Her and I are 15 years apart. She's used for 6 years, that I know of. I live in the Mid-West and she lives on the West Coast. Believe she was clean a year out of that 6, maybe. January of this year I went to visit her for a month because she suddenly lost her husband to a massive heart attack. Because we lived so far apart, I had not witnessed first hand what meth addiction looked like. Noticed right away she wasn't sleeping. Or would talk incessantly about nothing at all or nothing I could make sense of. Noticed shady characters coming over at all hours, some acting just like her, or the one I believe to be her dealer, was in and out quickly and any conversation he had with her was done way out of ear shot of me and completely hush hush. She would sometimes stay up for days, then sleep like the dead. And when she would wake she would be "depressed", "bummed", or be completely volatile with fits of rage.
I approached her once, while I believe she was high (she was upbeat, happy, giddy, laughing) asked her what made her so happy that day. She told me it was her "pick me up candy". She said she was only doing it to "help her get through this rough time" and that when things "settled down" she would quit.
Don't know how to be a support to her. Since I've gotten back home, it's been a roller coaster ride. She's angry if I call. She's angry if I don't call. Everyone is "out to get her". Most of the family has written her off already. She has 3 grown children that won't have contact with her. Our father will talk to her if she calls however, every time she calls him, she's asking for money (which he will not send to her). I've tried to stick it out. Be a shoulder. Listen. Love her in-spite of the addiction. The person she is now is not the Sister I once had and loved so dearly.
Last week she called me at some wee hour in the morning. All I was able to say was hello. She was in one of her fits of rage. She screamed and yelled profanity, rambled on about being "done", then went on a tangent about how I was a liar, a sneak, a fake. Something about me "betraying" her. Then she just hung up. Being half asleep and the way she was talking, I couldn't process it. Half-way had myself convinced it'd been a dream until the phone rang again and it was her. Again she went off, pretty much repeating what she had said before. That time I was awake and knew it was real. She ended up hanging up again. Both times all I had said was hello ... and that's all it took to set her off. I snapped! I called her back. She didn't answer. So I left her a message letting her know that I will no longer be her verbal punching bag, but I was not nice about it at all. After that she called 15 more times (turned the ringer off). She left messages every time she called. I couldn't bring myself to listen to them, so just deleted them. Took it a step further and blocked her number from my phone.
I feel guilty!
I want my Sister back! My real Sister! Not what she is at this point. How do I help her?
My brother is a meth user. Meth changes their brains. Actually changes their brain. It also damages the part of the brain that experiences joy. So they have to seek larger and larger stimulus to gain excitement. That's why their behavior escalates, they need it to be happy. Unfortunately, it can only escalate so far in appropriate areas, then it has to wander into the illegal/inappropriate areas.
It's sad, but true. You can't do anything for her. You're only recourse is to establish good boundaries - like not answering the phone, especially when she's like that. And work towards not feeling guilty because your not enabling her behavior. It's rough, but it's reality. And if you have faith - pray. Meth is ROUGH and it's UGLY. And users don't want the kind of help your trying to offer.
I grew up around a lot of meth users, and I agree with Katwoman that it really changes their brain and who they are permanently. That doesn't mean that she can't stop and find a new, sober life, though. She can if she wants to, but only if SHE wants to.
Have you heard of AlAnon? It's a support group for people with addicts in their lives, and can be very helpful. http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/local-meetings
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