Addiction has always reared its ugly head in my life in one way or another. From family and friends, to myself, for many years. I was sick for years and the doctors only ever tried to increase my medication rather than help me taper off of it. After my best friend died of an overdose, I took myself off of everything, including fentanyl patches; and it almost killed me.
Now, I find myself raising my other best friend’s child, who was placed with me through the Department of Child Services. Her dad is in jail and her mom is facing 14 felonies. Her mom got off meth, but now is an alcoholic worse than I’ve ever seen. As an addict myself, I’m trying hard to not be angry as I watch her not only give up on herself but her children. For years I’ve begged her to change and to get help. I’ve set boundaries and I feel so much guilt because I had to put my love aside for her, to focus on making sure her child has stability, love and all the other things they need.
I’ve filed for guardianship of the child. And I’m scared as to what that will do to our friendship of 28 years. How do you balance the love you had for a friend, who isn’t the friend I fell in love with? The drugs have fundamentally changed her. How do I maintain boundaries when the courts grant me guardianship? I’m scared this will all go terribly wrong.
I know I’m stammering over my words. The point is hard to see in my story. I’m always so good with words, but this situation has left me hurt, scared and confused. I don’t want to watch my other best friend die. I want to see her become the woman and mom she used to be. How do I help her while also making sure her child is safe from the choices she continues to make?