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Pregnant and Intoxicated

March 23, 2012

Yesterday I got a phone call from a friend asking me to come with her to visit a mutual friend who called her for help.  She was having a “breakdown”.  I told her I would have to figure something out and call her back because I was expecting company any minute and I wasn’t going to bring my three-year-old daughter to the scene.  I had heard a rumor that she had had trouble with drinking and hoped she wasn’t having a relapse.  I did know she had been overwhelmed with her list of responsibilities, so maybe that and her pregnancy hormones became too much.

I found someone to watch my daughter and left a message with my lunch dates telling them we might have to reschedule.  I then called my friend back, but she didn’t answer.  If she had found someone else to go with her, I didn’t want to show up too, causing her to feel like the whole neighborhood knew her business.  I decided it was better to stay home until I I got another phone call.

I later found out that she was drunk and had been drinking for days while her husband was away on business.  My friends were over for lunch and I started crying.  I know this isn’t the person she wants to be.  She is kind, cheerful, a great cook, volunteers for many things, has a beautiful home with great style, gives her kids every opportunity she can, and you can see how much they love her.  It’s heartbreaking knowing that not only was she drunk, her baby was too.  I don’t even want to think about what her small children were going through.  Logically, she knows it too and it’s so understand why she would choose to do that.  Addiction is terrifying to me.

It’s probably good that I didn’t have to witness that.  I have seen the worst that alcoholism can do in my own family and I’m not sure I could have held it together.  I never met my grandma because she took off.  I watched my grandpa die after drinking himself into a coma.  Years up until then, we couldn’t have a coherent conversation because his brain was so damaged.  I could tell he was a nice man.  My mom speaks fondly of her mom even though she abandoned her.

Maybe I was meant to tell this to my friend and I missed an opportunity.  I’m not supposed to let on that I know.  Or maybe I can continue to be her friend without her feeling awkward that I know about this.  I do want to be her friend and I’m glad she asked for help.  I hope that’s a good sign that she will eventually beat this.  If you talked to her, you would never guess she has this problem.  She seems like she has it all together.

Just another reminder that we all have problems few people see.

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