So I have this friend UPDATE p.2

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vickie gee

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2008
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I really don't know where to begin...

So here goes. I have known my friend J since elementary school. We used to have our slumber parties at her mother's employer's cabin. In high school we remained friends but were in different social circles. Neither of us ran with the goodie two shoes. I can't really classify might say I was an honor student, reble behind the scenes dating guys from other schools and after dates hanging with my brother and sister's crowds who were older than me. One might say I was an Eddie Haskell guy kind of gal. One teacher would have me grading everybody else's essay questions and babysitting her kids while another who was my cheerleader sponsor was on to me and busted me at every antic I pulled. Now J ran with the thugs. She got pregnant in high school, got married, had a baby that died in infancy. His intestines were outside his body and he had no immunities. She had two other children (a daughter and a son) by this marriage, which ended in divorce and he (the ex-husband) is now deceased and oh by the way was the neighbor whose parents lived in front of me. This is worse than a bad soap opera I know. Ok, fast forward past the episodes in both our lives to thirty-something years later and we find ourselves working in the same office. J is an alcoholic and her son is a POS leach and they are living with her mom who has dementia. It is literally a circus. She is a cat with more than 9 lives. When I moved back to the area in 2005 and hired back in to a former employer J was under all kinds of letters of instruction from the employer. She had all kinds of legal problems and financial problems. Let me say right now that sober she is the sweetest person you will ever meet. That being said, between the DUI's, getting in a physical altercation with a cop (he had her down on the sidewalk beating the H out of her), shooting a would-be break in ex-boyfriend in the leg, and the work managers trying to terminate her she really held her own. About seven or so years ago she was going to by fired if she missed a day or even came in late. The only reason the courts had given her lee-way on all the DUI's was that she was her mom's primary caregiver. So one morning mid July she calls me crying and babbling all sorts of incoherent blurps. I caught something that sounded like "gonna die" and asked her if I needed to call 911. She said no. Our towns are 35 minutes apart. I called in emergency leave to work and rushed out there. Describing the situation is difficult. Her air conditioning has been out for a week, the floor is covered in pee pads for all the dogs and cats she and her mom were homing. The floor as well as all the pads were covered in pee and poop. Her mom can't remember me but wants to chit chat jibberish to me. There is a big dead swelled up dead dog in the pen in her back yard. Her POS son acting useless as the T's on a boar hog and his adolescent girlfriend just wants to help. J is weak as a new kitten and there are empty half gallon bottles of vodka on, behind, and beside every stick of furniture. I tell the kiddie girlfriend to run the bathtub full of tepid water, strip J down, and put her in the tub for 20 minutes, dress her, dress the POS son down on how that dead dog better be removed when I get back from the doctor's office where I am taking her and if not he will have to deal with me and it ain't gonna be pretty, and literally carry her to the doctor's office. I end up taking her to eat pizza and she has a doctor's statement that will save her. I got my son to go fix her air conditioning. He says never ever again in a million years. I struggle to remember everything that happened since. She rented out her own home to a co-worker that cleaned it up. Her mom went into a nursing home, died between some of J's incarceration trips to county. There were numerous. Her mom's home gets foreclosed. She moves back into her own home which is now basically in the hood but used to be a nice neighborhood. Her POS son and his latest venomous girlfriend call the cops one night and have her picked up on yet another DUI. She undergoes more pressure at work for being AWOL. Last straw one night she leaves her home (drinking, of course) and rear ends someone at a stop sign. Around the first of this year she was forced into retirement since she knew she was about to face convictions. She was forced into retirement with very little money (FERS). She has spent the last 7 or so months in a women's recovery unit. None of us former friends and co-workers have been in touch with her. Recently I spoke to a lady involved in prison ministry and she tells me she is doing well. I sure hope so. I had a friend that does transport for prisoners check on her last week and she also tells me she is doing well. She has one more phase to serve before they find her a job on the outside and provide transport to and from it. She requested that I write to her. I did this week. I'm told she wants to put me on a visitation list. Of course, I will go but admittingly I am afraid. I cannot even put into words the types of fear this envokes in me. Those of you who pray please do so. I want to show her love but I don't want to be an enabler.
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Will do with the prayers.. There is nothing wrong with telling her, I love and care about you and will be part of your support system as long as you keep yourself clean and sober and on the right track. I will not feed into a pity party, it must be your choice to want more for yourself and hold yourself to a higher standard,and as long as you push yourself, I will be here to encourage you.

Sadly, sounds like my husbands family that, for the most part, he has severed his ties with.
Wow. You are an amazing friend.

And by the way I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday on the 4th of July thread so Happy Birthday!
Thanks for the encouragement guys. We all need encouragement at some time in our lives. I am the type person that will cut the ties with someone if I need to. In my heart I know J needs to feel loved. She is not a liar or a thief like so many that have gone down alcoholics path. She is sweet, soft spoken, tender hearted, and can always laugh/cackle with others rather than being ticked off at the world. She has never asked me for money.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers. That is a tough one and sometimes tough is what you have to be.
you are a good friend, I'll be praying for you and your friend J. It's so nice to hear a story like this, you have been chosen as a guardian angel.
My thoughts are with you. Addiction is tough.

My advice is don't bring up the past or her past habit(s). Look at this as an opportunity stepping stone that leads to a new path in life.

With an addict of any sort even talking about it can bring back urges and desires.. And relapse is common. It takes a very strong person and support system (without being too overbearing and dwelling) to help hold a hand.

Some things are best unspoken and move forward. Perhaps help her find interest in new hobbies and distractions. Avoid any situation that may perhaps put her in that mind frame or where alcohol may be available.

Good luck.
Vickie, you are a true friend and as Carolyn mentions there is nothing wrong with telling her that you will always be there for her but she has to stay sober. Addiction to anything stinks!!<br />especially when drugs or booze is involved...and not just for the addicts but to their friends and family!! It Stinks!! My younger sister battled drug addiction for about 15 years and we had to battle it with her. It wasn't fun. She was in and out of several rehabs and was jailed at least 20 times in Ma. Fla. and finally in Ca. for things that haunted me in my dreams. As sick as it sounds we were happy when she was jailed b/c we knew she was safe and there would be a chance she could kick the addiction. She had lots of support both financially and mentally but the drugs wouldn't allow her to comprehend any of it...we were out to get her, we are all married and have families and don't understand, we were jealous b/c she can go any where and do anything she wants...the list goes on and on. We got word she was living on the streets in L.A. and was in very bad shape, living in the woods w/others and was told even the normal homeless were afraid of her....shes 5'2" ...but when she's on the drugs she can be dangerous. We spent lots of $$ on P.I.'s to track her down, took trips to Ca. to find her ( actually did twice ) interventions in Ca. ( my sisters and brothers flew there from Ma. Vermont and Fla ) just to get her help. She cant work and has no money...we stopped buying her cars b/c she just looses joke...she sold them or just let someone she doesn't even know, borrow the car, most likely for drugs....and she never sees it again. We were afraid she would kill someone. but luckily we were able to send her a little $ to a western union so that she wasn't harming anyone or herself to get money. Is that enabling? maybe,I don't know... Whether she used it for drugs or food we don't know. My relationship w/my husband suffered as well as my sisters family. Its been about a year since she was found dead in the woods in younger sister was out there at the time with an investigator who was actually helping to find her and again try to get her help. I was getting ready to join my sister for the 3rd time to track her down. We think she actually knew we were there ( the homeless drug crowd is a very tight knit group and words get around that someone is looking for someone and they their sick protect each other. I know how much you are trying to help your friend and know first hand just how much it hurts seeing the people you love doing terrible and unthinkable things when drunk or drugged. My sister was very much like your friend, very giving, fun, she loved animals ....everthing I would want in a friend...but the drugs wouldn't allow her real personality to show!! Meg was 35 when the drugs took her. Your friend sounds like she is on a good road but it will be a very long one....for the rest of her life. your friendship with her will always be a struggle she has to want to get well and stay well. Hopefully counseling can get to the root of her addiction and she can move forward. In my sisters case she never thought she needed counseling. Vicki, Im sorry I turned this into an "About Meg " story but I haven't ever really talked about it and your story brings up so many memories. She is reaching out for you which is more than my sister did ( except for $$ ) and its your decision to bring her back into your life. I think you should keep in mind that you are NOT a bad person if you choose not to visit her...maybe visit through letters for a bit. This recovery is hers and not yours. I will pray for your friend but will pray for you too. One day at a time<br />Huge hugs,<br />Heidi
I agree with other posters saying to keep positive and to avoid talking about the past , things that involve drinking, or things that could cause stress like how her son is doing etc. Maybe you could leave her a book to read with a bookmark with a Bible verse or inspirational quote.
I received a letter from J today. She sounds like she really is doing well. She says she knew she needed to be at a place like where she is. The day my friend found her out on work detail was her first day ever to be out of the center. It scared her. She thought she was in trouble until the lady asked her if she knew me. The reason she did not get my message a few weeks ago from the lady in prison ministry is that she actually got to go outside church. She wants my phone number. At least I don't have to be concerned with calls being lengthy because she has to buy a phone card and it only has about 20 minutes on it. I will have to attend an orientation on a Saturday prior to being approved to visit but she is going to put me on the list asap.
Sometimes we all need a friend. But before you get too involved check out an AL ANON Meeting. They can help you understand what your friend is going through, and help you not get cought up in it! In 12 step recovery with each step they are required to learn something. It helps if you understand what she is suposed to be doing. Ive worked in the jail for many years, and Im hardened by it, But Ive seen some people change. Good luck to you and your friend. DR
I still have not got to visit with J although I got my second letter from her today. I went to the mandatory orientation for visitors last month. Glad I got that out out of the way because according to her right now they are in shutdown with no privileges because somebody there did something stupid. No orientations until further notice, no visitation, no talking, no vending machines, etc. And they have to write essays as punishment. Still, in her letter she was chipper. I had called the center last night. It is called a center but after being there and seeing it from the outside and the lobby I can say definitely a prison. The lady on the phone would not give me any information other than that no visitation was going on. She said the only way I could find out if I was on a visitation list for whenever the next is allowed would be if I got a phone call or letter from my friend telling me so. So when I got the letter today it cleared things up a bit. J gave me her daughter's phone number so I can call her to coordinate which one of us will visit next when it is allowed. Maybe, just maybe, when she gets released she will have straightened up enough to stay out of trouble. She really is an extremely good girl except for her alcoholism.
Vickie, continued prayers for your friend! It sure won't be an easy road. But it sounds more hopeful now. You're such a good friend!

UPDATE: I visited J a couple of days ago, finally after shutdown was over. We had already exchanged numerous letters. She really is doing well. She has gained much needed weight, blood pressure is down to normal, and she has a smile on her face. She thinks highly of the staff and counselors there and it was apparent that they like her as well. We just had so much fun talking and laughing. Soon the oldest incarcerated woman there will be released and J will be the oldest. The younger ones call her Momma J. This month she will get her first pass away from there unsupervised. It will be a 24 hour pass for her to look for a job since she is about to enter her last phase of rehab. Her daughter and I stay in contact. She limits her occasional phone calls out to just her daughter who in turn relay to me anything I need to know. I know she will be in for a tough time financially but if she can just hang in there and stay away from the booze she can do this! She has had to write nearly 70 essays since she has been there so I know she has really had time to think about how she got where she is and has had to put it into words. I am cautiously optimistic. Please, please prayer warriors add J to your list. Thanks.
That's wonderful!!! I'm so happy to hear that she's doing SO much better!!!!!!! Great great news!