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Woman Called Out For Distancing Herself From Friend With Drinking Problem After Brunch Incident

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Though we hate to ever think or talk about it, sometimes we have to distance ourselves from someone we love, because who they’ve become isn’t good for us.

But setting those new boundaries for ourselves is anything but easy, confided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor high_sunrise recently came to terms with this hard truth, ironically at something as light as a women’s brunch.

But when she was criticized for stepping back, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being selfish.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not wanting to be around my best friend after she got wasted (again) during a girl’s brunch?” 

The OP recently went out to lunch with her best friend. 

“So on Saturday, I planned a girls’ brunch with some friends in a local city.”

“It was supposed to be 5 of us, but last minute, 3 of the girls backed out and it ended up just being me (30 [Female]) and my best friend (29 [Female]) at brunch.”

“We had a nice brunch and had a few drinks, but we weren’t drunk. Maybe a little tipsy but nothing serious.”

“Since it was only the two of us, I asked if I should hit up a friend (30 [Male]) of mine in the city and see if we can meet up and hang out.”

But the day quickly took a turn for the worst.

“We met up with him at another bar that’s cash only. I only had cash enough to buy us like two rounds.”

“So once I was out of money, she started to ask my friend, who she’s met only once before, to buy her drinks and shots.”

“She ended up getting so wasted that she passed out on her face and lost a tooth.”

“She couldn’t stand and we had to carry her to my car, with her fighting us the whole way.”

The trip home only made the OP feel worse.

“On the way back, she said she was going to p**s in my car, so I crossed 3 lanes of highway to go to a random gas station and carry her to the bathroom.”

“People were looking at us like she’s a trafficking victim.”

“I should mention it was like 4 5 o clock PM, not even dark out.”

“I got her back to her house and got her to bed.”

“Her husband was mad that she got this drunk, but wasn’t mad at me since this isn’t the first time.”

“I was crying because this day became a nightmare quick.”

This was not the first time this happened.

“For background, she has a history of drinking too much, too often, but I had never seen it get this bad in all 15 years of knowing her.”

“We both struggle with depression but she told me she’s been working with a doctor (but I learned she’s still not in therapy).”

“She has a two-year-old daughter that I just learned sees her drunk all the time, even though her husband tries to play keep-away.”

The OP decided to distance herself for a while.

“That night, I got home exhausted and drained from the day and told her that I need a break from her for a while.”

“I can’t support or enable her drinking and can’t watch her be like that in front of her daughter (her husband took the daughter away for the night while she was drunk).”

Not everyone responded well to this.

“I told her husband what I told her and he understood.”

“But now I have friends reaching out, saying that I should talk to her and help her because she obviously has a problem.”

“They think I’m an a** because she’s crying that she lost me.”

“I’ve been trying to help her for years, to get counseling, clean her house, and support her through her depression (even though I haven’t received similar support).”

“AITA for wanting to stay away and not watch someone go so far downhill?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP needed to take care of herself first. 

“NTA. As the saying goes, you shouldn’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. At a certain point, you can only do so much if she’s not willing to help herself. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can build yourself up again.”littl3lli0n

“NTA. Even if you are her friend, you are not oblidged to always be there. People say they will all the time, but in all honesty, it is very exhausting mentally. Make sure to take care of your own mental health and wellbeing first, or you won’t be able to help her at all.”

“And it sounds like you have tried as well. I don’t think she will truly accept help until she realizes she needs it, and if she’s not in theraphy yet, she propably keeps still avoiding accepting she has a problem.”

“Do what your own wellbeing needs. It might seem harsh to ppl, but only you know what you are able to do. They don’t. I hope she will try to get actual help, for both of your sake, and for her family’s sake as well.”sarcasmonster

“NTA, you friend needs help from a professional to treat alcohol use disorder. Unless you are trained on treatment for that, it is not something you can help with.”

“Tell her you’re worried about her health and until she seeks help with that your not comfortable contributing to her drinking problem. Perhaps suggest a coffee date or sober walk in the park or gym date as things you can do without alcohol being around.”NefariousnessGlum424

Others said the OP may be teaching her friend a valuable lesson. 

“Actually, coming from an alcoholic in recovery, maybe the most help you could offer her is to say and do what you did, because sometimes it takes hearing that people who you care most about won’t put up with it any more.”

“It hurts but it may spark her to get help that she needs and may not, but being straight up honest is better than trying to sweet talk her about her problem.”

“I find most drunks usually find that it was their spouse leaving or kids refusing a relationship that was the catalyst they needed. Sometimes the truth hurts and helps at the same time.”JuryNo7670

“NTA – you’ve done what you can do for now.”

“She needs to want to get better, and if you make it clear to her you’re not abandoning her, you just need time away because you need to worry about your mental health, then she’ll know that once she is able to support you too, you’ll be there.”

“Your friendship can’t be one-sided forever and you’ve tried your best for years, there’s only so much you can do.”

“Just keep in touch with the husband and make boundaries clear, I’d suggest.”Kovu9181

“NTA – until she truly wants help, there is nothing you can do. As cold as that sounds, trying to force someone to get better who isn’t ready is just going to back fire.”

“Now can you be honest with her and explains where your coming from? Absolutely. Will she paint you as an a**hole? Probably.”

“That doesn’t mean you are, but until she is truly ready to get help and dedicate herself to the treatments, you’re going to be an a**hole, her husband, her child, etc. etc. Anyone who doesn’t enable her current behavior will be the bad guy because she needs to be a victim to justify her behavior.”andecandies

A few didn’t appreciate the OP’s contributions to the day.

“So you took a friend who’s known for having alcohol issues to a brunch where you drank alcohol together and then, knowing that she was already tipsy, you decided to take her to a bar? What exactly were you expecting to happen??? ESH”andstillthesunrises

“YTA: so you were admittedly ‘tipsy’ and then proceeded to have 2 additional drinks before driving? You recklessly crossed 3 highway lanes so your friend didn’t p**s herself? You all suck, but you mostly for driving under the influence.”Zealous_Zebras

Though the OP had mixed feelings, especially after hearing from mutual friends, most of the subReddit supported her decision to take a step back.

The OP needed to take care of herself and could only help take care of her friend when she was ready to receive help. A few pointed out, though, that doesn’t exactly excuse the potential drunk driving that happened that day.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.