is seeing the road she is headed down. I think she is at work right now, I'll update you on what she tells me when I talk to her.
     
  9. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    I just talked to her on aim. Doesn't seem like she realizes where she is headed. I don't know what else I could say to her.

     
  10. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Aww man...you're doing everything you can and that's the bitch of this disease. I'm not sure why my story made her cry, perhaps it hits a little close to home or maybe she can identify with the level of pain I was in. What ever the reason, I think it would be helpful for her to at least go to an open AA meeting.

    One clarification, I too didn't want to go to AA because I thought I can't be an alcoholic. After all when I went I was 26 years old and still had a job, an apartment and a car that ran (but it was beat to hell...lol) I also still had family that would talk to me and friends also......I thought I CAN'T be an alcoholic because I know what that is....it's the homeless person that hasn't showered for days, they eat out of dumpsters and drink out of paper sacks.....I'm NOT as bad as them and I'm younger then they are...how can I be an alcoholic??? It's jsut not possible.

    But guess what, I was and I am. By going to AA I learned about the disease of alcoholism. I learned that there are "functioning" alcoholics...where they still have their shit together but with drinking it's pretty crazy. I learned that what made me an alcoholic is NOT ANY of the following:

    -the time I drink (afternoon or after 5 pm)
    -the amount I drink
    -the people I'm with when I drink
    -if I still have a job
    -if my friends and family still want me around
    -if I still have a good life except for my drinking

    None of that makes me an alcoholic or not an alcoholic. What makes me an alcoholic is that alcohol has an effect on me that is different then non-alcoholics. My body is just different then non-alcoholics. It does something for me that it doesn't do for non-alcoholics.....those are the things that make me an alcoholic.

    When I take a drink, the phenomenon of craving sets in and I'm then drinking to overcome a craving that no amount of alcohol will ever overcome. We say in AA that 1 drink is too many and 1,000,000 is not enough. It's sounds goofy to non-alcoholics but it makes perfect sense to me.

    Be sure to let your friend know that going to open AA meetings is perfectly ok. EVERYONE is welcome there and she doesn't have to say a word if she doesn't want to. She can just listen to other AAs talk about their lives. Obviously if she wants to she can speak, but it's not necessary. She doesn't even have to give her real name if she doesn't want to. I would encourage you to accompany her but only if she wants you there.

    We AAs are just people. We aren't freaks that can't "handle" our booze. We're regular people that are suffering from a horrible disease. I was totally surprised to find professionals in my AA meetings. Doctors, lawyers, business men and women....and yes, sometimes the homeless. The disease of alcoholism knows no boundaries....including age.

    I pray that your friend will find the help see needs. My ex-g/f mixed xanex and alcohol and it's a very potent mixture and very dangerous. I pray that she finds help before something more serious happens to her.

    I would also hope that you would seek help in Al-Anon. They can help you deal with this disease as well.
     
  11. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Oh also...the latter days of my drinking I was finishing up an accounting degree but I was a raging alcoholic.
     
  12. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    Thank you for all the help. I have again sent her everything you said so she can read it. I specially highlighted the info you gave on the AA meetings and how you were finishing up a degree since she thinks everything is ok because she will be starting college in the fall....which to me would only make things more stressful not easier. Again, thank you for your help. I will update if she responds to what I sent her.
     
  13. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    No prob man. I'm happy to help and I hope you will keep my informed.

    Even if she's not an alcoholic, I think going to AA meetings will help. It's one of those things that everyone can get something out of. The AA meetings I went to were so different then what I thought they would be. They are like NOTHING I had imagined and I'm sooo thankful I sucked it up and just went....I don't know where I'd be today if I hadn't gone.
     
  14. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    wow...I'm talking to her on AIM and it's amazing the things she is saying. I couldn't imagine the people that have had to go through this with a family member.
     
  15. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Yep, it's a bitch...but the good news is that there is help. AA has helped millions of ppl.
     
  16. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    She seems unwilling to go. I'll post our AIM convo when I get done talking to her. She is making excuses about everything.
     
  17. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    When exactly do you know to throw in the towel?


     
  18. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Only you can decide when to throw in the towel. However, you may need to step back a little and see what happens. You are not absolutly, totally and irrevocably responsible for her getting clean and/or sober. That's not your job....that's her higher powers job.

    The good thing is you are trying to reach out and help. It's obvious you care about her well being and at 17 having gone through all the things she did....well her behavior is somewhat understandable. I mean she's had to be responsible for a long time and it seems like right now she wants to be somewhat carefree. But something really stood out to me.....I'll quote it

    Man...this sounded just like me when my bro and dad died. My whole family went to shit and counseling. I didn't because I was stronger then they were. I was tough, I could handle it...no prob.

    At least that's what I thought.

    I too didn't believe in counseling and yes some try to just throw pills down your throat. But not every therapist is like that....in fact....only psycharists are authorized to perscribe medicine. Psychologists can't! But there are some very good therapists in both professions. The thing is to find one that she can talk to...perhaps a female therapist....perhaps a younger one?? I don't know but I can assure you that they don't all try to feed you pills, turn on the happy music, light a bonfire and sing KumByYah.......they deal with real shit....in real lives and they CAN HELP! I'm proof!

    Oh and in regards to her Grandpa finding out...we have a saying in AA. You can choose to save your ass or your face but you can't save both. I chose to save my ass and you know what....most people in my life have told me how they respect my choice to find help.

    EVERYONE has problems. EVERYONE goes through hard times. EVERYONE needs help from time to time....it is NOT a sign of weakness, it's a sign of being HUMAN! She's not perfect and neither is her grandpa....they are both human. Without exception, everyone in my life respected my choice to seek help and have continued to support me. I thought they would abandon me...they didn't.

    Anyways, it's your choice to "throw in the towell" but you can also chose to turn her over to God and step back. Afterall, that's why I keep suggesting you go to Al-Anon.....because it can be emotionally draining on those close to the alcholic.
     
  19. Epicman

    Epicman Active Member

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    Fuck it...I threw in the towel today. I don't think she wants help and I'm not going to sit there and worry about somebody that doesn't give a damn. I'm done being hurt and worry about her.
     
  20. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Yep, it sucks to be powerless over alcohol doesn't it??? I was pissed about it also till I accepted it...then it's like...ok, if that's true, now what???

    That's when I had to start trusting in my higher power.

    Since you are new to this process it's natural to feel the way you are. However, I've been in recovery for a long time now and I'm patient. I don't ever throw in the towel, I just accept that unless the alcoholic wants to change, there's very little I can do.

    I can keep inviting them to meetings, I can tell them about my own addiction and how it effected me, I can tell them that I was hopeless till I went to AA and found a higher power I could believe in. It may not sound like I'm telling them anything but 1 drunk talking to another drunk about this stuff really makes all the difference in the world.

    I'll still keep praying for your friend tho...hopefully she'll find the help she needs whereever it may come from.
     
  21. eligh

    eligh Go To A Meeting

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    Relinquish your attempts to control her or her situation. Pray for her. Listen to Coottie. Sounds like your on the right track.
     

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