My friend will be coming home from alcohol rehab

next week. She was in there because she had her child taken away for drinking. Her lawyer advised her to go to rehab to get child back. Her boyfriend was able to go see her a week ago. He was talking to me the other day telling me how things were going, I know neither of them plans on her staying sober, he said she told him she can't wait to get out and just have a drink with him. He said he didn't know if it was a test to see what he would say or if she really meant it. He then proceeded to say "if she cant drink socially, she is just going to have to quit". Their life is built around alcohol, sex. The boyfriend is a married man, he takes care of her and works out of her home that he pays for so they are together during the day while the child is at school, then he leaves at the end of the day to go home to his family. It is a toxic relationship. I'm scared for when she comes home that she will spiral down to where she was a month ago. I live right next door and see her every day. I drink also, no problems, we used to drink after I got home from work, her boyfriend would be gone and she only has me when he is not there (yes she has her child and he should be number one but with an alcoholic that is not possible, I'm assuming) I plan on not doing that anymore. I want to be there to support her. What are some things to do to support her? If she just comes home and grabs a drink, what do I do?
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  • @helpingfriend73 hello and thanks for reaching out. you are a good friend.

    it's tough to say what she will do... but i hope she can cut ties with that man... and stop drinking. recovery from codependency (she is struggling there) and alcoholism takes time. it's a process and a journey. it might take her several rehabs... or maybe another rock bottom before she wakes up and wants to see change, and make the effort.

    love her unconditionally. she will drink or not drink no matter what you say or do... her choice. no, don't drink with her. but try not to judge her either. my adult son has drinking issues... i don't drink with him. i don't allow him to bring booze to my home. but i can't control him...or fix him. i can love him, and have a heart to heart conversation about my concerns (i've had more than a couple of those)...and then i let go...and let him live his life and make his own decisions. i let him know i'm here if he needs, wants help. (to direct him to resources)

    it's tough to handle addicts at times...recovering addicts too. there are some books you can check out...

    here for you!!! hope this helps.
  • Thank you. Yes, I never thought about the co-dependency, I feel as if she depends on me, too (obviously not as much as him). I've written her every day since she has been there to just let her know that I am here for her. Thank you for the link and the response, it gives me more to think about.
  • @helpingfriend73 you are quite welcome! here for you!
  • @helpingfriend73... Welcome to the forums and thanks for sharing. I agree with Dominica: You are a good friend!

    Dominica has also given you some excellent advice. You may also want to think about checking out an Al-Anon meeting. Al-Anon is a support group for loved ones and friends of people who struggle with alcohol. You might get some great tips from people who are going through similar situations.

    We're here to help and support you however we can, so don't hesitate to reach out anytime. In the meantime, I'm sending positive, healing, sober vibes to your friend. I wish nothing but the best for her when she comes home from treatment. Be sure to give her lots of positive reinforcement when she does come home, too!
  • Thank you. I'm actually going to start a cleanse the day she returns, so that will be good for me to make sure I can stay intact also. All her family has "disowned" her until she gets the help she needs and possibly leaves the boyfriend (of many years). I was thinking about going to the Al-Anon meetings, have to find them around my area. Thing is, this is a small town and if I go, everyone will know who I am there for. So trying this forum first, to see how this works for me. I will not be telling her I am on this, as she will want to read what I wrote. lol
  • @helpingfriend73... If it's more comfortable for you, try an online Al-Anon meeting. You can find them at the In the Rooms website:

    And remember the positive reinforcement. Too often, people are quick to give negative reinforcement when someone they care about's behavior is bad; but they aren't so quick to give positive reinforcement when that same person's behavior is good. Let your friend know you're proud of her for going to rehab. And let her know you'll help her stay on the right path any way you can.
  • Good thing I ended up with the positive reinforcement gene! lol
    Thank you for the link, I'm still trying to navigate around here :)
  • The positive reinforcement gene is an excellent thing to have, @helpingfriend73. You have been blessed! <3
  • So I went over to her house last night, the boyfriend was there and is staying with her for a week or so (maybe) and she already had a drink.... she asked if I wanted anything I said no and I didn't say anything to her about her having one. That was hard to do (not saying anything). I told her she looked good even though the BF thought she gained weight (she is like 5'3 and weighs probably 100 lbs) she actually looks good and healthy (even at 100 lbs) her skin looks great, hair looks great etc... I was surprised, but not, that she made a drink. I don't know if she made any more after I left. I decided to do a cleanse as not to drink myself for a while and try to get myself back to healthy and be support for her instead of an enabler. I believe this is going to be a rough road.
  • @helpingfriend73 hey there. thanks for sharing.... you are being a good friend... not saying anything probably was challenging.... chances are she knows how you feel about it... but this is her journey... and she wants the freedom to do as she pleases, even if it's not healthy for her...

    hopefully she will find her way to stay on the sobriety path... just try not to let her decisions weigh heavy on you. take care of you.... i've learned that once i express my concern in a loving way, my job is to back off and simply love them unconditionally...even when i don't agree... not easy, but helps me stay sane.

    hope this helps!
  • @helpingfriend73... Sorry to hear that your friend is already drinking again. But, like @dominica said, this is her journey. Remember: You didn't cause her problem, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. Your friend is the only one who can do that.
  • Yes, thank you. I have been telling myself that each day when thinking about it. I think about it a lot. She came over last night and had a glass with a straw, I did not ask any questions and she left it on the counter the whole time she was over so I don't know what was in it. She was sober (from what I am used to) so just giving her the benefit of the doubt. So glad I went on a cleanse this week, maybe I will keep it up for even longer. It is keeping me focused on my responses and my thinking when it comes to her. I have no desire to express my negative opinion on things. I just want to stay supportive and there for her.
  • @helpingfriend73 that's wonderful to hear... you are taking care of you and what i call "holding space" for your friend... letting her be right where she is and accepting her right there... alcoholics and addicts are in pain... underneath it all, there's pain.. and people in pain need more love; not less.

    you are doing that and that's wonderful!

    congrats on your cleanse!
  • Sorry to keep rambling on here but .....

    This morning as leaving the house, her BF was outside (leaving to go home to his family after a week) and said good luck with her this weekend. I'm like" why what is going on?" He said "nothing has changed, she is in throwing things and I slept on the couch, she is already up and mad" (assuming their "business meeting in a bar yesterday did not help" but like you said It is her responsibility not to drink, so I can't blame him, however, I do not think he "helps". Anyway, my 16-year-old daughter will be home today while I am at work, if my friend comes over and is drunk or even "off", my daughter is going to know (it would not surprise me if she comes over to say "hi" since she has been gone). I don't want my daughter to see her like that. And if she wants to come over to watch movies tonight, what do I say? Do I just let her come over as she always does when she is alone, what if she grabs my vodka and makes a drink...I don't know what to do.
    Again, sorry for the play by play... and actually now typing this, this is all "what ifs" maybe I need to quit panicking and go with the flow (dang, just learned something else about myself) lol
  • @helpingfriend73... You have every right to set boundaries for your friend if she comes over. You can tell her: No drinking if she is at your house. And if she shows up intoxicated already, she'll have to leave. That's what I would recommend doing.
  • Its been an interesting couple weeks! I still have not drank around her, she went away for a couple days. I'm not sure if she is back to drinking every day or not. We watched movies on Saturday night, I know she had one. I stayed sober. She went home after the movies instead of staying the night and continuing drinking. Anyway, the reason I am posting now is to thank you two for your words and thoughts. I really took the words to heart and going to try my best to be there for her and love her. You opened my eyes to things I really never thought. So thank you and keep doing what you are doing. Even one reply helps and I am thankful I found this forum.
  • @helpingfriend73 good morning! i'm glad you have been doing alright the past couple of weeks. it sounds like you are more centered and clear on your boundaries. and, giving yourself permission to set and keep boundaries without feeling like a "bad" person. (because you are wonderful!)

    you're allowing her to live her life and make her own decisions (b/c that's what she wants), yet you're also being a friend who loves her without conditions. you have boundaries....and you're allowing her to live her life on her terms. that's healthy.

    who knows what she will do from day to day? we hope and pray she will find peace...and stop depending on alcohol.

    and i hope you continue to feel peace and joy, and live a blessed life.
  • You are very welcome, @helpingfriend73. I'm happy to hear you're sticking to your boundaries. Just remember that your friend is the only one who has control over her drinking. Like Al-Anon teaches, you didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. It's not always easy to let someone you care about make their own choices, but it's the only way to keep your own sanity.

    You are a terrific friend.
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