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Starting over... again.

Old 03-05-2012, 07:42 AM
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tnw
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Starting over... again.

Hello, everyone. I'm new here (this is actually my first post) and I am sort of in desperate need for support.

My boyfriend of eight years is addicted to crack and recently relapsed just a few days shy of reaching his 8 months mark. I live in Georgia and he was in Florida finishing up his treatment when his cravings overcame him. The distance between us seemed to only hurt the situation, so he moved back home and continued to use. This has gone on for over a month now, him moving back and forth between here and Charlotte, NC (where he's from originally) and finding ways to squeeze money from his parents, friends, and even lending out his car just to get something.

His parents and friends have all given up on him and will not even communicate with him, much less support his habit. I'm the only one who still talks to him outside of his dealer and whoever is staying in the same motel he's now living in. He tells me he goes back and forth between wanting to quit and wanting to keep going, telling me he's constantly feeling he needs "one last hit". I've been hearing that for about a week and a half now.

It's such a difficult situation because I really do believe he is the man for me, and I have come to accept that I am willing to be there for him no matter what. I recently read a post where someone compared dealing with relapse like dealing with a serious illness or whatnot, and I couldn't agree more. I know who he truly is and I can't help but think me abandoning him will only make things worse.

The problem is that I don't know what to do at this point to help him get the help he needs. Maybe I can't do anything, but it's driving me to the point where I feel completely destroyed emotionally.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:12 AM
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Abandoning him at this point will probably make things worse (for him), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. You've heard the expression "It gets worse before it gets better." We enablers are the ones slowing down the natural course of actions that needs to happen in our addicted loved ones lives. Your ABF's family and friends have all turned him over to whatever happens and you're the last hold out to letting him experience what he needs to experience. It is very hard to let go because we want to shield people from the often less than ideal effect of the consequences they have created for themselves--but we have to if we want them to have a chance of getting better. This battle is your boyfriend's battle to fight, not yours. He will either rise up to the occasion and get help--or he wont. It is totally up to him. As an enabler, we slow the process of seeing what our addicted loved ones are truly made of. Some will make the choice to get help, some wont.

Find out all you can about enabling and don't do it. You will not be abandoning your boyfriend by making him face all the consequences of his actions on his own two feet. You will be offering him a chance at recovery. Enabling our loved ones is absolutely something we must not do if we want what is best for the people in our life.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tnw View Post
The problem is that I don't know what to do at this point to help him get the help he needs. Maybe I can't do anything, but it's driving me to the point where I feel completely destroyed emotionally.
He was in treatment, so he knows where and how to find the help he needs, when he's ready to stop. He knows about meetings, detox, rehab, etc.

Please consider "working the recovery program you wish he would," by attending Alanon or Naranon. There is strength in numbers and you'll learn how to make yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy again.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:24 AM
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Thank you both! I know me still being there for him is probably enabling him or at least showing him there's still someone accepting his behavior which may or may not help. He is bipolar and decided to stop taking his meds right before this all occurred, which I can't ignore as somehow being related, if not the direct cause of his giving into his cravings. Because of that I feel some kind of guilt or something that I need to stick with him and help fight this with him. I can't really explain the logic behind it, I guess I just love him and feel for him and his addiction/bipolar so much that it's so hard to let go. I'm hoping I can have the strength to do so.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:29 AM
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tnw- you replied on my post too and i wrote to you a little there...
it is extremely hard emotionally to love someone who is activelly using. it breaks your heart and wears you down. i knew that my husband on drugs was a different 'person' than the real person he is without them. i knew he was in trouble and needed help. i always thought if it were me i would not want everyone to throw me away, i would want someone to love me enough to stick by me no matter what. i did that for him for many years.

the very best thing i think i did was to join Alanon ...i went to face to face meetings and to an online email group ( email group is called 5thtrad at ***** groups) and then i read Everything i could find on addiction and friends and family's of addicts. the 'sticky's' at the top of this forum are full of great articles.

it is not easy, but it's real for all of us here. addiction. little word...big life stories. hang in there and try to make sure you have support for you too. and if you need to say more, keep writing here! many wonderful people who care. hugs.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tnw View Post
Because of that I feel some kind of guilt or something that I need to stick with him and help fight this with him.
He isn't fighting with his addiction, he gave into it. He isn't fighting with his bipolar disorder, he chose to ignore it and continues to do that.

That leaves you fighting with both, neither of which belong to you.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:33 AM
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It is one of the hardest lessons I have learned...that love enables. How did I learn it? The closer I got to letting go, the more I detached from the drama, the agony and the heartbreak of witnessing someone who practices self destruction, the more I realized that my A used everything as an excuse to use. Eventually he used me, my hope, my time, my intimacy as an excuse.

If you want to hand over your heart, mind and spirit to crack then you can stay with him. I have a clear image in my head of my heart being traded for crack. You already say that you feel "COMPLETELY EMOTIONALLY DESTROYED". That, my dear, is crack.

By being connected to him you are using crack.

I think that, deep deep down, in the most wounded part of our souls, many of us are terrified of losing love. For that reason we will just not let go of this person who cannot let go of crack (yet).

I have come to trust in love. If my beautiful man and I are truly meant to be together then I will see him when he makes it to at least a year of being clean. The closest he got was 8 months in the two years we were together.

I do believe that addiction is a horrible disease. There are many aspects of this disease. One is that it is spiritual, the addict feels disconnected/unLOVEable. That love that is missing is not yours or mine, another person CANNOT fill the spiritual hole of self loathing that is the disease of addiction. We will empty ourselves trying (emotionally destroy ourselves). And believe me, the moment someone turns to recovery they will find themselves surrounded by a lot of wise and savvy recovery people who will love them until they love themselves again. Romantic love has so many strings attached, it just does not work in quite the same way.

One of my strings is that somewhere deep down inside I dreamed that I would be the one, I would be his hero. I would be the one to enjoy the beautiful life because I was the one that stood by his side...that in some silent, corroding way, let him think that it was okay, that he wasn't "that bad" because I still loved him...which is another aspect of the disease....

It is a disease of perception. How they see, how we see. That is why we all need community and support and reflection. We help each other see more clearly. How and what he sees right now is controlled by crack. Your love is not going to change it. He may even see your love as an "excuse" or "permission" to use.

This was my hardest lesson. That I had to let go.
I finally was able to...simply because I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I used to think my lesson was that I had to work really really hard and suffer in order to get the love I wanted and needed.
I finally learned that I can still love him and not be with him...and more importantly that by letting go of that horrible connection to the evil destructive drug (him) I demonstrate and model self-love. Something that I hope he might learn, but that he won't learn from anyone but himself...the love between himself and his spirit, the spirit that is being slowly killed by crack. I hope and pray that he wakes up. I hope that being left by those who love him will maybe help him wake up.


Whatever your lesson is, life has a way of making you learn it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:36 AM
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tnw
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Originally Posted by lesliej View Post
It is one of the hardest lessons I have learned...that love enables. How did I learn it? The closer I got to letting go, the more I detached from the drama, the agony and the heartbreak of witnessing someone who practices self destruction, the more I realized that my A used everything as an excuse to use. Eventually he used me, my hope, my time, my intimacy as an excuse.

If you want to hand over your heart, mind and spirit to crack then you can stay with him. I have a clear image in my head of my heart being traded for crack. You already say that you feel "COMPLETELY EMOTIONALLY DESTROYED". That, my dear, is crack.

By being connected to him you are using crack.

I think that, deep deep down, in the most wounded part of our souls, many of us are terrified of losing love. For that reason we will just not let go of this person who cannot let go of crack (yet).

I have come to trust in love. If my beautiful man and I are truly meant to be together then I will see him when he makes it to at least a year of being clean. The closest he got was 8 months in the two years we were together.

I do believe that addiction is a horrible disease. There are many aspects of this disease. One is that it is spiritual, the addict feels disconnected/unLOVEable. That love that is missing is not yours or mine, another person CANNOT fill the spiritual hole of self loathing that is the disease of addiction. We will empty ourselves trying (emotionally destroy ourselves). And believe me, the moment someone turns to recovery they will find themselves surrounded by a lot of wise and savvy recovery people who will love them until they love themselves again. Romantic love has so many strings attached, it just does not work in quite the same way.

One of my strings is that somewhere deep down inside I dreamed that I would be the one, I would be his hero. I would be the one to enjoy the beautiful life because I was the one that stood by his side...that in some silent, corroding way, let him think that it was okay, that he wasn't "that bad" because I still loved him...which is another aspect of the disease....

It is a disease of perception. How they see, how we see. That is why we all need community and support and reflection. We help each other see more clearly. How and what he sees right now is controlled by crack. Your love is not going to change it. He may even see your love as an "excuse" or "permission" to use.

This was my hardest lesson. That I had to let go.
I finally was able to...simply because I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I used to think my lesson was that I had to work really really hard and suffer in order to get the love I wanted and needed.
I finally learned that I can still love him and not be with him...and more importantly that by letting go of that horrible connection to the evil destructive drug (him) I demonstrate and model self-love. Something that I hope he might learn, but that he won't learn from anyone but himself...the love between himself and his spirit, the spirit that is being slowly killed by crack. I hope and pray that he wakes up. I hope that being left by those who love him will maybe help him wake up.


Whatever your lesson is, life has a way of making you learn it.


Thank you so much for the response. Even though I'm still struggling and trying to be strong and begin to detach from the situation, just hearing from people who have experienced such issues is helping tremendously. I really appreciate your comment. Thank you.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:37 AM
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Thank you everyone for the support. It actually has made me feel like I'm not alone and that I now have a way of reaching out. I need to stop and reevaluate the situation for what it is and decide where I want to go from here. Thank you all so much!
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
The distance between us seemed to only hurt the situation, so he moved back home and continued to use.

it doesn't matter WHERE he is, or how close he is to you, he left TREATMENT to get high. in the very BEST place to get help to stay clean, he made the decision to use. and continues to do so. and is living in the hotel where his dealer lives. you've been together for 8 years and THIS is where he is after all this time.

his addiction had NOTHING to do with you. you aren't saving him.....you do not have the power to overcome HIS addiction. sadly his addiction is taking you down - so two lives are drowning.

i'm a former crack addict as is my husband....over 4.5 years now. it's a battle to be sure, but nothing i did got him clean, i barely made it myself. and i was ready to LEAVE him if he was going to keep using. there was no other choice i COULD make.

Absolutely. You guys are saying exactly what I need to hear. I guess I am just blinded by love or making excuses to keep things going. It's strange how I'm just as much an addict in this situation as he is. I know I need to separate myself from the situation, if not for him then me. You are so right in the sense that I feel like I'm drowning with him, and I really can't continue to live like that. I just hope that me making that decision can help him (eventually) see where his life is headed because of his decisions.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:12 PM
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2manyears wrote:

i always thought if it were me i would not want everyone to throw me away, i would want someone to love me enough to stick by me no matter what. i did that for him for many years.

I can totally relate to that!

tnw

then we come to realize that our love and help(enabling) is helping them stay on drugs, and destroying our lives as well.

I don't think this kind of love is true love, it is a selfish love that satisfies us and relieves guilt and other issues we have within ourselves.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:43 PM
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If you would listen, I would tell you to RUN!!!!!! My now husband is in rehab for cocaine addiction and for the past 7 years I had no idea he was using! When we were dating, I knew he had a problem (eventually) and he went to an outpatient program because I broke up with him. A few years later we married and we have a 2 yr-old now as well. Little did I know, he never completely stopped using. So now, I am married to and have children with a man who I don't even know as a sober person! He has used our whole relationship. The heartbreak I am LIVING on a daily basis right now, pales in comparison to the heartbreak I felt when I washed my hands of him 7 years ago and walked away. I have been lied to, decived, betrayed......and now, it isn't just about me anymore. Precious, innocent children have a drug addict for a father! So what am I supposed to do with all of this? RUN!!!!
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:44 PM
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If you would listen, I would tell you to RUN!!!!!! My now husband is in rehab for cocaine addiction and for the past 7 years I had no idea he was using! When we were dating, I knew he had a problem (eventually) and he went to an outpatient program because I broke up with him. A few years later we married and we have a 2 yr-old now as well. Little did I know, he never completely stopped using. So now, I am married to and have children with a man who I don't even know as a sober person! He has used our whole relationship. The heartbreak I am LIVING on a daily basis right now, pales in comparison to the heartbreak I felt when I washed my hands of him 7 years ago and walked away. I have been lied to, decived, betrayed......and now, it isn't just about me anymore. Precious, innocent children have a drug addict for a father! So what am I supposed to do with all of this? RUN WHILE YOU CAN!!!!
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