It is almost necessary for a meth addict to isolate themselves from family and friends to stay in the habit. Why? It’s hard to understand especially when you (the family member/significant other/friend) want so much to rescue them from the grip of meth – and the addict pushes away more. There are several components as to why isolation is part of the addiction, and I would know. I did it to my family, hurt my friends, ditched my best friend on her wedding day, and didn’t even pick up a birthday cake my grandma made for me.
Note the life before for signs of life that will be.
In most cases, family and friends know someone the best; their habits, how they spend off time, if their job is stable, whether they are responsible or not with their possessions and money, and whether they are known to have stable relationships. For example, my life before I started meth was like this: I was just recently divorced from my first husband, the pastor, and happily taking care of my grandmother who just recently fell. I scored a great job working on the private side of the airport, I was riding horses every chance I got, attending church every week, and my relationships with my grandma, other family members, and friends where happy and secure. But that all changed.
Pressure, lies, and a bad habit.
Tweaking causes so much stress and anxiety that it doesn’t take much for a simple phone call from a friendly voice to ask questions about life to turn into a major pressure attack. Soon, a tweaker will be too busy to talk on the phone and at the next family, they are faced with ‘Wow, why are you so skinny,’ ‘Why don’t you answer the phone,’, and ‘what is keeping you so busy?’ The tweaker (me, for example) doesn’t honestly think that anyone else can see the changes in you but your family and friends are going to be the first to see the changes. The best way to deal with these questions is to lie. It’s the quickest way to get the questions to stop and get away from the situation so you can go sit in the bathroom and smoke another bowl.
The life that will be.
I met my second husband and he introduced me to meth one fateful New Year’s Eve. It was new and exciting but as meth began to take its toll on our lives, my family, mostly my grandmother, began to notice it was harder and harder to get ahold of me. When we did talk, the pressure behind tweaking made our conversations short and meaningless. I began to get irritated just when a question about how I was doing. When my family saw me, I was faced with questions about my weight and why I was too busy to talk. My church life had come to an end and my life became secretive. My awesome job was horrible pressure on me while addicted and my relationships at work became strained and suspicious. My lies piled up on each other and I isolated myself from everyone close to me. It was the only way I could keep doing my habit. My habit was my release from the pressure of life.
What can I do?
I’m not saying that everyone who isolates themselves from their family is a meth addict but coupled with other signs and displaying this type of behavior, you just might have an addict on your hands. What can you do? It’s just about impossible not to ask questions but that is one of the best ways to deal with it. MOST IMPORTANTLY, become a really good listener; meth addicts can ramble on and on, and thought the conversations get frustrating and tiresome, if you are a really listening, you’ll be able to pick up on clues about what is really going on in their life, it keeps the line of communication open, and it could save your relationship with them. If a meth addict can feel like they can talk to someone (even if it’s just rambling and nonsense) they will not be inclined to isolate themselves from you. HOWEVER, please keep in mind that whatever they are rambling on about may not be the truth. The more you know the addict and the more you really listen to them, you should be able to pick out the lies from the truth – but now is NOT the time to call them out unless you want them to isolate you. Addicts lie, so if you are going to ask a bunch of questions, know that more than likely all the answers will be panic-stricken lies. Either you can take it personally and isolate the addict from you for being a liar, or you can become a great listener and determine for yourself which are lies and what is truth.
Why do meth addicts isolate themselves? Because it is easier to maintain the habit then be faced with questions and pressure from those who are close; from people who just want to love and rescue. It is just another sad consequence that makes meth the devil-drug.