An Open Letter To My Best Friend Who Chose Drugs
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Health and Wellness

An Open Letter To My Best Friend Who Chose Drugs

It's time we brought this up.

An Open Letter To My Best Friend Who Chose Drugs
Through Wandering Eyes Photography


I know it’s been a long time since we’ve spoken, and I’m sorry about that. There is just a lot to process — it’s been a while.

First off, I respect the right you have to your own body. I know that you can do whatever you wish to it — it’s yours. But I want you to know that the only reason I would ever want to interfere is because I care. With that being said, I had to leave because I couldn’t handle this. People say “drug use is a victimless crime,” and maybe that’s true in a physical aspect. But the person who has been hurt most by your actions is not you.

We used to be best friends. Every day we’d go places, have adventures, talk about what we wanted from the future and what we thought of the past. Our moms used to joke that we were two peas in a pod, and we used to tell strangers that we were sisters.

It was freshman year of high school that you started using the “soft” stuff. And hell, I had no problem with that. You were still my best friend, the person who related to me the most. That didn’t last, though. On drugs, you had fun. You spoke often about how it “expanded your mind,” but all I could see expanding was your creativity in regards to how to get your hands on more. Meanwhile, your passion for life, your yearning for actual knowledge, your free time, and your wanting to be around me all seemed to be withering away. You weren’t you anymore, but I held on because we were two peas in a pod, you know?

To be honest, I don’t even know at what point you started using harder drugs. By then, you were hanging out with the people who could get you access. Investing your time, I guess. It hurt, but I understood. When you wanted me, I was always still there for you. But I didn’t want to be around you when you were high. And you definitely didn’t respect that. Maybe that makes me a bad friend, but all you wanted to do was lie around and “think.” No, having a lot of drugs in your system does not make you a philosopher — reading philosophical texts does. No, doing lots of drugs doesn’t make you adventurous — it keeps you from leaving the couch. Soon, it was almost boring to be around you because when I was with you, you were so high you couldn’t do anything. Our “hanging out” slowly became us sitting at the houses of your other friends, and they were always clear that I wasn’t “really” invited. You even went so far as to steal money from me, though I never called you out on it.

It was sad, I guess. I had lost my best friend. But it was okay, I told myself, because we wanted different things and were looking for different ways to be happy.

Eventually, you stopped picking up my phone calls. That was okay, too. You were bored with me, and I was fed up with constantly being put into these situations.

The first time you called me in months, it was because you thought you were overdosing, and that was the first time I ever knew what fear was. I couldn’t understand what you were saying, and I thought you were dying, but you begged me not to call the cops so I didn’t. Maybe I should have. But I had never been so scared in my life until that point so I listened to you, and rode my bike to your house in the middle of the night and watched you bite your tongue and cry, knowing that there was nothing I could do. When I tried to hold you, you panicked. When I tried to talk to you, you told me I didn’t know what was going on. Eventually you were better, and the morning after you swore off the stuff, and I was so relieved that I cried. At the time, I didn’t realize it was just a pattern, and you’d do it after every bad trip.

The first time you overdosed was also the first time I had ever seen so many blue flashing lights in one place. We were just kids, and kids don’t process that kind of thing fully. I made a lot of loaded promises to God that night. For the first time in years I prayed, and actually meant it. Since I wasn’t allowed to stay in the hospital, I slept in our friend’s car, waiting for news. For the first time in my life, it felt like I wasn’t fighting a kid’s battle. We were just sixteen.

After the second time it happened, I had to walk away. I rationalized it by saying that the person that you had become wasn’t my best friend anymore, because best friends don’t make best friends watch them die.

You used to say that you weren’t hurting anyone, but do you know who was hurt the most? Your family. Our friends, who we grew up alongside, turned you into macabre entertainment. “Hey, how’s she doing?” “Is she still alive?” “Is she in jail?” “Is she in rehab?” “What was she using?” “Does she still have her teeth?” We were so fucking tired of those questions.

Your family was ashamed. Your community was always watching. The people who loved you were so worn out. I, as well as everyone else, had to try to forget the vision that you had once for your life. That future that we’d planned together was no longer even a slight possibility, because you couldn’t be a studio artist if you can’t close your hands.

You used to say that you “weren’t hurting anyone.” But you sure did hurt your mother. And your dad. Your sister is horrified and your brother is distant. Of course, you wouldn’t know all of this, because they put on their happy family charade when they visit you in rehab. This is probably your second stay there, I guess.

The real damage that happened because of the drugs that you were taking wasn’t found in your body, because eventually your cells heal. It’s in all of the things you destroyed. Your record. Your grades. College. The fact that for the entirety of your life, you’re going to always have that temptation just outside of your mind, that fix that always lures you … that’s something that you taught me. Even months’ worth of being clean sometimes can’t stop a relapse.

I’m not staying away because you chose drugs over me. See, I’ve taken a basic psychology class; I understand neurotransmitters. I stayed away because you proved to me that nothing I did in the entire world could help you, and because failure meant watching you die. And I have done that enough.

Listen, I love you. And I want to be your best friend again. But I need to know that you’re going to pick us, your life and the people who love you, over your fix.

But can you?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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