I’ve been getting excited because one of my very best friends is due to fly home and visit in two weeks. I only see her every few years so I was going to have ‘the talk’ with her after she arrived.
BUT… I got an unexpected call from her today. She was really upset because her Mum (who I’ve known a long time) was admitted to hospital with a broken nose after a fall. She’s had a few falls recently but this was the most serious.
After the fall her partner realised that she was really drunk – more drunk than he expected her to be after 1-2 glasses. While she was in hospital, he found a collection of empty whisky bottles in her closet. My friend was in a state of disbelief and asked me if she should fly back home immediately.
I told my friend that she should check with her Mum but it’s probably OK to wait two weeks (my friend is also not rolling in $$$). I said that if her Mum was secretly drinking at those levels, that’s she’s probably been doing it for quite a long time. I said that her mother is probably mortified about having her secret suddenly exposed to her partner, her family, her friends, hospital staff and her GP. Her Mum may actually like some time to talk with her partner and adjust.
And then we had ‘the talk’ and I told her that I’ve just come out of a similar situation – except I didn’t have a crisis incident which brought it to a head.
I’m so glad that I (finally) managed to tell my partner and a friend about my drinking last year. It was excruciatingly uncomfortable and awkward – but probably less excruciating than having everything unravel in a day without any control.
I told a friend. I told my partner. I told my GP. I started seeing a psychologist. Then I’ve told another three friends.
It’s given me the opportunity to do things at MY pace. I could adjust between each step and take a breather. I was able to tell people who were the most important to me AND who I could trust. I’ve had really good reactions so far – which as given me more confidence and probably more resilience and support if other people react badly in the future.
I’m really feeling for my friend’s Mum. When my friend is here I think we’re all going to go on a day trip together. If it feels OK I’ll mention that I’ve just gone through a similar thing.