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New and unprepared - indirectly affected by addiction

Old 01-12-2012, 04:09 PM
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New and unprepared - indirectly affected by addiction

Hi. This is definitely a new approach to what I'm going through for me. I think I just need insight from people that have gone through something similar. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4 years and the beginning of the relationship I was young, and stupid. My boyfriend came clean around late September this year to using oxycotin intravenously for a while guessed about 6 months. When we had first started dating him and his friends would do it for fun, I was 18 at the time didn't really have the morals I do now. As our relationship progressed and I grew up I though I made my expectations clear by telling him that drugs were no longer okay with me, he agreed. So when he came to me with this in September saying that he wanted to detox and get better. He detoxed at the hospital as he is a diabetic (not sure what normal detox would be for someone.) I forgave him, but wanted to make it an open topic for conversation so I could ask him how he was doing. He saw an aadac counselor for a while but then kind of just stopped. I was suspicious but didn't want to press him if he had been doing okay. He works away from home so I set my boundary that if we were going to be together he had to follow through with the addac (my therapist advised me to setting boundaries.) So early this week he called me crying telling me he's coming home because he has relapsed. I don't know what to do or how to handle this situation a second time. He is back in the hospital detoxing and has made plans to go to a rehab facility. I want to be with him but I am very afraid of the future that will be in store for me. I don't know where to find the faith I need to believe that its going to work. We are currently not speaking because every time we do, we fight. I can't handle him, and I know that going through detox isn't easy but it is hard for me to find sympathy in his pain. I want to be the one that gets to hold is hand when he is clean and through with it, but how will I ever know when it is really over? Or is it ever over? I have my whole life ahead of me and although I love him and always will I don't know how to do this. All I know is that I can't help him, I'm not qualified and I can't control his sobriety. But I also know I don't want to leave him, and I don't think I'll be able to handle another relapse.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:31 PM
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(((90210))) - Welcome to SR, though I'm sorry for what brought you here.

My first recommendation would be to read through other threads in this forum. There are a whole lot of people who have, or are, dealing with loved ones who are addicts.

I'm a recovering addict, but also had 3 ex bf's who were also addicts, so I know both sides of the "addiction fence".

Addiction is a life-long disease. We A's (addicts/alcoholics) CAN choose recovery and do well, but there is no guarantee. I'm going on 5 years in recovery, but that is through MY choice and MY actions. My last bf had no desire for recovery and I had to let him go.

It's perfectly okay to not want to deal with this. I know many people would advise you to "run like he!!". It's YOUR decision on what you want to do, but this is a GREAT place to learn about addiction and what it entails. Regardless of what you decide, we are here for you.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:24 PM
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Thank you. It is also helping me to read about people with addition and recovering too it makes me realize things are possible and helps me understand a little where people suffering from addiction are coming from. I need to understand it as best as I can, so that I can understand what my boyfriend is going through. I know I can't help him, but understanding will help me. Thanks again.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:58 PM
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90210, I was and I guess currently am in a similar situation. my boyfriend of 5 years has now been clean for a month from his heroin addiction. that may not be a long time but it's a start. like you said, you can't control his sobriety, but I have chosen to be there
for my boyfriend, as long as he is doing what he needs to do to stay clean. I'd like to think that if he relapsed I would choose to let him go, but I also know how incredibly hard that would be to do so. I can't tell you what to do, no one can, but I can tell you that faith will take you a longggg way in situations like this. whatever you decide, do what's best for you, because like you said, you have a long and promising life ahead of you as well. I hope this helps, just know anythingg is possible! =]
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:17 PM
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Blindside08: Makes me feel a little better knowing that someone else has chosen a similar path to mine. The majority of the people around me I have either not told, or I have gotten a negative reaction aside from two people. So it is obviously not good to hear that someone else has to go through what I'm going through but it is comforting in a way. I think I'm going to stay with him right now as he is doing what he needs to be sober, like you said. I think I've known that but it is hard because it is a constant battle in my head. Part of the hard part is facing reality for me, what if everything is fine for the next ten years and then this all breaks down. I'm just very scared of the future. But I know that if I worry my life away I will probably end up in that boat. Thanks for sharing with me, it is helpful for me to talk to people in the same situation not just people on the outside looking in.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:39 PM
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(((90210))) - one of the things I learned from the great people here is to look out for myself. Then, no matter what anyone else does, or doesn't do, I know I'll be okay.

I know I put my loved ones through he!! when I was using, but I've worked hard to make amends. Ten years from now? I plan on working my recovery, just as I do today, and taking life as it comes - the good and the bad. I have no guarantees, but I do know what I need to do to keep on "recovery road".

NONE of us know what the future holds. We could get with someone who's great and then shows "the other side". I really do believe that as long as we are okay with the choices we make and put ourselves first? We'll be okay. It doesn't mean we won't go through hard times, but it does mean that we have the resources to get through them.

You are learning more about the risks of loving an addict and what recovery entails. Having that knowledge is a good thing

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:14 AM
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I agree, no one can tell you what to do but it also helps to listen and talk to people who are in the same situation. My bf went in rehab by choice. I supported him but I wasn't really there for him - physically. He was in rehab for 4 months and we barely talked at all because I was also working on myself recovering from the situation given between us. First weeks were pretty hard but as days passed, I was slowly learning that I shouldn't be depending my whole self to the relationship. One question I asked myself during those days, "Who am I without him?" I learned a lot about myself and what I can do being "single". No one can tell you what to do or how to handle the situation. It will always depend on what you want and what you think is right.
When he completed his treatment, we started talking again and things were really different between us but in a very good way. We're back together and things are doing great for the each of us. He is working on himself as well as I am. I plan not to worry about him relapsing or anything like that, we have agreed that what we have at the present is what we're going to cherish. Only time can tell, but never lose yourself in the process because I believe at the end of the day, it will always going to be you and yourself.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:02 AM
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Your therapist gave you good advise about creating boundaries for yourself. It's not clear she explained the difference between a boundary and trying to control other people.

A boundary begins with " I will/ will not.... " as in "I will not be in a romantic relationship with someone who is in active addiction or early recovery". There is no need to seek someone else's agreement with your boundaries because it's not about other people.

Attempts to control other people usually begin with " You will/ will not... or else", as in " you will stop using drugs or I am out of here". Attempts to control other people's choices does not work.

A boundary respects the other person 's choice to make their own decisions. We are responsible for enforcing our boundaries and remove ourselves from those situations that conflict with our boundaries.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:45 PM
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90210, my boyfriend currently has almost 19 mos clean from IV heroin addiction. I meet him when he was in recovery for 9 mos and a month later we were dating. I can tell you that even with him in recovery it is sometimes very difficult. I can't always have as much of his time and attention as I would like because he does IOP 3 nights a week and atteds at least 3 meetings a week. I love him and know he loves me. I only every once in a while worry about a relapse but it is not due to something he has done or said just more what would I do if....? I do occasionally feel a little left out as I can't ever fully understand what he is going through since I have never been an addict. He is willingly to share somethings about his addiction and others he is not comfortable with but he will for the most part answer my questions when I ask something of him. I am supportive of his recovery and know that without it we have no future together and he has no future. So basically I'm just saying that even with him in recovery the relationship is still hard and sometimes confusing. So take care of u and take things one day at a time with your bf. Just keep in mind that recovery is now his lifelong full time job if he wants to stay clean. Good luck to you... Hugs
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:39 PM
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These are the things I needed to hear, that I can't find in my own circle of friends and family. So thanks to anyone who has replied, every little bit helps. One my main issues I think that if anyone could answer would be helpful obviously I'm going to have to ask my boyfriend this. But I don't know how to handle the after part, when he is done with rehab how do you know how an addict is handling things? The last time he came home from detox and just saw an aadac counselor I didn't ask for the details on his appointments but I would often ask him how he is doing with everything. Now that I look back I wonder if that is something I should of asked. Like he never counted the days of sobriety or anything, he said talking about it made him want to shoot up. If anyone has insight on this, that would be great.
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:12 PM
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90210, this is obviously just my personal experience, but indefinitely talk things out with my boyfriend. I think it's important to talk about it and be open, and he should be willing to do so, but sometimes getting him to do so is like pulling teeth. but it benefits you just like it benefits him, because no matter how you look at it, if you are going to stay together than his addiction is forever a part of your life too. I'm going to start a form of couples counseling with my boyfriend I do hope, that way we both learn to communicate better about it. these are just my suggestions, but no matter what, talkin is most definitely important. hope this helps!
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:16 AM
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blindsided08: Thanks for your input it helps. That is our plan as well (counseling). I see someone on my own because I just find its beneficial for me. I really like having a plan, and a lot of this is very just as the days come hard for me to adjust. But feeling better overall for the majority of the days now that its been almost a week from his relapse. I'm scared of the future but also excited because things can be better and be different. All I know for sure is being positive counts and I can't depend on him for my happiness I have to make my own. When you've been with someone so long you really begin to rely on them for happiness and more but it is probably healthier in any relationship to know that your satisfaction is created and made by you with or without anyone. Think that applies to all people.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 90210 View Post

One my main issues I think that if anyone could answer would be helpful obviously I'm going to have to ask my boyfriend this. But I don't know how to handle the after part, when he is done with rehab how do you know how an addict is handling things? The last time he came home from detox and just saw an aadac counselor I didn't ask for the details on his appointments but I would often ask him how he is doing with everything. Now that I look back I wonder if that is something I should of asked. Like he never counted the days of sobriety or anything, he said talking about it made him want to shoot up. If anyone has insight on this, that would be great.
Recovery is his business.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:08 AM
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But I don't know how to handle the after part, when he is done with rehab how do you know how an addict is handling things?
When I got out of rehab, my "family" (mom and dad) were living 85 miles from me. I had no significant other as I had left my abusive EXAH for my own sanity, safety, and recovery.

I was starting over in a brand new town unfamiliar to me other than what I had learned of it in rehab.

My circle of "support" was firmly established in the rooms of recovery, as it should have been.

There are so many things I am grateful for during that period, including my parents not enabling me or trying to become involved with my recovery, which was/is mine and mine alone to own.

I have a sponsor, I work the steps, I attend meetings, I sponsor others. Actions speak louder than words.

I have demonstrated over the years that I am a productive member of society, and I do the things that responsible people do outside the rooms of recovery.

I practice the principles of recovery in all areas of my life.

I also have a 33-year-old daughter in active addiction, and how she handles things is her own business. What she does/doesn't do has zero bearing on how I live my life because my own recovery comes first.

She's got her own journey in this life. I'm no longer enmeshed in her journey.

Does that help at all?
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:17 PM
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I guess in my instance, my boyfriend began using when he could no longer deal with his personal issues and issues with us, and sunk into a depression..so couples counseling along with individual counseling is the next step for us. this all coming from his mouth as well.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:48 AM
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Thanks to everyone who has replied. Luckily over the past week I have had time to discuss things with my boyfriend although he is still in detox and has a long way to go. And there are group meetings for me to attend in our area which is apparently a great way to get an understanding of addiction through other family and friends of abusers. That's my biggest issue is understanding it. I've come to the realization that just because his life may be falling apart doesnt mean that mine has to. He comes home for five days after detox and before he starts rehab so I'm hoping that everything will run smoothly. Thanks again for replying.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:14 AM
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That's my biggest issue is understanding it
Unfortunately, I doubt if you will ever 'totally understand' addiction. Heck even those of us who have been able to find recovery do not 'understand' it.

Work on you, try some Alanon and/or Naranon (there are usually a lot more Alanon meetings in any area than Naranon, thus giving you a better chance of working some meetings into your schedule) and stand back and WATCH his ACTIONS.

This is HIS RECOVERY and he HAS TO DO ALL THE WORK. His ACTIONS will tell you if he is working any type of recovery program or not.

You know you can here any time 24/7 to rant, rave, cry, scream, and yes even laugh about what you are going through at a particular moment. Don't be a stranger, we do care very much.

You work on keeping 'your side of the street clean', and hopefully with him working on his recovery, he will learn how to keep 'his side of the street clean', and somewhere down the road you will come together.

See right now, you have no idea who he really is, as he has no idea who he is. In reality he has been addicted the whole time y'all have been together. You don't do dope 'just for fun.' Addicts lie. Addicts say what they think we want to hear. So please stand back and WATCH his ACTIONS.

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:41 PM
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Laurie: when you say watch his actions what do you mean exactly? My biggest issue at the moment is him dealing with his detox and the constant complaining. He is in the hospital but is bothered by the fact that there weening him off too quickly. It's very hard for me to feel bad and I don't know what to say to him, because as much as I love him I don't feel bad that he feels sick. That may sound cruel but I cannot sympathize his situation.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:51 PM
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because as much as I love him I don't feel bad that he feels sick.
You don't know that you love 'him'. You don't know who 'him' is. You don't feel bad because you are starting to see 'the disease' as it is and are starting to see that it is His Problem not yours.

When he complains, you can do one of several things:

"your problem your consequences." Then change the subject.

"what are you going to do about it?" Then change the subject.

Don't say anything or don't answer change the subject or "have to go, will talk to you later. Bye." Then hang up.

Right now, you really shouldn't be talking to him all that much, he is using you as a diversion so he doesn't have to look at the elephant in the room (his detox).

Stepping back is just that.

What are you doing for you? The book "Co Dependent No More" by Meodie Beattie is recommended a lot and it is available for a very reasonable price on Amazon.

Have you looked into going to some Alanon meetings in your area. Alanon is for you. Alanon will help you to create your own 'boundaries' and stick to them. Try at least 6 different meetings before making up your mind.

And continue to see your therapist as she/he sounds like they are giving you some good advice.

You work on your recovery, step back and allow him the 'dignity' to work on his own. If he chooses to go to rehab after detox, good for him. If he doesn't that gives you a pretty good idea of how serious he is NOT. Now if he chooses to go to rehab to get some tools, rehab is not a cure, just a step toward getting some tools to use in his ongoing recovery. When he is released, please do not allow him to come back to your home. He would be much better off going into a Sober Living House, where he will still have to 'earn' privileges. HE will be required to get a job. He will be living with other sober and clean folks and a house manager also in recovery, as he learns how to use these tools in every day life.

HIS RECOVERY is HIS RESPONSIBILITY. A Sober Living Environment will help him tremendously, if he is serious about finding recovery. If he is not, and is only doing what addicts do to get us off their backs, than nothing will help until he WANTS recovery.

Keep posting. We are walking with you in spirit.

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:55 PM
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First of all, If you want to know how to handle getting through all that is going on in your life, I pray you will seek the Lord and trust in Him. I have learned that recovery for drug addiction is better when a person gets more than a 30 day program to just detox. How many times did my son do this and continue his addiction. How many times did my heart break. I had to turn my son loose and let him go through all the things that was breaking my heart. I relied on God for direction and I would have never been able to do this alone.
It takes time to trust again and many times the addict when he gets home does not want to discuss the issues and gets mad when you try to bring them up. He is usually on defense and somehow tries to make you feel bad for not trusting. They have to earn that trust if they want back into your life. Many think they can come home and thing everything is OK because they went for treatment. Actions speak plainer than words. Trust God and He will lead you in the right direction.
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