Thank you Dallas and ccs for your replies.
I want to be clearer on this, if I can be clearer. I know that I can't control another person or the way they respond to life. I also understand about "Letting go and letting God". I guess maybe it's just my feelings getting mixed in with reality.
I've made it my business to pretty much remain neutral with this friend. My conscious mindset is like AA, I don't have an opinion on her troubles and it wouldn't be right for me to judge. I'm also careful not to "promote" the program. She is well aware of how it works and it's not my job to "try" and help her.
My job is for what I am responsible: that is "whenever anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA to be there." So whenever she seeks my help, I am available for her. But I don't go the other way and ask her if she needs me or wants me to help. The problem is that helping her when she reaches out is like scaling down a bottomless pit. I don't want to help anymore because each time she's needed help, I've been there, and it doesn't matter how much I help - again when she asks for it - it doesn't seem like it helps her. So I pretty much dread getting calls from her.
But when I do help, I ALWAYS get something unexpectedly positive in return that ALWAYS helps me. Usually it's not from her, but I might get an insight into something somewhere totally unrelated to the situation. Then when I'm through helping her, I take that insight to the problem that was troubling me, then whammo - my unrelated problem is resolved. Or I avoid a problem that might have happened if I wasn't busy helping her. Its totally uncanny - I don't want to help - I realize this seems like a bottomless pit - but I help because it's my responsibility - then I end up getting helped. This is how it happens every time.
My hands are not on it - if I did what I "willed", I wouldn't help her. But instead of doing "my will", I do what I believe is the next right thing which is what I think is God's will, and it has always worked out to my benefit. Just like when she walked away with my change jar and I caught her - she got mad and called me a few choice names. I walked away without fighting. I go back to confront her on what she said, and before I open my mouth, she promptly admits she is wrong and tries to make it right.
Then I think I make a choice, and it's looking like I should just keep my distance from her, and I try to avoid making contact with her. I go tend to my life, do my business and everything is fine and who knows where she is? Which is fine, and I don't care where she is. Either that day or the next morning, I'll pray for her as I normally do, then there's a knock at my door. She shows up the exact time I pray for her. This has happened more than once. Either that or she'll call me on the phone right as I'm praying about her or for her.
I don't ask for this to happen, and I'm trying to avoid her, but this weird spiritual phenomenon keeps on happening, and I end up helping her because she really needs it - and again, I don't want to help - but it seems like it has to be God's will or else she would not be making these appearences. If I were to ask "where am I going wrong", it's always in making myself available to do God's will. But doing God's will isn't really something I'm doing that's wrong. It's just something I don't want to do, but I end up doing it anyhow because He seems to know that I'm willing even though it's not my favorite idea.
And it works the other way around too. Just when I'm about ready to lose my temper with her, some bizarre thing happens that prevents me from doing what I want to do - which is to get mean or nasty with her. I reach my limit, and I'm ready to blow a fuse, and sometimes I'm even walking fast toward her, "itching" to confront her. Then something happens that takes me completely off guard, and I don't confront her. And after everything is all said and done, I know that confronting her would have been the worst thing for me to do.
This whole thing really has me in a place where I don't want to be - and I see today that place is a place of humility. I don't want to be humble. I want to be unavailable. I want to be mean-spirited. I want to tell her off. I want to give her a piece of my mind. What ends up happening? I end up being forced by circumstances or situations into the "trusted servant" role, and I'm humbled. And the miraculous thing is that nobody gets hurt or is worse off on account of it. I usually end up looking or smelling like a rose. Now how is that for God's will and my irony?
So that's where I am today. My best choice is like ccs said - that's to "Let go and Let God". Or like the traditions say, I don't have an opinion about her, or the way she is living. I know from my recent experiences that if I did have an opinion about her, it would be wrong.
This is crazy how it's playing out - like we were talking about spirituality here, yesterday. Geezus! The best way for me to understand the spiritual forces at work here is to not understand at all. It's a Great Mystery to me today, my brother - I only wish I could say I'm content with it. The only thing I can say today is that I'm not content - I'm pretty uncomfortable (like a sow trying to wear silk tie). But at the same time I'm not discontent or unhappy either. I'm just right there in the middle like AA. The only opinion I can afford to have today is to not have an opinion.
This is one crazy set of rules to live by - I tell you what!
Please pray for my friend - she's in a real bad place. God loves her like He loves all of us alcoholics. Lord have mercy.