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Old 02-18-2012, 07:34 PM
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Still learning...

So it's been awhile since I posted. In the interim I have lived mostly peacefully on my own. After a couple of months of separation from my ex we sparingly started seeing each other. He seemed to be doing well...back to therapist, very active program, had a new day job. Things were moving carefully and slowly forward.

But...then he got paid, had a pocket full of money, a bubbling up of fear and insecurity and self esteem dive...and he walked out the door to get back to his sober house before curfew and didn't make it back. Three days and a paycheck later and he is penniless and homeless. All in a fell swoop. Was this his "decision"? Is this the disease? both/and I suppose.

I guess I still needed to clear some confusion for myself. I guess part of why I tried again to keep loving, that is loving as a romantic partner, is because of the hope and belief that he would "get" recovery. I have acted as a witness, I thought that his having someone who loved him but still held him accountable would "help" him. I will always love him as a person and hope for his recovery. I just don't know if I can still love him as the partner I thought he was at times and would be. but his addiction keeps stealing the possibility.

By witnessing, holding him accountable, I guess it hasn't helped him, it has proven to me however that I am truly powerless. I have watched and listened to him cycle through all the excuses for his "relapses". After the third time that the same excuse is used the "validity" is pretty lost. I think his addiction uses everything it can squander as an "excuse" to use. I suppose that it is even going to use me now. Whether I stay or go...either way I am going to be a juicy excuse to use. I think that fear of blame may have played into some of the manipulation that made me stay (mine or his) and the shame really used to make me horribly angry when he used. I have learned a lot. No more blame or shame. These are things I had to learn I guess. Too bad. Maybe without the drugs, which end up being an eventual, probably inevitable, deal breaker, we could have continued to learn and grow together in recovery.
But I can't keep cycling back into remorse, self pity, and endless cycling excuses that never seem to change...probably because he never gets enough clean time to get away from the grip of the craving/urge/excuse/use pattern.
The trap door opens and when it does nothing one can say or do can fill the hole, calm the fear, reassure the heart, or reason the irrational obstinacy. After having heard the same thing over and over it starts to become my own responsibility to stop MY insanity, and that I do have some control over.
It is so frustrating to watch/hear the machinations of an addict...the manipulative ways that their brain justifies/rationalizes the horrible destructive act. I realize that for some people in my life I have become the frustrating voice...and my same excuse: "but I love him" has been heard over and over and over again...while I suffer in a breaking down disintegrating relationship with someone who just can't quit driving themselves into crack alley with a pocket full of cash.

I have a hard time having empathy and support for someone who just won't do what it takes. I guess ultimately it is his decision. I believe in both/and...horrible disease AND insidious decision. Insight from recovering addicts would help ME make my decisions.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:41 PM
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So sorry lelsiej, I lost countless "keeper" girlfriends because I am an addict. His addict is not your fault and never will. Praying for him.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:00 PM
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Leslie, glad to see you back but I am sorry for what you are going through. I was actually thinking of you these past couple days, wondering if you were doing ok. You stuck out to me cause you offered me such great support and encouragement. Too bad we can't take our own advice, right? But from the kind words you offered to me, it seems to me that you are a very strong person and I believe you are strong enough to get through this. You are in my thoughts and prayers tonight

(((BIG HUGS)))

Krystal
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:32 PM
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...it has proven to me however that I am truly powerless.
Step 1 is always a good place to start and it sounds like you are there. I know I have repeated the steps many many times because each time I am in a different time, a different frame of mind and thankfully, a little wiser for the journey.

We learn as we learn, the lessons never get easier but they become more recognizable as we go.

I'm sorry you had to go through this, it never gets easy.

Better days are ahead, trust that and just keep walking.

Hugs
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:41 PM
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Oh, how I wish things were different for you. I have followed your posts.

This week I watched all the Dr. Drew shows, and so many times the reality of the cycle and the threat of relapse was made clear. His colleagues--drug counselors Shelley, Bob, Jennifer--all had many relapses (Bob Forrest went to treatment 32 times!).

If my addict--with years of sustained recovery and then, I think, relapse--came back, having worked a rigorous program for a year, in counseling, daily meetings (once or twice a week just isn't enough for a career drug addict...heroin especially is just so powerful).....if he came back, as yours did, with that solid year and with a willingness to try again: I would. I am certain I would.

But I have learned that to be with him, I have to keep on my own track, keep my own life as I've set it up, my own friends in close rapport, my own meetings, my own work, and be prepared at any time on any day for him to disappear. And then, another year, minimum, separation.

Because that is the reality of drug addiction. He can go off a cliff. And the addiction comes with the man.

I understand why you tried again and thought it was worth the try. If you decide to try again with him one day, I would understand that, too.

The times you are alone and he is out there, those are the times you become more who you are and are forced to look at yourself. For me that has been a very good thing. And I have grown in the solitude and separation far more than I would have in an easy relationship. It's true. I had an easy relationship for over a decade and I drifted and did not deepen at all.

I do hope all the best for you, no matter what happens next.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:50 PM
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there are a couple of things that are kind of scary for me...one is that I am a little bit numb. I am not entirely sure what the "numbness" is about. On one hand I feel as though I have done an amazing amount or work to get to a place of "loving" detachment. I am not freaking out that he used, I am not feeling a wave of pain and drama. each time over the last couple of years I have learned an incredible amount about myself.

over the last couple of months I had a mightily important ah ha moment and it had everything to do with the shame that I felt for loving someone who struggled with addiction. it was a huge wake up for me, and it was a major emotional release. I think it was a twisted binding shame, and I felt implicit shame...that my love "enbabled" him to use. my discovery of "deeply rooted issue origin material" (like that one? ) gave me a lot of spiritual/emotional/mental freedom.

and that freedom feels a little like numbness. but then again...there is that sticky post about this numbness possibly being a lessening in my fight/flight chemistry due to being "worn down" it is kind of odd to not really know which it is!

the numbness is a little frightening for this reason...I start to think that his using his "just his" that it doesn't really affect me, that it's not "my relapse". I no longer feel sorry for him, I just kind of am sick of the pity/sorrow/excuses...just simply sick of crack.

the numbness, if I get really honest about it, is also because (for the simple above reasons) it just does not affect me all that much. numb? detached? I don't see him high. And I no longer have much interest in hearing his excuses or pity party or remorse...it just all feels like an excuse. and in fact it is just kind of boring. it is certainly not life affirming or creative!!

anyway...back to step one again...because now I have an inkling of fear that this numbness/detachment would "enable" him if I were to stay with him.

On one hand it is detachment...you go do what you need to do, keep working your program, keep trying...keep having hope. which he does actually to an amazing degree

but on the other hand it feels like my numb detachment almost says "what the he!!, it doesn't affect me" that it "enables"

this enabling question has always been very difficult for me. I have always held a fear that love was enabling?????????????????????????????????????????? ?????

step one still???
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:20 PM
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The only person responsible for holding me accountable after I got out of rehab was/still is me. I was 28, a single mother of a young daughter, and had to merge into life with no "buffer" such as sober living. I didn't have that luxury.

I wanted recovery more than anything else in this world.

Were those early years in recovery tough? Absolutely. However despite the stresses of every day life plus a lot of crisis thrown in, I stayed clean/sober for four years.

In looking back, I spent about 3 months setting myself up for that fall. I am grateful today that I was only "out there" two months and got my butt back into active recovery.

I was the one responsible for dragging my sorry carcass back up that long flight of stairs to my AA home group. The people in that room had loved me enough to let me fall, and they stayed out of the way. I have no doubt there were prayers for me during my period of returning to active addiction/alcoholism.

Anyone who thinks an addict can't possibly stay clean/sober without support from family (including significant others) is wrong because I am living proof that recovery is possible without those people. I had brought immense pain and suffering upon my parents and brother. My AH at the time had returned to active addiction/alcoholism the day he got out of rehab and I had to walk away from him.

I have 21+ years clean/sober now, and there were days, weeks, and heck even years I thought I'd never make it, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other and doing what I needed to do for my recovery.

I've worked damned hard to get to where I am today, and I feel good about that.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:28 PM
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right on DeVon! I've worked really hard too, and have stayed sober for six years, went to and finished grad school, went through a verrrry difficult but verrrrry fulfilling process of reuniting with my birthdaughter, started and maintain my own business plus work 20 hrs a week elsewhere, I own my house and have my friends and work a program...and I work more than one program!!

is it just by the grace of god? sometimes I feel like I am not using the principles of the program when I get angry, or feel betrayed, or want to blame and point out the holes in his defense against the next crack hit. there but for the grace of god go I...

but there is a lot of really hard work...and it is so worth it. but you have to work it. plain and simple. maybe one drug is harder than another, maybe some abuse is worse than other, maybe some families of origin are more severe, maybe dual diagnosis is a crippling aspect. maybe I just have been lucky. maybe I experience grace. maybe I just say please and thank you more.

I am thankful for my recovery.
thank you all for providing connection to help it grow.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by lesliej View Post
So it's been awhile since I posted. In the interim I have lived mostly peacefully on my own. After a couple of months of separation from my ex we sparingly started seeing each other. He seemed to be doing well...back to therapist, very active program, had a new day job. Things were moving carefully and slowly forward.

But...then he got paid, had a pocket full of money, a bubbling up of fear and insecurity and self esteem dive...and he walked out the door to get back to his sober house before curfew and didn't make it back. Three days and a paycheck later and he is penniless and homeless. All in a fell swoop. Was this his "decision"? Is this the disease? both/and I suppose.

I guess I still needed to clear some confusion for myself. I guess part of why I tried again to keep loving, that is loving as a romantic partner, is because of the hope and belief that he would "get" recovery. I have acted as a witness, I thought that his having someone who loved him but still held him accountable would "help" him. I will always love him as a person and hope for his recovery. I just don't know if I can still love him as the partner I thought he was at times and would be. but his addiction keeps stealing the possibility.

By witnessing, holding him accountable, I guess it hasn't helped him, it has proven to me however that I am truly powerless. I have watched and listened to him cycle through all the excuses for his "relapses". After the third time that the same excuse is used the "validity" is pretty lost. I think his addiction uses everything it can squander as an "excuse" to use. I suppose that it is even going to use me now. Whether I stay or go...either way I am going to be a juicy excuse to use. I think that fear of blame may have played into some of the manipulation that made me stay (mine or his) and the shame really used to make me horribly angry when he used. I have learned a lot. No more blame or shame. These are things I had to learn I guess. Too bad. Maybe without the drugs, which end up being an eventual, probably inevitable, deal breaker, we could have continued to learn and grow together in recovery.
But I can't keep cycling back into remorse, self pity, and endless cycling excuses that never seem to change...probably because he never gets enough clean time to get away from the grip of the craving/urge/excuse/use pattern.
The trap door opens and when it does nothing one can say or do can fill the hole, calm the fear, reassure the heart, or reason the irrational obstinacy. After having heard the same thing over and over it starts to become my own responsibility to stop MY insanity, and that I do have some control over.It is so frustrating to watch/hear the machinations of an addict...the manipulative ways that their brain justifies/rationalizes the horrible destructive act. I realize that for some people in my life I have become the frustrating voice...and my same excuse: "but I love him" has been heard over and over and over again...while I suffer in a breaking down disintegrating relationship with someone who just can't quit driving themselves into crack alley with a pocket full of cash.

I have a hard time having empathy and support for someone who just won't do what it takes. I guess ultimately it is his decision. I believe in both/and...horrible disease AND insidious decision. Insight from recovering addicts would help ME make my decisions.

Lesliej

My heart goes out to you because I know you have given this man many chances; but I recall from another thread that he has been an active addict for 20+ years.

I think that you have fallen into a pattern of believing that you do have the power to change him; subconsciously telling yourself that by watching your example he will change; by calling him out on his behavior - he will change.

I think you are encouraged because he follows a program, and has a therapist; but his actions over a 20+ year timespan really say something is missing - he truly doesnt have the desire to stop using drugs. If he did; he would have stopped. He would have found a way to put it down, and done whatever it took to not pick it up again.

In another thread; you said he admitted that having cash in his pocket was a trigger; yet he cashed his check and put that cash in his pocket...knowing he was setting himself up.... then he headed straight to a crack house.....

I think you should be incredibly proud of your own recovery from addiction; and no doubt your success has inspired many in your circle.

One thing Ive learned on this forum that has actually given me comfort is that nothing I do is going to cause my BF to use; and nothing I do is going to cause him to stop. I like the saying its 100% an inside job.

If your BF goes on a binge bacause you finally end it with him once and for all; its not your responsibility; dont fool yourself thinking that you control his actions. You dont have that much power over him.
Life throws things at everyone, and addicts have to learn how to handle sitations without picking up. Any guilt you feel.... that is just on you to deal with ....

Youve worked so hard to find peace for yourself; stop letting him take it from you.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:56 PM
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lesliej, I was in several drug-abusive relationships back to back and each time I left a little piece of me returned everyday. It was like having a honeymoom with myself. Things got better for me on every front.

Too often, these weak souls would beg for my forgiveness/want me back/they are clean/ made champagne promises. I went back and was instantly deflated. They got me back to their level. Misery loves company. By the time I was 40 I outgrew the need for male company, mainly because the talent as I see it, on any level, is pathetic.

I don't suffer fools anymore. I am worth more than that and I deserve better. Keep telling yourself that.

Hugs.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:15 PM
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(((Leslie))) - sorry you're having a rough time. Back when I was "just" a codie (before becoming an addict), I lost a really good friend because she got tired of me whining/complaining about the ABF, yet staying with him. I never got to tell her I was sorry, she died at 32. Another friend who also tried to convince me if I put half has much energy into myself, as I did the ABF, I'd be amazed. I wasn't ready. 30 years later, I was tickled to be reconnected with her and tell her how much I appreciated that she tried to help, and I still remember a lot of what she said.

My recovery from crack has been WAY easier than the codie recovery. Living with dad/stepmom who are both codies and she's also an A, ACOA and everything else.

I've tried it all...sharing my recover ES&H, given them an ear to listen when they're complaining about each other, confronted stepmom when I know she's high, counted out her pills to show dad how many she's taken (did that just recently, sorry to say).

All it's done is drive me crazy..to the point I wanted to get numb a few nights ago and gluing my self to SR and friends I've made here on e-mail, I woke up the next day...clean, ready to take on the day.

I love them, but I do not enable. I'm done..I don't want to hear the excuses, the lies, the miserable existence they live (and I'm stuck in thanks to consequences of my own addiction).

It's taken me almost 5 years to get to this point, and I'm fairly certain I will still slip, now and then, because my defenses get down or I'm all of the HALT stuff, or whatever. The good news is, my slips aren't as bad as they used to be and I come here, pull out the recovery tools, set another boundary, and keep on keeping on.

The majority of my friends are here and a lot are RA's. If they go back out, will I quit loving them? Absolutely not. Will I let myself get dragged back into the life of active using/drinking? Absolutely not. It has literally been sucking the life out of me, recently, with stepmom's antics, and it took my friends here to get me back on track.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by lesliej View Post

.....a juicy excuse to use.
Those who post on SR who have achieved longer term recovery seem to share a common trait...taking responsibility for their addiction and recovery.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:56 PM
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One of the biggest challenges for me, going into Al Anon, was separating my "stuff" from that of my qualifiers. In part, that meant I, and I alone, am responsible for my actions. It also meant that whatever the addict does, we didn't cause it, we can't cure it, and we can't control it. Remember the First Step? Admitting we were powerless over addiction?

It's up to you to decide what is best for you. You can't be his keeper. It doesn't do him any favors, and it doesn't do you any favors, either. You need to allow him the dignity to make his own choices and mistakes.

As far as having a difficult time feeling empathy for him goes, I get it. There was a time last week, regarding my AXGF, where I was struggling with compassion. How could I feel compassion for someone that had sadistically assaulted me as she had? But what I realized is at the end, she doesn't have to answer to me. She has to answer to her Higher Power for all her misdeeds. I also realized, again, how lucky I am to have so many people in my life that care for me. That's something my AXGF doesn't have, because she's alienated so many people. It's got to be a scary thing, to be alone like that. So, in that way, I was able to feel compassion for her. Whatever you feel towards your ex will shift with time. Roll with it, sit with it, and accept it for what it is.

Just do the right things for you. And when it's too much for you to bear, ask your Higher Power to take some of the weight off you.

ZoSo
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:34 AM
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Hello everyone, my name is Kerry and my partner Oliver is an alcoholic. I am new to the sober community but I can see why it helps many people.
Oliver has been an addict/alcholic for about seven years. In May 2011 Oliver begged us for help and was admitted into residential rehab for 28 days. He went on to stay sober for five months before using cocaine in November and by the 20th December he has picked up a drink. There was another month without alcohol but using cocaine until three weeks ago when his old drinking pattern imerged. A few days drunk, then sober until pay day the following week! To say I was devestated when he relapsed was an under statement but then I picked myself up and instantly remembered this is HIS problem and if HE wants to fall, then so be it. After all we have been here before and know what to expect. Myself and Olivers family stand united. We will always be there to encourage he into getting help but we will not walk him to the door, that is his journey. We acted quickly and stopped enabling him immediately. We are living our lives regardless of what he is doing. Difficult yes, but necessary too. I can only hope that he finds his way back to recovery, I will never abandon hope. Alcoholism.... it's brutal
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