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Seeking Advice from Addicts/Loved Ones: He Relapsed

Old 03-15-2012, 12:51 PM
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Seeking Advice from Addicts/Loved Ones: He Relapsed

Please help!

I feel I have come so far on my personal journey of recovery in the last 1.5 years of our 2.5 year relationship. We have been separated by distance for over a year now and cycled in and out of phases of attachment and detachment. After spending most of December 2011 with him (after being physically but not emotionally separated 9 months) and witnessing the addictive and abusive tendencies of his personality as well as opening old wounds and creating new trauma, I realized that our love and his one year off of heroin is not enough to sustain or grow in relationship together.

When he left to return home 2 months ago, (he lives 500 miles away) "He broke up with me". I think he was trying to let me go for a number of reasons. He then pursued me again just a week later and has been all over the place and wanting to establish that we are together again. I have not been clear about what I want and have danced around the issues.

I have expressed that I am feeling that I have been a doormat for the last couple of years. I expressed that I love him and care about him and also love and care about myself. I explained that the only way I can love him right now is at a distance and that I have to take care of myself through counseling, support groups, and many other forms of healing. I explained that I cannot live with someone in active addiction as it impairs my recovery and told him I did not think visiting for a week was a good idea. I expressed that I want the best for both of us and that it was up to him how he lives his life. I also expressed that I will not tolerate more emotional abuse. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions both wonderful and horrific. I think it is safe to admit here that as mature and intelligent as I may be, I have much work to do with my emotions and my addiction to relationships and codependency.

All of this being said, I am 99.9% sure he has relapsed with heroin. It is strange to say that he has relapsed because he never gave up marijuana or alcohol and it is possible he has been using pills occasionally. The reality is though, I was on the phone with him last night and he had out of control hiccups (a tell-tale sign for me he has just used opiates), was emotionally manic, and he completely dodged reality. I feel I may have been a scapegoat for his relapse for many reasons. All of this, one day before his one year anniversary off of heroin. I am at a point where I can walk away from the relationship, and still know that I will love him and pray for him from a distance. I know that this frequent and fantasy communication needs to be cut off again and am prepared in my heart and soul to take immediate action. But I have some questions so here they are. I hope this post helps others as well.

My first question...

1. Am I correct in my suspicion he has relapsed on heroin?

2. Was I a scapegoat for his relapse because he was upset I could not come visit him and that I am not willing to get back together right now?

3. Did I enable his relapse him by speaking with on the phone and talking about relationship issues? We got into some pretty heavy discussions about both of our actions during the relationship and think it is possible that this was a trigger. I know it was not my fault but still feel that I crossed my own boundaries and his by digging into the past. This brought up new traumatic information about more betrayal that hurt me deeply again. I then told him that with this new information (lies and cheating) that I was ready to be done with our romantic relationship.

4. Most importantly, do I ask him about his use or mention to a friend or family member that I know about his use? He mentioned that if he ever used again, that it would be the last. I know that it is out of my control and that I did not cause it and cannot cure it. That being said, this is heroin and the bottom is usually death. I know I cannot save him but it seems like the people that can be there for him should know or should they?

5. Do I not say anything to him, never speak with him again, and forget that he just relapsed? Ultimatum, no contact, what?

Okay that is all for now. I need to breathe and come back to this later. I have all of the tools in place for me and life is going very well in all other directions with hard work and dedication. It is just my one last attempt to reach out to the man I have loved for the last 2 years. I have learned so much from our relationship and am grateful for the gifts he gave me. I just can no longer accept the unhealthy dynamics we have created. I cannot blame him any longer for my pain. I do not want to shoulder the burdens or guilt- anymore than I want him to. I pray for peace for both of us. I pray he will find courage from within and learn to love himself. The least I could do is give him and myself the gift of letting go.

Thanks for reading and am open to hearing your insights.

Blessings...
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:11 PM
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(((blackandblue))) - I'm about to head out and run some errands, but can give you my ES&H as both an RA and recovering codie.

Go with your gut...mine has never failed me. Is he using you as a scapegoat? Yep, when we are active (or even "clean" but not working recovery) we will deflect all comments about OUR behavior back to whomever we can. Threaten my using? I would lash out in a heartbeat, get the attention off of me.

I can't really answer whether you were enabling, but I can tell you I got to a point where I just knew...even if my XABF had 5 years in recovery, I was never going to fully trust him, I would always be waiting for the "other shoe to drop" and that is not the kind of person I wanted in my life...love or not, I was just done. I did write to him a few times when he was in jail (the only way to get hold of him, short of driving to the town where he lived which I was NOT going to do), told him how well I was doing, that I prayed he would seek recovery, but after I told him "do not ever ask me for money again, you will not get it" I never heard from him again.

He died a couple years later. I grieved when I said "no more" and I grieved when he died...such a waste of a life, he'd been using for 30-ish years, hadn't seen his 2 younger sons in over a decade, and he was fine with that.

The best thing I ever did was come here, learn about working on myself, and accepting that what I WANTED? It wasn't going to happen..not with him.

Personally? I would go NC. You've told him what you wanted him to hear, he's balking and any more talking is just going to lead to more of the same. It's not easy, but the peace that comes from not getting dragged into the drama? Absolutely priceless.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:47 PM
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I have found that my gut and intuition have never failed me WHEN I choose to acknowledge it. I spent way too many years going against what my instincts told me. My opinion is we all have to face life, addicts included, so I would not take take the blame that he chose to use because you had a difficult and deep discussion. Many wise people on here have said there is never a REASON for the addict to use, but they make up plenty of excuses. Personally, I have had to go no contact, not as a punishment to HIM, but to save myself. And ANYTIME I broke my no contact rule, I was shown why I made the decision in the first place. I have stayed strong and I am not saying this is always easy but as time passes I am more and more grateful for the peace in my life. And as far as telling his family...I know it is tempting to want to let them know, but I would keep my nose out of it (I know this is also hard for a codie to do). Things have a way of revealing themselves in time and I have observed in my ex's life that they have their own higher power that will deal with them. I do not say this in a judgmental way toward him, but with a sense of relief from that burden. Just keep taking care of you.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:10 PM
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black and blue,
I am sorry that you are hurting. It is kind of amazing that with all that distance and space that the hook is always ready for hurt...and I get it.

I know that for me, the last relapse and the insinuation that it had to do with our very minimal contact...was the last straw. I think it was just another layer of manipulation. That my ex could sense I had hit my bottom and that he could finally pull that trump card and blame it on me. and you know what our last contact was a really lovely date (!) but once he walked out the door and used there was nothing left to lose. I was done, and I could be used as an excuse

he always needed an excuse.

there is NEVER a reason/excuse to use.
if there was I would have been totally wasted drunk in blackouts over the last two years.

do what you need to do for yourself to let go again. if it means you need to make a call, then make a call. there are no eggshells that you need to tip toe around. make a call and then turn the other direction...back to caring for yourself and finding your well being and peace...you have done a lot of work on this and it is time to resume.

this disease does kill sometimes.
he knows this
but you know that you have no cause in this.
did you give him money for heroin? did you give him a needle?
you have no cause.

I pray for your peace and his.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by blackandblue View Post
1. Am I correct in my suspicion he has relapsed on heroin? Probably...Why does it matter? His behavior is unaceptable.

2. Was I a scapegoat for his relapse because he was upset I could not come visit him and that I am not willing to get back together right now?
One of my favoite posters once shared that not being able to find the vacume was a good enough reason to use when she was playing sobriety.

3. Did I enable his relapse him by speaking with on the phone and talking about relationship issues? There is nothing you can say or do or not, to keep him clean or cause him to relapse. You are not that powerful. None of us are.

I then told him that with this new information (lies and cheating) that I was ready to be done with our romantic relationship. Codependent quacking unless it's followed by action.

4. Most importantly, do I ask him about his use or mention to a friend or family member that I know about his use? He's your ex for a reason. His business is none of your business

That being said, this is heroin and the bottom is usually death. Actually it's institutio9nalization or death and most certainly not limited to heroin.

I know I cannot save him but it seems like the people that can be there for him should know or should they? Sounds like you are trying to move the guilt monkey onto someone else's back. Unless he is willing to save himself....

5. Do I not say anything to him, never speak with him again, and forget that he just relapsed? He's your ex. Be done.

Ultimatum, no contact, what? Trying to control anyone with an ultimatum does not work.
Let go.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by blackandblue View Post
Please help!

I feel I have come so far on my personal journey of recovery in the last 1.5 years of our 2.5 year relationship. We have been separated by distance for over a year now and cycled in and out of phases of attachment and detachment. After spending most of December 2011 with him (after being physically but not emotionally separated 9 months) and witnessing the addictive and abusive tendencies of his personality as well as opening old wounds and creating new trauma, I realized that our love and his one year off of heroin is not enough to sustain or grow in relationship together.

When he left to return home 2 months ago, (he lives 500 miles away) "He broke up with me". I think he was trying to let me go for a number of reasons. He then pursued me again just a week later and has been all over the place and wanting to establish that we are together again. I have not been clear about what I want and have danced around the issues.

I have expressed that I am feeling that I have been a doormat for the last couple of years. I expressed that I love him and care about him and also love and care about myself. I explained that the only way I can love him right now is at a distance and that I have to take care of myself through counseling, support groups, and many other forms of healing. I explained that I cannot live with someone in active addiction as it impairs my recovery and told him I did not think visiting for a week was a good idea. I expressed that I want the best for both of us and that it was up to him how he lives his life. I also expressed that I will not tolerate more emotional abuse. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions both wonderful and horrific. I think it is safe to admit here that as mature and intelligent as I may be, I have much work to do with my emotions and my addiction to relationships and codependency.

All of this being said, I am 99.9% sure he has relapsed with heroin. It is strange to say that he has relapsed because he never gave up marijuana or alcohol and it is possible he has been using pills occasionally. The reality is though, I was on the phone with him last night and he had out of control hiccups (a tell-tale sign for me he has just used opiates), was emotionally manic, and he completely dodged reality. I feel I may have been a scapegoat for his relapse for many reasons. All of this, one day before his one year anniversary off of heroin. I am at a point where I can walk away from the relationship, and still know that I will love him and pray for him from a distance. I know that this frequent and fantasy communication needs to be cut off again and am prepared in my heart and soul to take immediate action. But I have some questions so here they are. I hope this post helps others as well.
Nice to meet you. I'm Shock, recovering addict and daughter of one, sister of another.

My first question...

1. Am I correct in my suspicion he has relapsed on heroin?
If I am wondering this I need to ask myself why I care? If he is truly my EX-BF is just old feelings I still have for him, was his heroin use worse than other drugs or perhaps it is just how I perceived it?

Since he's not living with you (where you might need to know if you were to keep an antidote around) or another personal health issue that would concern yourself why does it matter what his current doc is?

2. Was I a scapegoat for his relapse because he was upset I could not come visit him and that I am not willing to get back together right now?
Either way, shouldn't matter what he chooses to blame it on. Its all in his own little mind center, not reality based.

3. Did I enable his relapse him by speaking with on the phone and talking about relationship issues? We got into some pretty heavy discussions about both of our actions during the relationship and think it is possible that this was a trigger. I know it was not my fault but still feel that I crossed my own boundaries and his by digging into the past. This brought up new traumatic information about more betrayal that hurt me deeply again. I then told him that with this new information (lies and cheating) that I was ready to be done with our romantic relationship.
Unless you are his good and bad angel's sitting on his shoulder, you are not going to be able to get inside his mind at that minute, and again remember that it is also his addiction coloring his thoughts.

4. Most importantly, do I ask him about his use or mention to a friend or family member that I know about his use? He mentioned that if he ever used again, that it would be the last. I know that it is out of my control and that I did not cause it and cannot cure it. That being said, this is heroin and the bottom is usually death. I know I cannot save him but it seems like the people that can be there for him should know or should they?
Everybody's different. I had one former friend who had "jumped the needle barrier" and that was my deal breaker. He later died of a heart attack related to his former DOC.

5. Do I not say anything to him, never speak with him again, and forget that he just relapsed? Ultimatum, no contact, what?
That is what I did with my mother for my own sanity. Now with a sister showing all the signs of abuse I'm going limited contact with her as well. Again, it is to preserve my sanity.

Okay that is all for now. I need to breathe and come back to this later. I have all of the tools in place for me and life is going very well in all other directions with hard work and dedication. It is just my one last attempt to reach out to the man I have loved for the last 2 years. I have learned so much from our relationship and am grateful for the gifts he gave me. I just can no longer accept the unhealthy dynamics we have created. I cannot blame him any longer for my pain. I do not want to shoulder the burdens or guilt- anymore than I want him to. I pray for peace for both of us. I pray he will find courage from within and learn to love himself. The least I could do is give him and myself the gift of letting go.

Thanks for reading and am open to hearing your insights.

Blessings...
I hope you feel better now that you were able to write them out, and I will keep you and your addict in my thoughts.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:33 PM
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I am taking the step to even admitting he is my ex. We have both been apprehensive to come to that conclusion and we have both held on. I have to make the decision now and then move on and continue the process of letting go. I guess the answers to my questions really don't matter. I know that I am putting myself in a situation to be treated poorly and to play the role of a codependent love addict. You are all right- it is more about behavior, including mine, and not the specific drug. There truly is no need to contact him or someone else about his possible relapse on heroin. He was still using other substances before so why would I think he is in recovery. The trust issues will always be there with him. I think I have a recipe for letting go in my hands and just am trying to put it all together. This is an intense process and I look forward to having more energy for me and other loved ones. I am so humbled by this process. Best to all of you in your recovery. Thank you everyone who posted.
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