My close friend of 30 years (my best friend) is an alcoholic, and her alcoholism has progressed to the point where it's taken away her ability to be a friend to me.
She has always been a heavy drinker but it's never impacted our relationship until this year. Until now, she and I have enjoyed sober recreation, and giving each other mutual support in every area of life. I am feeling unimportant and abandoned. As a counselor, I am educated about all forms of addiction and the toll it takes on friends and family. Having said that, it’s sometimes easier to give guidance to people with whom you’re not emotionally involved with, rather than know the most appropriate course of action when it’s happening in our own lives.
The final straw came when she ignored my birthday, the only acknowledgment I received from her was a Facebook status like when someone else wished me a happy birthday. This behavior is uncharacteristic of the past 30 years of friendship, and the only things that have changed are increased alcohol consumption as well as being in a relationship with a man who is also an alcoholic.
How do I tactfully end the friendship with this person?
This is now a one way relationship and she is not putting in effort to maintain our friendship. I have decided this relationship is over, at least until she can be sober. I’m feeling angry, hurt and resentful. I own my feelings and have accepted I cannot change her.
What is still lingering in my mind is not having a sense of closure. I’m torn between letting her know where I stand, how I feel, and why, versus saying nothing and simply fading away without telling her how I feel.
The dilemma is not whether or not to continue this "friendship". I do not wish to continue this relationship, however I am unsure how to best end the friendship in order to gain the closure I’m looking for.
I have talked with her earlier this year about certain behaviors that I feel have hurt the friendship. I have told her I worry about her drinking and driving, and her health. However, I never told her how much her behaviour hurts me and our relationship.