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Hope for a friend?

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Anglepangle, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Anglepangle

    Anglepangle Member

    A year ago I met a girl in the downtown of my city, sitting against a brick building, strumming a guitar and her yellow fixed gear bike beside her. I was walking my half lab, half pit bull dog while on a short break from work.
    "Hey I like your dog!" She paused her song to say. "I used to have a red nose Pitbull" a longing look in her eyes washed over her face.
    We chatted for maybe 15 minutes - about all sorts of things. She was 23, had been a hospice worker, recently heart broken - a five year relationship fell apart after devasting family news sent her girlfriend into a whirlwind of psychological trauma relived...
    They'd gotten clean together. Now they had relapsed together. Now they were not together. Now they were merely surviving on the street, squatting and flirting with the law with petty to felony theft charges.
    From foster care to adoptive parents to being disowned to being forgotten... From hormones, to depression, to rehab, to domestic abuse, to recovery, to a career, a sweet love, to co dependence, to crash burn downward spiral relapse ...
    "So what's your drug of choice" I asked her. "Meth... But really anything" ...
    We became friends. She was honest. I was honest. Letters and jail visits, release to treatment center, discrimination, anti-gay county appointed poor quality "treatment" .... Escape, jail again.
    More letters, more hope. 60+ books read and shared by mostly those struggling with addiction from a cell.
    Plans for recovery. Help. Mentorship. Drug assessors.. back to treatment. Decent treatment.

    The slow building self destructive voice of negativity. "You need freedom" "these people are too controlling" "it's not fair" "they put me down" "I need to get out" "I've had enough" "I'll escape to Oregon" "I'll run away"... She left her second shot at treatment, and with it the opportunity to separate herself from her legal, criminal bounds. She's ever tied to being on the run now.

    She's back on the street. We've drifted. I remind her of opportunity and failure. I don't know how to help. I imagine the self loathing is suffocating. I'm worried she will give up or distance herself from the pain by attempting a constant state of being high.

    Is there hope for my friend?

    What will possibly help her feel strong enough to try again?

    It seems so hard to fight addiction. It can consume you. But in her case, and many others' what can be done when failures mean confinement to a jail cell?
    How can you stop being a runaway?
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Anglepangle... Welcome to the forums and thanks for sharing the story about you and your friend. Addiction can indeed consume a person and change their lives in ways they never imagined. It's heartbreaking.

    It sounds like your friend had an opportunity to get professional help, but she opted not to stick with it. Maybe it's because it wasn't on her terms. Or maybe she's just not ready to change. It's hard to say. One thing is for sure, though: an addict is the only person who can decide to take the steps necessary to change their life. Others can want them to get better with all their heart, or try to force them into getting better. But unless the person struggling wants to change, everyone is just spinning their wheels.

    I wish I had a better answer or advice for you. I do believe that treatment is a way better alternative than incarceration. Our society has to get it through their heads that addiction is a health problem, not a criminal problem. Addicts are not bad people who need to learn to behave better; they are sick people who need to get well.

    Sending positive energy and prayers to both you and your friend.