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Do they ever go back to being who they were?

Old 10-12-2012, 12:24 PM
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Do they ever go back to being who they were?

My son says that his wife is not the woman he married at all. DIL did not have many of the characteristics of an addictive personality before she was put on such huge doses of pain pills. She was a very strong, independent, sunny girl. She has changed so much in her personality since she has become addicted to pain pills and sadly, much of the change is very negative. So I am wondering, for those of you who have had a loved one recover from addiction, do they go back to being the person they were or is there some permanent scarring .
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:38 PM
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I am a recovered alcoholic. I would say I did go back to the the person I was in some aspects, and I have changed in other respects. I'm also 34 years old and am more of an adult than what I was during ages 18-30. I make decisions with a clear head & take responsibility for my actions. I can be pleasant to be around then there are times that I shut my office door because I know my mood will show. I am the person I was before I started drinking.

I will add that recovery isn't easy. People in recovery are moody. I am moody. At the beginning I was VERY moody. An addict's brain can only focus on the thing it can't have when you take that thing away. I am blessed to have a partner that is patient and was willing to deal with (and still deals with) my mood swings. There are times I have to take a break from this forum because I get annoyed with posts I read - because I'm moody. And I don't want to bite someone's head off that I don't know.

It takes probably just as much patience to deal with a recovering addict as it takes to deal with someone who is taken by addiction. If anyone thinks that she will just let go of her addiction and immediately return to her previous personality, they have incorrect thinking. It may be a very long time before she figures out natural happiness.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:49 PM
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That's hard to answer and we never know how they will be once they get off the drugs. The longer they have been using, the more damage they have done to their brains and some heal over time and some never do...brains are delicate that way.

One thing I do know is that as long as she is using, she will become more and more difficult. Addiction is a progressive disease.

If they have children, I would not leave them in her care. She is incapable of being responsible while using pills and the children could be in danger. Even if she has managed so far, the potential for trouble is huge.

I am sorry your son is going through this, it must be hard for you too. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Hugs
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:35 PM
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Yes and no. We stop growing when we use. Then when we find recovery we go through a new growth. I for one became more spiritual over time. I am happier and more in tune with my emotions and have matured in ways I would never have been able to if I had not worked hard at my recovery.

In other words I turned into a different type of adult than if I never had abused substances. I love this person I've become.

Do remember recovery is, by nature, a selfish act in many ways. I did the damage to myself and only I can, by working with others, repair those damages.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:40 PM
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I think they change, some for the better - some for the worse! But the hopeful fantasy of who they were is highly unlikely. JMO
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:17 AM
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My son seems to be the same personality wise as he was before active addiction. He hopefully is wiser. I don't know about honesty yet--whether or not he can be totally trustworthy and honest. Time will tell. I just know I will be wary for some time but I wont go looking for trouble. I want him to live his life without my taking a front row seat to it. He doesn't live at home now so that helps me be able to detach.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:09 AM
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I think for me, as I go through recovery, I have had to realize I never knew who I was before. I spent my 20's married and raising kids. I did as I was told. When I left the marriage, I started drinking a lot, so took on the persona of a party now. Now, I am getting to know myself, getting more comfortable in my skin.

But, I will say, through my own recovery and seeing others, most do become happier, more stable, better, once they are clean.

Hugs to you!
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:32 AM
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Some of the recovering addicts don't need to go back to exactly like they were before addiction. That could be what led them down that path. I can look back and see some of my son's addictive personality even before drugs began.

Wish I had been smarter. Maybe I could have at least known what was happening and been on alert. But we all think "Not my child." So maybe I don't need to go back like I was before addiction touched my life. I have grown.

Some people say they are thankful for addiction because of the growth through the process. I can't say that; but I do know that I have changed - and some of it is for the better.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:06 AM
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I'm not thankful for my addiction, I can be thankful for the person I have become in recovery. Without my addiction I wouldn't be the person I am today.

In another example, I am grateful for the person I have become after surviving physical abuse, but I'll never be thankful for the abuse itself.

In both examples I am grateful as hell for the process of recovery though.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:34 PM
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i have often times asked the same question..but then i am reminded of my mother. i grew up in a home where she was drunk all of the time. she has not had a drink in over 20 years and she is better...much better than the woman i knew growing up. i trust her without question, and she is the rock and well deserved, respected matriarch of our family.

i would say the same thing for our pastor who is a recovering crack addict and former drug dealer. the first lady of our church, who is his wife...always gives a testimony to the congregation about how much better of a husband, father, and pastor he is now that he got clean years ago.
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