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What are some helpful ways to show sympathy and support for friends/mentees who are going through a difficult time dealing with an alcoholic parent?


( 6 remarks — Remark )
Dec. 3rd, 2016 06:15 am (UTC)
I just really want a drink.
Or some alone time.
Or some time in the Turkish baths.
Dec. 3rd, 2016 11:44 am (UTC)
Taking them to lunch or something like that...
Dec. 3rd, 2016 05:01 pm (UTC)
With holidays etc, this time of year often brings these issues to the forefront. Your support depends whether now is the time for them to take significant action on their own behalf... or not. Significant action takes courage and wisdom. It can require a lot of TIME and getting support from grounded folks like you, but YOU are very very very busy and probably not in a position to do more than cheerlead. If they are looking to work through this (because that's how one avoids getting trapped in the intergenerational cycle of addiction), encourage them to find seasoned counseling resources (for example health care or campus resources, AAA, spiritual direction etc). Accessing these services is an act of courage. Trying to work through this in isolation is too difficult. In the big picture, working through grief makes a huge difference and will open one to new freedoms. In the short run, just acknowledging their pain and difficulty might be all you can do. You are already good at setting limits (time boundaries), which is important in your situation. Bravo for your compassion.
Dec. 5th, 2016 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: support
I'm inclined to agree with your mom. If they need an ear to bend on a regular basis and a friend to call when things are rough and they need to get out of the house in a hurry or just survived another evening with that parent, you probably don't have the emotional resources to be that friend right now. If they don't know about resources for children of alcoholics then pointing them to those resources could be a wonderful thing you could do that is low emotional effort on your part.

I do personally thing that it's super important to acknowledge that their situation (especially if they live with that parent currently) may be taking a huge emotional and/or physical toll on this person's well-being, and consequently their ability to focus and think in the academic and laboratory setting. Perhaps having a discussion with them about that and talking privately one-on-one with them about how you and the lab can accommodate that would be thing that could happen.
Dec. 3rd, 2016 08:41 pm (UTC)
bad poetry?
Dec. 5th, 2016 02:24 am (UTC)
You can send them to me. I'll talk to them any evening.
( 6 remarks — Remark )

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