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A Letter to My Alcoholic Friend

Dearest Friend,

I have known you for almost two years now and although I donít want to do it, I am getting ready to let you go. You have pleaded with me in the past to stick by you and thanked me when I did. But that is not enough any longer. Iíve become the enabler. The person who is always there when you decide to get clean and soberÖÖagain.

When will it happen for you? When will you realize you canít drink anymore? What makes you think you are so different from the rest of us addicts and alcoholics that you can drink and not suffer any consequence? You have been able to stay sober for months and then you drink. What is the saying? Something like a man falling 99 times put picking himself up 100. The problem is I am not sure if and when you will stop picking yourself up. What happens when you donít? Will you die? Will it be quick or one of those slow deaths when your brain turns to mush and your organs rot inside of you?

You tell me how horrendous your disease is. You tell me that this time it will be different. You tell me life is so much better sober. You tell me all of the things I long to hear but they are always short lived. Each time you say these things I try hard to believe. I want so to have faith in you and trust that you can do this. You believe when you drink again you are disappointing me. Perhaps that is part of the problem. You are not getting sober for me or anyone else including your family. When are you going to get sober for YOU??

The step work we accomplished is not lost but some people need more than that. Sponsors are not psychiatrists or counselors. I cannot help you delve into whatever demons possess you deep down inside and yet, you donít want that kind of help. You want someone to tell you what is wrong with you and the only thing I can tell you is that you are an alcoholic. Thatís not enough, is it? You want someone to solve all of the problems of the past for you and so you keep returning to your drunken hell either thinking you will find the answer or you can further bury the answer.

How many times have I told you that if you relapse you will lose your family? How many times have you told me your family is your life, especially your daughter? LIAR! Your life is booze and a little gambling thrown in for good measure. No one who continues to drink can tell me that their family is their life. You only believe it is because you canít see through your own selfishness. Am I being brutal? Am I angry? Youíre damn right on both counts. You, like many, suffer from mental distress. Bi-polar, right? You blamed the meds the last time and then told me you wouldnít take them any longer. And didnít I tell you that God didnít put you on this earth to suffer and that if you follow the advice of your doctor, you will be able to think clearly, make good decisions, and see the light at the end of the tunnel? Well, the last I heard you were on your way to the doctor and so I have no idea the outcome. Perhaps it is his fault you are drinking again.

I have always asked for your honesty and I believe you have done the best you can. What you havenít done, though, is be honest with yourself. You still are not willing to be 100% honest with anyone but, see the ďanyonesĒ donít count. Only you count and oddly enough, when I want you to think and focus on yourself, you see that as selfish. What a sorry lot we alcoholics are when we canít find our way. We only make sense to another alcoholic which is why as annoyed as I am at you, I still ďget itĒ.

The only step an addict of any type needs to take is Step One. You can have the Higher Power and pray and mediate, go to meetings, be of service and all of the other things that are admirable about the steps and recovery but if you donít get Step One every second of every day it doesnít work. You know all about insanity but in this case it is doing the same thing over and over again and knowing exactly what the results are going to be.

By the time you read this I can only hope and pray that you will once again see that glimmer of hope and come back to the real world and begin recovery. I hope that Godís will for you is to be a contributing, sober, happy, peaceful member of society. I hope that it is Godís will for you to keep your family intact. I can only pray for Godís will and this is one of those times when I hope to God that His will is my hope. You know that my mantra is that the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you. I pray that for you today.

You are my friend and I love you. I know I said at the beginning of this letter that I might not be there for you any longer. Do you know how that kills me to even say that? I canít make you sober. I canít make you happy. I canít change you. Do you know how frustrating that is? No, I donít think you do but then alcoholics in their disease donít know how to care. So I canít imagine that anything I have written to you is going to make a difference. It had all been said before. The difference is that today I have to move forward with or without you. Iíve been given a gift that I was told to share with others; others who want it.

Iím not judging you, dear friend. I am doing what I think best. I must lovingly detach from you and place you in the hands of God. I will pray for you. I will ask God to watch over you and protect you. He can do for you what no one else can and if at a later time He puts you and I on the same path, I will once again take your hand.

Namasteí. May you walk your journey in peace and harmony.

ďLikeĒ Grateful Recovery on Facebook. Kathy L. is the author of ďThe Intervention Book: Stories and Solutions from Addicts, Professionals, and FamiliesĒ (Conari Press)

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