What do I do when I’m around someone who is using?? I have some friends, Mary and Luke, who have been together what seems like forever even though they are a young couple (younger than me by at least 5-8 years). They have two kids that are eight and eleven who have grown up with their parents being addicts (but that’s another blog, trust me). Even though Mary and Luke have gone through some ROUGH TIMES and some ROUGH meth fighting, they have always pulled through as a couple. It’s always amazed me that they stuck it out with everything they have put each other through and I’ve always been one of their biggest fans because of it. I’m friends with both of them, but closer to Mary.
Last time I was with both of them together was about a year and a half ago. I and my husband were visiting my home town where Mary and Luck live, and we were all having breakfast together over at a friend’s house. They looked pretty good – well, I had seen them look a lot worse before when they were going strong so they looked good. I had a moment to talk to Mary while cooking and asked her how life was going. She looked like she was going to crumble so we left and went had coffee.
She broke down. Luke had fallen off the wagon and had spent a week STRUNG OUT at a mutual friend’s house. The fighting was insane, police were called, it was the worse she had ever seen him. The mutual friend had called Mary to tell her to come look at her husband, so she snuck over to their house, and found him on the couch so strung out he was almost dead. The mutual friend had never seen Luke go so hard and it freaked her out, that is why she called Mary.
Mary proceeded to tell me how she got Luke home and now was watching his EVERY move. Mary has always worked where Luke never got motivated enough to find work; in fact, he hadn’t worked in years (they lived with his parents). She was so stressed and tired from checking his phone all the time, checking the bank account, checking his gas tank, checking his pants pockets, checking his car, etc. I was exhausted listening to her.
I asked her why on earth she stayed with him (about four months before this, I had just gone through catching my husband and put him on last chance – more about that at another time). Even though I admired them as a couple, I could not image why on earth she would stay with him. She answered that she knew it was sick, but she loved him and was so worried that he would kill himself if she wasn’t watching him; watching him to the point that she was utterly exhausted. What can you say to that? What opinion do you have for other people’s love?
I offered a place for her to get away from him when and if she was ever ready. We hugged, and she begged, begged, begged me not to say anything to him (something I kinda regret), and we returned to breakfast with her eyes puffy.
I walked in with my pleasant-face mask on. It wasn’t my place to call him out or confront him – or was it? Honestly, my focused shifted to making sure my husband didn’t spend any time alone with him because I didn’t want him to be tempted. We use to love hanging and getting high with them before and it would be a real temptation.
Why do I tell this story? Well, just last weekend I went back to my hometown and was chilling with a mutual friend who told me that him and Luke were considering renting a car and coming to visit. However, he said that Luke wasn’t sure if he was welcome because the last time I saw him he thought I was mad at him for some reason. That is meth paranoia for you right there… or he knew that Mary had told me.
I feel unless I’m asked to say something to someone who is using, I’m not going to bring it up. I’ll treat them with respect and be non-judgmental. Who am I but a meth addict, and it takes one to know one. But like the Bible says, treat your neighbor like you would treat yourself – whether you are an addict or not.