breaking up with a pot head: my story

Old 08-01-2010, 11:08 PM
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breaking up with a pot head: my story

So I know there is probably a ton of stories posted here like mine, but I have actually found a lot of support online while looking for similar stories.
I recently broke up with a pothead. I pictured myself with this man for the rest of my life. We had that chemistry, that “click,” where everything just seemed right. Until slowly I began noticing his pot habit, which at first I considered harmless and just a habit, but it was definitely a full-blown addiction.

I grew up having many friends who were potheads, and I would smoke pot occasionally in parties with other smokers. I grew up with all these ideas that everyone had told me about pot… that it really isn’t a drug, that it really isn’t that bad, and that it doesn’t have severe short or long term effects besides fairly harmless side effects like memory less or clumsiness. And I believed everything I heard! I had no prejudices against it when I met and starting dating my ex-boyfriend.

What seemed so innocent seemed to take a turn for the worse. I didn’t realize he smoked every day, and often many times a day, until I began to see him more. Everything was happy and cheery in the dating stage, but I had no idea the extent to which he smoked pot. I remember staying at his house and waking up in the morning to him smoking. It was only until we periodically starting spending more time together that I realized the extent to which he smoked. He even tried to hide it, but after a while I think he just felt comfortable enough with me that he didn’t have to. I never voiced concerns, but I slowly became more concerned. I thought about leaving, but I was already so in love with him I figured that I would stick it out to see how things went.

I remember a trip we took to the beach, and he was obsessed with making pot brownies. I thought, okay, whatever floats his boat, but then I had a horrible time with him at the beach. From the morning that we left, his friends were driving atleast, he was eating brownies and he was just waaaay out there, completely stoned, and completely indifferent towards my presence. I was just so upset that he couldn’t have a good time without having to smoke pot.

He would smoke when he was happy, bored, or when he had to make a decision. He would smoke when he needed to study, when he was stressed out, or basically whenever he felt any high or low in emotions. It was his way to deal with everything. He is a very intelligent guy with a good heart, and I just found it so depressing that he didn’t want to deal with life and all its high and lows on his own. His emotions were like a roller coaster, moody and anxious one day to completely indifferent the next.

He had strained relationships with his family members and his friends because he would just literally disappear for days on end. His “good” friends would just kind of accept that he was like that. Sometimes his phone would die and he wouldn’t re-charge the battery for several days, just because he didn’t care… He didn’t care about a lot of things… He would always say that I was different and special because I was his girlfriend, or because I really understood him and knew him.

I noticed he started hanging out with one of his friends who is a girl quite a bit. I thought maybe he had a thing for her, and I even started to start worrying about his fidelity. But then one time I went with him to hang out with her, and I realized that she was just as much of a pothead as he was! Turned out that a lot of his friends, or people he considered good friends, were potheads as well.

Not to mention the money he would spend on pot! He is studying for his master’s degree and living on a scholarship. He didn’t have a whole lot of extra spending money… but he would need new shoes and instead spend all his money on pot.

He tried quitting for a month and experienced some pretty extreme side effects. His palms would get super sweaty, and he wouldn’t be able to sleep. He was anxious and very irritable. It didn’t last, he couldn’t handle it and went back to smoking pot every day like he had for the past four years.

Anyways, it is now done and over. I broke up with him several months ago, and now I have had no contact with him for 3 weeks just because it hurt me so much to be in contact with him. I thought the best thing I could do was be his friend and support him, but it was just too hard on me. I couldn’t carry the burden of being his friend when I am now in complete disagreement with the way he lives his life, in addition to still having feelings for him. It is unfortunate and difficult, because potheads are not horrible or violent people. He was extremely intelligent and had many good qualities, but I don’t want to live like he lives. I realized how addicts can affect the people close to them so much, but I know it doesn’t have to be that way. I only hope that one day on his own he will figure out that he has so much more potential. I have learned my lesson and will never involved myself with somebody like that again.
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:43 AM
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You have a good head on your shoulders young lady- way to take care of yourself. I know it is tough, but necessary. It is sad when a pothead is indifferent to your presence- what kind of intimacy is that! Pretty lonesome. You seem to have a lot to offer someone, and you can't give it to someone who is not "there".

hang in there-
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:49 AM
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hi purplepenquin-

thanks for explaining all of that. it's opened my eyes regarding potheads.

what you have described is quite similar to what we experience with our alcoholics: the emotional unavailability, the indifference, the missing in action, the apathy, the questionable friendships with other addicts.

good for you for identifying what it is that you require in a relationship and leaving. yes, it's painful to leave but in the long run, it would have been probably been more painful to stay and witness.

it is my understanding that people who wish to quit potsmoking are welcomed at CA (cocaine anonymous).

statistics support that those who smoke pot are more likely to experiment with harder drugs and/or alcohol. many develop multiple dependencies in the long term.

let's add to this that it is illegal and also, that those harmless potsmokers often have to come into contact with black market drug dealers in order to secure their fix. all shady business you are wise to have nothing to do with.

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for posting your story. I'm glad you were able to get away and start your life anew.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:32 AM
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Penguin, thanks for sharing your story, as I can relate to much of what you've shared here. It helps me to know that others have similar experiences.

My XABF is addicted to pot. He has been smoking it daily and often since he was 13, and he is now 49. He has struggled with great difficulty over the past year with trying to quit.

In the beginning of our relationship, I didn't know about the pot. He came to me after a 6-week breakup and confessed his addiction. He was trying to quit at the time and was seeing a relationship counselor because he wanted us to be together again. He figured if he quit the pot and his drinking, and got some counseling, we'd be able to work things out. I was naive and took him back. He eventually started smoking pot again and drinking, quit going to the counselor, and I ended up leaving him, several months later.

A couple of weeks ago when I was allowing myself to take his phone calls, he talked to me a lot about his attempts at trying to quit again. He said that his alcohol addiction hasn't been nearly as difficult to handle as his pot addiction. He was going to AA, but was thinking about finding an NA meeting because he needed to find people who could relate to the drug addiction.

I don't know how it's going for him, but I suspect he is using again because one of his young adult sons recently told my neighbor's daughter he was mad because his dad didn't leave any pot at home for him that day.

Both of his sons, in their 20's, are daily users. Both dropped out of college, one has a part-time job and lives with his full-time working girlfriend who also uses and parties heavily. The other son lives with him and has no job. This son also told my neighbor's daughter that pot is the only thing that makes him happy.

There is no doubt in my mind that pot is addictive and destroys lives and relationships in the same way alcohol does. Not all users become addicted, just like not all drinkers become addicted to alcohol.

Thanks for sharing your story. You helped me. I have read similar stories on the F&F of Substance Abusers forum. It is good to be reminded that others struggle with the same things and come out okay in the end.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:29 AM
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Thanks Penguin,
Pot is really an under-discussed addiction.
My oldest A bro gave up drinking in his 20's but smokes pot 24/7/365.

I have a very distant relationship with him. And now his youngest son is smoking (16) and failing high school. And he and his wife wonder why I don't visit them for vacations (they do live in a beautiful part of the country) but honestly, I don't want my kids around that. Plus he's either a Grumpy Gus because he hasn't smoked yet in the a.m. or he's spaced out and in his own world when stoned. No thank you!

The last time he came to Boston years ago w/ his wife and 2 boys for a family reunion he sat on my front stoop and lit up a joint. I went downstairs and said "Uh, no!" So he walked a half block away to a schoolyard to smoke. Nice. He didn't even realize a police station is right behind the school.

It has its hallmark side-effects, but like alcohol or any addiction it is unhealthy and gets in the way of real life! So I choose to stay away from him and his "lifestyle!"

I have learned my lesson and will never involved myself with somebody like that again.

I salute you & I know how painful it is to have to say goodbye to a wonderful person who is an addict. But it is "let go or be dragged!"

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Old 08-02-2010, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
Thanks Penguin,
Pot is really an under-discussed addiction.
I agree. Since knowing XABF, I have had a huge wake-up call. I can't believe how many people I know are heavy users. Never had a clue before, and I am now seeing how it affects lives.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:15 PM
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How are you doing now? (((purplepeguin)))
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:00 AM
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Hey! Thanks for all the responses... I wasn't sure how everyone would respond since talking about pot as an addiction always seems to stire up some controversy.

I have had a lot of highs and lows. It is hard because I still think about him a lot, and at times I can only remember his good qualities, all the fun times we had, and all the sweet things he used to say to me.

I know he feels sad and misses me too, but I know he is probably just getting high to forget it all... like always.

I sometimes think, well, maybe it would be different if he could quit... but I know that is something he would have to do on his own without me. I'm just trying to refrain from contacting him and keeping up the whole no contact thing. I think it will be the quickest way for me to feel better.

Does anyone else have stories like this? Am I doing the right thing...?
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:35 AM
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My daughter was engaged to and had a child with a young man whose life revolved around smoking pot.

I was struck by how very much it effected her the same as someone living with alcoholism.
He hid it, he lied about it...he would say he was going to look for a job and wouldn't...he would go hang out with smoking buddies for a while and disappear much longer than a job application would take.

He refused to "grow up" and clean up even the month necessary to pass a drug test so he could get a job to help support the household beyond his teenaged pizza delivery job.

He neglected so very many things.
And he was a highly intelligent, very likable guy. I was rooting for them to be able to solve their problems the whole time and my daughter was very commited to family life.

In the end she really didn't have a choice but to throw him out.
It turns out it was the best decision she could have made.

She is now married to a guy who has always treated her son as his own and has been a great father and husband. He is responsible and committed.

I am so very happy for her.

And, no.....the X still hasn't cleaned up and caught up with life.

Sad for him...not for her and her son.....their life is fantastic!
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:19 PM
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You have a lot of wisdom about your situation, Penguin.

Live is right, being in a relationship with a pothead is very much the same as being with an alcoholic. The drug comes first.

I have learned the hard way that no contact really is the only way to go. When you start to put the fantasy before the reality, or when one little text seems like it will be harmless, or one simple phone call...stop and rethink it. Come here, call a friend or a family member, go through a mental checklist of everything wrong with the relationship, go for a walk or a run....anything to prevent yourself from breaking no contact. You will be glad you stopped yourself.

You are absolutely doing the right thing...for yourself and for him. It's time to enjoy your life the way you like to live it.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:43 PM
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wow...thanks for posting this. I dont surf these forums much, i tend to stay to the substance abuse forums, but you reminded me of EXACTLY the person I was as an active pothead...The dissappearing for a few days and my good friends saying thats just how I am, the emotional swing from moody to indifferent...Wow. That was me. Thanks again, for reminding me where I come from.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:40 PM
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Wow!! The top of my head just blew off after reading this. And I do not smoke pot or anything else. I'm actually a recovering alcoholic. You'd think I'd know better than to get into a relationship with an active addict. When I stopped smoking cigarettes and learned more about smoking and addiction, it really begin to shed light on my partners addiction. But like yourself, didn't realize the extent of the disease. Mine or my partners.

After reading your post, I don't feel as angry at myself for leaving.

Thank You,
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:50 PM
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Thank you for your post. My mother has smoked pot her entire lifetime and was a sh*tty mother and never did ANYTHING with my sister and I. She was so bad that my sister and I at the age of 9 & 10 insisted that we live with our dad, we'd visit her, and she'd be drinking and smoking the entire time, my sis and I would have to entertain ourselves.

She never thought anything she did was wrong, and I went through treatment, got sober, and she still was smoking her brains out. Your post just made me feel so much more less crazy, and do you know how much therapy I've had????

THANK YOU!!!! And I'm glad you had the courage to move on, you're better off. I try to not deal with my mom as much as possible as she has done so much damage, and I'm 42 years old, how do you like that? I was never worth it to her, the pot was always more important...
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BeBold View Post
Wow!! The top of my head just blew off after reading this. And I do not smoke pot or anything else. I'm actually a recovering alcoholic. You'd think I'd know better than to get into a relationship with an active addict. When I stopped smoking cigarettes and learned more about smoking and addiction, it really begin to shed light on my partners addiction. But like yourself, didn't realize the extent of the disease. Mine or my partners.

After reading your post, I don't feel as angry at myself for leaving.

Thank You,
Did you notice how old this post is?? It's almost three years old... but a good one.

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Old 03-23-2013, 08:08 PM
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Been lurking these forums for a few months now and this story really prompted me to register and finally get my story out there.

I know it is an old thread, but I found it with a Google search today, and while it has been 4 months since leaving my ex (then trying to get her back), the grief and torturing of everyone else, yaddah yaddah, I realized that my story was really no different than many posts I've seen around the web.

I met my ex in the courtyard of a complex we were living in at the time. We hit it off right away and went to dinner the same day. She confided that she was an RA (5 yrs) (goes to meetings, asked me to go but I thought it was something SHE had to do for herself) and that she did smoke bud (and later said she liked her drugs, which I took as, ok, occasional good time with pot, maybe she likes painkillers). At the time I had no experience with the lives of RA's

I've had many pot-head friends over the years, and while I had my stints with it (years before and during our relationship), I just can't handle a whole lot of any chemical in my body. Not because I am an addict, but generally consuming anything steamrolls my head.

We fell for each other right away. In a manner of speaking, we burned out as fast as we got involved. However, all the things she had going for her, I wanted. Her faith, her job, her interests, creativity, peaceful home, etc. It was all there. I couldn't have asked for anything else from whatever deity you choose. Believe me, I did ask many moons ago before I became an atheist (recently adopted loose Buddhist philosophy). I waited 15 years for a woman of this magnitude to come around, and that is the part that hurts the most.

Anyway, after 3 months, my lease was about to end, and I brought up the idea of moving in together. We got along really well. And things went well, for a very long time, although I had no idea that I had my own issues that had been laying dormant for so long. They surfaced, and it was more than she could give in return, and I did not understand that, or myself. Still, we kept on and I adjusted, albeit slowly, but I did a lot of wrong things that I was always taught to do, such as bringing work issues home, talking to the folks about my relationship issues (lack of boundaries), emotional stuff, working nights, etc. This really did start taking a toll on her, and I was completely oblivious to what she required. I suggested that we quit smoking pot, and we did, for a month, and maybe she toked here and there.

I remember a couple times she said some things that made me stop and wonder what she was talking about: "I'm trying really hard not to **** it up", and she would tell me repeatedly that she was in love, liked me, left messages, everything, but something just seemed out of place. She smoked her bud, quite nearly as a smoker smokes cigarettes. Once at waking up, once again before work, once again if there was a long enough break at work, and again a couple of times after coming home and before bed.

Anyway, some things happened where she lost her job, then her car went in the *******, and because she had virtually no credit and refused to work with banks, I was really the only one to buck up. She found another job after a few weeks, but couldn't generate money flow, so I went, got wheels that we shared, paid a few months rent, food, etc. Finally, things started turning around. We talked about getting married here and there, moving out of state and how this whole thing was just the right thing to do. Pushed by unseen forces, in her dreams, in my desires. We both thought it was literally meant to be. We both asked the cosmos for each other. Perhaps, careful for what you wish for....?

So we got a bigger place. We had room for each other. Space. Good thing. Then, her daughter came back to town, and I was warned that she would bring back a lot of old stuff. Whatever that was inside of her, I do not know to this day. And soon, The two of them, as well as a daughter's friend started hanging out more and more. Our home became a smokehouse and finally I started losing tolerance because I did not want to lose what we worked so hard for. She bent, at first, but soon I told her to take it outside. I started limiting her "freedom". Big no-no.

But then strange things started happening. She started to exude an over-confidence that was, by large in tandem with her work and faith, somehow illogical (at least in my view, at the time), and made illogical disagreements about the simplest of things, she became somewhat irritable (for obvious reasons in my corner), and then the rash came. She always talked about these intense hot-flashes, and how god awful she stank when she sweat and how nobody was capable of keeping up with her daily life for very long. Honestly, she had a very busy schedule after she got her job-life on the go, which is good. But the behavior she exhibited began killing me emotionally. Indifference, apathy, mood swings, more aggressive confrontation. I started reaching more and more, wondering what the hell was happening to us.

Then's when I found a spoon with a crystalline substance in it, not bent, no tarnishing on the bottom. I remember one day hearing a crushing of something coming from her bathroom. I saw a glass pipe in her stash drawer. I went looking for stashed bottles, hoping that maybe it was only drinking and that what I saw was just paraphernalia of her pot lifestyle, but I will never know to this day.

I always gave the benefit of the doubt, up until the very end and in many ways I still do, as I recognized my own culpability.

After a really belligerent statement, by her at my parents' house, no less, on Thanksgiving, and being blown off three weeks in a row, just to go for a walk, like we always used to do on Sunday, I finally asked what the avoidance was all about (at the time that it could have been just me). Not one answer.

I came home the next morning, apologized, kept it short and while she was half asleep, she said it was ok with kisses. Three hours later, after listening to her cough, gag, and blow out her nose in the shower for 20-30 minutes, I got my head ripped off after greeting her good morning.

All because it was 6 o'clock in the morning when I apologized. Had no idea what the hell was so hurtful and full of resentment.

I turned over the lease to her and I moved out that day. I did try to get her back, but the standard stages of a break-up remained. For the last 3-4 months I have been a wreck, done all the wrong things after a break-up like this, and even started my own drinking habit, which, I do know I can curtail. I am bright enough than to let it consume me, although I have started smoking again, which I intend to stop.

I spent a year and half with her, and it tanked like a lead brick in water the last two months. Although, it isn't enough time to get to know someone, even as adults in our 40's, I still think that there is still a hidden maturity in this and there still is a feeling, deep down, that there is still more to gain and to grow from in this experience on both our parts. This period has been painful. I am a very loving man, even more rightly so now that I have my head in a better place from my issues. And still, I have the deepest of feelings for her in spite of her peaceful needs, and addictions.

This may sound stupid, irrational, and completely self-destructive and opposed to every recommendation out here, but the reality is that nobody's perfect, no matter how perfect they may seem for you. Maybe my timing wasn't where it needed to be to understand her necessity for higher power, peace of mind and personal/ spiritual growth, including my own.

When you do love someone, unselfishly so, you would do anything for them, and die for them. Be patient, understanding of their world, respect and admire that.

I'm not saying I am to blame for the whole relationship, but what I am saying is that regardless if someone is an addict, or in recovery, that they too, seek the same things as you, but on a different level that requires a compatibility and understanding in you. And it goes for both parties. You make the commitment to walk through hell and high water. As long as you're happy doing it. People can adjust, and it is a choice. But that choice cannot be at the cost of a morality; only through compassion and pure love.

But I still love her, always will, and I would, without reservation, do it all again with the new knowledge I have.

So, take what you want from this story. It's long, it's hurtful and sad, for me. Flame away, or say don't think about it, just move on. But what I saw and what I felt and what I did I may not do for anyone ever again. Not because of hopelessness, but because the day I saw her, I knew something deep inside that couldn't be explained.

And when someone needs you to understand them and speak their language and you have love for them unlike any other person, commit to that and don't ever let go.

Thank you, SR. And thanks everyone for your coming advice, posts, and the discussions I've read here in recent months.

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Old 03-23-2013, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by music2myears View Post
And when someone needs you to understand them and speak their language and you have love for them unlike any other person, commit to that and don't ever let go.
I'm sorry for your pain, and I have felt the same way. The problem is, sometimes you HAVE to let go. Let go or be dragged under with the other person.

Sorry, I see no nobility in two people self-destructing rather than one.

She was not a "recovering" alcoholic when you met her. Recovering alcoholics don't smoke dope. All that stuff about your issues, and how you couldn't "be there" for her is a load of crap. NOBODY is enough for an addict.

Addiction is, indeed, a scary and sad thing. There is nothing romantic about it. It is ugly and the antithesis of love. I'm sorry your friend is bent on destroying her life, and I wish you would see the value in moving on from this relationship. You are still a young man. Don't waste your life pining for this romantic fantasy that has no basis in reality.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:45 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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I'm glad you found SR, and hope you stick around. As Lexie said, your girlfriend was never in recovery. She may have elected to not drink alcohol, but she still used mood altering substances. That is NOT recovery. As you attest to in your post, you have watched her issues get worse over time. That is the undeniable pattern of addiction, it is a progressive disease.

You seem to take on the blame for her issues. Learn the 3 C's: You didn't Cause her addiction, you can't Cure it, and you can't Control it. You are NOT to blame. What took a "toll" on her is her addiction. Period.

You need to work on your own recovery, and learn about your own co-dependency issues. Read "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. You say what you did, you may never do for anyone again. I hope not. Enabling someone's addiction is not love. There is nothing noble in allowing yourself to be dragged down the drain with the addict. Healthy boundaries, and practicing self care, is love. Love for yourself.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:06 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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When you do love someone, unselfishly so, you would do anything for them, and die for them. Be patient, understanding of their world, respect and admire that.
I vehemently disagree with this part of your post, and the other bits and pieces that romanticize the destructive and life-denying life of an addict and their codependent.

Crushing noises and a glass pipe? I think you know exactly what that is, and it is amazing to me that you would act as if this was a normal "life style choice" made by a competent adult.

I guess I do not understand your point. Are you saying that a drug abuser is just in a different stage of life and you should respect and support them?
How far are you willing to go with that support?
Are you willing to go that far to find recovery for yourself?
I certainly hope so, you sound like a caring person who maybe got off track somewhere, and you are no longer with this woman.


recovering from everything.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:31 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Proud Upstate New Yorker
Posts: 869

Welcome to SR. I once loved a man who was addicted to painkillers. He was very sweet to me. The sweetest boyfriend I ever had up until I met him. We had a great time together, most of the time. No huge fights, no serious drama, things were cool.

In fact, I still care deeply about him.

However, there isn't enough love in the world to compete with someone's addiction. He lacked motivation and overtime I realized he was quite the downer. Perhaps he took such a negative view on life as an excuse to keep popping those pills. Eventually, for the sake of my own sanity, I had to leave.

I do not enjoy codependent behavior. I want to be me and I want the one I love to be him, and lets get along. I want to be able to truly love someone for who he is I stead of for what I can control or rescue him from. Recovering codies know exactly what I mean by that.

I believe you can find an even better love than what you had with her. I also believe it happens for us when we focus on our own recovery.

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