Upsetting friends

I was very close to my friend 30 years ago. We went our separate ways when we had our children but sort of remained friends. She suddenly disappeared from my life & got divorced I tried to support her but she didn’t want me to. In the last couple of years she somehow found out that my husband was dying & she came back into our lives which I was truly grateful. Now she only wants to see me when she wants to but if I don’t agree to see her cos I have other arrangements she gets upset. It was my birthday yesterday & I invited her over she eventually came & was really unhappy that I had been drinking well it was my birthday! & she shouted at me & immediately left . My son was really shocked but I didn’t chase after her she had made me cry . Am I wrong? I texted her and said sorry but she hasn’t replied.
I admit that I do drink but I am grieving the loss of my husband of 37 years & it does help me I knowI shouldn’t but it is early days. I can’t expect her to know how I am feeling but It seems that she expects me to be available when she decides & if I say no she gets so angry. I did suggest that we set a date to meet up but she said oh no I do t want regular stuff so I just can’t win. As I said I did apologise but no reply. What should I do ? I know this is a strange conversation but it is really difficult & I would like some advice about how you feel. I wish she wouldn’t be unkind & I keep blaming myself that I upset her because I need a drink occasionally . I don’t have a drink problem just need a drink sometimes to help me get through the days.

Oh hello unhappy, I feel so sorry for you and that you have lost you lovely husband of 30years it must be so devastating for you , I think your friend should realised what you have been through and if you want a drink I cant see that a problem. we lost our lovely daughter Dawn in 2016, and I can say if I could not have a drink ,I do not know how I could get through it , my husband hates it as he he keeps reminding me I get more depressed when I drink but I don’t care , so do not let your friend dictact to you , as she cannot understand what you are going through . Regards Maddie x

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Dear all
Thank you so much for your help it has made me feel a lot better you are right I guess I don’t need people like that. Thank you again. I do hope you are all coping & if I can help you in any way please let me know xxx

Hi. Unhappy. Your friend has problems with her own emotions. None of us is free from negative emotions. It may be that something ‘triggered’ her feelings when she saw you drinking. I don’t know, but she obviously has problems of her own so try not condemn her or think badly of her.
The problem with drinking and bereavement is that it may deaden the pain but sometimes results in you relying on it. Alcohol is a depressant. That’s a fact. I would honestly suggest you see your GP and discuss this. You don’t want to let the habit become a necessity.
I suggest you leave it to her. You may be able to help her because she obviously has problems.
One thing comes out of grief and it’s that we can help others even though in mental anguish ourselves. Forgiveness is a virtue that takes away the anger and can lead to a better relationship.
Take it easy and let time sort it all out. It does depend on how much you want her friendship. Take care.

Hi Jonathan 123
Thank you for taking time to reply.
I understand what you say about drinking but I don’t do it everyday it was my Birthday & having a beer with my son in the garden waiting for the rest of the family but I appreciate what you have pointed out. I do realise she may have problems & I would love to help her but I must leave it to her I haven’t got the energy at the moment & I have forgiven her but it hurt me very much that is why I needed to ask for some guidance.

It’s good that you understand the importance of drinking to deaden the pain. I have a friend who began to drink when his wife died some years ago. He is getting through the grief but now has problems with drinking.
I like a beer now and then, but I have no desire to go any further.
Of course it hurt you. Your feelings are raw at the moment and any emotional upset can cause problems.
If I may say so you have the right attitude. I am sure you will be fine. Not having much energy goes with anxiety and grief. The two so often go together.
Come back and post whenever you feel you need help. We are all here for you.

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Hello Everyone-Just wanted to add to this thread. I have been terribly hurt and let down by so called “friends” and even colleagues, in my time of grief (and I work in the field of “Mental Health” no less). They say you find out who your “true” friends are in times of crisis, (so true). I could list the many cruel comments, and have shared some on other threads. I must add, however, that I found new unexpected friends along the way, and they were better to me than the ones I knew for years. I also come to this site where the kindest, most caring folks always offer a helpful word. People have their own issues, and our grief often triggers those issues, thus they lash out at us when we are most vulnerable. I agree, we must protect ourselves, we are suffering enough. Sometimes we must let go of those people who cannot be there for us when we need them the most. There is no excuse for their insensitivity. Words can help, or they can wound. we deserve better. Take gentle care of yourselves, and avoid the toxicity of certain others if you can. Sister2

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Sister 2 So sad hear of your loss. People are so thoughtless. It is very difficult when all you need is understanding but of course they will never understand all we need is a few kind words not criticism. " you will be ok you will get over it" that’s what they say in their naivety but how do they know? They mean well but nobody ever understands until they are in our shoes, anyway forget the so called friends as I was told in my earlier message replies All the people on this site are in a similar situation & we do understand so well the grief that we are all experiencing I have been given strength over the last couple of days to which I am truly grateful. So keep posting & we will all help each other.

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Thank you Unhappy 127. I am also very sorry for your loss. I am sure your birthday added to your feeling of loneliness, without having your beloved husband there to celebrate with. A good friend would’ve supported you, not judged you. I send you warm, caring thoughts. We are all here for each other. Xxx Sister2

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Hello unhappy My sister lost her husband 6 years ago and took to drinking whiskey neat in a big way. Almost a bottle (large) everyday. She is 75 and is a total mess. She has fallen numerous times has no interest in anything other than alcohol, walks with a stick very very slowly and repeats herself over and over with the same story. We used to get on well and have similar interests. She said to me oh wait until you’re 6 months down the line we’ll see and I told her that would be the last thing I would do. I would kill myself first. Well its coming up to 3 months and I’ve been really low this week because of family problems but I’ve not had any urge at all to do that even though there are spirits (which I don’t drink anyway) and a bottle of cider which I do, in my kitchen. Drink has ruined a lot of my family but the ironic thing with her is she never drank when she was younger. That and her endless smoking which she’s done from being a school girl is killing her. So all I am saying really is when you’re grieving it is so easy to just keep getting another and before long you’re hooked. She sits there and just pours a bit in the glass with the bottle on the floor and then puts another bit in. I asked her why didn’t she just fill the glass to start with you’re not kidding anyone unless its yourself because you’re going to drink it all anyway. As other people have said it is a depressant and that is something you can do without. My sister has this awful laugh which is very annoying and she to me is a depressant so unfortunately I do not associate with her anymore as she just brings me down. She will be pleased because I used to go on at her what she should try to do but she won’t listen. Well its too late for her now I would say she is beyond help. You’re friend is just probably concerned for you as I with my sister so you should both try to come to some agreement that is amicable to you both. Good wishes for your future.

Hi. Your post highlights the problems with drinking. It’s truly amazing that using illegal drugs is an offense, but the drug alcohol, and it is a drug, is freely available. The drink lobby is very powerful! Yes it does relieve the pain of emotional problems, but it is addictive. We all know that.
I was associated with AA for a while and the excuses for drinking are often unbelievable. But at the root of it all is a deep unhappiness with life, as with your sister. She has no interest in life.
In counselling I have seen so many lives destroyed by drinking. Relationships break up and often violence ensues. But who are we to say it’s wrong? Obviously help is needed, but not criticism or condemnation.
It’s what I meant when I said we need to understand a person’s problems before we make a judgement.

“Judge not lest ye be not judged”

Who among us is going to throw the first stone as with the crowd who judged the woman caught in adultery. Not me for sure. I would be one of the first to walk away.
We all have done things we may regret, but that’s being human.
I like cider too, but no way will I get hooked on it.
I don’t ever believe anyone is beyond help. But I do see what you mean. It does look hopeless from your viewpoint I agree.
3 months is not long so give it more time. It’s nearly ten months with me and I am still lonely and a bit scared about the future. But that’s all part of this awful process we have to go through called grief.
Take care and good wishes to you.

Hi Maddie 49, I too have a drink most days just to get me through I too know it is not the answer but I think I would have been locked without it - thinking of you x

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Hi Bristles
Thank you so much for what you said in your post to daisy Janet xx I know you understand and Thank you so much. I don’t drink all the time but sometimes when I am with friends or family it does help. I really hope you are coping you sound very kind & caring . I do appreciate having this site cos we can say what we need to without upsetting anyone.
Take care & chat soon

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I’m sorry if I upset anyone, that’s the last thing I would want to do. I wasn’t suggesting Unhappy is an alcoholic I was just pointing out how vulnerable we are in grief and any one of us can easily loose our way when we are at such a low ebb. I can understand that a drink or two may help someone to relax a bit and help them through such a traumatic time in their life. But as others have said maybe her friend has got issues of her own hence her sharp tongue. Sorry again for any upset I may have caused and wish Unhappy may find some peace.

Hi Jonathan My mothers life was ruined by the fact that my father was a drinker. She said he was weak willed. She bought him drink to have in the house but that didn’t work he wanted to be in the pub. Drink and gambling and no job while she brought up 5 children single handed and one being a downs syndrome. Everything was left to mum to do although she had heart problems. She gave 20 years to him and couldn’t take anymore so told him he had to leave. My 2 brothers were both heavy drinkers, followed now by one of my sons and another son is alright if he stays out of the pubs, but if he goes in one he likes to be the last one out. I am quite proud of him though because he’s turned his life around a lot. He rarely goes out now although his workmates ask him every Friday he refuses. He says you have to be a leper and unsociable but that’s the price he’s paid for drinking every weekend all day for many years. He now has his young son stay every weekend so that helps to keep him on the straight and narrow. Plus the responsibilities of a home. I would say he got close to being an alcoholic and his saviour was he didn’t and doesn’t drink at home. My eldest son I would say is an alcoholic as he drinks both at home and in the pubs and he can get quite nasty. .He has to have some everyday. As I’ve pointed out my sister is and so is her daughter drinking 2 or 3 bottles of wine everyday, so they both definitely are. The list goes on as there are my brothers children and my grandsons some of whom are heavy drinkers. It seems to be an epidemic but in my family we all lack confidence so that doesn’t help. From being a young sixteen year old when I got drunk one new years eve, I was so bad the next day I vowed I would never get in that state again. I would hate to get into a state of not knowing where you are, who you are, who you’re with and what you’re doing. I like to be in control of my faculties. A lot of the time people don’t get the help they need because they don’t realise just how bad they are and deny the fact they may be an alcoholic. Life is too short and precious to waste away on drinking all the time. There are so many beautiful things in life to appreciate. The countryside, beautiful scenery, the seaside, nature, walking, these are the things that make life worth living and the world is your oyster. Its sad that some people are not happy with the beauty around us and have to find it in such life threatening ways. Like you say it destroys lives not only their life but of the people who were closest to them. Its such a shame. Our lives are a game where you have to try and avoid the pitfalls and there are many and we all get hurt along the way at some point in our life. The worst hurt of all is when you lose that special someone that has been part of your life. Your parents, your child, your grandparents, your husband or wife, your partner. Then your life is truly turned upside down with not knowing how you’ll cope and get by but that beautiful countryside and scenery is still there for you to look at and admire. It is very scary facing a future without our loved one but what is the alternative. Wishing you well

I think your post really sums up a family with alcohol problems. When people drink to avoid pain their inhibitions often fall way and they can become aggressive. You say your mothers life was ruined by your father’s drinking. It often happens that when one member of a family is an alcoholic, especially the father, then others may follow.
This thread turned into a discussion about alcohol and its dangers and is relevant to this site. Many in bereavement begin to drink to help the pain.
None of the above remarks are personal or directed at any one person. All are generalisations. I speak from experience having seen so many lives ruined by drink.
Thanks for your post and I agree about the countryside and its beauty at this time of year. My wife was an artist and a nature lover, and that’s one of the things I find so difficult when I go out and see something she would have admired. A magnolia in full bloom or a lovely tree. I can still see the beauty but with no one to share it with it sometimes seems pointless. Keep posting. Blessings.

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