On a fresh drinking problem.

Dear Coquette,

My best friend and I are both single after bad relationships; while my boyfriend was emotionally abusive, they broke up when her ex punched her in the face.

We made a joke of being slutty as possible this summer to spite our exes or something else that was logical after a couple drinks.

Unfortunately, I think she’s taking it too far.

She’s proceeded to morph into a drunken mess; she’ll get wasted and throw herself at anything with a penis. She’ll also be verbally abusive to our closest friends, and there’s been several nights where she just breaks down crying over her ex. When she’s sobered up, she acts like nothing happened.

She also keeps mocking me for keeping regular fuck buddies instead of sleeping with a new random every weekend like she does.

I’m worried about her, not just because this is self-destructive, but because she’s getting a bad reputation amongst our friends. Most have come to me and expressed a growing dislike for her and how if she keeps this up, no one is going to want to hang out with her anymore.

Everyone I’ve talked to about this has said I have to let her hit rock bottom but I don’t want that to happen. So what do I do to knock some sense into her?

Please ignore the idiots telling you to let your best friend hit rock bottom. That’s terrible advice. Rock bottom is for hardcore addicts unreachable by any other means, and your best friend isn’t an addict. Not yet, anyway. 

At the moment, she’s just a hot mess with a fresh drinking problem. She’s in a tremendous amount of emotional pain, and she has no method of coping other than numbing herself with alcohol.

The whoring around isn’t coming from a healthy place either. There’s nothing wrong with a wild summer of no strings sex, but she’s trying to fuck the pain away, and that never works for more than a few minutes.

As her best friend, it’s time to help her address her underlying pain. She’s coming out of an abusive relationship, and she needs to start processing her emotions sober. This isn’t about stopping her from drinking, nor is it about slut shaming. The booze and boys aren’t the problem. They’re just symptoms.

Knocking some sense into her will require daytime heart-to-heart conversations about her behavior where she doesn’t feel cornered or judged. That can be tough. You have to come from a place of love and concern. You have to let her know that it’s not what she’s doing that’s the problem, it’s why she’s doing it.

She’s not drinking to celebrate. She’s drinking to annihilate. She’s not having sex to explore. She’s having sex to escape. If she’s ready to start dealing with her emotional pain in a healthier way, she will have to recognize the difference and consciously choose not to numb herself.

This stuff isn’t easy. It requires a high degree of emotional maturity on both of your parts. You’ll need to bring all of your patience and nonjudgment to the table, and she’ll need to bring all of her self-control and self-respect. 

I hope she’s ready to hear you.


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