I set a homeless alcoholic friend up in a motel and gave him some money. He got drunk with my money in the motel room I paid for.

I suppose that was an obvious outcome. However, that does not stop me from dwelling on it.

When I told him he appeared drunk, he told me I was right, and said, “At least I’m honest.” How many points would you award for that honesty?

He thinks rehab, AA meetings, and therapy are a waste of time. He drinks excessively, he says, because of environmental circumstances that compel him to do so. When those get around to changing in his favor, if they ever do, he may stop drinking excessively.

It was this guy. That will also probably not be surprising. Maybe it also won’t be surprising that I’ve been through this same general situation with other guy friends, but I’m trying to only dwell on one thing at a time right now. I sure hope it is the last time, but there’s that good old end-of-history illusion. I sure hope this isn’t happening in 20 years with one of my sons. It seems that I have known and even been related to many men of protracted unemployment and terrible attitude. Maybe they even form a majority, but I should recalculate when I’m in a better mood.

I can’t argue with the logic of “I don’t WANT to.” Of course, neither am I going to pay for it. Therefore, I am ignoring his calls now. He apparently considers himself above leaving any message or text that states his purpose, other than “It’s important.” Fuck that. Tell me what it’s about and I’ll decide if it’s important.

He stayed with another friend for three months after he lost his apartment. There were two rules: No drinking, and shower every day. He was really irritated by the shower-every-day rule.

This is what happens when you get older. You either get uptight and boring or you become a loser screw-up. He doesn’t like my choice, and I don’t like his. This is the crappy thing about when there’s a lousy economy — it gives cover and excuses to the shiftless. Yes, I used the word shiftless, and I think the word layabout is useful too. Before you mock me, brother, think about whether the logical extension of your attitude leads you to Fish’s fate.

Category: Elsewhere

About the Author

Sheila Tone (stone) is a West Coaster, breeder, and lawyer who has probably hooked up with some loser just like you and sees through your whole pathetic little act.

7 Responses to My name is Sheila, and I’m an enabler.

  1. Kirk says:

    Your link is broken. Anyway, I saw an episode of NatGeo’s “Drugged” that dealt with a 28 year-old alcoholic. Just nineteen days into a 90-day treatment program, he ended up dying. I was blown away that something like that could happen.

    Anyway, good luck with your friend.

  2. Peter says:

    Drinking may be the one thing that gives him any pleasure these days.

    • Sheila Tone says:

      @Peter: “2.Drinking may be the one thing that gives him any pleasure these days.”

      Yep, and that’s a pretty common thing for alcoholics to say.

      I guess I can’t judge, but then again I can’t be expected to subsidize, either. Internet says never give an addict money, even if it’s for food or groceries or to feed his kids, because that just frees up other resources for the drinking.

  3. rob says:

    You’re link doesn’t work, but I think I remember the entry.

    I’m think I’m the only addict who comments here. Even if I’m not, I’d be surprised if anyone wanted to contest my title.

    An important question is whether or not he’s right about the non-substance circumstances, and to what extent they are actually external and beyond the influence of his behavior in the short and long term.

    For example on the is he right about them part, and without trying to pry to hard into someone’s personal life, how many of these external circumstances were caused or exacerbated by his drinking? Is being homeless one of those circumstances? If he thinks it was, then he was wrong: being in a motel didn’t help all that much.

    Has he sobered up before? If he quit drinking before, even white-knuckling it, his life probably got better, so he’d have that to remember. But if he’s never quit before he might honestly not know that drinking is a source of his problems. As a stupid comparison, all my life I’ve had feet. Would not having feet be awesome? I don’t know, and it’s never crossed my mind to wonder about it, until now, when I was looking at my feet while trying to think up a stupid example where his reasoning would be right.

    As for why men are more vulnerable, there are a partially independent for being more likely to start and for having a harder time stopping. I’ll get into ’em in the morning. They might be cold comfort, but sometimes knowing why helps a bit.

    Tell your friend that some guy on the internet that he doesn’t know wants him to get better.

    • Sheila Tone says:

      @Rob: It seems pretty clear to me that the job loss was probably provoked indirectly by the drinking. More recently, there is is failure within more than three years to find gainful employment, and that has caused the homelessness. It is my opinion that he hasn’t tried nearly as hard on the job front as he should have. Many potential prospects have been and continue to be shot down.

      As for whether he’s quit before: He’s never acknowledged a problem before. He’s had heavy periods and not so heavy periods. It’s just within the past three years that his drinking seemed to be harming his physical health. He’s quit on his own for weeks at a time. He thinks that means he’s in control.

      Rob, I won’t fight you for the addict label. But I sure know how it is to want to stop doing something and have difficulty stopping. Maybe it’s not in the same ballpark though.

      Among the less legitimate angers I’ve got at Fish is that his situation is taking all the fun out of drinking for me.

  4. Sheila Tone says:

    Fixed the link — it’s that post from three years ago where my colleague got fired by cops, and there were some questions as to whether he had a drinking problem.

    Those questions are answered now, at least for me. And for me, once it’s clear a person has a drinking problem it’s also clear they don’t get to drink anymore. It’s not clear to Fish.

    After I wrote this, he texted me at 9 p.m.– the night before his job interview out of town — that he didn’t have money for gas to get to the interview. I had previously filled up his tank and bought him groceries, in addition to giving him $80. This is pretty strong evidence that, faced with an immediate choice of a job interview or liquor, he chose liquor.

    I did not notice the text until the next evening. I texted him back and he has ignored me since.

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