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Old 03-02-2012, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My boyfriend is a heroin addict

I'm new to this site, and have been reading a few posts here. I seem to relate to this support site more than others. Sorry, this is probably going to be a long post.
My boyfriend of about a year is a drug addict.
When I met him, he had been clean for 2 years. His drug of choice was heroin. He was an IV drug user.
He went to get help at a treatment center, lived in a sober house for a long time and then came home and managed to keep the addiction under control for 2 years.
The past few months have really been like a living hell for me. I don't even know where to begin.
I became suspicious of him around Thanksgiving this year, and he told me he had been "rewarding" himself with a pill (oxy) every now and then after a hard day at work. He works in construction and it seems all of these guys he works with pop pills all day long. I've never used drugs, so I don't have too much experience with this however I just assumed he was swallowing the pills every now and then.
After going through text messages of his, I discovered he was actually snorting the oxy. After doing some research online about this, I learned that if you snort oxy, you basically get the same high as heroin.
Things eventually got a little crazy, and he was kicked out of his mother's house where he had been living since I met him, and moved into my place with me.
I THOUGHT I had been through hell, I really did at that point. I thought things couldn't get worse but I was SO wrong. He wasn't stealing, still had money, still had a job. So I don't know why I thought this was rock bottom for him.
But anyways, he agreed to go into a detox facility. He actually asked me to help him get into one so I was beyond thrilled and thought he wanted to get help, I was so proud of him. He stayed in detox for 5 days. He had me absolutely convinced that he wasn't like "those people" in the detox. He said, I still have money, I still have a job. The only reason why I can't get off the drugs is because the withdrawal is so bad. So he said he was going to detox to get the drugs out of his system and then go to meetings and do recovery work from home.
Like an idiot, I believed him. Picked him up at detox after 5 days, he came home to a hero's welcome for getting help, and within a week, he had relapsed.
He slowly started dwindling down his promised 3 meetings per week. Before I knew it, he wasn't going to ANY meetings, never calling a sponsor, no recovery work at all.
I found text messages again in his phone about 3 weeks after detox talking about getting high with some guy. I confronted him about it and he said he got high twice since leaving detox.
Again, he swore to me he would go to meetings, stop getting high, because he "doesn't even want to get high anymore", and again I believed him.
As you can probably guess, things again spiraled out of control. He was laid off from his job because it became winter and construction slows down during the winter months and that's when things got bad.
He would sit around all day and get high. I work a 9-5 job, so while I was at work, he had 8 hours to do whatever he wanted without being questioned.
This weekend is when everything fell apart. He wouldn't get out of bed, went to his mother's house, locked his door to his room, and wouldn't answer the door or the phone. When he did, he wouldn't look anyone in the eye, wouldn't even move from bed. He had track marks on his arm too, so I know he was injecting the heroin.
I moved all of his things back to his mother's house and got the keys back from him for my place.
I got him admitted into a detox and on the way there he was BEGGING me to buy him a bag of heroin. Of course, I didn't do that!

He just completed his 5 days of detox at this facility and they are moving him to a sober house about 30 minutes away from home.
I'm not sure if I'm looking for advice, or just a place to vent. I'm nervous that I'm going to lose my relationship. I don't want to leave him, but I want to know if there's hope that a relationship can make it through all of this.

Also, does anyone have any experience with having someone living in a sober house? What privileges does he have? I've read on different websites that some houses allow for cell phone use, and visits and sometimes the person can even get passes to come home for the weekend.
Of course that can't happen for a little while until he's stabilized and on his way to recovery, but it's nice to know things will get better and easier on the both of us.
I feel selfish when I get annoyed that I can't call him whenever I feel like it, or I can't see him when I want to but I feel like, I need those things or I just feel like I'm in a relationship with myself.

Any advice or support is so appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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(((Pock89))) - Welcome to SR, though sorry for what has brought you here. There is a lot of really good information that may answer some of your questions in the "stickie" threads..the ones at the top of this forum.

I'd also suggest reading around, seeing what other's have been through/are still going through in loving an A (addict).

If he truly wants recovery, he will get it. If he doesn't? He'll keep doing what he's doing. FWIW, I'm a recovering crack addict. I'm also the loved one of some A's, so I know both sides of the fence of addiction.

I would recommend that while he's where he is, workign on HIS recovery, you read and post here, think about what you want your future to look like.

Also, please know..as you've seen, detox, sober-living, rehab...none of those are cures. They can implant the seeds of recovery into the A's brain, but it's up to the A to decide whether to nurture those seeds and work recovery, or just let him lay their dormant.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for your quick response!
I understand that I need to let him put his recovery first. I just have these mixed feelings.
I get angry sometimes because I feel like I haven't been first in his life since he started using again. It's always been the drugs first, and me second. And now that he's in recovery, it's the recovery first, me second.
I feel like since he's started using, I've been so focused on making sure he gets help, and so worried that he may overdose, or something bad will happen. He's definitely been my main focus for a long time now and I feel resentful towards him because I have not been his main focus. Even though I've been unhappy and obviously have a hard time with all of this, he's so focused on the drugs, he doesn't even understand that. I get angry that my needs never came first with him.
I understand that if I want a life with him, I need to accept that his recovery will come before anything and it needs to be that way so that he doesn't relapse. I guess it's just an adjustment I need to get used to.
I have a lot of anger towards him for putting me through this. I think it's too early to tell if these resentments will carry over into our relationship somehow later on.
I don't even know if there will be a "later on" in our relationship.

I just feel lost, and sometimes I feel selfish for feeling these things.
Sometimes I feel like, he's going to live in this sober house, put his life back together and things will be looking up for him, getting better with each day of being clean. He gets to start over and be brand new again, and I'm just broken.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What make a relationship work "long term" are values, what values do you have in common...and like to watch the same TV show does not count...lol
My sponsor told me that. So I had to learn what my values were and guess what I did not have ANY of them in common with either of my two xahs.
Now I am in a good relationship with a normal guy that has the same values I do and it is going well.
Take good care of yourself, after all the only person that will stay with you until your last breath is YOU!
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
He gets to start over and be brand new again, and I'm just broken.
I can identify with that feeling, but want to let you know it's not true.

YOU can start over too by coming here, attending Naranon and/or Al-Anon. This how many of us have learned not only to cope with what our loved ones are doing but more importantly- learning to take care of ourselves first & formost.

Quote:
I have a lot of anger towards him for putting me through this.
Once I realized my role- of being the 'go to' person or 'the helper' I discovered that alot of my pain was due to my own choices. In recovery we learn to detach in healthy ways whether that person is still in our lives or not.

There's alot of hope for you and many of us have felt 'broken' too. Keep reading as many posts as you can- especially those who have direct/similar experience behind them.

I'm so glad you decided to come here to share. Welcome to SR.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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in my recovery I have had to think of different illustrations or myths to help me put the pieces together, because the emotions are so confusing when it comes to interacting with addiction that it can be very crazy making. for me mapping, journaling, posting, calendars...I use every tool I can find.

One is myth...this one is about Pandora and her box. She opened it out of curiosity, much like I entered into a relationship with my ex (naive curiosity about this new man entering my life, a beautiful possibility for love) and when Pandora opened the box she released all the spites (nasty little spiteful fairies known as harpies and such) into her world. In my myth these "spites" are the cohort demons of the devil crack, and include such lovely things as lying, deceit, total resource squandering, disappearing, no self esteem, unloveableness, unworthiness, bi-polar exacerbated by episodic binge use, depression, loss of his masters program, unemployability, etc, etc. Mind you these are not MY spites, these are the ones I got when I opened the box of being with him.

The one sole positive thing in Pandora's box was HOPE. And believe me, that little fairy lite of hope has had her fekking hands full. I have had hope fighting this dark army of spites for two years. She has been doing battle trying to keep hope alive...and is just simple exhausted.

Some here will say you can get addicted to hope.

I know this much, I am reaching in and retrieving that beautiful little pixie, that beautiful part of myself, my hope, and lifting her off that battlefield. The spites that she has been fighting are not her own and she cannot win, she can only keep fighting until she's dead.

He needs his own hope.

Mine has been abused.

I want to start focusing my hope on creative, powerful, positive, life energy...rather than keep throwing it into the deep dark bull pit.

I apologize if this mythologizing is annoying. I think addiction is a dark fantasy indeed, vampires? maybe.

There is hope for those who struggle with addiction, but I believe it has to be THEIR hope.

peace to you
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pock89 View Post
He gets to start over and be brand new again, and I'm just broken.
It is his choice to start over again, become brand new.

It can be your choice to start over again, and become brand new, too.

*edit*

Didn't see cmc's post before I hit reply - great minds think alike
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I put myself through hell-o and back many times, too many times with my daughter's addiction to heroin. I nearly bankrupted myself financially, physically and emotionally trying to rescue her from addiction. The more I focused on trying to control her, the less I controlled myself.

Realizing there was nothing I could say or do that would keep my daughter clean or prevent a relapse was a magilla of an ah-ha moment for me.

I eventually decided to take back control of the only thing I do control- my reaction. My turning point came when I decided I would not allow anyone in active addiction or early recovery in my house and my life. I did this because, frankly, I am worth it. My sanity and well being comes before someone else's issues that I cannot control and especially before any of my own hopeful fantasies of how that person might be if only.....

Addiction demands the addict protect and sustain it at all costs. Lying and manipulation are the most common tools used to protect the beast. The source of your information about his past and on again/off again sobriety does not come from a particularily reliable source. I seriously doubt he has ben clear of all substances during the period he appeared to be clean. It's very common for addicts to fool themselves and others that so long as it's not their drug of choice they can control it. So some alcohol here, a little weed there, may a line or a hundred of coke - so long as it's not their drug of choice, it does not count- a bunch of hooey.

This in recovery thing is tricky stuff and means different things to different people. Being employed and self sustaining without an assist from someone else paying the bills is a starting point. Having a car and maintaining it and insurance and supporting dependent children , if any, are others factors. It's all about acquiring and maintaing maturity and taking responsibility for oneself.

Sitting on the sidelines and hoping that one day it's all going to come together is substantially tougher than watching paint dry in the rainy season.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My step-daughter has a heroin addiction, and her situation has been up and down. She has been in rehab before, and has been in a sober living house. She said that she really liked the structure. She did not stay clean on the outside. I've seen things go up and down with her--she looks good when she's clean, and then spirals quickly when she is using. Like others said, the addict is very manipulative and lies all the time. The family & friends usually only know bits and pieces and don't even know how bad it is.

It is completely makes sense that you would be mad at him. He has betrayed your trust. Please don't take it personally. An addict cares about his/her drugs first--everything else is secondary.

I also have an AM, and my RABF is in recovery from pain pills. This website is good because it helps you learn how to repair your life. The people here have been through the same thing as you. You are not alone.

If you haven't looked yet, there is excellent information on the "stickies" at the top of the page. I'd also suggest you read the book Codependent No More. All of this has been a lifesaver for me. You can't control your bf, but you can take charge of your own life.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hello, all.
Just an update on what's been happening the past few days.
I dropped my boyfriend off at the sober house yesterday. He said that he wants to stay there a long time (6-12 months is the average amount of time for residents), because he said he needs the structure that the sober house offers.
My fear is that he'll get a few months of clean time under his belt, and then come home because he'll think he can do it on his own now.
Has anyone had any experience with someone living in a sober house? How effective is this kind of treatment? And how difficult is coming home after the sober house, and readjusting to life outside the structure?

I hope everyone is having a good Monday!
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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All recovery programs work when the addict works the program.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My son wasn't always, but is now a heroin addict. He can't stay anywhere that requires him to be clean more than a few days. He's been kicked out of 4 or 5 sober houses over the years.

Actually, sober houses are not really all that "structured"...they just have some strict requirements for being allowed to stay in the house. They have zero tolerance for relapse, must look for work or volunteer until you find work, attend meetings, meet curfew, help with chores and keep your room clean. That's about it. Other than that you can come and go as you please, call who you please, do whatever you like with your time. At first there will be restrictions on travel, but generally visitors are allowed.

If he's willing to work at his recovery and accept the consequences of his choices, then a sober house is a great option. As with everything to do with addiction and recovery...it's all up to him and nobody can predict what will happen.

He just got in and you are concerned about what will happen when he gets out. That's WAY down the road. Take it a day at a time for now.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I get angry sometimes because I feel like I haven't been first in his life since he started using again. It's always been the drugs first, and me second. And now that he's in recovery, it's the recovery first, me second.
I feel like since he's started using, I've been so focused on making sure he gets help, and so worried that he may overdose, or something bad will happen. He's definitely been my main focus for a long time now and I feel resentful towards him because I have not been his main focus. Even though I've been unhappy and obviously have a hard time with all of this, he's so focused on the drugs, he doesn't even understand that. I get angry that my needs never came first with him.
Oh do I ever understand this!! It is called codependency and you both are suffering right now. Please, please, please focus on YOUR recovery right now. Go to ftf meetings (as much as I didn't want to hear it, I finally started going and it is life-changing). It's a long, hard road, but you can do this! Let him do him and you do you right now. It's the only way!
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I went to my first Nar-Anon meeting last night. It was really great to see that I'm not the only one going through this. I know I'm not alone, but sometimes it's easy to feel that way.

I'm starting to get used to him being away. This sober house is one of the best in the area, and it seems to be a good fit for him.

I learned at last night's meeting that this is HIS recovery, so it's ultimately up to him to make the right decisions. I can't sit and worry anymore about what MIGHT happen in the future. I'm just going to live for today, and do the best I can today.

There's aren't many Nar-Anon meetings in my area. The one I went to last night meets only once a week.
Do any of you find it helpful to go to Al-Anon too? I'm assuming it's pretty similar.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Many here have participated in Alanon meetings. Most welcome anyone regardless of the substance cause it's all about learning to take back control of our own lives.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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hello pock,

I still have not made it to a nar anon meeting! I do go to al anon meetings.
I think that they are fundamentally the same, however the difference that I have heard from people on this site is that the stories at nar anon are "darker".

I am a recovering alcoholic and have heard many many stories from alcoholics.
What I somehow understand is that though all addictions are of a similar root cause...the hole in the soul that needs mending...the manifestations of different addictions can be different.

All of this to say...go ahead and explore the al anon meetings for sure, and then fortify the experience with nar anon and SR. There is a live online video nar anon meeting on in the rooms too. I will accept the assistance of any tool to maintain my own spiritual well being. I hope you do too, because we are so worth it!! And then we get to give back too!
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The Al Anon meetings I attend has family members and friends of both alcoholics and/or drug addicts. There seem to be a lot more Al Anon groups than Naranon, at least in my area.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Burnsville, MN
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I attended a weekly NarAnon meeting and a weekly AlAnon meeting. The NarAnon meeting was a small group and mainly parents of addicts, so I felt like it was a really good fit. I was going because of my son. It was a newer group and not quite as structured as the AlAnon group that I attended - it gave me a place to talk about my son. The AlAnon group was very established and very healthy, meaning that the attendees really focused on their own growth and recovery. That gave me a place to learn to live my life, to step away from my son, to "work my program". I also posted and read here on SR.

What ever tools are out there for you, can and should be used! Remember, this is time to focus on you.
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crazybabie (12-30-2012)
Old 03-23-2012, 05:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I need some advice.
This is my boyfriend's third week living in a sober house. He seemed to be doing really well. He's been going to 7 meeting a week, he started working again, and thing were really starting to look up for him. I've been going to naranon meetings, and I've been hanging out on this site everyday.
He told me last night that he's been having trouble taking the mandatory 3 drugs test per week (urine tests). He said he has trouble urinating if someone else is in the room with him.
He told me that he's afraid they will kick him out of the house because he can't do this. He was telling me he was so depressed, and now that he's sober, he has to deal with all of the emotions that were previously numb because of the drugs.
I told him that he has to find a way to make it work because I don't have much faith that he'll stay clean if he leaves the house (he's only been there for 3 weeks!) I said that if he leaves the house, he'll pretty much seal his own fate. And he agreed and says that he'll probably just overdose. So he obviously is thinking that he's going to get out of the house and use again.
I'm thinking that although he didn't say it, maybe he was having a craving and wanted to use last night?
He is going to talk to the man that runs the sober house today and see if he can work something out with him so he can stay.
Is it normal to feel very depressed in early recovery? Are the cravings to get high still very strong?
I'm really nervous about what's going to happen. I know it's out of my control. He's not allowed to come back to my house if he leaves this sober house so he'll have to find somewhere else to live. I know 3 weeks is definitely not long enough, and he will absolutely pick up again if he leaves the house today.
I'm also worried that maybe he doesn't want this bad enough...I feel like by him just willingly leaving this place that's helping him, maybe he's not ready to stop using. In that case, it doesn't matter how long he stays at the sober house, he'll just use whenever he gets out.
I'm feeling really stressed and nervous this morning.
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crazybabie (12-30-2012)
Old 03-23-2012, 07:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Don’t tell him what he has to do…
Ask what he can do to help himself when he is in a bad place in his head and let him work it out, give him that gift. If you have to give advice tell him to share with someone there who will understand better than you could…Beg out, stop being his sounding board, listening is ok, advice a huge no no, you aren’t equipped to deal with this and you can’t even begin to understand what he is going though…

Everything you wrote that he spoke of is very normal, let it go, let him run it out in his head, let him find solutions, and do not react to anything because you do not know what will be because this isn‘t yours…

And why set him up to fail in your own mind, is that fair? How do you know he will leave and use, the best day my husband had was the day he ran out of the house in a panic … fear in his eyes, with a I can’t do this anymore …he went to use copped, cooked and didn’t. In that moment he was a mess of emotion because he learned his hardest of lessons using was killing him, and not using was killing him and he wasn‘t ready to die yet, as he said I could have taken myself right out, and even there I failed, I couldn‘t so now I have to figure out how to live…interesting insight that I did get…so they can work it out and do if they are allowed to.…and that started his true road to recovery.

No one gets help who doesn’t want it, are they truly ready, that is a whole another story. Ready is when you run out of your own excuses and justifications of why you need to use, this can take time and it is something only learned by doing… codependents have to run out of theirs as well that keep them enabling.

From watching there is no done and over with heroin addiction, ever. This will be a long hard fight for him…which he can take on and succeed in.

Which leads to the question what are you doing for YOU … cause this was all about your fear for him and I will tell you right now those fears will trap you and keep you sick and then you will pass that on nicely if you let them rule by enabling him out of the fear.

There is no way in hell you can be in a relationship with an addict if you aren’t working on you. Not working on you makes you part of the problem…the addiction is really counting on you to do your part, to hide yourself away, to keep it a secret, to smooth it all over and make it pretty, to run them morbid thoughts of death through your head day in and out, it needs your help, do you think you need to help it…maybe you could help you instead which the addiction hates…

This is your chance, surely you can see for the moment he is in a safe place…so if you ever had an opportunity to help yourself now is the time…want advice, work on you, only you…I know it is hard, but you have to block him out for now, you won’t be able to save yourself if you don’t and honestly you are the only one you could ever save…you deserve your time, give yourself a gift today.
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You were my reckless abandon, the cage to capture my fear
My permission, to keep fortifying the veneer
An empty place I wouldn't admit
A darkness, I'd rather permit ...
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