Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Should I worry? Well, I do..

I'm slightly worried about an old friend of mine.

No, actually, strike that. I am at least moderately concerned.

Last Saturday, I went to his house along with a bunch of other people. He loves having visitors, partly because he is too lazy to visit anyone. But he is a good host, so people always gather round his place.

When I arrived after dinner, he was already drunk. This in itself is I guess not worrying, as many young men like to spend most of Saturday evening in varying degrees of stupour. His girlfriend, also well into her nth beer, said something about him warning all earlier on that the evening looked like a slippery slope.

Now the thing is, by no means was he the only drunk person there.

What worries me happened as I was leaving, and saying goodbye to him, some time after midnight.

He walked me, or that should be stumbled me, to the door, out of sight from his girlfriend. Then he took my hand and said extremely sincerely, almost soberly: "Take care. You are such a beautiful person."

Which is exactly what his mother used to say when she got really drunk.

Which was like, every evening.

Yes, his mother was an alcoholic. I remember when we first knew each other, and she was in her late 30s, it was not so bad, she drank what I would call too much, but limited it to weekends and when she was off shift.

I couldn't pinpoint an exact point where it tipped into an unsustainable lifestyle, but at some point it did.

She started being very, very drunk. Very, very often.

Sometimes she would stumble into his room in the middle of the night, not realising the time, and start ranting away.

And always, she would grab your hand and tell you how beautiful you were.

This scares me.

As a psychologist, I know that having an alcoholic mother seems to predispose you to alcoholism.

I know my friend's life is pretty stressful. He has her to contend with, as well as a sister who is a drug abuser. And he has a very emotionally demanding job.

I don't know why his girlfriend doesn't intervene. Though she has not known him as long as I have, she most likely knows his mother better than I do at this stage.

I know that I am pretty uptight about drinking habits, but surely something isn't good when you are over 25 and still feel the urge to get very drunk as soon as the work week is over?

He drinks more when his mother drinks more. He worries for his life. It's all a bit absurd.

I am unsure what to do. I feel that it is none of my business, and as far as I can see, the drinking doesn't interfere with his ability to go to work, take care of his kid or socialise with us or his partner.

Yet I feel uncomfortable. I am worried that I will look back, years from now, and wonder why I said nothing.

1 comment:

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