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How can I help someone who doesn't want help yet?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Carrie, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    Sorry to hear about your foot. This sounds exactly like my friend. Sometimes the greatest guy in the world, then stumbles into a glass door, or walks through a screen door, or knocks the vase my daughter made in class over and breaks it. I actually was burned when he knocked over a back yard tiki torch. Searching for the best way to wake him up.
    Carrie likes this.
  2. Abolarinde

    Abolarinde Member

    I seriously do not think there is any way your friend could be helped. Your friend ha s to be willing first. As the adage says ' you can force a horse to the riverside, you ca not force it to drink from the river'. You can not change anyone outside their will.
    Carrie likes this.
  3. Carrie

    Carrie Member

    Wow, thank you to EVERYONE for your support, advice, and caring words. A little update: my foot is healed now, thank goodness. On my birthday, my friend called me to wish me a happy birthday. She left me a message, but she didn't really mention the foot. I think that there is definitely a lot of guilt and shame there. She said she stopped drinking as a result, which I believe, but I don't know how long it will last or if she really understands the gravity of what happened.

    I called her back, left her a voicemail saying there were no hard feelings. This literally could have happened to anyone. But saying that I'm just not ready to let her back into my life yet and wishing her the best.

    She must have misinterpreted this as a full-on willingness to reconnect, as she called me repeatedly and texted me and said how we can work to be close again, etc. etc. I just don't think she gets how much it hurt me or how much energy our friendship sucks out of me these days. I'll work it out over time. I know myself well enough to know I'm still angry, even if I don't want to be angry. I'm still disappointed. And I'm still scared to invite her back into my life. It sounds like she's taking care of herself, and that's all I can ask for.

    I think others were right, if we're good friends (which we are and always have been), we'll return to each other's lives. Maybe in one year, maybe in 5, maybe even 10. But eventually we will. I'm not going to push her.

    Again, thank you. It means so much to know there are people who care or who are going through similar things. I find it hard to talk about this with others who haven't experienced something similar.
  4. Simkata

    Simkata Member

    Hmm.. I have a friend quite like that! I would do everything for him but he rarely appreciates it... We used to enjoy our time together so much... and now he is a complete mess because of his drinking. There is always this moral dilemma about leaving a good friend. You might feel guilty that you are not strong enough, that you are not there for him when he needs you... that's understandable. Generally, I think so, too... that we should do absolutely everything we can come up with for the sake of someone special for us.

    Alas, there are things which we just can't do. Or... to be more precise, things we SHOULDN'T do. Helping someone is a very noble act... but when that help goes down the drain with no visible effect, when that "friend" abuses the relationship and is being a total jerk, there are 2 questions you can ask yourself:
    1. How long am I going to be able to live like this and put myself through this suffering over and over again?
    2. Am I not committing a crime against myself when I let it all slide totally ignoring what's best for me?

    What's more, it seems you've done really a lot for your friend. If this friendship is to be preserved, I don't think you are the person to put in all the effort. In case he doesn't change, what might be best is moving on... as harsh as that may sound! I am happy that your friendship is healing but don't let your guard down completely! Be safe and whatever you do don't lose yourself along the way! :)


    Best regards
    Carrie likes this.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It will be really hard to help someone who does not even want to help herself. Or not even recognizing that something is wrong with her and it should cured or be changed. You can check her out sometimes if you want just to see what are the updates about her.
    Teresa and Carrie like this.
  6. sillylab

    sillylab Member

    Yeah unfortunately if someone doesn't want help it's almost impossible to help them. The only way I could possibly see you being able to help is if you somehow convinced them that what they were doing is wrong. The only way for them to be helped is if they realize they are being harmed.
    Teresa and Carrie like this.
  7. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    Everyone would handle this situation differently. I would be pissed if she broke my foot. Drunk or not, she has to be responsible and by her going out again and again, would only infuriate me even more so. Stay clear of her. It's obvious that you have expressed your opinion to her on her problem.
  8. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Senior Contributor

    i hate to say this, but there is really nothing you can do to help someone who doesn't want help. you're just going to have to let the process play out unfortunately. that doesn't mean you don't try. you have to let them know you care and that they have to change. it doesn't work most of the time. it won't change until the person involved realizes that they have a problem.
  9. dejanee22

    dejanee22 Member

    Like other members have posted you can not help a friend that is not ready for help. If you love this friend I would suggest you still keep the lines of communication open and be there for her even if she is not there for you in return. If the friendship becomes too destructive then you may have to end it.
  10. proldani

    proldani Member

    Dealing with a friend who is an addict is really hearbreaking, as they often care only about themselves. For better or for worse, sometimes we must let them face their life and deal with it, even if we let them know how much we love them.
  11. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I think this is such excellent advice Jen S. I think sometimes there has to be that person who has to make the first move in the name of friendship. I am hoping that in the friend's case she really feels regret but just doesn't know how to own up and take responsibility for her actions.

    I hope this turns out well for both of those involved.
  12. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    I completely agree with Jen S. If they don't see themselves as having a problem, then they have no reason to change. However, if your friend is truly your friend, then he will care about you and definitely try to change. I feel like humans are very emotional creatures and really don't want to disappoint people who care. I hope your friend gets better soon!
  13. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    I am sorry your friend has a problem and I hope your broken food has healed and you are OK. The simple answer to how can one help someone who doesn't want help yet cant!
  14. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Do you really believe that some people are beyond help and this might be true in this particular case? I know it can be a difficult thing when trying to reach out to some people but I am a firm believer in never giving up on people.

    Often we don't know what is going on with people unless we confront them and sometimes the person who appears beyond hope just needs help dealing with their own flaws. In the name of friendship I am still saying confront the friend and try to resolve the matter peacefully.
  15. Teresa

    Teresa Senior Contributor

    I was once a very firm believer in never giving up on people, but they have to WANT help or at least acknowledge there is a problem. After spending 20 years trying to be supportive and helpful and enduring emotional and physical abuse due to not giving up on the person, I no longer believe in never giving up on people. you cant save or help someone who does not want to be saved or helped. by all means, confront the person and try to resolve the matter, but don't let anyone or anyone's addiction become a priority above the priority of your own safety and welfare
  16. Hi Carrie. I also experienced having a very close friend of mine who got into trouble. She was brokenhearted that time and can't control herself. I was shocked because she started to learn drinking alcohol. I treat her like my own sister. I tried to stop her from doing things that she doesn't usually do. I tried to talk to her but she didn't want to listen to me and throw me hurtful words instead. I don't want to mention them but they're really painful. It was the first time that she treated me like that. What I did was to give her the time she needs. I did not show up for a few weeks, but I continued on taking care of her by sending messages and secretly checking her like a stalker. I just waited, and one day, she made a phone call. We met and talked. You know, time heals. We settled like that. I realized that someone who's in great pain needs time for them to scream, cry, and let it all out before they can listen to people.
    Joseph likes this.
  17. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi Carrie. I read that the easiest route to recovery of an alcoholic and addict is to make him/her responsible for his/her own actions. The decision to change should be made by her and not you or anyone else.

    Indeed, it is a sad moment when you have to leave someone but if she can't be changed by your constant presence, it is better to just leave. That means she is not ready yet. So she might just take advantage or take for granted your presence in her life. No matter how much you want her to change, she won't feel and share your thoughts and feelings. It has no weight and therefore no effects on her.

    But maybe, you can make her aware one last time that should she need you, she can just call on you for help. But stay safe also. Don't put yourself in a dangerous situation with her. Yes, she is your friend but you know that she's not being herself at this time.

    Good luck!
  18. aquariancore

    aquariancore Member

    It is sad to say but as I learned the hard way there is nothing you can do until the person has hit the point where they say and demonstrate they are ready. There is nothing you can do until the hit that spot in their life.
  19. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    Yikes, sorry to hear about your friend and your getting hurt. It's a shame that she didn't take the time or efforts to apologize or anything, but it sounds like she's so wrapped up in herself and her drinking problem that it may not have even occurred to her. I know that no one wants to hear this, but I don't think that you can help someone who doesn't want the help. Until they acknowledge the problem and are dedicated to fixing it, all the help and attention and effort in the world won't really change anything.

    I think being friends for that long, it might be worth it to try reaching out, at least one more time. Try not to be accusatory and instead of focusing on her having a problem, focus on the things that upset you/worry you/etc. That you fear for her health and safety, that you don't want a problem like that to take over her life when help is available and that you truly want to be her friend but don't feel that you can continue supporting her current lifestyle and choices in good conscience. I would explain that I will always be there for her and willing to support her when she wants help, but that I will not be a part of her life if she continues on the current course. It's a hard thing to say and a hard thing to hear, but maybe down the road it will help her to see that someone cared enough to put her well being first.
  20. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, there is a time to meet, time to share our lives and time to say goodbye. Allow me to point out that this is not a genuine friend, she would have been so sorry to have broken your leg. Please try your best not to contact her so that you know if she misses you. There are so many fake friends in life that we need to keep a list.