one of my best friends has a drinking problem
So Iím not really sure on where to start so I guess Iíll just blurt it all out. My friend and roommate drinks every day. Most days itís just two or three after work (we work 4 days on three off) but on days off or when we go out with the guys after work he drinks to a point that he will pass out. Now this kid (21 yo) has had a very good life. loving parents, they are doing better than most money wise and heís no slouch either. He owns an acreage, has a jacked up diesel pick up. And has never really been touched by death or illness. He seems to have had the perfect upbringing. I know he gets depressed and has even said he gets depressed. But when I try and talk about it he says he was just trying to relate to are alcoholic friend "matt". Iím "Matts" phone call if he wants to drink. "Matt" hit rock bottom while he was staying with us cuz his girlfriend kicked him out. He got to the point where he was shaking without a drink. I got him to admit he was an alcoholic and helped him get help for himself. Now "Craig" saw all this go down and we talked a little about him drinking and him being depressed and thatís when he said he was trying to relate to "Matt". When me and "Matt" asked him about him drinking too much he came back with ďI donít have a problem drinking. I drink just fineĒ.
Now I think I have an idea of why he may be depressed. Heís always talking about wanting a girlfriend. And I know he wants to start his life. He has told me he wants a girlfriend that can calm him down and slow down on drinking. He really wants to start a family and have kids.
He has gained some weight over the last little bit about 45lbs. I know heís vain and it bugs him. I think that might be something thatís holding him back from trying to get a girlfriend. I did start going to the gym with him and he was doing well until I rolled my car and couldnít for a bit. ( I was sober ) after that he made friends with some guys at work who drink a lot and now the only things he does outside of work are activityís that allow him to drink. He doesnít invite me out anymore as i dont like to drink every day (I hope itís an attempt to try to hide it from me) and recently he has started to do coke once in a while. That scares the shit out of me because I know he could really get messed up if he gets too involved with it.
The other thing is Iím gay, but no one at work knows it (we live in Alberta). I told "Craig" before I moved in with him and made sure he was ok with it before the move in plans went too far. He said he was cool with it, and that we enjoy most of the same things, sledding, dirt biking, hunting, and 4x4ing, that sort of shit and that as long as I donít mess around in the common area he was fine with it. Now he is a straight 21 yo farm kid. I assume that he is not 100% ok with it. Heís fine now with me cuddling on the couch with my bf and tells me that my bfs a really good guy bla bla. Heís ok with the stuff that you would think would bug him.
However he doesnít want his parents to know about me or any of his friends. I was going to tell ďmattĒ (who we both work with) because I didnít want him to get freaked out if he found out his life line was gay. I really donít think he would care. But ďCraigĒ was doing his best to convince me not to tell him. I think he has a fear about people judging him for being friends and roommates with a gay guy. Valid to a point. Could that be adding to him drinking? I know it really bugged me about people finding out when I was younger.
Now we became friends because we are so similar to each other. same hot head, same stubbornness. Same everything. He once told me that "we are exactly the same... well almost" (he was referring to me being gay)
Now Iíd love to be able to just talk with him about his drinking but I know him, he will just clam up and deny everything. He is very independent, good at everything he does or tryís and hates when people tell him what to do. Or telling him heís doing things wrong. He does not like making mistakes or when you are right about something you told him, doesnít matter how small it is. I just donít know how I can help him. Itís to the point that I may move out as I really canít handle all the drinking. I love this kid, heís like a brother to me. And I think (other than Matt) that Iím the only one that knows just how much he really drinks. Man I need help plz
cobiss, your concern for your roommate is commendable, and I know that you are worried about him. Unfortunately, as a recovering alcoholic, I have to tell you what I think deep down you already know - he won't change until he is ready to change, and he doesn't sound like he's any where near ready.
Please go to the home page at spiritualriver.com and click on the heading on the banner called "Helping Addicted Friends or Family Members". I think you will find it helpful. It also reminds you that you need to take care of YOU first. I know that sounds selfish, but it is not.
You may need to move out for your own emotional well-being. If you choose to stay as his roommate, I would recommend Al-Anon for you to gain understanding. Either way, let him know you are there for him if he wants help, but you're not going to push it.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents. The article is written by a professional, so I would go on that more than anything I've said, but I wanted to let you know that you are being heard, and again applaud you for your concern.
Try to visit http://www.healingtodayinside.com this site post helpful information regarding addiction or perhaps if you are living in any part of Los Angeles, try to search addiction los angeles specialist. Take care and God bless you always.
Die hard recovery fanatic
I agree with Carol. You can't MAKE someone stop or even realize they have a problem. I was like your roommate...I drank everyday. I wasn't ready to stop and then a few days ago, I looked in the mirror and didn't like who I had become. My husband would occassionally say things like slow down a bit with the drinking, but I blew it off and would proceed to drink two bottles of wine. I came to my own realization that I wanted the old me back. It was my decision to tell my husband that I had a drinking problem and that "I" was ready for some help.
I am a few days in and feel physically crappy, but I can deal with short term pain in order to have a better, more fulfilling life in the long run. Here is the short of it: no one else can make decisions for another person. I made this choice to seek help on my own.
Wish me luck on this journey and I hope you and your roommate can find peace!