Over the past few days something really strange has been going one with one of my coworkers who is also my best work friends. She arrived at the zoo as usual on Saturday but during the morning routine all of us at the pony ride station noticed she wasn't herself. Her speech slurred occasionally, she was stumbling, was plain not herself and acting very strange, akin to someone on a substance. I know smoking is one of her habits but this was completely unlike her. She's been edgy, defensive, and mentally not there since.
Immediately it reminded me of my own experiences with someone close to me who once struggled with substances, and by the time in the morning my other coworkers shared their concerns with me too and I definitely judged it was severe, I casually asked if she was okay, and when she said it was fine but stumbled while doing a ride with a child and couldn't lock the gate properly, I radio'd my bosses to convey my concern so there would be no confrontation.
Long story short she was sent home that day and told to rest up, under the same suspension the rest of us had knowing their had been a previous night of drinking with some other coworker friends. Speed to Sunday and she comes back and not only do we immediately notice, but one of my bosses comes down to our station, shares the concern with me, and we all agreed to keep her off ponies for safety, and to discreetly evaluate her because by now she was being very guarded around the bosses and even more defensive as well as strangely possessive of things like the radio and keys they entrusted to me. She was sent home again.
It's just all so weird. None of us know what to think because all of this is not her at all and our suspicions are the worst. And in whatever weird state she's in, she's been talking about me without confronting me which she would almost always do just as a very close work friend - saying I'm lazy, never help her clean the barn, etc, stingy with my position. And I'm a god honest worker. I have been holding a supervisor-like position since our old supervisor left because I then became the most experienced person at this station and they entrust me with a lot of those responsibilities. I never skimp on helping out, cleaning, mucking, etc. And if she suddenly felt some way like that about me she would've said so directly to me - she's always been very honest.
It's just so weird and we're all very worried. Plus friends who have called to check on her say she hasn't improved from this state, and she keeps trying to come into work even though it's definitely not safe and would pretty much be child endangerment because of the nature of our work.
I want to reach out to her because she's really been a good close friend but I've been the shoulder so many times I don't even want to be involved in any way now but I'm still worried.