Ask Amy

Friday, September 18, 2009 at 2:05pm

DEAR AMY: My best friend smokes marijuana. We're both 18 and have just started college.

I don't know what to do. My friend used to smoke twice a year, then a few times a month, then every weekend, and now it's every day — most days three or four times a day.

She smokes because if she doesn't, she'll cut herself.

She has been cutting since 8th grade. She has a rubber band that she keeps on her wrist, and when she can't cut, she snaps the rubber band against her skin.

With her smoking more, she says she cuts less. Her logic is that smoking pot is better than cutting, and I understand that.

She wants to try cocaine. She has done mushrooms, and she's a really bad drunk. She knows that she has a problem, but she doesn't want to quit. She doesn't see the need to stop.

Her parents don't seem to care. Her mother doesn't believe in medication. The few times she went to a psychiatrist and he suggested pills, her mom said no.

I just don't know what to do. Please help.

— Worried Friend

DEAR WORRIED: This is too much for you to handle. Your friend's problems are many and layered, and most likely related. Her drug use has spiraled into addiction. An addict's impulse is to keep going; stopping isn't a priority.

Your friend must get professional help to get this under control. Your school has a counseling center — please go and speak to a counselor, who will help you manage your feelings and can also suggest resources for your friend.

The dean of student life will also want to speak with her concerning her behavior and prospects for being successful in college. In addition to the harm she is doing to herself, her drinking and drug use are illegal.

You should also contact her parents to tell them exactly what is going on.


DEAR AMY: I started seeing a guy last year. We built a relationship over several months.

Both of us were separated, he for a year and me for more than two years.

One evening he told me he didn't want to get serious, but then — in the next breath — asked if I'd like to move in with him.

He asked me to bear with him, as he had things he needed to deal with. Then, six days later, he called me to say he wouldn't be coming to see me because he had met someone near where he lives and wanted to date her.

I know he had feelings for me. I could see it in his eyes and by the way he treated me.

I've been in shock ever since he called, and I can't stop thinking about him.

I had really been falling for him, but I didn't want to scare him.

I sent him an e-mail three weeks after the breakup, but he ignored it. I really want to be in touch with him, so should I try again?

—Wondering

DEAR WONDERING: Don't interpret the look in this guy's eyes as anything other than the proverbial deer in the headlights. He is a drowning man, grasping at relationship driftwood.

Don't get in touch with him. In fact, do your best to wipe this guy from your relationship memory bank and turn your attention to other, more positive pursuits.


DEAR AMY:
In response to "Sad Senior," who was wondering if he or she had done enough over the summer break:

I liked your answer, and I would like to add something.

This society emphasizes what I call the "A's": achievement, accomplishment, accumulation.

If people want to judge themselves according to these values, then they might be setting themselves up for disappointment, because no matter how much they achieve, accomplish and accumulate, there is always more possible.

It would be wise for seniors in high school to ask whether they wish to blindly accept every value of their society or, instead, evaluate those values and decide which ones are their own.

— Social Worker

DEAR SOCIAL WORKER: Making determinations about values is one of the most challenging aspects of growing up.

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Filed under: Lifestyles