I have a best friend whom I love dearly. We are pretty much twins and inseparable. However, lately she has been going through some attitude shifts. At the beginning of the year, everything was smooth sailing, and we were just loving the college life. Then she got a boyfriend (which was great!), but then she started hanging out at the frat house all the time, doing drugs all the time, getting absolutely wasted and partying to the extreme. Then, after the relationship got a little rocky (the guy was cheating on her), she broke it off. She suddenly became really clear-headed and apologized to me, saying that she was a rotten friend and didn't have her priorities set straight. She felt that she had put drugs and other stuff in front of more important things, like our friendship. I was really happy that she had come around and seemed to be a little more stable. That was about a week ago. Then, she started it all over again. She's smoking all the time and has been getting absolutely wasted the past few nights, to the point of blacking out and just forgetting all that she did. The thing is, I don't drink or party. I don't judge her, and I respect her choices; I am always there for her. However, I am not sure how to deal with these swings in attitude, getting wasted one weekend and then suddenly the next weekend, she swears that she's "above that" and will never go back to that kind of an extreme lifestyle. I love her like a sister, but I am not sure what to do anymore. Several times I have tried to talk to her about how I feel. Although she seems to understand my concern, she says (every time), "I don't care, and you can't make me care." She says she does it because she's bored and doesn't want to be "that person" who never drinks or parties. Anyway, I am just not sure how to deal with this anymore — I love her like a sister, but I feel like this friendship just might not be worth it.
Dear Confused friend,
You respect her choices? You respect that she's doing drugs? You respect her drinking to the point of blacking out? You respect her putting herself at risk of being assaulted, emotionally scarred or killed? I know you're trying to be loving, but respecting her choices and being quiet isn't the answer. Get upset. Get emotional. Get loud. Let her know you love her. Let her know that you're worried and scared for her. Get other people involved who love her and want to help her. Turn to the alcoholics support team on campus. Involve her family (if they're supportive). Be vocal and create drama. Make it clear that boring people who drink aren't drinking because of boredom — they're drinking because they're in pain. This isn't about saving a friendship — it's about saving her from hitting rock bottom. A falling out between friends is better than watching her bottom out.