When to say good bye to your best mate

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When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby hellothere » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:43 pm

Hi all,

I've been looking over a lot of posts and there is a huge amount of helpful info out there. Thank you all. Apologies if this isn't the right place to post this.

My situation is that my best mate ( of 14+ years) is very much into his booze, as am I. I would love to give it up, as I think I drink to an unhealthy level. I've tried many times to give up and have also tried encouraging him to stop but he has very very little/no interest in doing that. I have quite a high level of concern for my own level of drinking and would like to quit. I've tried many time over the last few years but always seem to fall back into the pattern, with my best mate being at the forefront of encouragement for drinking.

My question is to anyone who as had a very close friend/ best friend who's had a very negative affect on your drinking, how did you decide enough was enough and how did you go about dealing with the mate ? I don't really want to cut all ties with him, or phase him out but can't see how else to do it.

Thank you so much is advance.
Last edited by hellothere on Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby Noels » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:33 pm

Hi hello there and welcome to e-aa :D I stopped drinking and reached out to aa for help when I could no longer face the pathetic person I had become. I still had the house, the family and the 2 cars in the garage but I no longer had myself.
My brother enjoyed alcohol just as much as I did and I met with him and told him I'm attending aa, I no longer wished to drink and since I associated him and me with booze it was best we didn't visit for at least 3 months.
We could stay in touch via phone and phone messages but I didn't want to hear about his crap (I always rescued him financially and emotionally ) and it was killing me.
Because he loves me he accepted 'my rules ' and low and behold, I am over a year sober, he somehow survived his emotional and financial upheavals and our relationship today is one of brother and sister and no longer mother and child.
When you are ready to take the step to sobriety you need to be selfish about your recovery and do whatever it takes to become and remain sober. If your friend is a true friend and not just a drinking buddy he will respect your wishes and you will remain friends.
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:18 pm

Hi hellothere and welcome.

If you've decided that alcohol is a problem for you and you want to quit drinking, AA has what is called the "24 hour plan" and following that plan worked really well for me. You can read about the plan online in an AA pamphlet entitled: "This is AA - An introduction to the AA recovery program" which will also help answer your questions about how the AA program works.

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-1_thisisaa1.pdf.

I can relate to your story. Like you, I had tried to quit drinking many times but was never successful at staying quit for very long. Whether I was out with friends or home alone, I always picked up that first drink again. Once I did that, I always wanted more drinks and generally got drunk again despite my best intentions to only have a few. When I finally discovered AA's "24 hour plan", I used it to keep away from that "first drink". In addition to this, I went to AA meetings--a lot of meetings. I didn't really know it at the time but what I was doing for myself by going to meetings and talking/ listening to other sober AA members in the fellowship was building a strong sober support network of new friends. That worked really well for me and I didn't have to give up any old friends in order to stay sober. Have you ever been to an AA meeting?
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby positrac » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:52 am

IMO if you are ready to change then you need to work on changing People, Places and Things. So breaking down what I mentioned:

People: everyone who is not helping you, paying bills and putting food on the table.
Places: what gets your mind going and what helps get you toasted, so negative places need to be removed----Sorry work might have to wait because you need an income until something better comes alone
Things: This one could be people, songs on the radio and anything else that can be bundled into this category. Music for me was a huge issue for me in early sobriety and after all these years some of the groups that were current then I have to watch out for today because my mind still remembers the times and events. So I changed my music tastes to overcome the memories.

So in closing once you are sick and tired or being sick and tired you can cross over and start living different. It is hard at first and it is not unachievable but you need to surround yourself with winners who want to see your success in sobriety. Not a total fail-safe and yet can save your arse if you allow it to work. This process can only be accomplished by you and only you and we are just the cheering section :!:
Cheers
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby clouds » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:33 am

Welcome! :)

Its wonderful you have gotten the insight to see yourself in regard to what alcohol is doing to your life.

When I went to my first AA meeting I was surprised to learn that sobriety depended, not on self knowledge or people, but on my doing 12 steps. The steps are outlined in the book 'Alcoholics Anonymous'. You can buy it at a meeting or you can find it on line. A description of what we do to get and stay sober can be read in the book and at heard at the meetings, listening to how others did it.

My experience was that, my husband was also an alcoholic and he wasn't ready to stop his drinking.
I got a sponsor in AA who guided me along in the directions of the 12 steps, which I began to do within the first few weeks of my sobriety.

I found that with the support of a few AA members and doing these steps I stayed sober regardless of my husband's drinking and other difficult times. Its my feeling that our sobriety depends on the willingness that we apply the principles of the steps in daily life rather than the material aspects of our life. Its a spiritual program that works for anyone willing to give it an honest try.

If you find a break from your mate is in order, I think it will come to you when you are ready.

My drinking friends didn't stay around too long as I continued to keep sober. I didn't have to ask them to leave. :lol:
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby Roberth » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:44 am

Hello hellothere, and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. This may sound harsh but is you have a drinking problem and leave your mate you still have a drinking problem. You may want to find a local AA group that can help you with the problem with alcohol. I would also find your local Alanon family Group to help you deal with the alcoholic.
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby hellothere » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:50 am

Firstly, thank you all for the warm welcome and for taking the time to write a response.

Coming back to my post I probably made it sound like the whole issue was my mate. Obviously at the end of the day I am the only one responsible for my own actions and decisions and I shouldn't really be trying to put blame on others.

Noels- Huge congrats on hitting the one year mark! Great milestone to get to. Can I ask, did your brother try to put pressure on you to drink in the early stages? Or did he respect and support your decisions from the outset?

ezdzit247- That 24 hour plan is a great strategy and I've already started putting it to use ( have managed to avoid a few potentially risky drinking opportunities ), so thank you for mentioning that. My one major concern is the lead up to Christmas. In the industry I work in it's normally a very boozy time of year. I'll have a list of excuses on standby, but would you have any other useful tips to "survive" this period? Your situation sounded very similar to me in that it all goes wrong with that first drink. As soon as I have one I get the "taste", control goes out the window and the floodgates open. It's like I decide to hit the alcohol self destruct button. As I've been a keen drinker for a good few years now drinking is strongly embedded in nearly all my friendship circles so the support network you mentioned is something I'll need to have a think about. To answer your question, no I haven't been to any meetings. I'm not sure how comfortable I'd feel going to be honest.

Postric- You've mentioned some very interest things to think about. I especially like the point about the music ( I don't think I would have ever seen that as an issue, but now you mention it......). I'll need to have a solid think about all the potential triggers and have a bit of a cleanse.

Clouds- I must be honest, I haven't looked at the 12 steps. I'll track it down online and have a good read. Were any of your drinking friends good friends (at the time) that you didn't really want to cut ties with but they would try their best to get you to have a drink?

Roberth- Yes, you are completely right (not harsh at all :D ) that it is me with the issue and it's my responsibility to address and take ownership of. I think my ramble was a bit unclear but was basically trying to ask how to deal with a "good" friend who makes sobriety tougher.

Every year I would give up drinking for a whole month (successfully) to tell myself I still had the control, but over the last 6-12 months I think it's got to the knife edge of almost becoming a dependency. The good news is that 1) you've all given me some great advice :D 2) as of tomorrow I'll be a week off the drink 3) I got an ultra sound of my liver, kidneys etc during the week and everything is completely clear/fine!( somehow).

So here's to a new start! Thank you all again for your encouragement and responses. (apologies for the big rambling reply)
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby SiRTWiStEdX » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:58 am

Keep up the good work! I have made it from Wednesday to today and am literally distancing myself from any sort of activity atm because all of my normal activities involve booze.. But this is the longest I've made it for 5 years so hell why not keep going .. feel very awkward but going to keep at it
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby hellothere » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:15 pm

Thanks, and well done to you too mate! That 24 hour plan that ezdzit247 mentioned as been so valuable in thinking about those next 24hours and thinking of avoidance tactics for any potential high risk times I might turn to a drink. Good luck and keep us updated.
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:47 pm

no I haven't been to any meetings. I'm not sure how comfortable I'd feel going to be honest.


Everybody thinks this. But most of us realize that it is a group of drunks, just like who we hung out with only now sober. And we are using a program to get sober, not just on our own.

You can read the book online for free here: http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby Noels » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:43 pm

Hello there :D I think the fact that I arranged a definite meet with him for a day and time and the seriousness in my voice and face made my brother realise I'm dead serious. And I followed through. I did not answer my phone or messages immediately and was just not available. As another member stated above - I avoided all people, places, activities - everything that I used to do whilst drinking.
You need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to become AND REMAIN Sober. It wasnt always the easiest path right in the beginning but it's most definitely been worth it!
It's awesome not waking up nauseous , sick and headachy anymore. I can start my day every day without wondering what nonsense and trouble I caused the previous night so that fear, shame and guilt have left me.
I am blessed and grateful for my sobriety each moment and still avoid places, people and activities where alcohol is served when and if I can even though I haven't craved since month 7.
Sober life is the best :D
Love and light
Noels xxx
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby Lali » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:51 pm

Hi hellothere and EdX. Like Spirit Flower said, you don't have to do this on your own. That's the beauty of having a program and a fellowship of people who have gone through what you two are presently going through. Most of us were fearful of walking through the doors of AA for the first time but were pleasantly surprised at how welcome we were made to feel once there!

Hellothere, there is a little book called "Living Sober" that offers lots of suggestions for those in early sobriety. Things like: when attending an event or party that will be serving alcohol, have an exit plan. For instance, park where you know you will be able to get out quickly, if necessary. Some don't like the book because there are places in the book where they seem to contradict our basic text, "Alcoholics Anonymous" but it does have a lot of good tips.

Of course, it's best to avoid places where alcohol is served while still in early sobriety.
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby Tosh » Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:32 am

hellothere wrote:
My question is to anyone who as had a very close friend/ best friend who's had a very negative affect on your drinking, how did you decide enough was enough and how did you go about dealing with the mate ? I don't really want to cut all ties with him, or phase him out but can't see how else to do it.


At the end of my drinking, I didn't have any friends, but I have experience of being a friend of someone who I knew wasn't good for me. In the army I used to knock about with a really funny guy, but when he drank, he became extremely violent. After a series of incidents I just distanced myself from him.

A few months later this friend nearly killed another soldier with a hefty broken pint glass and he ended up going to prison for five years.

So my point is, I didn't really have a choice; I had to distance myself otherwise I knew my life would take a negative turn.

It sounds like you don't have much of a choice in the matter too.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby clouds » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:58 am

Hi, :)

I had a few people want me to drink sometimes, as in they would offer a drink, I would refuse and they would remain insistant. Once someone said they liked me drunk better than sober because I was uptight without the alcohol.

So as I kept sober because I understood what alcoholism is, and that I am one, those people drifted out of my life. I can't say I missed them much. Sobriety came first.

I hope you will get to plenty of AA meetings and give the book 'AA' a read, it explains clearly the nature of alcoholism, and the way we recover in a simple understandable way.

Regards.
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Re: When to say good bye to your best mate

Postby Lali » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:54 am

clouds wrote:Once someone said they liked me drunk better than sober because I was uptight without the alcohol.


I had a good comeback to that: "I liked YOU better when I was drunk as well."
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