A friend called me last night. She is not an alcoholic but her nephew is. He's in early recovery and it's been a great struggle for him to not pick up a drink.
My friend and her sister (the mom of the nephew) were up at their mom's, where the nephew has a bedroom because he visits frequently. He hasn't been up there in a few months. They went in his room to change the sheets, air the room out, etc. The nephew has other disabilities that makes that difficult for him.
They encountered about 30 quart-bottles of beer, most empty, some with a bit left in them, and a few still full.
She called to ask me if they should clean up the bottles for him, or to wait until he's up there in 2 weeks for a family get-together and have him do it himself.
I saw both sides of that coin. The first thought was that he should not be enabled, and should be made responsible to "clean up his messes" in all areas of his life.
However, since he is really struggling to hang on to sobriety, and with his disabilities cleaning up a physical mess is difficult for him, I also thought it might be out and out cruel to leave the task for him. Especially because some of the bottles still had beer in them, and it would not be feasible to bring an AA friend with him since it is out of town and a family weekend.
I ended up telling her both of those thoughts and said that there probably is no right or wrong answer, just different methods, and to go with their gut, knowing him better than I do.
What would you have said??