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I think my buddy has a problem of...Alcohol? Doesn't he?
April 20, 2007
8:17 pm
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Rasputin
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I have been befriended with this good guy ever since Thanksgiving day and we've been having reall good time together...no love, romance or strings attached, just pure friendship. He is nice, decent, well-mannered guy. Only recently, I noticed each time we go grocery shopping together...he buys a case of beer. Sometimes he invites me for a beer which I take occasionally or refuse since I only drink socially.

This conduct was repeated almost each time we go out to the grocery. Recently, I asked him if he had problem of alcohol or if he was alcoholic....he said that he drinks beer every day but only 1 or 2 bottles/cans. I told him that he had a problem of alcohol. He said No. An alcoholic is someone who drinks 5 bottles/cans of beer per day. He even told me to go to a medical centre and ask about what is being alcoholic and that they would inform me that it is someone who drinks 5 bottles/cans of beer daily.

I insisted that he is still alcoholic since its something that has to happen on almost a daily basis even if he only drinks 1 or 2 bottles per day.

He got angry and asked me to change the subject since he is a good guy who manages his life, work, money very well and has no problem in any area in his life whatsoever.

Do you think my buddy is considered Alcoholic? I told him that as his friend...I am worried about him an want the best for him and all I wanted is to simply help him. I was not being nosy or trying to intrude into his private life. He said that I should not worry about him and he was in control of his life and knew what was best for him.

Ironically, there are CODA meetings that are taking place in church nearby our place. How can I inspire my buddy to attend those CODA meetings? Is he considered Alcoholic OR a social drinker?

Thanks for any wisdom!~Ras

April 20, 2007
8:53 pm
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taj64
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No He is not an alcoholic. A glass of wine or beer or two especially if he is a man is nothing to worry about. I think you are reading way too much into this. I wonder if you are not being too condependent. Not everyone who drinks beer or wine is an alcoholic. There are responsible drinkers and there are alcoholics. I would be offended to be called an alcholic if I was responsible drinker. I would think that person is overbearing.

April 20, 2007
9:52 pm
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readyforachange
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Ras...I don't think the AMOUNT of alcohol a person drinks has anything to do with whether or not they are an alcoholic. Most of the surveys I've seen to determine if you are an alcoholic focus upon whether or not your drinking interferes with your personal relationships, impairs your ability to do your job or makes you unable to fulfill your esponsibilities.

I would Google "alcoholism" and you'll find the surveys on some of the websites.

It would be worth it to check this out, and maybe have an honest conversation with him about your findings. He may have hurt feelings...it seems that may be why he got defensive.

I wish you well.

April 20, 2007
11:00 pm
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Rasputin
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Ok folks. I will ask him tom to take a quiz for alcoholism to decide what it says about alcoholism & his drinking habits. I believe this is the Fair way to decide whether someone is being alcholic or not.

I forgot to mention that yesterday he drank 4 beers - that's what he told me, AND his father is a drinker (don't know if he's alcholic but he certainly drinks). So, my buddy is predisposed to become...let's say the least, a compulsive drinker.

Honestly, as a spiritual person, anything compulsive or dependent is unhealthy. For instance, I drink on special occasions such as Christmas Eve, New Year, Valentine's day, St. Paddy's day, either wine or beer. This is what I call "Social drinker." To me, if someone must have something on a daily basis, this is compulsive addictive/dependent behaviour. Mind you, I am well-aware it's part of our western culture; however, beer/wine is not like bread. We won't die if we don't consume them every day.

Anyway, In order to be FAIR, I will ask him to take the test tom.

Thanks Taj & Ready for the feedback for telling me about the online survey. That was really eye opening!

April 21, 2007
3:25 am
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fantas
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Hi Rasputin, It's great that you care so much for your friend. As a friend you have asked him and he denied that he was an alcoholic. Should he decide that he doesn't think that he has a problem, then you should just be his friend and accept him just the way he is. Make sure you are not trying to fix him. Especially since he seems to be managing himself well. Good luck!

April 21, 2007
8:38 am
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risingfromtheashes
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Ras,

I think it would be codependent of you to try and fix his perceived "addiction".

Whether he has it or not is not really your problem to fix.

I think it's wonderful you are concerned about him...but in the end, EVEN IF he is an alcoholic, it's not yours to fix. It's his.

And if he doesn't think he has a problem...then you are DEFINITELY not going to fix it...and maybe ruin the friendship by trying.

His two (or more) beers a day is part of who he is...and that's that.

I have a very dear friend of mine...he drinks a 12 pack a day, he smokes like a chimney and he doesn't eat properly. BUT, he is the kindest sweetest guy you will ever meet...he is funny, decent, responsible and a hard worker. I adore him. And I accept him, warts and all. I would love to see him put down the beer, stop the smoking and find a nice woman to love....but it's not my problem to fix. He's my friend and nothing more...never can be because of the drinking...but I can still be his friend.

If you are looking for something more with this guy...then his drinking habits could become an issue. But if it's strictly a friendship...then leave it be.

April 21, 2007
8:40 am
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Rasputin
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Thanks Fantas for the GREAT advice to which I agree 100%. Well...I asked him this morning about the Quiz for alcoholism & whether he wants to take it or not. He got annoyed and said NO. So, this is like avoidance and denial to which I will accept. He is an Adult and he definitely knows what's best for him. I'm not his mom; I'm only a concerend friend and if he preferes to live in denial...well that's his Choice! Period.

April 21, 2007
8:56 am
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risingfromtheashes
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again, it sounds like you are already pre-judging him.

and as a friend, it's not necessary to do that...he may very well be an alcoholic...or HE MAY NOT.

I tend to think alot like you...I don't drink at all..and it makes my stomach knot when my BF says he's going to get a drink....which is about once a month.

Because of my past...my dad being an alcoholic and one of my ex BF's....I have trouble with alcohol....it makes me scared for some reason.

But at the same time....there is a HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE population of people that have NO trouble with alcohol....they drink alcohol like I drink soda pop....it's a social, occasional thing...and there is nothing wrong with it...nor does it indicate an addiction.

There are many people who have a drink after work...or wine with dinner...or a beer with dinner...it does not make them an alcoholic....by medical terms anyway.

But for me...I always look at someone that drinks more than twice a year as someone that may have a problem.

But, the problem is ME...and my perception of alcohol.

And the only thing I can do is accept that some people enjoy it more than I do.

Let's flip this around.

I like to eat...and I eat too much junk. I would be HIGHLY offended if someone I love said "rising, you need to go into rehab and get your eating under control....you are a food addict".

I KNOW I am a food addict, but I don't need someone telling me that....it just hurts too much.

Now...what if I wasn't a food addict and had a medical condition that caused me to be overweight....then it owuld KILL me to think that someone thinks there is something wrong with me without knowing the facts.

So, I figure, if I wouldn't like it, neither would they.

April 21, 2007
2:13 pm
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readyforachange
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Ras...I'm sorry I wasn't clearer about this. I meant that YOU should check out the websites, and answer the questions to the best of your knowledge. I think it would be unfair of you to ask him to do it, and I think you might offend him. I didn't even ask my ex-husband to take the quiz...he was given it by a marriage counselor, and I had answered the questions beforehand based on my knowledge of his habits. It is VERY difficult to bring this topic up to someone and not have them get offended and defensive. I hope this did not happen in your case.

April 21, 2007
6:21 pm
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I don't think that someone is in "denial" because they feel offended that someone wants to put them under the hot white lights about their drinking habits! Especially, since I don't find 1-2 beers a day, excessive. Especially if he is a large framed person, the alcohol content in beer is not that high. It's not like shooting back a fifth of whiskey! Does his personality change after these beers? Is he abusive? Obnoxious? Beligerant?? Where is the problem exactly???

Is it just that YOU feel it's not right? That YOU feel uncomfortable with his beer consumption?? That YOU feel it is a sign of his alcoholism?? I think this has very little to do with him and everything to do with YOU. Think about it... How does his casual drinking affect YOU????

To be honest with you... I drink a glass of wine every night with dinner. I do NOT consider myself an alcoholic and if one of my "friends" told me to take a "quiz" to determine if I was one or not... I would no longer consider them a friend. NOT because I'm in denial, but because I would find it incredibly controlling, judgmental and rude.

I know that you see it as a form of love... that you are reaching out as a wise and caring friend.... but my advice to you would be to, back off. Let your friend live his life UNTIL a point in time that you see him getting out of control with his drinking... Lying, stealing, missing work, abusing people, losing job after job, choosing alcohol over family, etc... THOSE are signs of alcoholism. NOT a beer or two a day...

April 21, 2007
6:34 pm
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taj64
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Gee if you think a glass of wine or two each night is an alcohilic than there are an awful lot of alcoholics running around! This quiz, I wonder, how would you feel about a quiz when someone asks you to fill out a quiz about something you do you feel is "normal". I don't see any denial from this man. You insist he is in denial but maybe you are in denial of accepting people as they are. If he had a problem with it and was causes problems in his life then he step in a friend, but I too would find it annoying to ask someone to take a quiz. It is offensive. If you do not want friends that drink, dont take on friends that drink. Let is go as I can see you are trying to change a person to suit your needs.

April 21, 2007
9:24 pm
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Rasputin
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Thanks all for your feedback that brought me to reality. I know as an idealist, I always assume the way things should be and how friends are supposed to behave. I should always remember that reality is always different from the ideal world, unfortunately.

However, I really care so much about my friend even tho I have no romantic feelings for him. He is good guy...full of good qualities. Lately, I noticed he's becoming critical, impatient, mean with me. I wonder if that's the effects of alcohol. The funny thing is...about a month ago, he told me he wanted to quit drinking beer and now he seemed to have changed his mind altogether; so I'm hearing mixed messages from him.

I think the most Loving thing I can do for him right now is...to accept him just the way he is and keep him in my prayers!!!

April 21, 2007
10:42 pm
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healintime
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Hi Rasputin,

Could this man be getting impatient because you've crossed his boundaries? I say that with all due respect but if you've been bringing up his "drinking problem" and he has been short with you as a result - it may be because he's feeling judged. I like the analogy with eating - would you have raised concerns about his eating habits if his diet wasn't healthy?

You worry about his alcohol intake - but that's a pretty personal topic. Many people use alcohol as a way to unwind. Are there better ways? Sure. But healthy guidelines are two units a day (that would be two beers) for men. That puts him within recommended guidelines. Have you ever seen him intoxicated? If not, then aren't you simply imprinting your own relationship with alcohol onto him and expecting him to feel/behave as you do? Telling him he needs to take a test and then labelling him as "in denial" because he won't accept two beers a day as indicating he has a problem.. might simply have offended him. Offended can easily translate into grouchy.

If, however, he started being critical and mean before you raised his drinking then could you be focusing on this issue as a way to be critical back? Sounds like there's a lot more going on there with your dynamic than the alcohol.

H.

April 22, 2007
1:47 pm
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StronginHim77
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If I had a "friend" (not a husband or a blood relative) who chose to drink on a daily basis, I would either accept that friend, just as he/she is or move on. I don't feel it is right to impose our own "standards" of what is -- or is not -- appropriate for food consumption/choices, alcohol consumption/choices, religious beliefs/choices, etc. on others. Befriending someone and then trying to CHANGE them to behavior patterns which suit US better doesn't seem right. It seems controlling to me.

- Ma Strong

April 22, 2007
2:23 pm
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bevdee
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Hi everyone,

I have learned something from this thread! Thank you Miss Ras for starting it, and thanks to everyone else for posting your thoughts.

I have had some horrible experiences with alcoholics and addicts, and this thread has helped me start to kind of "tidy up" my stray thoughts on those experiences, and my resulting perceptions.

Healintime, I so love the way you say things!! - "If not, then aren't you simply imprinting your own relationship with alcohol onto him" This spoke to me- loudly - and not just about substance use and abuse, but about my relationship with a lot of other things, too.

As did Rising's commment- But for me...I always look at someone that drinks more than twice a year as someone that may have a problem.
But, the problem is ME...and my perception of alcohol.
" Yeah- I feel exactly the same, and I would really really hate for my eating habits to be scrutinized. Ha! We're not gonna go there!

Thank you everyone.

April 22, 2007
4:25 pm
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Rasputin
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Heal~ Yes, I think most people get angry when we expect them to behave accoring to our values and principles. That's wheat I learned from this problem. At least, I realized my mistake and took heed and now I am keeping him in my prayers.

Strong~ Thanks for the insight!

Miss Bev~ Glad this thread taught you something. Thrilled that you seem to be happy right now after being upset on the other thread (((Bev)))

Thanks (((Folks))) Great tips!!!

April 22, 2007
4:44 pm
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bevdee
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Ras

No, I wasn't upset. I was sharing my thoughts on codep and which disagree with the author's.

I'm particularly grateful tthat Healintime and Rising's posts because they helped me "see".

April 27, 2007
11:22 pm
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_anonymous
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I dont think that drinking one or two beers a day makes one an alcholic. But if it bothers you then you should move on. It is not up to U to decide how much or how little this guy should or should not drink. It is up to you to decide what you will allow or feel comfortable with. You would be perfectly in your right to tell him that you cant associate with any one who consumes alcohol. In the future, be up front when you meet someone in regard to their drinking habits and dont get involved with anyone who drinks.

April 28, 2007
4:08 pm
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Rasputin
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Thanks DestinyS for the insight. I believe I was doing it from a place of LOVE and CONCERN to my buddy who is a real good guy, rather than judgement or condemnation. However, the message got misunderstood.

April 28, 2007
7:34 pm
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fantas
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(((((((Ras)))))))))))))...how you doing with all this girl?

April 28, 2007
8:53 pm
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Rasputin
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He has severe flu. Read my thread with Sini on C.A.T.!!!

Thanks hon for your concern! (((Fantas)))

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