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first time here, please help

Old 02-06-2012, 02:27 AM
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first time here, please help

hi, i don't really know where to start... i really want to go to an al-anon meeting but i've been sick and haven't been able to but there's so much on my mind lately and i'm scared and need some advice. i have been dating someone in recovery for about 8 months now, i knew he was an addict getting into the relationship and thought i could handle everything but lately it's been tough for me. he would be coming up on a year of sobriety now, but he replased once on Vicodin (which shortly afterward he regretted and wanted to throw them up) however, at the time he was living in a sober living house and they randomly drug tested him and he failed so they booted him out. the biggest issue i had was that he didn't tell me about it and i don't know if he would have, i was there when he failed the drug test and that's how i found out. he's been having terrible luck lately and i know things have been weighing heavy on him and i feel that his recent decisions are heading towards the distructive path. i have not ever seen him in active addiction, but he was married for 11 years prior to our relationship and has a daughter (6 years old) to whom he is a great father. his wife served him divorce papers while he was in inpatient treatment and we meant about 3 months later and there was an instant connection. we moved pretty fast, which we didn't want to but it just happened that way and i have fallen in love with him big time. now i know addiction is a disease and if he were to have another disease like diabetes or something i wouldn't leave him, but recently i have had a terribly difficult time imagining life with him forever (we've been getting serious lately) i worry about him relapsing so much, it's not bad when i'm with him but when he's away from me because i'm honestly worried he will OD or something and i hate to think of him being actively on drugs because i know that he wouldn't be the same person i fell in love with.

he also has a friend, i'll call him frank, who was living in the same sober facility as him. frank has a girlfriend, i'll call her...vanessa, who was also in recovery. well, frank and vanessa decided to move out into their own place and they relapsed together. vanessa even stole a couple hundred dollars from my boyfriend and i. frank also has hepatitis C and is supposedly going to start treatment soon (he said he was before but didn't) and frank claims he wants to sober up again so he tried to kick vanessa out, but vanessa is still living there and he gave in. i'm not sure if they are using, but my boyfriend is now living there which bothers me like you wouldn't believe. i told him that i am not trying to control him and he can make his own decisions but that i will NOT go hang out at that apartment with him, at all, ever. I don't trust the girl who stole from me, and i do not want to be around any drugs for my sake, if something were to happen i don't want to be in trouble with the cops for something i'm certainly not willing to participate in.

i completely forgot to mention that for about a month and a half my boyfriend was living with me and my parents because he has been waiting for his ex-wife to go into treatment for her alcoholism and that is why he now wants to move into this apartment with them, to have "his own place". recently he has been sick, and for whatever reason hasn't been calling me much and he talks to me CONSTANTLY which worries me when he doesn't talk to me for a while...obviously dating a drug addict lots of things run through my mind. he is also extremely attached to me and even told me while i was recently away on vacation for a week that he had a panic attack without me being here, which kind of tells me he is really dependent on me, which isn't a good thing for anyone, but especially not a drug addict. he loves me, i know he does and i love him too, but i'm just so scared and don't know what to do anymore. he encourages me to go to al-anon, but i haven't yet although i plan to hopefully this week.

i'm just so worried, especially about his decision for his new living arrangements, for one, he could easily catch hepatitis C from frank, two, well the people he's staying with haven't been sober but for a few days, if they even are. i'm sorry this is so long and scattered i'm just really not feeling well and i'm also desperate, if anyone has ANY advice PLEASE help me.

thanks,
liz


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Old 02-06-2012, 03:15 AM
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Welcome to SR. It all sounds a bit of a mess. Like most people when problems occur in their life, it seems as though all the different issues are getting muddled up in your mind at the moment. If you distance yourself from the situation, can you try to say objectively what you really want and what you think the best outcome of this situation will be?
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:30 AM
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Welcome to SR Liz~~You've found a great site. I've learned a lot from the expereinces of others here posted in the forums, you will like them.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:48 AM
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Hi Liz,

Wow, I think you need to consider your position very carefully. Most people around here have found themselves drifting in to a codependent relationship without realising it. It strikes me that you haven't drifted into yours, but run into it full-steam-ahead.

Let's begin with the word "love". That word is much misunderstood even by the non-addicted community, but it takes on a very different meaning for an addict. "Love" for an addict is reserved for one, very special relationship and one only. An addict's love is very pure and reserved only for the substance of his addiction. If it is used in connection with a physical relationship, an addict will only utter it as a means to maintaining that relationship for supply purposes.

From what you say, your boyfriend is a recovering addict, however one of the things you should know is that environment is crucial when it comes to maintaining sobriety. Any addict serious about his recovery would keep as far away as possible from other addicts for obvious reasons, much less introduce his girlfriend into a drug-users house where she could be manipulated into financially supporting those around him.

It seems to me that you feel a duty of care towards your boyfriend, seeking to protect him from himself and those around him. In doing so you're actually depriving him of the responsibility that he needs in order to grow as a person. He needs to be able to make decisions for himself and accept the consequences when things go wrong. By trying to protect him in this way, not only are you fundamentally trampling on his rights as a human being to do as he wishes, but you're also putting yourself in a position where you will be manipulated into covering for him, and thereby actually increasing his chances of furthering his addiction.

From what you've said you've chosen a very hard life for yourself. You should definitely go along to an Al-Anon meeting and listen very carefully to what people have to say. Most of us at one time or another have arrogantly thought that we could help our partners overcome their addictions, and to a man (or woman) have been proven wrong.

The best advice I can give you is to stay well clear in the event that your boyfriend is still associating with other addicts. When there appears to be a conflict between a person's words and their actions, I would always trust their actions.

I wish you the very best of luck; if you stay in this relationship it strikes me that you're going to need it.

Take care,

Peter
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:31 AM
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This is not a healthy relationship for you. Don't know your age, however, you sound very young and this is no way to spend your life...riding on the roller coaster from h#ll.

He has moved into the lions den, and, there is a reason for it, addicts gravitate to addicts, he did not move there for his health and well-being.

Have you read Codependent No More, I would suggest that you do so, it is a good starting point. And meetings..ASAP.

Read all the stickies at the top of this forum lts of great information at your fingertips.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:07 AM
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Liz,

There was something you wrote this morning that's been niggling away at me, and this is it:

Originally Posted by liz90 View Post
i hate to think of him being actively on drugs because i know that he wouldn't be the same person i fell in love with.
I think you need to consider that sentence very carefully, because going back to the "love" thing, what you're really saying is that you fell in love with your concept of who you think he is, rather than who he is in reality.

The gulf between your rose-tinted projection and who he is in reality will readily become apparent to you at some stage, but probably not until you've been to hell and back.

If I were you I would think twice before you jump on that particular roller-coaster, because it may not be so easy to get off once the ride has started.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:32 AM
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Hi Adipsia

The one thing that really struck home for me in what you said was "when there appears to be a conflict between a person's words and their actions, I would always trust the actions". I am a recovering alcoholic and really feel for this person and the situation she has got herself into. It is an absolute minefield being involved with anyone who has an addiction and is definitely not for the faint hearted.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:42 AM
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Hi Ethambeni,

We have a saying over here... "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... then it's probably a duck !"

Good luck with your recovery, I too share your concern over what Liz is potentially getting herself into; but as with her boyfriend, she's the one that must accept the consequences following on from her life-choices.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:21 AM
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Liz: You already recognize something is amiss when you acknowledge that you have difficulty imagining life with him on a permanent basis (paraphrased). The fact of the matter is, addicts OD and addicts die, just like every person on the planet eventually dies. Yes it's a disease, but if a diabetic chooses to continue living an unhealthy life, eating sweets, over-using insulin or not using insulin, nobody can make them do otherwise and eventually they will die, too.

I think the bottom line is, people do exactly what they "want" to do. Your bf has chosen to live with the people in that apartment, knowing their lifestyle. Right now he is doing exactly what he wants to do.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:22 AM
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Welcome to SR, Liz. You are going to need us!

Excellent feedback you have received. From your description of your drug addict's world--active user, druggie friends, and alcoholic wife-- all poised to bring crisis into your personal life because of your relationship--please stay connected to recovering people because you will soon be losing your mind.

You sound mature enough to make good decisions for your life. You have already set some boundaries with him. But addicts are powerful manipulators and liars, and alone, you are at risk of being controlled by him.

So glad you are here. Please take care of yourself. Love always comes a very distant second, for a drug addict.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by liz90 View Post
i'm just so worried, especially about his decision for his new living arrangements, for one, he could easily catch hepatitis C from frank,
Unless your BF is sharing needles with Frank or having unprotected sex with Frank, he's at no greater risk of Hep C than the general population.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:44 AM
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Welcome to SR.

I think your avatar says it all. Just looking at it causes me anxiety! It does a very good job of explaining the feelings that loving an addict can cause.........total confusion and great anxiety. A loss of control over our own emotions. Heck a loss of control over everything.

This is a great time to take a good hard look at your life and yourself. Most people here on SR know that I'm a strong proponent of Al-anon and Nar-anon and yes......once again I am going to suggest that you go to some of those meetings. Those meetings helped me get my life back in order and helped me understand what I DO control and that which I cannot. The meetings help me find peace and serenity in MY life even though the addict in my life is still held tightly in the grips of his addiction.

If you love this man, those meetings can help you keep yourself separated from his addiction. They don't suggest you leave or stay with the addict. But they do teach you how to take care of yourself first.

gentle hugs
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:44 AM
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thanks everyone, i've read and taken into consideration everyones posts. it's just really hard for me right now. i basically can't stop crying, i'm going to an al-anon meeting in 2 hours (my first one) where i'll probably cry the whole time too...but i'll try to take out of it as much as i can. i've also talked to some other people who are also dating addicts and explained in more detail what's been going on lately and i've come to the realization that he's probably using.. all the signs are there. i really appreciate everything, i'm going to meet up with him later and talk to him...possibly end things which is breaking my heart to even think about but i don't want to enable him. i told him before when he relapsed that i won't stick around and i won't enable him... again, thanks.

liz
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by liz90 View Post

... recently he has been sick, and for whatever reason hasn't been calling me much and......
He's not remotely into recovery. He was kicked out of his sober living enviornment and now lives with other addicts. He's not calling so much because he has other priorities....his addiction demands he protect and sustain it, at all costs.

This very much includes lying to and manipulating you.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:20 AM
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Liz,

I'll share something very personal with you because I respect and admire your courage...

I'm stubborn as hell, and when I started my relationship with my ex, everyone around me screamed that I was being foolish because they all saw the warning signs of my partner being an alcoholic. I quickly became infatuated with this girl, and I distinctly remember two things from this time:

1. I actively chose not to believe my friends; and -

2. I rationalised that even if they were right, I could help save her.

It takes great determination and tenacity to try to swim against the tide of excitement flowing from a new relationship.

I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. I could write volumes about the unbelievable situations I put myself through, as I'm sure any number of people around here could. I won't bore you with the full detail, but let me give you just one statistic: I have been in hospital twice in my life, and have never been in an ambulance; I travelled to hospital with my ex in an ambulance sixteen times over a two month period as a result of her alcoholism. I had to go through the same routine of explaining who she was, why she was there, so many times that I seriously considered typing out an explanation in Word, printing it off, having it laminated and hanging it around her neck.

This - and worse - is potentially what you're letting yourself in for with this type of relationship situation.

You're clearly a caring, loving girl with a big heart (and I'm not being condescending in any way). Don't follow my example unless you are fully prepared to go through the same thing. Save it for someone who understands the true meaning of that "L" word.

I wish you all the best.

Peter
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:09 PM
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I went to my first al-anon meeting today, I sat near a corner and cried some, the whole time I tried holding back my tears. it was peaceful, but I'm in such a low place an am so hurt right now it's hard to see the positive of anything. I talked to my boyfriend after and calmly asked him if he was relapsing, he admitted to it. he stole my Xanax which I am prescribed for my panic attacks, he shot up in my bathroom, I'm pretty positive he stole my lortabs (which I was also prescribed after my near death experience being hit by a drunk driver) and he's obvilously been lying an manipulating me just as I've suspected. I'm so very hurt, I don't like being lied to or stolen from. I know it's not personal, it's part of the disease.... but that doesn't make it hurt less. I hope he straightens up again, but I don't think I'm going to be along for the ride for both our sakes. this is so hard for me, but this isn't something I HAVE to go through and he doesn't need to worry about a romantic relationship, he needs only a relationship with his program and himself to sober up again like he says he wants to. it's probably going to be one of the hardest things I'll do, and I'm not looking forward to it at all. thanks everyone for helping me and all the input. I wish you all the best of luck. for the people wondering, yes, I am young. I am 21 years old and have lots more life to live, but do know that being young doesn't mean I'm not truly in love with him, I am. they say if you love something let it go... well I guess I'm letting go. I'm letting go because I love him and I realize that I can no longer enable him in anyway, I'm just holding him back from recovering fully.

liz
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:32 PM
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Dear Liz, I hope that you find peace in your decision. Addicts have to choose their path, I have a 21 year old son whom I love so much, but I am NOT supportive of his use of drugs. He is in rehab and we don't speak. He is focusing on his recovery, that means NOTHING else is important to him right now. That is very hard for me to accept, however the only way we can have a relationship is for me to let him choose his life and accept him as who he is. I have boundaries about what I will and won't do with him. BTW, you are not holding him back from his recovery, you are simply holding onto him. Letting go is hard, but it provides the opportunity for him and you to heal. Hugs,
Teresa
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:59 PM
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I really wish you health and Happiness in the Future.
If hes not willing to give you the life you deserve.....let him go.

Im a Former addict.....when my Girlfriend at the time Left me....I ran after her,sobered up and Got my self to meetings.

We are Together now 30 years.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:26 PM
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I think that if I do find peace it won't be for a very long while. he is my very best friend and as I've sat here sobbing the only person I've wanted to call and have comfort me is him. he would normally be there letting me know everything would turn out fine and that we have each other... not this time. I miss my best friend so much, I miss the man I fell in love with, but I haven't seen him for a while now anyway I guess...


micealc, I can't tell you how badly I wish that could happen for me. I know he will probably beg because he tried the last time he slipped up. Its just so hard and it's going to hurt me worse telling someone I love that Im not going to continue to be with him. the thought of it makes me nauseated, I love him. I wish things were simpler, but they aren't. you give me hope, keep on going. thanks for sharing.

liz
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:22 AM
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Liz,

You're the wisest, smartest 21 year old that I've ever come across. I was 45 at the time that I chose to ignore the warning signs and my friends advice. I think everyone around here genuinely feels for you because we've all been in your position before and can totally empathise. Codependency relies upon your having a loving heart to get started; if you didn't have that wonderful loving trait, you would have walked away without a moments notice.

As the drive into addiction is fuelled by the search for meaning, the drive into codependency is driven by love. They're both wonderful drivers and the world needs more people with these passions, provided that they direct them appropriately.

I wish you all the best, things will work out just as they should. Take care.

Peter
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