Dear Barb – Drunk and Dissin’

Dear Barb:

About a year ago my dad met someone at work and left my mom and me. Around that time my mom began drinking. I didn’t think much about it, as she was going through a hard time, but her drinking has gotten worse. The minute she gets home from work she starts drinking and she is pretty well drunk by 8 o? clock. On the weekends its worse, she starts drinking around noon on Saturday and the weekend is a wash. I have tried to talk to her, but she is so drunk that she doesn’t want to hear what I have to say. I’m in my first year of university and I feel my mother’s drinking is affecting my studies. I am so worried about her that I don’t want to go out with friends and I definitely do not want friends coming her to see her like that. My dad is pretty well out of the picture. I really don’t know where to turn. I know my mom needs help, but I don’t know how to get it for her. Thanks. Liam.

Hi Liam,

Thanks for writing in about this unfortunate set of circumstances. You are a very mature, responsible young man. Your mom definitely needs some professional help, but that has to be her decision. In the meantime you need to find a way to keep yourself healthy while having to endure this difficult situation. My suggestion would be to look up the Al-Anon meeting locations in your area. Al-Anon is an organization that helps people deal with someone else’s drinking. Google “Al-Anon Information Services and Web sites” and you will find locations for meetings. Good luck Liam, and let us know how you make out and please do not allow this situation to drag you down.

Dear Barb:

Hi, I look forward to reading your column every week, but I haven’t read anything like my situation. We are a group of girls that have hung around together all through high school and get along well for the most part; however one girl in our group is always talking trash about the other girls. If one of the group isn’t with us she will start running her down and trying to get us all involved. I attempt to not say anything but most of the other girls get drawn into it and then feel bad afterwards. I don’t understand why she is doing this; she is a very pretty girl and has a lot going for her. We are starting university together this year. I really wish she would stop this trash talk but don’t know how to get her to quit. Do you have any advice? Thanks Megan

Hey Megan:

This is an awkward situation to be involved in. However some people tear other people down to make themselves look good and this may very well be what your friend is doing. The only thing you can do is not participate. When she trash talks someone else, don’t agree with her. Tell her you would rather not talk about this person and remind her that she is your friend. If you do this in front of the other girls, there is a good chance they will follow your lead. Friends are supposed to be supportive of each other, not critical and fault finding.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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