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  1. #1
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Wow, that was hard (long; sorry)

    I had to call my best friend's ex-wife today to tell her not to let their 3-1/2 year old daughter get in a car with him because he is an alcoholic (not news) and has fallen off the wagon in a serious way. He loves that little girl more than anything, and I have seen with my own eyes how good a father he is - when he is sober. This will do a real number on him, and I understand that he will not want to have anything to do with me for the foreseeable future, at least not unless and until he gets serious help, and maybe not even then. There is not a doubt in my mind that I did the right thing. Not only was it pretty clear to me as soon as I thought of his daughter, I also had very serious conversations with several people whom I respect and whose judgment I trust, and they confirmed that I was on the right track, although I tweeked some details based on some good insights they had. Lordy Lordy, I do feel horrible about having to do this, and more than a little angry about having been put in this position, but havoing been oput there, I am confident that I did what I had to do.

    Okay, now for some details, for those who like a good train wreck. Over the weekend, my friend showed up at his girlfriend's place drunk. So drunk that he blacked out in his car for 15 or 20 minutes, and then could not walk without literally bouncing off the walls. His girlfriend hid his keys. She also found a mostly-consumed bottle of cranberry juice that, upon inspection, proved to be almost all vodka or gin and just enough juice to give it some color. (I still have the bottle - the stuff is rocket fuel.)

    I showed up shortly thereafter, as we were all going to have dinner together. After a really unpleasant evening - the sordid details would take up way too much space - in which I ended holding his keys and refusing to give them back, I drove him to my place, where he crashed for the night. The next morning when he was sober, or at least within spitting distance of it, I drove him back to his girlfriend's, and he drove off. He has called a few times since, and all he can talk about is how wrong his girlfriend and I were not to give him back his keys (believe me, he demanded them back, and used every trick his booze-addled brain could come up with - and it was pretty pathetic). Well, actually he did repeat one other thing several times: he is not a threat on the road, because even after drinking he is a better driver than everyone else on the road. My last conversation with him ended with him telling me to perform an anatomically impossible act and that he never wanted to talk to me again.

    Yesterday (Monday), it occured to me that he would be picking up his daughter this evening (Tuesday) at his ex-wife's for a several hour visitation, and would pick her up again this Friday for the weekend, driving her 50 miles to his house. Oh, did I mention that he recently started refusing to strap his little girl into her car seat because he doesn't like it and he's so good a driver he will avoid any and all incidents? (You should have heard that conversation I had with him.)

    Anyway, I called his ex-wife, told her what I've now told you plus additional details. Then I left my friend a voice mail message and an e-mail message telling him I had done so - I felt I should at least try to let him hear about this from me first. Since then, her lawyer called me for details - before I called the ex-wife, I had realized that not only had to do this, but had to ride this wave all the way into shore. It looks like I will be signing a sworn declaration, and may have to testify in court about this. Crap.

    Man, this sucks. But I know that a beautiful little girl will not be getting into a car with a drunk driver this evening or this weekend, and ultimately that trumped all other considerations.

    I'm not sure what I wanted here other than a chance to vent and decompress. Thanks for reading this. Any comments are welcome, be they pro, con, indifferent or irreverent. Especially irreverent.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  2. #2
    Crazy Like a Daisy CycleMagic's Avatar
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    oh, wow. Tough decision, but one that had to be made. Perhaps this is the thing that will help him get turned around. Good for you. There should be more best friends out there like you!
    Where am I going?......

    ....and why am I in this handbasket?

  3. #3
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Obviously you did the right thing. Whether he cares to address his problem and be responsible for his own actions is a whole other matter. Most people like that live in denial, and it sometimes takes a major, life-altering situation to get them to adjust their ways. Or sometimes they aren't capable of changing, and they are their own worst enemy. What may seem obvious to you and I, their brain just isn't wired properly to "see the light", so to speak.

    At any rate, good luck, and hopefully he confronts his problem before he kills someone. He may hate you now, but at least you know you're doing the right thing.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  4. #4
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    Especially irreverent.
    How about sharing some of that juice with the rest of us? (Only because he asked for the irreverent comments...)

    Seriously, I agree that you did the right thing, but it sucks that you had to go through all this. The up side is that you may very well have prevented going through experiences that would be much more unpleasant - such as a funeral or two.
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

  5. #5
    Freelance Superhero Stir Crazy's Avatar
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    I also have to agree that you did the right thing. Getting involved in another person's personal life is always a tricky situation, but if he is your best friend, and vice versa, and you two are anything like me and my best friend, then you're like brothers, like family. And in that context, I know you're only looking out for his (and, subsequently, his family's) best interests. He may not want to speak to you or see you at first, but when he comes to his senses and confronts his problems, he'll see that you were right. Who knows, this might be the first reality check to get him back into shape again... In any case, best of luck to you and to your friend. I hope all turns out for the best.
    -- Ryan - Internet Brands

  6. #6
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HigherGround View Post
    How about sharing some of that juice with the rest of us? (Only because he asked for the irreverent comments...)
    You da MAN!! But sorry, there's barely enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by HigherGround
    Seriously, I agree that you did the right thing, but it sucks that you had to go through all this. The up side is that you may very well have prevented going through experiences that would be much more unpleasant - such as a funeral or two.
    Bingo. I can live with my friend hating me forever, as much as I would rather that not be the case. I am also resigned to going to his funeral much sooner than I would care to (I so hope I'm wrong about that). But a really sweet kid lying in a hospital bed or in a coffin when I had the ability to prevent it - that would ruin my life. And that is not a price I am willing to pay, not even for the best friend I have ever had.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Never had to make that call, but the father of my oldest son's best friend is in much the same boat. I will not let my son ride with him. I go along and drive, whatever.

    You did the right thing and are doing the right thing! Stay strong my brother!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  8. #8
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    Well, in situations like this, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to realize what things you have control over, which ones you don't, and learning to not get too frustrated by the latter. I had a co-worker who was a great person when sober, but who was also F'ing up his life because of the bottle. I would help him by taking him to his meetings and state-mandated check ups, but sometimes there's only so much you can do. Alcoholism is a legitimate disease, rather than just a matter of lack of discipline. Perhaps this is the kick in the ass that your friend needs to finally confront the issue.
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

  9. #9
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    If you want irreverant, maybe you should call him up, get together and work this out over a few drinks.

    Back to serious mode. I have been a part of an intervention for a very good friend who has almost let alcohol ruin his life several times. We got him to rehab, but he fell off the wagon again. As of now, he is clean and sober.

    As a father, I know how much I love my kids. I cannot imagine anything stronger than that love, so I have a hard time fathoming how alcohol or drugs can overpower the desire to do good for your kids sake. But it can, I see it all the time. I pray to God that I never fall victim to addiction. I am sorry that your friend and you are dealing with this. He is lucky to have someone like you who cares enough about him and his child to get involved. Many would just walk away.

    Thanks for trusting in us and venting to us. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk in private.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  10. #10
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard View Post
    At any rate, good luck, and hopefully he confronts his problem before he kills someone.
    The most likely someone is himself. When people here stats about how many people die from alcoholism they always assume the deaths are due to liver cirrhosis and car accidents etc. In reality many of those deaths are suicides. The media has an obligation to not report suicides so you don’t hear about them very often.

    Sadly most organizations today support the avoidance and abandonment of alcoholics, which just makes things worse. He may be mad at you for a while but continue to check in on him and offer support. Furthermore, request that he see a psychiatrist, as many times the alcoholism is a by-product of other highly treatable disorders like anxiety and depression (SNRI Rx can work wonders); the person just self medicates with alcohol.

    Remember alcoholism is a disease –it’s not gluttony or poor self control- stick with the person just as if they had any other disease like cancer etc.

  11. #11
    Junior Member missmel's Avatar
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    You were put in a very tough situation but did the best possible thing you could have done. You may have saved many lives including the ones close to you. If i were him i would be very greatful to have a friend like you, even if he doesnt admit it now. He will thank you in the future when he able to spend time with his amazing child.

  12. #12
    Don't you owe me $20? 200 Feet Below's Avatar
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    I am an alcoholic who has only been sober for about 3 months. If you like I would GLADLY talk with this guy and try to help him get his life right. You did the RIGHT thing. He should not drive himself or his child. That is only step number one. He needs to have a sense of focus in life. He has none right now. If I had to guess I would say he is an above average intelligent person who has difficulty in sharing his problems. He also feels he is the last person who would ever do anything wrong while drunk. HELLO!... Mirror.... I have seen this before. PM me if you would like my personal contact info or if you would like to give me his email address. I would do my best to get through to him as a fellow drunk. I owe this much to the world and then some.
    BIG BOLD TEXT!

  13. #13
    cab horn
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    Alcohol ftw!
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
    Bring May Flowers aprilm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    I can live with my friend hating me forever, as much as I would rather that not be the case.
    If he gets the help he needs, I'm sure he'll be hating you for a while. But he'll be thanking you 20-fold later.

    Edit: You're a great friend!

  15. #15
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    He'll thank you some day. Well done!

  16. #16
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    You may have just saved that little girls life by doing that. Good job, you are doing the right thing.

    I salute you.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  17. #17
    okay, maybe... tprevost's Avatar
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    as a parent I appreciate what you did more than you know. You did the right thing; I can only guess how difficult it must have been though... well done.
    Almost new 2005 Ksyrium Equipes; less than 1500 miles, PM me...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    Remember alcoholism is a disease –it’s not gluttony or poor self control- stick with the person just as if they had any other disease like cancer etc.
    Poor self control is exactly what alcoholism is. Calling it a disease only gives people a canned excuse for their actions. Why don't smokers receive the same sympathy? We coddle drunks and vilify smokers. It's beyond ridiculous.

  19. #19
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Wow. I'm glad I've never been put in that situation, but you did the right thing. Even if your friend turns ass bag over it, you know you did the right thing. If he has a mind to ever come back to reality, he'll realize it and thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  20. #20
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    It's sad when alcohol takes over his judgement regarding the best things he has. His daughter, his friend, his LIFE.

    He's not a friend if he will chastise you for this. He is in denial that he would ever hurt her. This is very very sad.

    Good on you, Bikingshearer. ((hugs))
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha
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    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Will G's Avatar
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    Sometimes doing what is right is so much harder than doing what is easy. You did the right thing.
    Flying a jet is no different than riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

  22. #22
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Brave statement....and good job on taking responsibility for yourself, as well as the offer. Speaks well of you.
    Quote Originally Posted by 200 Feet Below View Post
    I am an alcoholic who has only been sober for about 3 months. If you like I would GLADLY talk with this guy and try to help him get his life right. You did the RIGHT thing. He should not drive himself or his child. That is only step number one. He needs to have a sense of focus in life. He has none right now. If I had to guess I would say he is an above average intelligent person who has difficulty in sharing his problems. He also feels he is the last person who would ever do anything wrong while drunk. HELLO!... Mirror.... I have seen this before. PM me if you would like my personal contact info or if you would like to give me his email address. I would do my best to get through to him as a fellow drunk. I owe this much to the world and then some.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  23. #23
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    I can only imagine the gut wrenching feeling you had when forced into this spot.

    Hope if I ever get in a similar problem I can show some of the courage you did.

  24. #24
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    You Did The Right Thing. A Toast To Your Success!
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    無上甚深微妙法 .... 百千萬劫難遭遇..... 我今見聞得受持

  25. #25
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Bikingshearer, you did the right thing in a very difficult situation. My father was a drug addict and had very poor judgment about driving under the influence the last year he was alive. A month before he died, he drove into a ditch with my brother and me in the car. I remember that it was very scary and we were 15 and 11. A 3 and a half year old - I can't even imagine.

    To my mind, addiction is a disease/illness that is caused by heredity, socialization, and poor choices. It takes active will to begin to recover, and unlike most illnesses, your recovery will last as long as you live. It's not a black-and-white issue, and many people are deeply uncomfortable and unaccepting of that reality. The question of illness vs. moral weakness makes me bang my head against the wall at times, but for the most part, I can live with the paradox. Life is really quite messy. I hope that when you make that legal deposition, you are also able to make a statement (for the record) that he would be a good parent if sober. (Sounds like you believe it.) If your friend ever does enter recovery, I think he will appreciate that.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

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