Update time. I swear this will feel like a film! But everything i'm about to write is true!!!
So I finally managed to meet up with my friend. What was planned as an hour at lunchtime became spending 5 hours with her. Which is the longest in ages. The friendship we have is still really strong. This WILL help in the future.
"Oh NM, (not my real name ) I have something to tell you"
I'm thinking maybe she's cut back on her own and I can be really happy. Err No!
"I'm engaged!" (after a 2 week romance! Remember I said falls in love easily!)
"Err ok, to who?"
"Which one is that?"
So we have the long conversation, he has a job (pays well compared to her) but he is a proper addict (He's tried every drug bar Heroin and Crack!!!) He only hangs around with addicts (his flatmate is an addict) and that social circle love nothing more than a regular binge. And by regular I mean MOST nights a week. She can't afford that sort of money so he's been paying for everything. And of course because he's now seeing her she's also been trying NEW drugs. So Weed and Coke have been joined by Ecstasy, Speed, Viagra (for him to overcome his "coke dick" as she put it) and they have also got hold of Valium to help bring them down after their binges. (She has vetoed H or Crack or Ket. Good thing too!) He actually proposed to her whilst they were wrecked. She told him to ask her again in the morning when they weren't high. He did. She accepted! She's the happiest I've ever seen her. literally dancing every 5 steps! Her father does not know. She thinks he'll go mad. I told her he probably wont (he better not do, he must not push her away!) She says she wants me to meet this idiot. I said "of course I will, no rush though"
This in my mind is a DISASTER! Not because of the marriage proposal. Since I give than a tiny chance of actually going ahead. But because this new extended social group is just terrible for a girl like her. She needs really to be 100 miles from them, not moving in permanently which is apparently going to happen around Christmas time (I hope they'll be split by then anyway)
Thinking fast. I know I have to be supportive and pleased for her. I need to be on her side. We actually spent the afternoon in a shopping centre looking at engagement rings for her. He said he'd get her one when he got paid, but that's now changed to "can't afford it this month you'll have to wait" Which has gone down badly of course. Helpfully the shop staff suggested 0% finance. Which is ideal imo, since I want this guy to get burned, cause he sounds like a dick! And if he refuses to buy her it, then he looks bad. She has mentioned some of his "annoying" traits already. I am internally pleased, but externally saying nothing. (Does this make me a bad person?)
Her clean friends think this is a disaster too "they're just jealous" Her drug friends think it's great of course, since it's all just the same group. Incidentally the dealer that I mentioned that doesn't like me, It's clear he held feelings for her and it seems hes been heartbroken so that also pleases me. (Again am I bad?)
So she's mentioned again that she feels ill. Her fingers look a bit "peely" she also looks a bit paler than normal (that could be me overanalysing) which worries me. I mention the news recently that said 80% of coke in the UK is currently cut with Horse dewormer that ruins your skin. Told her to only buy good stuff, not crap. (She's paying £(Price removed)/g which is higher than average) Her nose hurts a lot as well. I'm worried there might be long term damage being risked here. I told her that I'm "shaking my head, but I don't judge what you do. I'm still your friend" This was registered in her head. We changed subjects but a little later the use came up again. Its her favourite subject at the moment, she WANTS to talk about how much fun it is to get ruined every night. So I thought fuck it and asked her if she thought she was an addict.
Long story short. Yes she does. Could she go 1 weekend without doing anything? No.
I told her if she was still caining it in 10 years time I'll personally intervene. She laughed. Said I'm not going to lecture her because its up to her. Again, keep her on side, she knows what I think but I'm not going to labour it just yet.
She mentioned money again. She actually threw sick days now after getting so ruined during the week. So she doesn't get paid. Her job is one of those casual zero hours contract stuff, call her as they require staff. Which is not always often. So shes spending time bored (she has done coke on her own as well and this worries me since I always assumed coke was a social drug more than an addictive one) This is "the use" affecting her work. This bothers me because quite aside from not having money. It puts her with unhealthy people paying for her habit. It kind of locks her into that social group. Thankfully the idea about getting involved in the purchase of coke seems less likely. She said that they'd probably just snort most of it anyway. (small victory that she realises this)
I seized upon this. "Well you need to save for the wedding" As before, I suggested cutting back to weekends and then the money she would spend durng the week putting it towards the wedding. This resonated with her, so we went searching for one of those money boxes you see for specific events "Holiday fund" "wedding money" etc etc Found one (£15) but she wouldn't let me buy it, since I paid for our 4 coffees. Told her it could be a engagement present. That I earn more money than her so I don't mind! Her pride held out. I teased her, but let her win that one. We're friends afterall. But shes planning to get one from a shop herself and if she doesn't i'll buy it for her in any case. I know people have said don't bail her out financially, and I'm not going to it. But buying her coffees is about reminding her that I care about her. That I'm her friend and she can spend time with me and talk completely openly about anything and everything. She was a bit sad that people she used to work with knew she was becoming an addict. "How could they tell?" I told her that people can see the clues if they look for them. Again, small victory that she is worried about her appearance/image/reputation. She's not fully gone yet.
Who knows where this all goes next. In my mind I'm expecting/hoping/PRAYING (and I'm an atheist!) the marriage/relationship to be off by Christmas. That will hopefully stop her actually living with addicts. I don't know what I would do if she does end up living with them. Aside from lose a load of sleep and consider murdering them!
She has said she wants to get a better job. We talked about types of work. I plan to help her with this. Sort out her CV, push her to call people for interviews. If she gets regular 9-5 work, she'll have a solid routine (she can hold down a job) And she'll be less likely to have "party time" during the week.
Maybe I'm over optimistic though. 1 step at a time.