I’m mid 20s and currently trying to support my friend through alcoholism. She’s not an English national and doesn’t have family here so my family and I are doing our best to support her. The problem is that she’s so destructive when she’s drunk. She’s aggressive (verbally and physically), destructive (wrecks the house) and she’s actually quite nasty. My friend had a really rough time growing up and uses alcohol as a coping mechanism. I struggle with anxiety issues and I feel like I’m on the edge of a breakdown as she doesn’t want any help that’s being offered to her. She has had counselling which did help, but that’s stopped now; she’s being offered alcohol counselling too but I think she’s too ashamed to go as she always finds a reason to postpone it. This entire situation is getting too difficult to cope with and I don’t know what else to do now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hello and welcome
You can’t stay in the situation. You are going to be dragged down and then won’t fit to help.
I don’t know if this suggestion will work. Phone AA, tell them you no longer can support your friend, so someone knows, and leave. You obviously have done your very best, so nothing to reproach yourself about.
I’m sorry but there is very little that you can do apart from call AA for help. Please do not worry either as she needs to help herself now. Leave and observe her quietly from a distance. Good luck! If she needs help, she will ask. It pretty much is a matter of mind over drink here. Nothing more and nothing less. Are there any support groups in the area she could join or not?
But if you truly wish to help, ask a friend or a neighbour to talk to her.
She has to want to help herself. otherwise there is very little you can do. You are a lovely friend for trying to help, but please don’t let this harm your own health.
Have you tried looking to Al Anon for help - they are specifically a charity for friends and family of alcoholics.
They have a helpline as well:
“Call us free of charge on 0800 0086 811 from 10 am - 10 pm, 365 days a year. Please do not leave a message as, to ensure callers’ confidentiality, we are unable to return calls.”
There’s nothing more you can do. If she is too scared or embarrassed, that’s her choice.
Google local alcohol support groups. My area even has support workers who visit the person at home to support them. You could always refer her yourself or sometimes it needs to be a professional.
I used to have a client who was an alcoholic. I tried my best to get him to engage but he wasn’t interested. I applied to a charity to get him a new cooker which was worth £400 which he got but sold it for £20 to get alcohol!!
Don’t beat yourself up over it. You’ve done the best a good friend can do. It’s up to her now!