How to help a friend addicted to drugs

15th December 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am feeling extremely pleased to be anonymous, especially bearing in mind the topic of the post. Prior to continuing though, I must share my awareness of people possibly drawing some contradictions in my writing. Most notably, how I have detailed my beliefs about the benefits for people who with Cancer using Cannabis Oil. My reasoning results from seeing the divide caused within my small audience when writing about Cannabis. In response, I can only highlight the fact of not touching any Cannabis for over a decade before trailing it as a means to support my health whilst utilising it to eliminate the side effects associated with my chemotherapy. Basically, my use of Cannabis is solely centred upon supporting my quality of life and survival. In contrast, drugs such as ice take a person into a completely different direction.

I am not going to detail the circumstances for my friend or provide a case summary about his life. Instead, I want to share some thoughts, and hopefully receive some tips from others who are either experiencing similar matters or had encounters in the past that they feel will help someone else.

Naturally, the lives of my friend and I have shifted in different paths of late, and each time his name is raised, a cause of worry surfaces about his latest antics. The question has always been, what can be down to help him, especially if he does not wish to help himself. When reflecting on that statement, I wonder whether it is not signal of the circumstances being too hard too deal with? If true, it seems people, including myself have chosen to ignore the situation, placing his life in a context of ‘being out of sight out of mind’. Today, my thoughts have been about the type of friend I have been to him. Yes, he is addicted to an extremely dangerous drug, however, is it not these times for friends to rise in unity? Fortunately, another close friend in my social circle cares about our mutual friend, and arranged to meet last night. In all honesty. I am not sure whether it was helpful, however, a few small outcomes were achieved:
1. A show of willingness from old friends to support him.
2. The sharing of stories, highlighting the fact that a different life is possible.
3. Reconnection with a world outside addiction and crime.
4. Future planning to meet, showing a commitment to see him in the future.
5. Advice on some criminal matters he is involved in.

I am sure we can explore this topic in great depth, however, in accordance with keeping posts rather small, I hope the post can stimulate some thinking, and lead to some discussion on the matter.

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Cancer is big business

18th November 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am unable to comprehend how the support provided to my mum in certain situations is the exact opposite to what I would be wanting if the roles were reversed. The thinking behind the entry stems from the circumstances I currently find myself within. At present, I am sitting in a chair adjacent to my mum whom is receiving her second round of Chemotherapy. I would love to be more supportive, showing even half the level of support shown to me throughout the many months, however, it seems a total loathing of the setting makes me switch into a mode whereby I close myself off from the world around me. Strangely, the setting is all very modern with attentive staff and a relatively pleasant atmosphere, however, I am unable to overcome the feelings and attitudes held towards the place. The reasoning behind my attitudes may either be the desire to move away on a personal level from the world of Cancer or whether the whole place, including the flight attendant smiles plastered on the face of the nurses combined with the free wifi evoke thoughts about the amount of money made from Cancer. Admittedly, another reason could be identified, namely, the completely cynical stance seemingly emerging within my mindset when thinking about Cancer.

When tears symbolise hope

16th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

The tears have not been able to stop. At almost every moment, I just break out into tears, and find it hard to control myself. It seemed a climaxed whilst seeing my mum last night, becoming an absolute wreck. Both my brothers and dad were obviously upset, yet, holding themselves well, and there I am next to her bed, sobbing while holding her hand.

I have thought about the reasons for crying, and keep coming back to a level of guilt associated with the stressors I have placed on her whilst also thinking I may be crying for both of us. I know this sounds odd, however, my mum did not allow herself to cry throughout the past 20 months, and I feel my outburst of emotion reflects the pain she held in while also symbolising the commencement of the healing process for both my mum and I.

The power of love

15th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have just seen off my mum at the hospital, and honestly more tears have been shed over the past two days in comparison to the entirety of my experience with Cancer. The feelings attached to the circumstances unfolding for my mum highlight the point covered yesterday regarding the impact Cancer (or any illness/disability) can have on the loved ones of an individual.

Ironically, the experience with my mum has provided a renewed thirst for life. I can understand the absurdity in the above statement, so an explanation will be detailed. Firstly, I must say a level of guilt is felt surrounding the predicament my mum now faces, and I see this stemming from the stressors I am responsible for. The stressors started during my teen years with a range of adolescent behaviours, however, the climax was approximately 20 months ago when I informed my parents I had a tumour growing inside of me. From the point of that initial phone call, I know my mum has constantly worried about me. It is this worry and concern that gives me drive. Of course I am upset, and will continue to shed more tears over the coming weeks, however, I am determined to make her happy in the future whilst supporting her get to a place whereby she sees me living a fulfilling life with a loving and beautiful family of my own. Yes, again the hopeless romantic in me is on display, and in conclusion, I believe the power of love is needed to replace the cloud of worry and concern strangling my family at present.

A new test for my family

14th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have always referred to the widespread impact a singular Cancer can have on many, particularly those closest to a person, and unfortunately, it appears my initial worries have manifested. I heard the news when getting into my car after having my latest scan. It was my mum calling as usual, however, immediately I detected something different this time when she said, “I don’t want you to worry but”.

Information surrounding my mum has come to light with further testing, and she is scheduled to have a Cancer removed tomorrow. Personally, I see a correlation between the recent turn of events and the stress associated with the challenges endured over last 20 months. My reasoning derives from research read when first discovering I had Cancer. The exact findings of the paper are not remembered in full detail, however, a trend was noticed in a Cancer diagnosis leading to an increased risk of health concerns for significant others. I am not at all seeking sympathy from others, merely, attempting to highlight the importance of looking at Cancer on a larger scale, especially how loved ones need to make space in their lives to care for themselves whilst having positive, healthy and appropriate avenues to channel the stressors involved in the circumstances. Lastly, I wish to outline the very pivotal point of remembering what worked for me may not be the best for her. Therefore, I need to take myself out of the situation, and simply reciprocate the unconditional love and support shown to me.

Judgement day

4th July 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am now aware of my immediate future. On Thursday, surgery will be undertaken to remove the Cancer regrown in the same spot (Adrenal Gland). In addition, a further procedure, called Microwave Ablation will follow a week later if all plans proceed as discussed. The second procedure is foreign to me, and will remain unknown as a means of coinciding with my approach of avoiding over information. I am not at all suggesting I am being naive and relinquishing all decision making in regards to my treatment. Instead, I have every confidence in the expertise of the surgeon, and the detailed conversation had about the range of options left my parents and I assured the right decision is being made. Another notable point in terms of planning is the outstanding decision to be made in relation to whether Radiotherapy will be pursued post surgery. The surgeon brought to my attention the possible permanent damage should Radiotherapy be used. The best way I can describe my understanding of the risks associated with the procedure would be to think of myself playing poker. In the game, I would not be holding a very good hand, however, would be going all in. The reference implies I am risking all my chances on one attempt when the odds are not even in my favour. I am conscious the decision may vary with further consultation and information to follow, however, currently it does not seem to be in my best interest. I am also unaware of what other alternative suggestions are being made. Therefore, am solely focused on getting through the two procedures before thinking about any other matters.