#134 Woman says pot use ruining friend / Did my mediocre life drive friend to go unconscious?
DEAR ABBY: Legal marijuana is making my best friend stupid, boring and insipid. "Susan" and I are in our 50s and have been best friends off and on since childhood. A decade ago, we started taking better care of our friendship because so few longtime friends were still in our lives. Since then, I have been careful not to be judgmental or condescending because it was the source of past friction.
Susan is a regular marijuana user, which has sapped away all of her ambition and curiosity. Even when she isn't actually high, she lacks the cleverness and mental acuity I have always treasured about her. Otherwise, her life is functional. She's in a good marriage, loves her pets and enjoys her job. I think if I said anything, it would cause a major rift.
Should I just limit our time together and accept this is how things are going to be from now on? I'm a widow who has lost my parents and others to illness. I have other friends and family, but I don't want to lose my old chum, even though being around her is starting to make me sad. - FRIENDSHIP GOING TO POT IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR F.G.T.P.: As people grow older, long and well-established relationships become more precious. But much as we might wish otherwise, relationships do not always remain the same. Because you are no longer receiving what you need from your interactions with Susan, I agree you may need to see her less often.
In light of your long relationship, I don't think it would be offensive to tell her you have noticed a change in her and you miss the person she used to be. However, are you absolutely certain that what you have observed is caused by marijuana? If you're not, then consider sharing your observation with Susan's husband, in case her lack of sharpness could be the result of another medication she's using or a neurological problem. —Abby
Hi F.G.Y.P.: I find that whatever I judge about another, is always me judging me. To paraphrase Pogo, “We have met da enemy and we is dem.” Our mind is programed to find fault with, to make others wrong. You judge Susan to be acting stupid; this judgment is an activity that serves to keep you from looking at yourself, from communicating responsibly, from cause, of how your leadership-communication skills have manifested this result.
She can’t begin to wake up as long as she has you as a “friend.” She might, as do some alcoholics, have to drive everyone out of her life before she can experience the effects of her behaviors. To have the kind of relationship you believe you want (with her or anyone else) you’ll have to be willing to let her go (it’s called estrangement).
BTW: If your belief, “. . . marijuana is making my best friend stupid, boring and insipid” were a truth there would be no exceptions. There are far too many brilliant creative people who function well using mind altering substances. Just as teachers either inspire or not, so too do friends; in other words, could it be that you’ve (brilliantly-unconsciously) set her up to smoke pot so as to wake you up, to support you in communicating openly, honestly, and spontaneously, (zero thoughts withheld); she is in fact mirroring you and the effects of your leadership-communication skills.
We might ask, who in your life would judge you to be ignorant and boring? Who in your life failed at trying to wake you up and study more? Whom have you thwarted? A responsible post would have been, “What is it about my leadership-communication skills that have caused my friend to go unconscious?
That you have enough spare time to write letters about another’s addiction/behaviors reveals that you have too much time on your hands. That you don’t inspire your friend to excel reveals that you have succumbed to mediocrity. More specifically, it reveals that you have not found/discovered/created your purpose in life. A person on purpose with his/her purpose is so busy, so on purpose, that they are a vortex of activity, such that everyone who interacts with them knows to not dump mundane everyday problems in their space. A person on-purpose generates energy, it’s contagious.
Put another way, Susan is merely mirroring your own ignorance and just how boring you must be to others (not your friends; they hang out with you because they know they have found in you a friend that will not require that they work at the level of excellence. Mediocrity loves company; your commitment to mediocrity generates mediocrity, it also is contagious.
You’re asking if you should tell your “. . . best friend . . .” the thoughts you’ve been withholding from her. You’ve been doing a poor imitation of a best friend.
Could it be that she is withholding thoughts of disrespect of you, totally disillusioned with the mediocrity around her, in part because you have yet to discover/create your purpose in life and partly because of your energy-sapping communication skills? Obviously no one around her inspires her to (volunteer) or even take on the task of resolving a social problem within the neighborhood. When veterans realize how ineffective they are at inspiring family members to make healthy choices—when it finally sinks in how hypocritically boring civilians are compared with active duty service members—are driven to alcohol/drugs. They don’t have even one person with whom they are in-communication (open, honest, spontaneous, zero thoughts withheld); Most become, as have you, become the cause for hundreds of breakdowns in communication. Many end up homeless.
BTW: Many teens are driven to do drugs by their parents; in part because the teen is missing the experience of love that once was and, because neither parent is on-purpose in life. A teen can see everyone’s hypocrisies, beginning with his/her own parents, and it drives them crazy; believing they are somewhat crazy they succumb to mediocrity.
How great that you wrote; it’s a fork in the road, we all need to continually be reminded about the effects we have on others.
Do The Clearing Process and then invite her to do The Clearing Process for a Parent and Child (both processes are free).