Question – Shall I tell my alcoholic friend that I cannot see him whilst he’s drinking? Is it OK for me to mention the drinking? So far I refer to him being ill.
Answer – Only you can answer the first question. It is entirely in your hands to choose whether you meet him or not. What is your motivation for asking him this question? If it is to try and encourage him to stop drinking, then by all means give it a go, but I wouldn’t hold out too much hope. An alcoholic’s first love is alcohol. Your friend is, in effect, having an affair with alcohol, it consumes his every waking hour (thinking about it, planning when to drink and actually drinking). You, I am sorry to say, will always take second place to alcohol; if, on the other hand, you don’t like the way he is when drunk, then you are perfectly within your rights to tell him this. It’s not pleasant to be around an an active alcoholic.
As for the second question. Of course it’s o.k. to talk about his drinking, skirting around the issue only feeds into his denial. Voice your concerns, tell him how it is and if he doesn’t like it then that’s his problem.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.