Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Raise Your Hand....

.....if you would smack me upside the head if I did this.

The following is an example of something I could do [but I haven't and I won't...so put your hands back down please. :)]

We're all friends, right?  And as friends we are tasked with telling each other if we screw up, correct?  That's what good friends do.  If you care enough about someone you should be able to tell them, right?

So, suppose I was to go about my day and decide "oh the hell with it"  I am going to eat whatever I want - sodium be damned.  And I ate all the stuff I knew was bad for me, the high sodium crap that would make me retain water and my lungs fill with fluid.  Then - BAM!- I end up in the hospital because I would be struggling to breath.

Wouldn't y' all be a wee bit miffed at me?  Wouldn't you?  I know for a fact that you would be disappointed in me, but the thing is -your judgement of me isn't the reason I don't freebase the salt shaker.  I don't do it because, frankly?  I like living and being able to breath.  Oddly enough, [and I have said it before I do find the internet odd sometimes], your opinions do matter to me and not once have any of you stepped over the line.  You're all pretty nice that way - but you guys do have a way of telling me "Well THAT was stupid Skippy"  when I mess up.  I appreciate that. I do.

Here is the reason I posted this - What do you do when you see your friend making the same mistakes over and over again - poor choices that will eventually kill her - but you've run out of nice ways to say "Stop doing that or you are going to die."  She knows it is going to kill her, but she continues to lament about her habits.  I don't want to stop being her friend but I am having a hard time being supportive everyday while she just keeps repeating the behaviors.

I am not trying to be all sanctimonious - goodness knows I have had my share of repeatedly bad behavior [Ask me about my track record with men before I met Pooldad.  I'll give you a hint: My ex. :)  It wasn't pretty, believe me.]  Still, how do I make my friend realize that she has got to stop?  I do know that you can't make someone change what they don't want to -I have just run out of nice things to say, but if I stop talking to her and hanging out with her she is going to know that something is up.

I think I just answered my own question, didn't I?


Jeannie said...

We are all human. I don't know what exactly your friend is doing that is killing her and I think some behaviours are worse than others. My husband, although he had angina at 31, angioplasty at 32, medication to control cholesterol and blood pressure and regulate his heart, quad by-pass at 51, is badly over weight, will NOT give up greasy foods and uses loads of salt. Loads. You would be dead in a week. I do not cook with salt, or fry much of anything and I rarely purchase processed food. What more can I do? He just doesn't seem to make the connect. He hopes for a magic pill and probably prays that God will let him live anyway. If I ever comment that such and such isn't good for him he flies off the handle.

But then there are behaviours like drug and alcohol abuse that dangerously affect others more directly.

I don't think they are quite the same thing. I wouldn't divorce my husband because he loves the wrong foods where I would definitely kick him out if he was a drunk. (Funny that - I'm the one who drinks)

And then, years ago, my daughter had a friend who had become very very promiscuous and was careless with the birth control. My daughter went to the school nurse for her to get birth control and did everything she could to get this girl to be responsible. The girl just wouldn't be. So my daughter told her she didn't want to hang out with her while she was behaving this way. And didn't. A couple months went by and no surprise, the girl got pregnant. All her new slutty friends dumped her. And my daughter was right there by her side to support her. She was there for the birth and all. This woman is now in a stable relationship (after a number of very bad ones) and they are still good friends.

I suppose you have to decide for yourself what you can accept and also what you have the strength to support in a friendship. You have your limits. Perhaps you need to let her know that. Maybe counselling would help her - some people, like my husband, would never submit to it and it is very expensive. We all have our issues but we are not all equipped to help everyone with theirs.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

I have very little patience for people like your friend. It sounds like she loves the attention of bringing up the subject, knowing that you'll fret about it. She wants people to fuss over her. She likes the fact that the subject makes you upset and causes you some angst. I have little patience for people like that.

Tell her you hate what she's doing and you don't want to hear about it anymore. Sounds rough, but, she's taking advantage of you. And you're too nice, Skippy, to have friends like that!!!! :)

colenic said...

Maybe the way she will realize how badly she is behaving is the tough love. I have a friend who I stopped talking to because of her behavior and it was tough...it's hard to know that person is out there floundering, still engagin g in risky behavior, but I agree with Diane that there is a level of attention getting in the behavior. Once she's not getting the attention from people, she might straighten out. It's a tough situation...you need to do what you think is going to keep you sane and help your friend. If she's not willing to help herself, unfortunately there is very little you can do...hugs...

ellen abbott said...

I agree with Diane. You've been sympathetic and tried to be supportive. the woman is not really interested in changing those behaviors. If it was me I'd just tell her straight out that she's doing it to herself and if she doesn't like the result then she should stop. And then change the subject. If you want to continue to be her friend you just have to tell her that you are no longer sympathetic to that part of her life and really you are tired of hearing about it. though, it is possible she will dump you. People, as a rule I have found, don't like to hear the truth.

TinaM said...

I agree with Jeannie... it kind of depends on what the situation is.

Over all though, I would just go with: how would YOU want to be treated of it were the other way around?
If you ended up sending yourself to the hospital, you would probably take a little tough love... but would you expect her to just stop talking to you?
During your bad relationships, people might be afraid for your safety and wish you would get out of the situation... but a real friend wouldn't just leave you all alone...

I'm sure whatever is going on, your friend is thankful to have you. Give her the advise you need to... but then let it be.

I like the other suggestions on changing the subject. If you don't want to hear about it anymore, don't ask and change the subject if your friend brings it up... that might send the hint also lol.
Good luck, Hugs!

Greenmare said...

I believe you did! then she can come to you and find out what is up and you can be very frank with her, (or Frieda or whomever you want to channel)and say, I can't handle you destroying yourself anymore and I will MISS you when you are gone.
well it sounds good when I type it.

Anonymous said...

Like everyone says, it kind of depends on the situation. However, you should not sacrifice your well-being for another person's (of course I mean this in your situation where there is a lot of talk and no action). I finally had to tell my friend that while I could still be her friend I couldn't listen to all her stories about fighting with her husband and how bad men are (they've been together for 20 years). First of all, I was hatin him and secondly, it was depressing me. Guess what? She totally understood and cut it out. We have been friends since grade 6 though and that may make the difference.