Throughout college I had some pretty great friends. Or so I thought…
We would hang out all the time, and usually play Xbox, or study. Sometimes we would go to the football games together when they weren’t working because they were good at holding down a stable job. And when I say friends, I mean only two. Why? Because it’s hard to find people at major drinking Universities who will hang out with you when you’re sober. But, these guys didn’t really drink. Or at least they didn’t do other things until my last year there.
It sucks that it turned into something like “this,” but because I was sober they chose to make fun of me while whipping out some drugs to do in front of me, one night. And it’s not like I had a say if they could do the drugs or not, but oh boy did I let them have it for attempting to do them in front of me. The common response was, “Didn’t you know that bath salts were cool?”
“Didn’t you know that bath salts were cool?”
One of their friends that I’d never seen before was my main friends, fiancé’s, new friend. She said that she was a paramedic and I asked her if she dealt with a lot of people who had overdosed on drugs on her emergency runs. Her response shocked me! She had claimed that she was the one who was doing more of the drugs…
I told her that I had a few years clean and sober under my belt and was trying to stay away from it, so I hoped she wouldn’t do it in front of me. Unfortunately, she wasn’t so understanding, claiming, “I know more about drugs than you ever will!” And while I asked her if it was because she was a paramedic, I’m not sure I really wanted to hear the answer to that! Heck, she was the one that told me bath salts didn’t cause people to hallucinate and become those damn cannibalistic type creatures you see on TV. She claimed that it was all propaganda. I called bullshit!
They proceeded to berate and belittle me until I was almost in tears. Truthfully this was right around the time that I was starting Substance For You as well, so I was right around getting out of college too. So, I was also in full advocacy mode, thinking that I could change her…
One truth: YOU WILL NOT CHANGE SOMEONE WHO IS ABOUT TO LIGHT UP A BOWL OF BATH SALTS!
So with all of my advocacy in the forefront, they knew what I was fully about now. The fiancé chimed in and told me that if I didn’t stop bullying her friends from doing their drugs then I would be able to have nothing to do with her, or my best friend at the time. And that right there was what did it!
I kindly told them (with my middle finger up) that I would get my things and leave! And truth be told, being sober, this was one of the hardest, yet, easiest things that I’ve ever had to do. But, why? Well, once I cut out that guy and his circle of friends who had just broken out the mystery of them doing drugs that night, I finally felt set free. I knew that there was something holding our relationship back. And I felt that I should’ve known better. But it was my first time to their new apartment in almost a year so I’d not seen what was going on behind the curtains. He usually came to my house, and hid it well!
So two truths to learn here is that drugs and alcoholism do not discriminate! And the other being that when it’s between friends and your sobriety, I will always choose sobriety! Because my sobriety is me, it is my life, it is the only way I will survive! So don’t ever forget that, because after this experience I haven’t, and choose to stick around people I know more of what’s going on.
And there are no excuses like, “It was just college…” Addiction could’ve took me, but for that second, I chose recovery and forever will. And this was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me because it helped me develop a better, more meaningful relationship with my wife who had just arrive in my last semester after they’d been cut out. And then the other thing that it helps me do was really transform my business, here, SubstanceForYou.com. Some say you live, some say you learn. And for me I live to learn and have to learn to live.
So now will situations like that happen again? They could. But I know where I stand. And I hope that these valuable pointers through my experience and awareness on how to deal with situations like friends who’ve turned to drugs, helps you stay clean and sober. You should never feel ashamed of being clean and sober. And if someone is “making fun of you” because of it, it’s just because they are too insecure about their own use and abuse!
You are strong, so stay sober no matter what, who, or where! I believe in you, because I am just like you and got through it! I didn’t just get through it either. I came through with flying colors, truly feeling transformed, telling those friends good-bye, never to speak to them again and only find a truer calling… helping the great people at the Substance For You community, and starting a beautiful family with my beautiful wife! Amen.