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Boyfriend in treatment for heroin

Old 09-10-2012, 08:22 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hello--

I am also new to this site and find it very helpful. Although my situation is slightly different, I think I can provide some insight

Long story short, my bf is a recovering drug addict. His drug of choice was pain killers, but he has tried everything, including heroin. He has been sober almost 4 years and, although we have only been dating a few months, I have known him for about 8 years. (He is my best friend's cousin.)

Anyway, even though I did not have to directly deal with his addiction and time spent in rehab, I am now right in the middle of his recovery. 4 years may sound like a long time to us, and I am incredibly proud of him, but that short time is nothing to a recovering addict. That's not even as long as the time he spent on the drugs! It is a long, hard road, and I am just beginning to realize that now. I had no idea when we decided to start dating that he would still be dealing with so much from his addiction. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I want to let you know that the work is far from over when he gets out of rehab.

I know everyone is different, however this disease has a lot of common factors and many people experience the same problems. Here are some things him and I are dealing with right now...He carries a lot of pain, regret and guilt from his past and does not have a good relationship with himself; he has no coping skills and doesn't deal well with anger, stress, or anxiety; he gets very negative and has bad mood swings; he is not good with communicating; he doesn't have a lot of self-esteem and is very shy and can be mistaken for being rude or anti-social; he doesn't drink anymore either, so inviting him to some social events where all my friends are drinking is awkward and I worry that he is not having fun. Surprisingly I am not worried about relapse because I know he has no desire to live that life again, but I am not naive and realize that is always a possibility.

Again, I'm not saying that you and your bf will also deal with these issues, I'm just letting you know that it is difficult and, even as I sit here and give you advice, I question if I am doing the right thing and if this is the type of relationship I want. I'm in it (and I'm sure you feel the same) because there is so much good in him and we have a real connection and I really care about him. But we also need to make ourselves a priority and make sure we don't get lost in helping them. I am constantly weighing the pros and cons.

So where to go from here? I say keep supporting him but focus on yourself as well. Like other people have said, do as much research on the topic as possible. Read books, learn about addiction and recovery, talk to people, go to meetings (something I have been trying to build up the courage to do), and start being honest with your family and friends. No more lying for him! I would also suggest reading some material on co-dependency, that was a big eye opener for me. I think it's great that you want him to stay in the place he's at now, even though it's further away from you. It shows that you understand that him getting sober is a priority right now.

Also, don't be shocked if he is different after rehab and doesn't seem to be making the relationship a priority or seems distant from you. Many programs suggest no dating for at least the first year of sobriety. He will be dealing with a lot of emotions that come up during counseling, and he probably feels so guilty for lying to you, among other things. If you 2 need to take some time apart don't take it personal. He may need to make his recovery his #1 and that's OK; it will allow you to make yourself #1. Focus on school, family, friends, hobbies. Stay strong and healthy. Keep talking to people for support. Don't become co-dependent and don't ever think it is your fault. If you guys do stay together, the best thing for him will be going meetings, getting a sponsor, and finding sober hobbies. Maybe even counseling to deal with whatever issues made him use in the first place (something I have been begging my bf to do lately). Once sober he will not have his usual coping mechanism and that may be very difficult for him. He should also cut off all ties with people he would buy from and use with. And he should not use marijuana anymore (maybe even avoid alcohol as well.) You guys will have to build up trust and you will need to recognize the warning signs if he is using again. Be supportive but don't walk on eggshells or sugarcoat things. Be honest with him and yourself about what you want and need in life and in a relationship. In the end if it is too much or not working, don't be afraid to leave. Again, this is not your fault. You can be supportive, loving and patient, but the rest is up to him. I am constantly reminding myself these days that I cannot change or fix my bf's problems. He needs to do that on his own, and if he doesn't I cannot allow myself to think it was because I wasn't worth it. I will just have to move on and find someone who doesn't have all this baggage. But for now, this relationship is worth it for me, and him and I are both willing to fight for it. I take it one day at a time.

I'm sorry this was so long, but I hope it helped a little. Keep posting on SR, it really helps. And don't get offended by people. I know it's difficult because this is a super personal and sensitive topic, but everyone here is trying to help and speaking from experience. Like someone said, the stickies at the top of the forum page are helpful for us newbies here.

Best of luck
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:29 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Good going there Hailey13! Step 12 service work in action!
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:54 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Thank you everyone.

Today I plan on telling my mom (who lives with me) that I have been lying about where my boyfriend has been. I am so afraid that me telling her about this will somehow make her re-live what she went through with my dad, who has been sober from alcohol for 20something years. They're no longer together, but still maintain a friendship. I know that once I tell her, it'll feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders...and I have a feeling she already knows something is up. My boyfriend hasn't in any way told me to lie about this, but I did it because I guess I didn't want to get too many people involved. I also didn't want to upset her. We have a great relationship as a mother and daughter, and I hate keeping things from her.

Today my boyfriend is supposed to get out of inpatient detox and enter a sober living/halfway house situation. I haven't yet heard from him, or the staff regarding details of what will happen today, so I am trying to just breathe, and focus on myself right now. i

I know I have a lot of reading to do, so I am trying to take things one day at a time. Yesterday, I figured out where and when to attend nar-anon. Today is my day to tackle telling my mother about this.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:45 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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That sounds great. I'm happy you decided to talk to your mom. Let us know if you go to a meeting and how it was. Maybe it will help motivate me to go soon as well. Congrats to him for completing the detox. Stay strong and take care of yourself. One day at a time is good advice for all of us
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:18 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LoveHappiness View Post
Thank you everyone.

Today I plan on telling my mom (who lives with me) that I have been lying about where my boyfriend has been. I am so afraid that me telling her about this will somehow make her re-live what she went through with my dad, who has been sober from alcohol for 20something years. They're no longer together, but still maintain a friendship. I know that once I tell her, it'll feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders...and I have a feeling she already knows something is up. My boyfriend hasn't in any way told me to lie about this, but I did it because I guess I didn't want to get too many people involved. I also didn't want to upset her. We have a great relationship as a mother and daughter, and I hate keeping things from her.

Today my boyfriend is supposed to get out of inpatient detox and enter a sober living/halfway house situation. I haven't yet heard from him, or the staff regarding details of what will happen today, so I am trying to just breathe, and focus on myself right now. i

I know I have a lot of reading to do, so I am trying to take things one day at a time. Yesterday, I figured out where and when to attend nar-anon. Today is my day to tackle telling my mother about this.
I hope telling her goes well, or at least as well as telling someone this information can. I also lied to my parents about it. A lot of it was because I'm 17 and I knew they'd tell me I couldn't see my bf anymore. There were other reasons too, such as judgement, the feeling of burdening people, etc. I felt terrible telling my parents and friends at first, but in the long run I feel so much better. I'm not keeping this secret all to myself and trying to deal with it alone. It's still awkward discussing this with people I'm close to because they care about me and have strong opinions about what I should do (aka, leave him). I'm sure your mom will be upset/sad just because she doesn't want her daughter to be in a situation like that, but I'm sure you realize that. I think in the end you'll feel much better.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:47 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Cool

Originally Posted by kyles View Post
I hope telling her goes well, or at least as well as telling someone this information can.
Thank you. I think my mom already knows I want to tell her. I have been texting back and forth with her while she's at work today, and she just seems very concerned, and keeps saying things like, "Go ahead and cook whatever you'd like for dinner tonight" or "If you're too tired to cook I can take you out" and "You can make whatever makes you happy." Its as if she knows I've been bottling this stuff up all week, and can sense that I have been holding something terrible inside me. I am currently fighting the urge to just text it to her right now because it hurts me emotionally keeping this to myself. I know I should just wait and tell her in person.

On a happier note, I just spoke to my boyfriend on the phone. Today he has completed the detox program and I am very pleased that he has chosen to enter the sober residency a few blocks away from where he did his detox and recovery treatments. It is a program where individuals are bussed to the same recovery center for day programs. I am not sure the details yet (he had to go into a group therapy session) but upon entry, there is a no-contact period. I have faith that this will help him feel more centered, and it will also give me time to do my own research and get myself more centered as well, as I live my own life.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:50 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I'm sure your mom knows something's up. My parents knew something was up, but then again, they knew my bf and could tell he was doing something that wasn't very good...
Anyway, your mom sensing something is up is good because she won't be as shocked when you tell her everything. It sounds like she'll be really supportive for you.

The news about your bf is great. I hope he keeps up with the program. How long will he be in the sober residency? I had a very hard time with the no-contact period and didn't really use it to my advantage. I just spent the whole time counting down until when I could finally talk to him again. I think you're going about it in a great way and with the best attitude.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:39 PM
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I met my gorgeous intelligent fun sexy interesting man after not having seen him for almost 30 years...we had gone to high school together, he was the captain of the football team and state tennis champ, he grew up in one of the biggest houses in town and came from a brilliant family.

When I (re)met him I was just about to graduate from my masters program. And he was close to finishing his masters as well...in counseling. We totally fell in love. I could not believe my great fortune, I felt fate had smiled upon me and I was so happy.

A month after we started dating he relapsed on crack. I did everything I could to try to comfort him and make it all okay...I was already in love and I did not want to lose this beautiful person.

For the next two years of my life I learned what it was like to fear and hate addiction. I slowly spiraled into being a codependent and went through every phase of anger, sadness, despair...etc etc.

In the beginning people counseled me to let him go. That I should tell him to come back after a year. I just couldn't do it. I just could not believe that this beautiful intelligent loving man who I wanted to marry...would not recover. I am in recovery myself (alcohol) and so are three of my siblings, and I know countless people in recovery. BUT I did not know the evils of crack...meth...heroin...oxys. That is what we are dealing with here...the big guns, the brain hijackers.

Already you have experienced the deception/fear/lying. Already you have wondered what is going on behind the scenes. You go without a b-day present. You lie to your family. You worry about him and what will come next. And this is all happening before you even really "know" anything about his addiction.

I spent two years in deep research trying to understand something that is simply NOT understandable...and that is someone ELSE'S addiction. I am seriously, seriously verging on writing a book because of all the writing and research I have done...the book is already at 100's and 100's of pages...and still the man I love is out there...
and he is probably using. He makes it for two or three or four months clean and then gets hijacked once again by a substance that turns him into a lying, deceiving, sick, disappearing person.

Birthdays? Valentines? Hopes for the future? School? Plans? Financial resources? Brain capacity? Ability to work? Honesty? Trust? ALL of it goes up in smoke.

We had plans to marry, to write a book together, to counsel people in grief, to travel, to have dinner parties, to play chess...
it all goes up in smoke.

Heroin, meth, crack, oxys...really really hard to kick.

What people talk to you about here are probabilities. Every single one of us here knows what it is like to love, to care for someone who struggles with addiction. I still love the man, but he is my ex. I can't plan my life with someone who disappears into a crack pipe.

It may seem like you may hear harsh words here and you may resent them. But just let them be...eventually you may need to hear those echoes. In the beginning of my relationship I heard things that made me really angry...no one understood the kind of love we had. I felt like people shamed me for loving him and I hated them for it. I would prove them wrong, I wanted it so badly, I wanted to hang on to that love. I totally believed he would recover...I did everything I possibly could to support his recovery...

I wish you all the best.
Whatever happens with his recovery on his path is strictly between him and his silvery thread of spiritual connection to the universe...you will have absolutely nothing to do with either his failure or success...you are either going to be along for a ride to hell...or on a long road of necessary patience and understanding toward healing. Either one are life long.

And I would be willing to bet that you will always be wondering what might be going on...at the very least for the next few years, and that is IF he beats the very harsh odds and stays clean.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:25 AM
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an analogy that helped me.

2 drill instructors,one mean and nasty.....one friendly and 'helpful'.
Mean one made his trainees do all sorts of dreadful things to get them
ready for what lay ahead-----while the "Cool" drill instructor went through
the motions---was everybody's 'pal'.......and was very popular and liked.

The trainees of the 'mean' one learned their hard lessons well.Most came home
and 40 years later were bouncing their granchildren on their knees after long
and happy lives.

Trainees of the "cool" DI got slaughtered----and those that did return carried
bitter resentments into old age for being sent into
hell inadequately prepared.

The rhetorical question is obviously

"which is the better drill instructor"?
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:30 AM
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Whatever happens with his recovery on his path is strictly between him and his silvery thread of spiritual connection to the universe...you will have absolutely nothing to do with either his failure or success

(that was priceless, lesliej! ..........thanks)
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