1. Devote yourself selflessly to her.
Any time that used to be yours is now hers. You are at their beck and call. Make every effort to let your friend know that you are there for her regardless of what happens to her.
2. Confront Her.
Now that you’ve invested your heart and soul into your best friend, it’s time to stage an intervention. Let her know over the course of a nice meal or heart-to-heart talk that what she has been doing lately, may be spiting more than a few friendly faces and sending herself down a not-so-perpetual, but still imminently threatening abyss.
3. Repeat Step 1.
She needs you now more than ever. Re-devote yourself to helping your friend. She may not realize it now, but you can rescue them from the slippery slope she is falling down.
4. Pray to God at least 100 times a day.
Somehow he has to hear your prayers even if he’s busy helping the people in Ethiopia dying of starvation first. After all, this issue does NOT pale in comparison to tensions in the Gaza Strip or any number of ongoing wars. She is your best friend after all. God has to listen to you.
5. Articulate your feelings in a letter.
So what if it’s been a month and your friend is still spiraling downward? Clearly you didn’t do step 2 well enough. Use a different medium. A letter, a video, a basket filled with baked goods. Anything will do. Just make sure that they see their issues the way you do. They will realize that you’re only trying to help.
6. Invest more time into her.
Sleepless nights? No problem! Worrisome 3 am headaches? It’s fine! As long as you think of a way to help your friend to overcome addiction, a bad influence, or any other life calamity, it will be fine. Seriously, keep telling yourself it will be fine. It will all be worth it.
7. Burn out.
You will break down when you realize how much of a toll steps 1-6 has taken on you. This is completely normal. Break down, cry, angrily vent to a mutual friend. It’s fine, your own sanity is nowhere near as important as hers. As soon as you are done, repeat steps 1-6.
8. Burn out again.
This time it’s for real. Prozac can’t help you get over your grief and tequila shots aren’t going to cure this crisis. In fact, you’re already hung-over, you have to…
9. Realize that there’s nothing more you can do.
Dismount the pictures of you two from way back when that are still hanging on the wall as a stagnant reminder of what once was. Put these into a box. Don’t burn them. One day you will want to look at them, but today is not that day. You can put them away knowing that you tried your best. You can cry yourself to sleep knowing that it wasn’t enough. You can cure your insomnia by letting her go. And that is all.
10. You’ve successfully saved yourself from the best friend who can’t be saved.
Congratulations. Feel the hollow victory simmer in your chest and treat yourself to two Friday night Margaritas, toasting to the girl who once held the other stem.