“Do you mind if I smoke some dope while we talk?” Diana asks me as we catch up in her kitchen. It’s been several years since I have seen her, and though my life seems to be falling apart and I’m deep in the thick fog of depression, I’m so happy to be around my best friend again.
I’m thinking automatically she means weed, and say it’s no problem.
She pulls out a different kind of pipe, more circular, and she lights it underneath instead of on top.
“What is that?”, I ask her.
“It’s ice,” she responds.
Like a reflex, I ask. “Can I try some?”
I didn’t even know what ‘ice’ was at the time. The only question I asked before that first (heavenly) inhale was, “Wait, I have to drive home. Is it going to fuck me up?”
Diana snickers and says “No, trust me, you’ll be fine”.
I think back to that moment now, years later, wishing I could will myself through time to say no. Keep myself from stepping into the life of addiction.
It’s not that I hadn’t done hard drugs before this. I tried Speed in high school, I had done Cocaine a handful of times in my adult life. I lived on Ecstasy and Acid in my teenage years. But none of it ever became anything close to an addiction. I smoked pot every day and drank more than socially, but who doesn’t? I asked her if I could try some with as much thought behind it as if I was asking to try some new flavored jelly beans.
Diana was right, I was fine that night. Better than fine, I felt more clear headed than I had ever felt. I was so happy to be talking with my best friend again, and I felt like I could, for the first time in my life, truly focus. Ice made me forget about the heartbreak I was currently experiencing, the job I had just lost, the fact that my kids were gone and with their dad for the summer.
From then on, every time I hung out with Diana, we did ice. At first it was once or twice a month, then once a week, then every few days, then eventually, we didn’t really stop doing ice. And I was so happy. I didn’t have to go to sleep crying and lonely anymore. I no longer had to worry about my weight or feel ugly, I felt pretty all the time. Diana and I spent all day, every day together. Our kids were friends and we took them on play dates (mommy has so much energy!) We shopped, did Pintrest projects, and took turns cleaning each others houses. Every 4 days or so, we’d make ourselves sleep for 2 hours, eat, and shower. Then 4 more days of crafty, tweaking fun. On ice, I wasn’t lazy and depressed, like I had been for the past few years. I was like, a new and improved version of myself. At least that’s what I thought at the time.
For the record, according to anyone in my life during that time, I was not, in any way, a new and improved version of myself. I was more like a raving lunatic, so I am told.
After a while, Diana upgraded to shooting meth instead of smoking meth. At about this time, I met my beau, Lucifer. He was addicted to cocaine, so I started doing that in addition to meth and got him just as addicted to meth as I now was. I knew my life was out of control at this point, but I also felt like if I could just keep focused, I would get to a point where I was happy enough to not need drugs. But I also knew, if I let this keep going, I would end up slamming the drugs like Diana did, and that I’d never come back from that.
Lucky for me, I didn’t get much of a chance to convince myself shooting up was a good idea. During this time, my ex husband had gotten engaged. Him and his soon to be wife began talking to me about the kids coming to live with them. Our children had lived with me in the five years since our divorce and they thought it was time for them to switch homes. I didn’t want them to go, and being a tweaker, pretty much went belligerent on them anytime they tried to bring it up and started being restrictive with the time I let the kids be with them. See, I was hurt and my brain and emotions were messed up from all the drugs. I was hurt because my husband had broken up our marriage and while I was barely started to date again, he was engaged to a beautiful, very slim, younger, happy girl. When he started dating her, he really disappeared from the kids life. He used to come see them every week. That changed to barely once a month for a long time. He was thousands of dollars behind in child support and his fiance had some afflictions of her own that I didn’t think were appropriate for her to be raising children (says the meth addict). All of these things were legitimate reasons to be concerned about our children going to live with him, but on meth, these reasons gave me an excuse to be crazy and unreasonable.
Stupid. Oh my God, I was so stupid!
He didn’t even know I was on drugs. After all of it, that’s what so funny and stupid now. He didn’t have any idea, he just thought I was being a bitch.
He took me to court for primary custody of our children. The first thing the judge did was drug test both of us. Not because either of us thought the other was on it, but because it’s almost just a formality in family court now a days. I failed the drug test, and so began a traumatic 15 month long custody battle over my beautiful babies.
If you’ve read my blogs before, you know I ended up losing my kids in the end. I was forced to submit to two years of hair follicle testing just to be able to see them, and for a while had to only see them under court supervision, for one day per month.
If you’ve read my blogs before, you also know that though I don’t have my children back living with my full time, I have joint custody of them again, and have them with me more now than most of the non-primary parents I know. I no longer have to submit to drug testing, and my ex, his wife, and I have a cordial, if not almost friendly relationship now.
But this blog post is about Diana.
Diana was my best friend in high school. I moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex right before the beginning of 9th grade. By 10th grade, I had found my ride or die, my BFF, my soul sister, and that was Diana. We were popular, pretty, and fun, and always together. We got in so much trouble in our teenage years, it’s a wonder our parents still speak to us.
During our junior year of high school, Diana met Chris, a ‘bad boy’ from another town. They got married after we graduated, I was her maid of honor. Ethan, their son, came the next year.
He started beating her pretty early on, I think, though she kept it from me for a while. Well, she tried. Chris was the kind of guy who didn’t mind being rough with her in front of other people. Never like, beating her, but rough enough to know he is probably doing worse when no one else was around. He psychologically mistreated her too, and got her hanging out with the wrong crowds of people. I remember he got some friend to put a program on her computer that sent Chris a copy of every word she typed. He was always doing that kind of weird, controlling shit.
She began talking to me about it, but I was young and not understanding. I would tell her she was dumb for letting him do that to her. I thought she had no self respect.
Sometimes she would call me late at night, crying and beaten up, hiding in some closet in their house. I was married by this time and my husband and I would beg her to let us come get her or to call the cops or her parents but every time she would insist I swear on secrecy and beg me to just stay on the phone with her.
I did this for a while, but my judgment of her grew.
One night, she called me crying from a closet, like so many nights before. The next day I called her and told her I couldn’t enable her any longer. That if she wasn’t going to stand up for herself and get her and her child to safety, then I couldn’t be there for her anymore. I loved her but it was time for tough love. She needed to tell her parents what was happening and if she couldn’t do that than I couldn’t be her friend anymore.
I stopped talking to her, and acted like I was better for it.
I left Diana to fate, and fate indeed, stepped in.
Chris loved sports bikes. You know, crotch rockets; motorcycles that are smaller and people do dangerous stunts on them. He and Diana would go out and do these terrifying moves at 90 mph. I always thought he would end up killing her on it.
Turns out, he just killed himself on it.
It was the day after Ethan’s 3rd birthday and like normal, Chris and Diana were drunk and fighting. He was hitting her and destroying the house. He decides to leave and go blow of steam by riding his bike. He storms out while she’s yelling that she hates him and hopes she never see’s him again.
I don’t know if she saw him before the funeral or if they had an open casket. I don’t know if she ever saw Chris again after that night because I wasn’t there for her. I didn’t even know it was happening. I cut her off because she couldn’t leave her abusive husband, who ended up dying right afterwards anyway. I had told myself it was tough love, but it was really just selfishness. I didn’t want to hear my best friend hurt so I hurt her.
I look back now, and feel such regret. I should have been there for her. I should have been holding her at his funeral. Not off somewhere feeling pious and better than her. I didn’t find out until 6 months later. When a mutual friend told me, I called her right away and we met up. She was still pissed at me and our meet up ended quickly and awkwardly. I didn’t hear from her after that for a long time, and I let myself forget her so I didn’t have to face my guilt.
Up until that point, I knew Diana had never used hard drugs, other than experimenting with me in high school. Once we were adults, Diana didn’t even smoke weed. She drank like a camel but drugs were not her deal.
7 years later, we’ve connected on facebook, and she asks me to come over. That night, we’re sitting in her living room and she introduces me to meth. And I happily, accept it.
When I quit meth, Diana told me she was so proud of me. She knew I had to quit to have any chance of keeping my children. What neither of us realized at the time was we were going to have to give up each other too.
Or, to be real, I was going to have to walk away from her again.
Quitting meth is a fucking bitch. Throw in losing your kids, your home, your car, your whole life, in the same month, and it’s really, a fucking bitch. They don’t call it rock bottom for nothing. I soon realized with heavy heartbreak that I couldn’t even be around Diana. She was still doing meth heavily. Smoking it, eating it, shooting it. I knew her many hiding places in her house, and I knew that though she would push back, eventually she would give in if I asked for it. And I Knew, Eventually, I Would End Up Asking For It. When I was around her, it was all I thought about. My family wasn’t stupid. They knew Diana was doing it too and they were trying to help me put my life back together. They begged me not to see her anymore. They loved her, too, of course. We had been inseparable during our adolescent years, so they knew her and her family well. On top of that, I was so afraid my ex’s lawyers would pull her into this custody battle, which could be worse for me but also could get CPS called on her. I was trying to show the courts I wasn’t addicted, I just happened to have tried meth for the first time within a couple months of coming to court (don’t judge me, I was losing my kids and desperate). What if they found out I had been doing meth for a couple of years every day? I could never let that happen.
I told her I had to back away for a while and at first, she took it pretty well. She didn’t want any attention falling on her either and she didn’t want her presence in my life to put me in a bad light. But even more than that, every time I thought of her, I wanted to do drugs. It wasn’t that I only wanted to be around her because of drugs, I was almost jealous of her still getting to use. She tried to still be a great friend to me, she would promise that she wouldn’t do it at all on days we hung out but I knew she was. Diana hadn’t went a day without meth in several years. From what she tells me, she began doing it soon after Chris had died. She didn’t have any friends so she began hanging out with her older brothers junkie friends. In the beginning, she just took Adderall on weekends. Over the past 9 years, it had grown to shooting up meth multiple times per day. Now she was more dependent on it than ever but like most addicts, convinced herself that she didn’t have a problem, that she could quit anytime.
See, Diana is the most stubborn, hard-hearted bitch there is, that’s maybe why I love her so much. She is confident and dedicated, but on the flip side of that she can be too proud and has the mantra of “deny, deny, deny” instead of acknowledging her own mistakes. Similar to my Lucifer, and my father (apparently, I value this negative characteristic in the people I choose to be around). Diana can be cold with her emotions normally, so while most people end up freaking out on meth, I have never seen her lose her shit. She can conceal the crazy that drugs tend to bring out in people. Add to this the fact that her family supports her financially and you have the perfect, functional drug addict. Her life looks normal, and she acts normal, but she is shooting up meth non stop. She thinks she’s okay because she, and her unsuspecting family, keep her life together. These are the hardest types of people to get to change, because they honestly don’t see any reason to.
I tried to talk Diana into quitting ice when Lucifer and I did. Of course she refused, made excuses, and even tried to tell me she hadn’t been using, when she obviously was. I told her we could go through this together and it would be easier because we would have each other.
I feel just as guilty as I did when I walked away from her all those years ago. She is my best friend in the whole world and I left her alone in hell, again. Every single day I think of Diana. Sometimes I think of doing drugs with her and sometimes I think of our years together as teenagers, before she met Chris and before I got married. I know my children still miss her son, and it’s terrible to keep making up excuses to them as to why we don’t see our close friends any more. Each day, I’m scared I will get a call from her mother or brother telling me that Diana is dead, that she finally overdosed. I think of going to her house every day. I still have a key to get in, and I have my own code to deactivate her alarm, but I never go. I’m so afraid I will do meth again if I do.
I keep telling myself one day I will be strong enough to go back after my friend. That I will be so secure in my recovery that I can do an intervention with her, without being afraid of going back down the rabbit hole again. I thought I’d be at that point by now, 3 years and 4 months into recovery, but when I think of her, I still salivate for meth.
I don’t blame Diana for introducing me to meth. It was my choice that day, and every other day afterwards. And though I know it was the only way to save myself and keep my children, I hate that I had to leave her in this hell alone.
My relationship with Diana, like many other situations in my life, shows me one thing that I know to be true; God, or Karma, or whatever force is running this world, has a dark, but cunning sense of humor. I judged Diana for staying in an abusive relationship, and now I am in an abusive relationship that I choose to stay in. I used to judge drug addicts and then I became one. Shit, I used to judge people who couldn’t keep their marriages together until the day my husband left me. I’ve judged women who stay with their cheating partner, then did that. I’ve judged women who slept with married men, then done it. Judged women who cheated on their husbands; then I did that too.
Diana, I no longer judge you.
I’ll come back for you