“Give me 10 reasons why I should live?”
This is my BEST friend of over 25 years, in a crystal meth haze, over the phone, from Los Angeles. This is my BEST friend who after 10 years of sobriety has kept the secret from his closest friends that he’s been snorting and shooting meth for ONE YEAR. People he sits next to at work every day and the multitude of incredible friends he has met over the years through AA had absolutely NO CLUE that this was happening right in front of their eyes. He told them in June and asked them not to tell me because my life was “too happy right now.”
So what do you say when you’re asked that question and you feel like the answers will either make him live, or push him further over the edge? There are so many cliches, of course like “A million people love you,” etc., and I found myself getting stuck after #3. It was like a game show (and NOONE loves a game show more than he does) and the clock was ticking. I was a total failure.
Of course he knows that my mother killed herself and after 25 years without her, I could easily come up with a much bigger list than just 10. But, the question left me stammering, and it was like the needle of the record had just been screeched across the vinyl.
He’s always had a flair for the dramatic. I know what song he wants played at his funeral. I really pushed back hard on him, not coddling him, even making him laugh at himself a little bit. However, in some moments of what seemed like complete lucidity, and I swear that he seemed like his normal self, he would start talking about the people who were following him, the ones who were tapping his phone and controlling his life.
I found this out late in the game and when I reached out to his good friend in LA voicing concern that I hadn’t heard from him, he had the very rough job of filling me in on the total downward spiral that occurred within the year. The words were coming out but I just couldn’t make the connection that this was happening to my BEST FRIEND. He was sleeping in CRACK HOUSES? He was SHOOTING UP? When I saw him at my wedding in January and again on Memorial Day he was HIGH ON METH?
It’s now been 48 hours of constant texts and phone calls between a group of about 10 or so of us who are making up his “village.” The time difference is a bit frustrating for me, being one of the only ones on the East Coast, and everyone keeps forgetting who told what to who. It’s fucking exhausting. We’re all professionals, some of us are parents, who have now put aside everything to get him into rehab. Loyalty is a remarkable thing. I’m in awe of what has become nothing short of heroism in his friends who are sitting with him, dealing with insurance companies, leaving work to check up on him, talking to doctors, all in the name of saving the life of someone who is loved by everyone he meets.