My friend is an alcoholic and right now (perhaps most of his life) he’s sailing up a river in Egypt. You know the one: denial. I really care about him but tonight he came close to ruining that.
My friend is an angry, mean drunk. When he’s sober, he is more intelligent and kind than most. But when he gets drunk, he lashes out verbally. He did that to me tonight.
In an online chat, he told me the week had been bad and he had decided to get drunk . . . and was well on his way. I told him, because we have agreed to always be truthful with each other, that it made me sad when he did that. I told him I could tell when it happened even if he didn’t tell me. He “went off” on me, telling me, among other things, not to start getting all “ex-wife” on him. He threatened to “unfriend” me and never speak to me again. I spoke the truth in gentleness and expressed my confusion at some of the things he said. He went offline but I think some of what I said got through, because the angry, ranting posts stopped, too.
Fortunately for both of us, he is in FL and I’m in MA. It was an online chat. I could just leave. Forgiving is easy for me. Forgetting the meanness is harder, though. I’ll have to work on that.
I could have ruined the relationship myself with the barbed retorts that sprang to mind (and continue to do so). I chose to keep them to myself. My goodness, I’ve become mature when I wasn’t looking.
My heart breaks for this terrific 56 year old man who has lost his wife, his last job and who knows what else because he is a drunk. I guess he figures he can fool other people because he’s so smart. He has a PhD in social psychology, after all. But he is an addict and he thinks like an addict. He’s only fooling himself, if that.
He needs an intervention but it isn’t going to come from me. I’m too far away and I’m no longer in the business of trying to rescue people. I will continue to pray for him, because I believe God is the only one who can work this miracle.
Still, it makes me very sad. I’m sure there’ll be more to come on this.