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Seeking support-my Boyfriend is addicted to pain meds

Old 02-06-2012, 10:50 AM
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Seeking support-my Boyfriend is addicted to pain meds

I am new to this board as well as new to being someone who loves an addict. I've been in my current relationship with my boyfriend for just over two years and it has only been recent that it hit me that's exactly what the situation is. Right now, I am so incredibly lost, confused, hurt, angry, resentful, etc. yet...I love this man with all my heart and I am holding onto the man I fell in love with. I have consciously made the decision to see this through, or, for at least as long as my boyfriend is attempting to get clean. But I have reached such a low point myself, recently diagnosed with severe depression, and am tired of crying on a daily basis, that I know I need to help myself now.

Once we lived together, things ever so slowly started falling apart. To this day, we disagree on what came first. In my opinion, it unfolded at the same time. Living together, you no longer have the luxury of showing only your best side. I started noticing mood swings and my insecurities came out which, in turn, caused him to start withdrawing and withholding the nice things he used to say. As his moods worsened and as we argued more, my anxiety increased. Four months into us living together, he admitted he was abusing Vicodin. I always knew he took it but never knew there was a problem. Maybe subconsciously I picked up on things here and there but it wasn't until he went to his Mom's, who lives out of state, to detox, that I knew things were bad. I was scared but at the same time, so proud of him for doing what he was doing on his own. I wanted to be there for him but he felt it best he did this without me around as he knew he would be a "bear". While away, I tended to the finances (which, even though we keep separate, I handle the budgeting which was his choice as he told me he was not good at managing his money) and found a very large gap in what he claimed to have and what was in his account. When asked about it, he admitted that his problem was worse than what he led on but was so ashamed and didn't want me to know how bad. He gets a legitimate script every month but that wasn't enough any more so he was buying more as his tolerance grew which was emptying out his bank account. I tried to understand as best I could and when he came back, I saw a man who was free of all the "crap" he carried around, happy, and clear minded. But it didn't last.

The real pain he experiences on a daily basis with his back (from a car accident years earlier that he never got treated for) caused him to revert back to getting a script a month later. He was honest with his doctor which showed alot of character I thought and the doctor lessened his script to be more manageable. I was so disappointed that he went back to them and being as anxious as I am, constantly worried that it would once again interfere with our relationship. And it did. It very gradually took over but looking back, I had blinders on. I guess I wanted to believe so bad that it wouldn't happen again that I ignored the signs like "my bottle was stolen out of my car" or "I accidentally ran over my bottle in the driveway" excusing him to seek more.

Last summer, I was rear ended in a car accident and for the first time in my life, I required pain medication. Because I only took them when it was absolutely necessary, I always had alot on hand. Because I didn't want to get into more arguments, I agreed to let my boyfriend have what I didn't use. For a while it wasn't an issue. Until one day, when I went to get one for myself, I noticed some missing. When I asked my boyfriend, he denied it defiantly and was very convincing which left one other option - his teenage daughter. He let me believe she was the one who had to have taken them and I was furious that she would come into my bedroom. We had one of the biggest arguments we'd ever had because I told him he needed to talk to her and when he kept pushing it off, I told him either he talk to her or I would and we didn't speak for 2 days. The whole time, I thought we were breaking up, I went through agony. Then he admitted...he took them. I was hurt, and let him know in a surprisingly calm manner and I forgave him because at that point, it was the first time, to my knowledge, he'd ever "done" anything to me.

Fast forward to now, he just admitted to me (even though I already suspected) that he has outright lied to me about money he was supposed to pay back to me from a check he claimed to have never received, used his doctor co-pays to buy more, took them from me two more times and left me with none, well, you get the idea.

My guess is I'm telling a story that is familiar yet to me, it is very new, very raw, and very painful. I have been on this rollercoaster for too long and it's destroying me, and destroying us. I have seen him cry like a baby because he realizes how helpless he is in all this. He doesn't take them for pleasure because he cannot function (due to pain) without them. When he runs out, he is so miserable to be around. And when we argue, he can say some pretty awful things that he doesn't realize. I'm not trying to see this through rose colored glasses any more and I'm trying to be realistic. He has real pain but he needs to find a better way to cope. If he wasn't seeking alternative methods (he just got an mri and is ready to go to a pain management center) I would know I'd have to cut my ties now. But he is so lost, to the point where he hates himself and tells me that maybe I should leave him, that I shouldn't trust him, etc..

I don't want to sound selfish but I just want to have a "normal" relationship, free from worrying about this issue, wondering when I get home what kind of mood will I find him in, will our plans get changed because he's not feeling well, etc.. I'm sure I've enabled him and have become somewhat of a co-dependent so I'm ready to admit the mistakes I've made as well. I know I haven't helped the situation with my anxiety (which I am currently being treated for) and can't imagine what it must be like for him. But I am so incredibly hurt that he could do all these things to me. I've read that addiction takes over and becomes the priority but it doesn't change the fact how much it's effected me. I feel like I am unimportant and that all of the support and unconditional love I've given him means nothing if he can do this to me and do it for as long as he has. I trusted him but no longer can and trust is huge with me.

What do I do? Is there hope? I'm thinking of going to a local NA meeting, I'm wondering how helpful they are. Any help, suggestions, anything will be so welcomed.

Thank you for reading my story.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:24 AM
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I mean no snark here when I say that it appears you are in love with a hopeful fantasy of a man you need and want him to be which is not who he is.

Addiction demands he protect and sustain it at all costs. It's not personal. It just feels that way.

Might you consider giving him the gift of dignity to experience the consequences of his addicition and do so without a front row seat on the crazy train?
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:34 AM
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No offense taken but he really was a different person (in a good way) before the vicodin really took hold of him. Not making excuses by any means, I am (thankfully) past that, but he hadn't been taking them that long when we met and as his tolerance grew, his moods and personality changed.

I would think the fantasy would be if I had never seen any good or any kind of values and was projecting what I "hoped" he is as a person and/or if he showed no desire to rid himelf of this addiction. Like I stated, I see the mistakes I've made by enabling him and ignoring the signs thinking it was making my life easier, but I am of the mindset that everyone deserves a second chance and I am choosing to give him that as long as he actively seeks help - which he is.

But, that is why I am here, to understand all the stages and emotions that someone in my position goes through.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:13 PM
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I'm so sorry for your pain. My son is an oxy addict and I too am going thru the same hell that your experiancing with your BF. I've done thru the disbelief, the optimistic hope that he will realize what he's doing and stop. The denial, the rage and sadness you feel everytime they lie, manipulate and steal from you to protect that mistress (addiction). The reluctance to let go of the hope that they will turn their life around and recover but it doesn't happen and the hopelessness that follows. Then finally, the realization that this is what they are, addicts. Even when they are in on-going recovery.

While I applaude your effort to stay with him while he's actively seeking recovery let me caution you. Addicts are masters at deception, and they guard that mistress carefully. Be very careful about letting your feelings for him blind you to whether or not he is lieing. I have to remind myself daily what my son is and capable of but I will always love him.

I have withdrawn all support save putting a roof over my son's head and that too is about to disappear which takes me to a whole different level of dispair because I was raised that you don't turn your back on family but I'm choosing to fight to not be an enabler anymore. I've heard of many more people that haven't recovered from addiction than those that have. No one knows better than those of us that have walked in these shoes how hard it is to let go of your addict. I can validate every experiance and feeling that your going thru. All I can say is this, educate yourself all about addiction so when the time comes you can make a decision based on knowledge. In the end only YOU can decide when you've had enough and walk away with no regrets.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:41 PM
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Yjasmene, I am sorry to hear of the struggles you are going through. The saying of 'there's strength in numbers' is true to a degree but sad all the same knowing that this is such a problem for so many. I feel for you and for everyone here who has experienced such pain. I pray that we all find some peace and that our loved ones do as well.

I am only beginning to understand this disease as I just realized that's what has been happening. Why it took so long for me to recognize it for what it is? I don't know, alot of things - I have always tried to see the best in people, even when they show their worst easier than their best, love, insecurity, compassion, etc.. I just read on here that it's easy to confuse compassion for love when living with an addict. Obviously, that "in love" feeling is not present at the moment but we had built such a solid foundation in the beginning that I do know there is still love there.

I'm finally ready to admit all of the feelings I've experienced, accept the course I've allowed and followed and see clearly where it led me, and do things for myself now. It has been exhausting to be a 'detective', apparently another trap we supporters fall into. I need a break and am going to find myself again. While doing so, I am going to pray that my boyfriend can do the same, not for me right now, but for himself. As hard as it is to swallow, I know that he cannot love me until he gets better and loves himself. I have been fighting that battle for over a year now and have to start reminding myself that it is not personal, even though it feels that way.

Cynacle One, I've never experienced this type of depression before, to the point where nothing is fun and it is a chore, sometimes torture, to be around friends I haven't seen in a while. I don't want to answer the questions of how I'm doing or how my relationship is because it means I have to force a smile and say ok since I certainly don't want them to know the truth. I don't enjoy doing anything so I come up with all sorts of excuses if I'm asked to join them. It's not the life I want and it took me this long to make a stand. My boyfriend and I had one of the most honest and heartfelt talks we ever had over the weekend and for once, it wasn't from my prodding. He rarely opens up but he shared some very personal things and I see how torn up he is over everything. He is aware, in these kinds of moments, what he has done, what he is doing to me, and the guilt, shame and apologies were sincere. He has encouraged me to be with my friends, find some enjoyment, do for 'me'. It has been my choice to live in a hole and I'm sure that has made him feel even worse about himself seeing how low I have sunken myself.

I don't know where tomorrow or the next day will take me or us but today, I'm going to accept that this is day one of my acknowledgement of the issue and decision to do something for me and go from there.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cynical one View Post
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]We have to get out of the victim mentality of "what they have done to us"…they don't use AT us, it's not personal. And after the first time that they "do" something to us, everything after that is what we've allowed. We have to take personal responsibility for our lives, our happiness, our choices. We put forth all of our energy into them with the expectation of a return on our investment at a later date…and when that doesn't happen we are eaten up with anger and resentments…and that's not their fault.

Thank you for that reminder. You are right. I sort of said that - that I am now accepting the road I have allowed myself to go down and figuring out where to go from here. But in the next breath, I was blaming him for what I'm feeling. I have a long way to go to understand it all but I'm so glad I found this board!
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:11 PM
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Hopeful,

Welcome. How well I know that knife to the heart you have experienced. And yes, it can bring on clinical depression, related to the stress levels skyrocketing and the body's inability to return to normal chemistry. All romantic crises are stressful. But when the dark presence of addiction is involved, the shock is deep, unexpected, and a horror.

You have been with him for two years and I believe you have seen both the good man and the selfish criminal addict. And the trauma comes from shock that he is both. Believe me, when normal people break up, they do not have this horror. They will never understand what you are feeling now.

On Amazon there is a book, "When Painkillers Become Dangerous" written by Dr. Drew Pinsky and other contributors. I recommend it not only for the information you will read about pill addicts, but also because there is a chapter on Addiction as a Family Disease and this is the chapter meant for you.

You chose Hope as your name here and I would not for one minute tell you to change that. You love someone who is possessed by a compulsion which robs him of his morals, changes his personality, and controls his every thought. This is drug addiction. It does not mean that he is not lovable, nor that you were or are wrong to love him as deeply as you do.

But there is a third party in your relationship with him. It is dark and ruthless and no matter how much hope is in your heart, if you do not fully respect this force of Addiction, you will be lost. If you stay with your sweetheart without a grim resolve against enabling him, being manipulated by him, being conned by him, you will be lost. Life as you know it will dissolve beneath you as you become more and more a part of the disease.

So I hope you will pick up that book, attend Nar-Anon (or Al-Anon if Nar-Anon is not in your area--for loved ones of drug addicts) and hold tight to a counselor. Your psyche has been shattered and you need to keep yourself wrapped in a safe environment. He will bring chaos through your door right now. I would not open it for a time. Not right now.

God bless. I hope your story has a happy ending. A few do.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:16 PM
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Hopeful,

Welcome. How well I know that knife to the heart you have experienced. And yes, it can bring on clinical depression, related to the stress levels skyrocketing and the body's inability to return to normal chemistry. All romantic crises are stressful. But when the dark presence of addiction is involved, the shock is deep, unexpected, and a horror.

You have been with him for two years and I believe you have seen both the good man and the selfish criminal addict. And the trauma comes from shock that he is both. Believe me, when normal people break up, they do not have this horror. They will never understand what you are feeling now.

On Amazon there is a book, "When Painkillers Become Dangerous" written by Dr. Drew Pinsky and other contributors. I recommend it not only for the information you will read about pill addicts, but also because there is a chapter on Addiction as a Family Disease and this is the chapter meant for you.

You chose Hope as your name here and I would not for one minute tell you to change that. You love someone who is possessed by a compulsion which robs him of his morals, changes his personality, and controls his every thought. This is drug addiction. It does not mean that he is not lovable, nor that you were or are wrong to love him as deeply as you do.

But there is a third party in your relationship with him. It is dark and ruthless and no matter how much hope is in your heart, if you do not fully respect this force of Addiction, you will be lost. If you stay with your sweetheart without a grim resolve against enabling him, being manipulated by him, being conned by him, you will be lost. Life as you know it will dissolve beneath you as you become more and more a part of the disease.

So I hope you will pick up that book, attend Nar-Anon (or Al-Anon if Nar-Anon is not in your area--for loved ones of drug addicts) and hold tight to a counselor. Your psyche has been shattered and you need to keep yourself wrapped in a safe environment. He will bring chaos through your door right now. I would not open it for a time. Not right now.

God bless. I hope your story has a happy ending. A few do.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:29 PM
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Double post. Sorry, SR!
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:25 PM
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I have been in that situation. My RABF's drug of choice was pain killers. He started with a real reason to take them (a broken bone), but stayed on them because he liked the feeling. He had several reasons for "liking" them, but it eventually led to an addiction. As he got more and more addicted, I got more and more sepated from my friends. I was in denial about his drug problem. He would say one thing and act another way. I would try to hide things from friends. I wouldn't admit to myself that he had a problem. I would try to control his usage. All of this lead to me being very anxious and depressed. I'm not saying it was the only cause, but it sure didn't help.

My RABF also lied about his usage and illegally obtained drugs (doctor and pharmacy shopping). He was a different person on the drugs. He became only interested in getting more drugs. He became distant. He was with me, but not really here mentally.

I would suggest that you work on taking care of yourself. There are things you can do like exercise and meditation that may help. It also may help if you can get out with your friends just a little bit. Maybe, just have a short lunch with one of them?

Did you say you were receiving treatment for the anxiety/depression? If so, that is very good. I feel for you, because I've been there.

You might want to distance yourself during his recovery. You don't have to be there for him or give him a second chance. If he decides to get clean, it will be for himself. He has to do the work himself. Meanwhile, his emotions might be up and down, and you will probably be in store for more of his lies.

It sounds like a little much with you taking care of his finances. He is an adult, right? I would draw a line before that point. Plus, the fact that he took money from you is very discouraging.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:03 AM
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Believe me when I say, the more I think about everything that has happened (and I only learned about alot of the lies from our talk this past weekend), the more disheartened...and confused...I am. It's why I'm making no rash decisions and taking it one day at a time. I'm not lessening the magnitude of what he has done but he didn't take money from me, but he lied about not getting a $50 check he was getting from a side job because we originally agreed that money was coming to me since he owed me that. It's still VERY wrong and it hurts sooooo much but this is why I am here, to learn what addiction is all about and to educate myself as much as possible so I *can* make an informed decision if and when that time comes.

As far as handling the finances, honestly, that's the one thing I don't see where there's a problem. Alot of my friends (couples) who are minus the issues that we are dealing with have one of the spouses/partners handling the bills and budget. I'm really good at it so I figure why not. My Dad handled his and my Mom's so I always thought of that as normal.

Anyway, I'm sorry to hear what you have gone through as well. It is definitely an emotional rollercoaster and you deal with such intense emotions. It's weird though, when I should be the most down (after learning all that I did over the weekend) it actually made me stronger - for me I mean. Not sure if it made me distance myself a bit emotionally or what but it did set me into motion to start taking care of me better.

The one thing I am extremely frustrated about is I spent hours (literally) yesterday and last night scouring the internet looking for Nar Anon meetings and there is nothing even close to me, maybe 3 in the whole state I border. I am very surprised there aren't more support groups out there. Am I just looking in the wrong places?
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:18 AM
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You can go to Alanon, substitute drugs for alcohol in the verbage. I went to both whatever fit my schedule, addiction is addiction.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dollydo View Post
You can go to Alanon, substitute drugs for alcohol in the verbage. I went to both whatever fit my schedule, addiction is addiction.
Thank you, I saw those while searching but wasn't sure. And I noticed there are alot of various types of meetings. I'm assuming I want Open. What about if I want to share (so I can hopefully get some input from others to help me better understand). I want to follow the etiquette of these meetings and respect the way they are run.
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