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Not sure how to help..

Old 08-07-2010, 06:32 PM
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Exclamation Not sure how to help..

Hi, I'm new to all this and was brought here because I met an awesome guy back in february who I knew was a recovering crack addict (only 6 months at that time) but he seemed to be on a very healthy and direct path... He had priorities, plenty of hobbies and interests, a good relationship with God, and was a very loving and uplifting person - there was a lot of hope and a seemingly bright future ahead of him and I fell in love. Everything was wonderful the first few months, we hung out every spare moment we could. In June he had gotten some great news that he had found a full time job in landscaping (which is something he loves) and it really seemed like things were gonna get even better! To my surprise, he quickly started to deteriorate and distance himself from me and my daughter - whom he'd also been very close with. He got incredibly moody and of course I started questioning him about it but he just kept telling me he was depressed or tired or some other excuse. One day I did not hear from him at all, which is very unusual. I knew he had gotten off of work and tried calling but no answer. He called back 2 hours later all hyped up and when I questioned about it he quickly dismissed it and said he had to do something and would call me right back... never heard back from him. The next day when I still had not heard anything I went to his house and packed up everything that was over there. He called me crying when he got off work and told me he needed to talk to me. The next day he came out and told me what happened and I had no words except that I would not put up with it again! He never made any promises but convinced me to give him another chance. 3 weeks ago it happened again! Last min. cancellation of plans and no word from him for 2 days. Once again I had to go back and get my stuff. He met me there and started crying again and apologized and I felt awful but I told him I couldn't do it anymore and I needed to distance myself but still wanted to be friends because I care about him very much and if I can help and support him in his recovery I will. Things have been going ok... of course I've had some suspicions that he is still using but was not 100% until last night. I felt it coming - it was payday and he had a bout of the F-it's when i talked to him the night before. I told him to call me when he got off of work which he assured he would, but never heard a thing. It was confirmed by his mom who had the same feeling that morning and also said she'd not heard from him and he did not bring her $ like he's supposed to on payday.
What do I do here? I know he'll probably be calling tomorrow when he's feeling better and ready to talk, and I want to let him know that I'm still here for him, but really just don't know the right things to say or how you are supposed to go about supporting someone in this situation - Just that he should probably quit that job (he gets the stuff from the guy he works with) and he NEEDS TO GET HELP!
Are there any suggestions on what I can do to convince him his life IS worth it?? How do other people keep themselves clean for so long? what does it take?
Sorry this is so awfully long!
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:13 PM
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sorry your going thru this

the thing is, he KNOWS your there for him thats why he keeps calling after hes been out using
as far as helping him goes the only way you can truely Help him is to NOT help him

drugs are every where its not just on his job

stick around read the sticky notes others will be along soon with support

also its a good idea to look for an alanon meeting or a naranon meeting to learn about how to care for yourself
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:31 PM
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Set some healthy boundaries for YOU. A sample boundary would be... I like you alot, but as long as you continue using, I cannot be around you. I'll support you in your recovery, but cannot support you in your using.

Loving an active addict is a hard job, and the chaos it brings can affect your sanity and well-being. An addict will only quit when they get sick and tired of the life they are living. As much as we'd like to, we can't love them clean... if so none of us would be here. Read all the sticky posts at the top of the forum... "What Addicts Do" and "Let me fall by myself", etc. Good reading and you'll learn so much! Keep reading and posting... it will help you so much.

Sending (((HUGS))) as the path is not easy, but you're among so many who care here.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by liesagain View Post
sorry your going thru this

the thing is, he KNOWS your there for him thats why he keeps calling after hes been out using
as far as helping him goes the only way you can truely Help him is to NOT help him

drugs are every where its not just on his job

stick around read the sticky notes others will be along soon with support

also its a good idea to look for an alanon meeting or a naranon meeting to learn about how to care for yourself
Thank you for the reply. I guess what I'm confused about is that I'm not sure if me being there for him to talk to is an enabling thing. Should I stop talking to him? Can I include him in any plans to the beach or fishing or anything or just keep it distant? I tell him my point of view on what he's going through and have tried to talk to him about it but he resists, so most of the time we just b.s. and vent about our day or whatever's going on. He has told me there is nothing I can really DO, but I think he just needs to know that he's got a good friend rootin for him.

And I know the drugs are everywhere but it just seems like he was able to turn them down before he got this job... he's with this guy for 8-10 hours a day, 5days a week and often ends up picking him up or dropping him off because he does not have a car or ride to work which at first he was really freaked out about because he knew what might happen.... I know that's turned out to be a good excuse for him tho

And yes I will try to find a local meeting or at least get into an online forum. Thanks again
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:48 AM
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Thank you Ray... yes I've already experienced how excruciating all of this is a couple times and even after "detaching" you still find yourself in panic mode when they don't call or come home. I can't imagine what his mom is going through! She keeps a lot to herself, but I told her yesterday that I would be there for her if she ever needed to talk or needed help in dealing with all of this. She doesn't want anybody to know and tries to shoulder it all. I dont know if i would be overstepping by sending her a link to this site or talking about naranon. We got along and like eachother but never got that close.
Thank you for pointing out those posts, they were very helpful!:ghug3
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:25 AM
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I'm sorry for your situation. Standing close to the fire (addiction) means that you are going to get burned. Only you can determine how close to it you want to stand.

I've found that you can't support an addict in their recovery the same way that you can "support" a friend that is struggling. Your friend is demonstrating traits/behaviors consistent with active addiction. If he were serious about changing then his playmates and playgrounds would change. He knows that he can go and use and then come back to you with crocodile tears and you will be talked into connecting with him again.

Addiction is interesting. We get as "addicted" to them and their presence as they do to their substance. Crack is a beguiling mistress and there is nothing that you can say or do that will get through to him to make him feel differently. It is a relationship between him and "her" and no one elses input is going to matter. Mainly, because you don't know what it's like when they are together. She has inroads to his brain that you will never reach - and only kill yourself trying to prove otherwise. After a go-round with her he is "done" for the time being but she has a siren's song that overwhelms all reason and previous commitments to stay away.

My husband is a recovering crack addict - 5 years clean from a 20 year run. I've seen and heard it all. Getting sober and away from the drug (and staying away from it) is only the beginning of it all. We get hooked into the amazing person that we see in the midst of it all and hang tightly to it. The statement "things are seldom as they seem" is really true. I fell in love with the "buffed up" version of my husband....the good that is in each of us I guess. But, staying sober and living life on life's terms has a way of tarnishing that outer veneer as time goes along.

Crack addiction is nasty. As hard as it is watch a train wreck it is even worse to be in one.

Keep reading and learning. This is a great opportunity to learn about yourself. I had to take a look at what was going on in me to get involved with a crack addict. The only person that you can truly help in this situation is yourself...and that is the only way that you really can help him.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:54 AM
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Crack addiction is nasty. As hard as it is watch a train wreck it is even worse to be in one.
Excellent way to express the truth of being in a relationship with an addict and what enabling is. No matter what you do, you can't stop an addiction train wreck. And you can't convince someone to get off the train before they are ready. And giving someone cushions and making sure they have lots of friends and comfort while they are on the train certainly isn't going to convince them to exit any time sooner.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by hello-kitty View Post
Excellent way to express the truth of being in a relationship with an addict and what enabling is. No matter what you do, you can't stop an addiction train wreck. And you can't convince someone to get off the train before they are ready. And giving someone cushions and making sure they have lots of friends and comfort while they are on the train certainly isn't going to convince them to exit any time sooner.
I want to take the addiction train wreck analogy a little further.
Hi, I am a recovering alcoholic and my ex husband is a crack addict, dealt with it for many years, my denial won't let me think how many.

You are standing over the addict, buckling him in safely, putting pillows all around him for the impact you know is coming. He doesnt even see you or acknowledge your presence, because he has some crack to smoke.
The addiction train is heading for that brick wall, but you are trying to get the addict to stop smoking and be safe, standing there, not protecting yourself at all.

We can get off this train! Lets do it! Heres the door!
Addict says, uh no, and takes another hit.

BAM!!! Train hits the brick wall, the impact throws you to the front of the train, breaking every bone in your body.
Rescue workers come to peel your poor broken body (spirit) off the engine room door.
You ask "How is my addict?"
The rescue workers say, "He is fine, he is on his hands and knees searching for the rock he lost when he felt a "bump" in his ride."

This is what my life was like. Getting thrown into the engine door and the crack got chosen everytime. Everytime.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by chrissieo83 View Post
Are there any suggestions on what I can do to convince him his life IS worth it??
Welcome!!!

Sorry, ime there is nothing you can do or say.

The only thing you can do is save yourself.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
BAM!!! Train hits the brick wall, the impact throws you to the front of the train, breaking every bone in your body.
Rescue workers come to peel your poor broken body (spirit) off the engine room door.
You ask "How is my addict?"
The rescue workers say, "He is fine, he is on his hands and knees searching for the rock he lost when he felt a "bump" in his ride."
Absolutely perfectly stated.......gave me goose bumps when I read it.

gentle hugs
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:36 AM
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You are standing over the addict, buckling him in safely, putting pillows all around him for the impact you know is coming. He doesnt even see you or acknowledge your presence, because he has some crack to smoke.
The addiction train is heading for that brick wall, but you are trying to get the addict to stop smoking and be safe, standing there, not protecting yourself at all.

We can get off this train! Lets do it! Heres the door!
Addict says, uh no, and takes another hit.

BAM!!! Train hits the brick wall, the impact throws you to the front of the train, breaking every bone in your body.
Rescue workers come to peel your poor broken body (spirit) off the engine room door.
You ask "How is my addict?"
The rescue workers say, "He is fine, he is on his hands and knees searching for the rock he lost when he felt a "bump" in his ride."

This is what my life was like. Getting thrown into the engine door and the crack got chosen everytime. Everytime.


Brilliant and so true!
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:29 PM
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That is a very powerful analogy and I do see a lot of truth in that! Now I just need to kep that image in my head...Wow, I cant believe I've even contemplated trying to live with this before I found SR!
Thank you!
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:51 PM
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Thank you KindEyes, Callie and Chrissie.

I was feeling down, lonely and "less than" most of today.
But to read that I wrote something memorable really helps me right now.
I can't even say how much.
:ghug3

and a grouphug,

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Old 08-08-2010, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by chrissieo83 View Post
How do other people keep themselves clean for so long? what does it take?
I put a tremendous amount of work into my own recovery, and that is how I have stayed clean/sober since 1990.

I had to hit a bottom, and not once, but twice.

I threw 4 years clean/sober out the window in 1990, and thank God there was no one around to pick me up, pat me on the back, or offer support.

I spent two miserable months out there, and when I was tired of hurting, I drug myself back up the long flight of steps to my home 12 step group, and I started all over again.

I would highly recommend reading "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. It was a real eye-opener for me in realizing why I kept choosing unavailable men over and over.

I also have a 32 year old daughter who's an active addict, and I would have zero contact with her if it were not for my 15 year old granddaughter, who lives with her now.

She would have to have a minimum of 2 years continuous, solid recovery before I would even let her into my home again.

The 'help' he needs is among professionals and others in recovery, not from you. Until he's ready to get help, there is nothing anyone can do.

I hope you continue to post, and know that you are among friends.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:13 PM
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I was feeling down, lonely and "less than" most of today.
But to read that I wrote something memorable really helps me right now.
I can't even say how much.


I have those days too wicked. Chin up, tomorrow is a new day. You're doing fine.
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