My friend is being cagey again, friends tell me to let it go, but something is off and not sure what to do?



So my friend and I have known each other for over a year. We met at a bar and we were just cool. Could talk easily, laughed a lot and it was nice. I thought he was cute but he’s younger than me by quite a bit so I was like nah.

One night we ended up making out and would hang out a couple of times but ended when he went back to his ex. I was surprisingly hurt by that but moved on. Ran into him at the same bar a couple months later and it was nice but he spent the majority of the time snorting coke in the bathroom. Didn’t know he did coke like that and his entire demeanor was off and we parted ways kinda tensely. We reconnected again in the fall, he looked really thin and he’s never been a big guy. We made a few times and then we had a falling out about our feelings and I pulled away for months because it just hurt bad. Also the night of the fallout he was coming down from doing coke most of the night.

In the time we separated, I got my act together. Therapy, working out, stopped drinking (still sober) because of my own issues with it. I ran into him earlier this year and we have been friends. It’s been nice, hanging out, talking, doing random shit. He told me about his addiction to coke, he was working on being clean. He stopped drinking for a bit but started it back up again. Fine. No judgement.

One day while we were talking about plans, he changed his mind in midstream and I explained I’m funny about time and I don’t mind if he changes course but let me know. I didn’t think I said it any odd way and then he mentioned going out really late and he sounded so rough. So I asked if he was using or if he used and if he’s okay. The last time he sounded like that he was. Anyway, we made plans for later in the week and when we met up — the energy was off. I was stressed from work and stil working but he was mad about me checking him about his changing his mind and asking about his sobriety.

Anyway things escalated to him being visibly upset and wanting to get home and being really rude to me. Totally unlike him and I was concerned because I didn’t know how to react. It was odd, he just switched on a dime.

He eventually apologized and said he needs to be home because the addiction is a cycle and staying out late gets him in trouble. I asked if something happened and he told me not to worry about it and that he’s fine.

He could be fine. But the actions just seem weird. I told him I’m here to support, no judgement. I said let’s link up — no response. I called him — no response. I sent him a text saying he the last reaction was crap for the two of us but doesn’t have to define things unless we don’t learn from it.

All this convo took over the course of a few days not back to back. Now he’s quiet, no acknowledgement or response. Which if I wasn’t sober would bother me more now I’m just fed up. I care about him a lot. I don’t know if he’s using or has wanted to use again but the silence is what digs at me. We’re friends, right? If he doesn’t want to talk to me now or forever or whatever — I’m rational, what’s the issue? I’m not one to guilt or get mad. I’m just typing it here because my best friends think I should just leave him alone because he’s an addict and they can’t be trusted.

But yet I worry anyway. I am fine overall but man…it can just be so weird. Don’t know how to process it or if there is anything to process.


@CSW I hear you. It’s really hard to watch someone you care about struggle. If you want, you can continue to learn about substance use disorder, specifically with cocaine just to gain more understanding of what he’s struggling with.

I agree that it’s best to keep focusing on yourself, your recovery, your self development, goals, etc. And if you do your homework, you can be ready to support him in any way he needs if he comes back around and asks for it.

It’s hard to move on with your life when you know your friend is hurting, but it’s true that you can’t control their actions/inaction. It just comes down to being open, understanding, educated and most importantly, in touch with your own personal boundaries :slight_smile:


Just divert your attention in doing productive and nurturing things for yourself
It is hard at first and can be lonely but we discover a lot about ourselves our dreams and hopes in solitude.
What i know is it will be futile to offer help to somone who has not admitted he needs help… or someonw who does not want help. No point. Just focus on self care.


SO true:

It’s hard to move on with your life when you know your friend is hurting


Yes. I hear you. I have been the yoyo in the hands of my friend. Pull. Push. Over and over. I have tried to help. And that didn’t help. I am staying away more for my sanity and secondly as a distant hope that he will take the steps needed away from self destruction for himself, by himself. Like you, I have my own recovery and this is another lesson in our own self worth. That compassion for those suffering in addition doesn’t mean we throw ourselves under the wheels of that freight train. It’s time for us to be kind to ourselves now. My heart goes out to you


Oh, Im doing that and will continue to do that. It’s just bothersome but I can’t and won’t continually try to insert myself.

I think my questioning hurt him but I question out of concern not because it’s wrong. I mean I’m in recovery myself and he knows that. Anyway, just venting to people who I’m sure understand on some level!


And mine to you and your friend. I’m happy that I’m sober because I’d be in a different mental state. I remember after they blowup, my initial reaction was to go have a drink but it was slight. I knew what that was and I knew where it would lead. I’m still new in my own recovery, so I get his struggle even if the vice is different.

I knew the lashing out was based in his own hurt too. Yet, even with all that — I can’t back pedal you know. This road can be tricky but I still prefer the me now compared to where I once was. I hope our friends get there too.


It is a whole new ball game dealing with traumatic/difficult /unpleasant etc events without running to escape the pain. I too have remembered and understood where it leads.
I know my friend, who like yourself, is much younger than me, has insane amounts of trauma and thus self loathing. This terrified child in a mans body is in so much pain, it’s heartbreaking. I understand I think when you said you can’t back pedal. I don’t think I have, but I have taken myself off the front line of this war and am waiting and letting him know that I care, in a safer place for me. He’s not happy about it and when drunk, rages against it and then sometime later says he understands why. As you, I do so hope they find this life worth living like we have. :purple_heart:


It’s really different when you look on the other side. I’m honest that some days are better than others but the majority of them are infinitely better compared to my best days when drinking.

I know he has trauma too. When I was drinking, if someone came at me in anyway that put me on edge I’d run and shut down. How defensive he got with me triggered something inside him for sure. Ironically enough, I didn’t shut down this time but I tried to be open as much as I could. That night was probably eye opening for him too.

But whose to say? I’m not him and it’s new navigating our friendship since I’m now sober. I’m more open and sure than I’ve ever been with a lot of people. Yet, I can only do so much. I want to do only so much but I have no problem with him knowing that I care. However he reacts or doesn’t react to it is his prerogative.


True as. One thing that is giving me concern is that he sees my growth and is feeling left behind. I wish he wouldn’t see it like some sort of competition or as a refusal by me to stay where he feels more comfortable. (?) I hope you can navigate this more skillfully than I have.


I don’t think he does. He probably sees it as you’re changing and becoming a different person. Your role shifts in his life.

You make him see things he may not be ready for. Or he thought he was and he’s just not there yet. We’ve all been there that have dealt with addiction. It’s hard to be held accountable even when you know that person is coming from a place of care.

I don’t know, I know I don’t have all the answers. All I know is that I’m no better than anyone — i have my demons too. But people react how they want. Conflict can be good if both are willing to work through it and learn. Not everyone is ready for that though.


Well said. Completely agree


I’m so glad you joined us here and posted this @CSW this resonates with my experience immensely.

The reason I started this company / community We The Village is because 7 years ago my best friend and colleague’s recreational habit began spiraling into addiction. And I couldn’t stand that the traditional way of dealing with this is to just ignore it and remove the friend from your circle. How is that humane?

I believe through connection and community we can change the way the world faces addiction, by shining a light on the pain and the harmful habits and helping bring it out of the shadows. Agree we need to take care of ourselves. But I 100% get where you’re coming from.

Please keep sharing with us here. Any updates?

And one idea - connecting with other friends and family of the friend you are concerned about? That way it doesn’t remain a secret, nor does the weight of worry and responsibility remain feeling like it’s on your shoulders alone.

What do you think?