Taking Care of Your Own Emotional Well-Being First
Saying Goodbye to a Friendship.
My best friend is my guy (my mister). I tell him EVERYTHING — I complain to him about others, I vent to him about my life, he’s always the first person I call or text when I have news to share (or even news that I don’t want shared); I completely trust him… and just like the security of a best friend, we talk about everything too.
However, once upon a time, I actually did have a best friend who was a guy. He was a friend from high school that I was very close to, and for the most part he was a very good friend to me. He had a lot of personal issues to work through after high school, like relocating with his family to another state, and dealing with issues about being gay… honestly, I never knew he was gay until he just one day seem to have completely come out of the closet.
During the “college years” we still hung out together; we’d go clubbing and stuff like that, but I always felt him slipping away into himself, especially with drugs. I think he was a wonderful person that was very caring and thoughtful of others, extremely generous too; but I also always thought that he was a very weak minded individual, easily manipulated and a follower.
After the “college years”, I got a job with a company that I stayed with for six years (even surviving a merger); I moved out, I became a mother and a wife; I relocated, moved back home, and relocated again. All the years that passed though, I never realized how deeper and deeper my once dear friend have sunken in life.
This was a friend whose whole family knew me; his mother always hugged and kissed me, and would say how beautiful I look each time she saw me; I knew his brothers and cousins, and I’ve been to his extended family’s homes as well. Yet, like most childhood friendships (especially when you’re no longer living in the same area), we had grown apart.
One night, out of the blue, he messaged me on Facebook. It was late night, but I’m a night owl and keep odd hours; he seem very upset and depressed. I was sincerely concerned for my friend. I never judged him on his lifestyle because there are things in my past that I wish I can erase, just as in all people’s past; many people do things when they’re young and wanting to experience their lives. A lot of young people have some sort of drug experiences too — because it’s fun, it’s wild, it makes you feel good, it makes you forget, it makes you social; it makes you bold, fearless, and strong… hell, depending on the drug, it can even make you super horny and have awesome sex! … But, most young adults grow pass that stage, especially after the “college years”.
I hadn’t realized how far down the rabbit hole he had fallen. While everyone else was maturing, getting their lives together, growing as a person, leaving behind the clubbing days — he was getting weaker emotionally and mentally. He was becoming an addict, and then one day, he was an addict.
I stayed on the phone with him that night until like 3AM, even though I had to be at work the next day. I got teary-eyed and emotional when he told me what had been happening in his life… his drug habits, going to rehab, his job, so-called “friends” that he was getting high with, getting arrested, problems with his family, etc. Mostly, what he wanted to vent to me about was his boyfriend. I do not know this boyfriend personally, but he seem to me to be the typical drug addict co-dependent partner in toxic relationships. This relationship was all very back and forth, and I had warned my friend against continuing this kind of relationship. The only way to fix a bad relationship is to leave it.
For a while, he seemed okay. I really couldn’t tell, we kept up with each others lives via Facebook status updates and posts. Then yesterday, I had saw a post that his boyfriend had posted on his page, as well as tagged him in… this post was very degrading and must have been very humiliating for his family to see. It was complete rambling, nonsense, childish and obnoxious. I hate when people have no control over themselves on social media.
What bothered me the most was that they seem to both enjoy the drama that they create in their misery with each other. For some reason, I still felt I needed to defend my friend, maybe because it was out of loyalty to the friendship I had remembered — I’m not really sure. Yet, I realized that it was stressing me out, making me feel exhausted, and that I was dwelling on issues that my friend had to fix on his own.
The thing with addicts is, every 12-step program has some sort of statement in there that acknowledges that an addict is a selfish person. What supporters of addicts don’t realize is that you can’t fix them, they have to fix themselves. It’s no different than alcoholics or cigarette smokers — the constant need to want it yourself has to always be present, someone else can’t want it for you.
It made me so depressed, but I decided I had to think about what was best for my life too; so I decided to cut him out of my life for the moment. The road to recovery is a long one, but the traveler has to walk that road himself, no one else can walk it for him.
Originally published at nycgalout.wordpress.com on September 3, 2015. (Photo by Alexandre Dulaunoy, Flickr.)