Sunday, April 21, 2013

“I'm not the problem, you see.”

I'm not the problem, you see.
It's everyone else that bothers me.
They make it so hard to be kind,
But when I'm with you I don't seem to mind.
— Linus of Hollywood

I have had occasion to have a relationship of sorts with an alcoholic. Kathy's late brother had a friend who is, alas, an alcoholic. We'll call her Patricia. She just had a child after having had to lose her older child because of her alcoholism. And now, thanks primarily to people she calls friends, there is a chance she'll lose this child to the system as well.

Her "friends" invited her and the baby over, coaxed her into drinking, and then called the authorities. They did this out of revenge, because Patricia at one point had a role in one of them losing a child to Children's Services.

Where I come in is that I recognize that she doesn't have much of a chance if she doesn't change her environment, so I have offered her the opportunity to move where I live, where Kathy and I can help her get set up in an environment that will support her quitting drinking.

The problem for me has been dealing directly with an alcoholic again. The promises, the excuses, the disappointments, and the lies are all familiar to me intellectually, but being the recipient of them in person touches buttons long dormant. I have to stop myself from becoming angry with her with the anger that rightfully belongs to and with my father.

I have decided to have no hope about the issue and just let what happens happen.

Linus of Hollywood sings what I think of as the alcoholic's anthem.


Anonymous said...

That will be a real challenge, supporting the gf and then letting her alcoholic friend move in????Really?

Anonymous said...

You have to really be careful about trying to save someone who has issues like that. It is only natural to want to help but getting into co-dependent relationships with addicts is what led us to ACA, so remember to be healthy and let people handle their own problems. It can be hard and hurtful to not act when you see someone who needs help but who are you going to save: her or you?

Sometimes it can't be both. It's not up to you to be her hero. She has to learn to be her own, just as you learn to be your own parent.