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help - dealing with ex - recovering addict?

Old 10-29-2012, 09:01 PM
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help - dealing with ex - recovering addict?

I am having some serious issues with being broken up with my ex-boyfriend who is now a recovering addict. I don't know where to turn once again with my feelings regarding this situation because at this point in time my family and friends will just not have any of it. If I told any of them that I was having any struggling thoughts of being separate from him they would have a lot to say. With reason, of course, I understand that they're tired of the problems.

He recently sent me a letter to my sister's house from rehab. I had changed my phone number, and deleted him off of facebook so he called my sister trying to see if she would give him my phone number. When I first received his letter I was angry, because it didn't address anything except for the fact that he wanted to get back together, that he was changing and he wanted me there by him. I wanted an apology for a lot of the dark things that have happened in my life because of him in the past 6 months.

A little background. I am 22 years old, my ex and I started dating in high school initially at 16 and on and off until right before graduation. We met and hung out with similar crowds because we both used party drugs like ecstasy. He got further into things like coke and oxys, but it didn't seem strange to me because almost everyone I hung out with was following similar patterns. However when I was 18 my niece was born and my sister and her boyfriend has given me an ultimatum to be in her life. It wasn't much to give up it was more or less a weekend thing, something for fun. It wasn't healthy and I'm not proud of those years but I was a kid. Now I drink sometimes with friends and thats it. So while I was growing up into the person I am now I kind of thought we were doing it together. No one ever tells you that after you've had the quitting drugs talk at a seriously young age of 18 possibly 19 by the time I got irritated of his party drug use. Anyways I thought we were both done on the straight and narrow. September of 2011 he tells me that he had been using oxycontin intravenously for 'a while' he could never pinpoint a time. Later it came out that there was a period of sobriety but prior to oxys he was heavy into crack.

Within the past year a lot has happened. Firstly I should say hes a type one diabetic so using drugs intravenously may come easier to him than others. But also makes coming off of drugs a lot more difficult with getting sick and he usually had to be hospitalized. So last year after I found out, and his family did too since he couldn't really say for how long and his mom told me that he exaggerates about things he does wrong. I was naive. No one ever really prepares you for dealing with an addict unless you've dealt with one prior. So I suggested things but he kind of just acted like it wasn't that big of a deal. Then he relapsed sometime before he got sick and told me from the hospital again that he had done so, that he wasn't in the hospital from his diabetes. This time he went to an almost 30 day rehab, I think it was closer to 3 weeks. While he was in rehab he told me of a hugely illegal situation that he did to get drugs. I was shocked but once again smart me just put it on the back burner and thought my love for him was stronger than his addiction. His third relapse he had told me about the only thing is that he told me he had stopped using when really he hadn't which was in April. By the time I found out that he had continued using he was in the hospital again and it was the end of May. After I had taken care of him for about a week and him saying it was 'bad insulin.' Obviously there was a lot more that happened in this time span between him and I. But I had stayed with him through all of it, I was always very supportive. We lived together and we stayed living together the entire time. The last time he had told me he relapsed I wasn't supportive, I didn't speak to him I wanted space. Which was different from any time before. I didn't talk to him while he was in the hospital, he left the hospital early thinking that him coming home would make things better between us. Which resulted in me taking him back to the hospital the next day. Then continuing to not talk to him. I had felt at one point that I was going to stay with him I was going to stick it out. He called me and told me he was coming home and I told him I would talk to him when he got there. Then he told me that if I couldn't decide than it was best for him that we just break up because he needed to focus on himself. I agreed and I called people to help me move instantly. After a few days of barely talking after I had moved out we had stuff to settle such as bills and transferring his name into things. So I went over to his house to do that. We were both emotional. The days following he texted me some nonsense stuff that I could tell he was high. After he had supposedly been sober for a few days he insisted we go watch the July fireworks together, he drove a half an hour to my parents house to pick me up and take me. The whole time he cried and talked about getting back together, I too cried. (** I know that something is wrong with me because I'm crying thinking about this**) Anyways long story short we get back together somewhat. I spent every Saturday night sleeping over and I'd visit on weekdays. He promised me that he was sober and that he would tell me if he wasn't. All I wanted really was to know if he wasn't because I thought I deserved to make a choice on my own.

About three weeks into hanging out again he was sick from something I couldn't remember it was of course 'diabetes related' like every other time I had questioned his words. I had even asked if he had relapsed and of course he got upset with me. So once again I ran around town trying to find electrolytes to keep him balanced and food for him because he didn't have much at his house. After the weekend of taking care of him I had to go home. So I insisted I take him to the hospital after a lot of fighting I just decided to give up and go home. It must have been intuition that brought me to his house unannounced on the Tuesday following the weekend. I knew he wasn't feeling well. But I walked into something that day that I would easily erase from my mind if I could. He was about to start using and had clearly been. He used two or three times while in the house I can't remember because I was begging him not to. I was having a somewhat mental breakdown banging my hands against the wall and screaming. In all of the time that him and I had been together I had never actually seen a needle full of drugs. I had seen needles that he had stashed around the house and needles that were stashed in his vehicle, and ones that hadn't been used yet. But as far as actually being around knowingly for the act that was the first time. It made me sick, even sicker that he couldn't stop while I was there. He went into the bedroom anyways and just did it. So I took his dog to the kennel because he hadn't been fed since I was last there and I came back and forced him to go to the hospital.

After he got out of the hospital I even drove him back to his house because he swore up and down that he wasn't using anymore temporary relapse (I'm starting to see patterns as I write this out). So a few days after his temporary relapse we were supposed to meet up to talk since we hadn't yet. I go into his house and he's not there, the front door was unlocked (even though at this time he'd given me back my key). I called him he said that if a car accident didn't kill him the drugs would. I called back repetitively for about two minutes. Then I went through all of his stuff to find his license plate number and I called the police on him. After sitting at his house for hours on the phone with his family finding out things that I could've never imagined to be true. One of them being that I begged him to take me back, which 100% was not true (this to me doesn't seem like a lie of a drug addict, this just seems like someone being a jerk). Eventually he came home and I had to have him arrested. At his house he spoke the last words he has said to my face and they weren't kind. But I wasn't trying to get him put in jail I was trying to get him help, maybe a wake up call.

I didn't talk to him the next day. But I was informed they let him go. When I did talk to him he broke up with me before I could even say hello, it was like being together for four years meant nothing, I meant nothing. I'm sure he was high at that time. I don't know the full details of what happened to make him end up in rehab but I know he was admitted to an institution first. He messaged me on facebook from an institution and I blocked him and then shortly after that I had changed my phone number. Prior to him being institutionalized he would text me telling me that he wanted to talk after he went to rehab. I'm not sure what happened in between but I know he was denied from his original rehab.

Anyways. So I got this letter from him. And clearly he has treated me like crap. So what is wrong with me. We have been broken up officially for about three months... I have been in much better places than the one I am now, I was actually almost 100% until I got the letter. I don't know why now I am weakening? I don't have anyone in my life with perspective on this exact situation, which makes it difficult. I have gone to a beginners alanon but they said you can't talk about the addict. I feel like I can't be understood without explaining myself. I need help. I usually go to my therapist for help but I was finishing my degree until just recently and now I'm in a full time job where my therapist cannot accommodate my hours. So until I have banked some time being there I don't want to take time off to see my therapist. I should also say that I am now living by myself on my own. I feel like I'm never going to love anyone or feel comfortable about anyone ever again. I feel like I will never love anyone like I will love him. I am trying to appreciate every moment of my life because I don't want to be ungrateful for all of the good things in my life. I'm really struggling to find perspective on this situation and life itself (NO I am not suicidal, thought I should point that out). I feel as though I am becoming really depressed, which wouldn't be a far stretch I suffer from bad anxiety. After writing everything I did I feel like I should be more angry at him than I am. A big part of me misses him, if someone would've told me a year ago I would be without him I wouldn't have believed them. I'm really struggling with this, knowing that I'm doing the right thing.

In my letter back to him I told him I would definitely not get back together with him now. That I can't predict the future and don't know if we will be together or not. I told him that actions speak louder than words and I felt as though writing me from rehab was too soon, that he needed to live out what he was saying. So what if he did change? My biggest concern about being with him is that I want children. I would be very apprehensive about having children with an addict, not necessarily because of the 'gene' people talk about. But because I know what it feels like to be loved more that a drug, I wouldn't want to put that onto a child to have to live with possibly. When an addict is in rehab what do they tell them about having children? I need answers, please. Someone.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:03 PM
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sorry for writing a novel. but i feel like people need the full picture, and that isn't obviously it at its fullest.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:57 PM
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Hi 90210...

Welcome to SR. That's quite a story...and I'm sure you've only scratched the surface. I've been dealing with a boyfriend with an opiate addiction for about a year and a half and I get where you're coming from. It's great that your ex is in rehab and hopefully he really wants to get clean and take care of himself, but you are super smart to tell him you need to see him live out his words. It's really the only way you'll know if he means what he's saying. Maybe he has had enough of drugs and wants to get healthy, but only time will tell and in the meantime, you have to take care of you.

My friends are the same way--no one wants to hear it anymore and if they are willing to listen, they certainly don't want to hear that I'm getting back together with my boyfriend. That's because they care what happens to me just like I'm sure your friends and family care what happens to you. You're right though, it is hard for anyone to understand what you're going through if they haven't been there. Going to Al-anon is a good place for you to start and so is reading here and posting to get your feelings out and get feedback. In Al-anon, the focus is supposed to be on getting YOU in a healthier place. This is why they don't want to talk about the addict. It's not about them. Al-anon doesn't exist to help us figure out the other person.

You sound like you're doing pretty well and being sensible. You're only 22...got a degree, a new job, sounds like you have a good family and friends. You will most definitely find love again if things don't end up working with the guy in question. Addiction is a lifelong battle...even if he gets clean, there is always a chance of relapse. I think about that in relation to my own situation--if my boyfriend were to get clean and want to really try, would I even be comfortable with that?? I don't know... Something tells me, probably not. Trust is gone. Wouldn't I spend quite a bit of my time and energy worrying about what might happen? Wouldn't you if you and he got back together?

I don't know if anything I say is helpful. I'm still trying to figure things out myself. I also felt like I was doing well and now I feel I'm bad again. It's almost like our own little relapse, you know? I'm trying to pick myself back up, dust off, and keep moving forward. I think you should do the same and try to have faith that things will work out for the best if you do what's best for YOU...no matter what he is doing.

I highly recommend reading through the posts on this board. You will see your story is the same as a lot of other people's. The tiny details may change, but the main ideas don't. I would also read the Stickys at the top of the board and find cynical one's blogs--tons of articles to fit any situation you could think of. And you'll see Codependent No More recommended again and again. It's a book that should be required reading for people in our position. Also, I would suggest finding a therapist you can see in the evenings...some are very accommodating and the support is much needed when you're dealing with this kind of situation.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:12 PM
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I think you are looking for answers that only you can answer... with a little time and perspective. But my advice to you.... RUN! Run fast, run hard, run away and don't look back. You deserve so much more than this. You are SO young and you have the potential for an amazing life ahead of you - with someone who is not an addict. Addiction doesn't just go away. It is an ongoing struggle. You will always have doubts and questions with this man. You will always have to deal with it. And you are already considering having children with this man?

My ex-husband was an addict. We had two absolutely amazing children together who I wouldn't trade for anything. My ex committed suicide. My kids don't get to have their dad at their birthdays, graduations, weddings. Their children will not have a grandfather. There is so much unnecessary pain there. Not all addicts die or commit suicide. And those who live and continue to use inflict untold damage and pain on EVERYONE who loves them - including their children.

My current husband is also an addict (do I know how to pick 'em or what?). We don't have children together and I didn't know he had any drug problems when we met. But if I knew, I would have run. Five years later I am still dealing with the chaos.

So, my advice is to go on with your life without him. YOU DESERVE MORE. YOU deserve better.
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:29 AM
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All these comments are a bit harsh. So basically addicts dont deserve relationships then as all they do is inflict suffering? Some of them do try to overcome their addictions so why should ppl run from them because they're a RA. That doesn't seem fair.
What's the point in them trying to get well if ppl are going to advise ppl to run n stay away from having relationships with them
Should they be alone their whole lives because they made wrong choices n have hurt others? Hasnt everyone hurt someone at least once in their life?

Im sorry for your sufferings n mfox i am very sorry that your ex committed suicide, leaving your kids without a Dad.

Just my thoughts on this.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:21 AM
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Eveleivibe,

I can understand where you are coming from.No,I do not agree that ALL addicts should be alone nor given a chance. But what needs to be understood is that many people here have given chances,multiple chances,TOO MANY, to the ones that they love.

I feel that if and when an addict puts in a 100% towards a strong recovery program and he/she is really addressing the underlying issues, then good things will come. Everyone deserves love. I wish that more than anything for my ex (REAL SOBER LOVE). The reality is that many unfortunately use their "addiction" as a constant excuse to cause pain and turmoil to their loved ones. Despite if it is intentional or not, the mind and heart places up walls to avoid that same pain again. Everyone is responsible for their OWN recovery.

The effort to get clean and truly take care of themselves is very important. With time(years), they will be better for relationships. I see it this way, there is no point in "setting" someone up. I say this as a non addict who would also be setting someone up for a less than fair relationship because I too have things to work out now. I may be young but I am old fashioned in the ways that a commitment is a commitment and until I can give a man 100% of myself honestly, I will stay single and continue working on myself. As much as everyone deserves to have a chance and true love, no one deserves to constantly be made to feel like they mean nothing. Some people just can't bare to get on the roller coaster again...myself being one of them, it hurts too much.

These are also just my thoughts. Please do not feel that someone who is taking recovery seriously should not be given credit. At a time in my life, I would have paid any amount of money to get my ex to take his recovery seriously. I do applaud those that are truly committed in taking recovery seriously...
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:28 AM
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I absolutely agree with rsk. Everyone on this site loves these addicts with all their hearts. They are amazing and worthwhile people - without the drugs. And I know there are a lot of terrific people working successful recovery programs and I applaud them for it because I know how difficult it must be.

It just doesn't sound like this individual is serious about recovery. He has made one small step. A few days or weeks clean does not mean they are actively working a recovery program. It doesn't mean they are committed to it which is absolutely necessary. Abstinence IS NOT recovery. Going to rehab, going to NA/AA meetings doesn't mean you are actually working a program. ACTIONS matter. Changes in attitudes an behavior are what I am looking for in my AH now... not just the apologies and promises and threats. Of course he wants his life back the way it was! He had a VERY soft place to land when he messed everything in his life up - over and over and over.

90210, you ARE young. Find out who YOU are before you wrap yourself up in someone else - especially an active hard-core addict. I know when you are 22 those words don't mean much. After all, I was certain that I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted at 22. My, was I wrong. Go out and experience life. Make it great! Go to school, travel if you can, have life experiences that YOU want. Take care of YOU. Trust me, being involved with an addict easily strips away your individuality, your goals, your dreams and your plans. There are no plans in the life of an addict. Only the plan to feed the addiction.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh or bitter. I'm really not. I am generally positive and upbeat in my life. But I have gone through the storm. I know you care about this man. I know you want what's best for him. But remember, YOU matter, too.

Wishing you luck and happiness. You are in my prayers.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:38 AM
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Fair points rsk - i wish you happiness x
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:13 AM
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Nobody is saying that recovering addicts shouldn't have relationships. But for a known codependent to try to engage in a romantic relationship with a drug addict is just a recipe for disaster. Codependents and addicts are both usually better off alone than being with each other, it's just the nature of the beast.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:45 AM
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90210, I am an addict in recovery. I think people are telling you to run, because of what us addicts do while we are using. We are selfish liars. Also there is always the chance of a relapse when we get clean.

I think it is wonderful he is in rehab, but he is just starting his journey. He has long rough road ahead of him. Just because we quit using, doesn't mean everything is great. We have to work the steps and change so much. I am not sure how being in a relationship right now will help him. After he has worked the steps and been clean a while then I think he might be able to handle a relationship.

I wish you the best of luck!!
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:17 AM
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Sorry i didn't mean to offend anyone. I don't really understand addicts tbh as obviously i am not one but i kind of feel sorry for them. So is codependent a real thing then? I thought it was just another fad thing brought in

90210 i wish you all the best n sorry for what you've been through xxx
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:12 PM
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I can admit I am a co dependent. I thought I was just someone who wanted to fix the man so he could love me. My father was an alcoholic who I thought didn't love me. Well he loved beer more and lots of it. So the next guy in my life was an addict and criminal, the next guy was a drunk and liked to lie and spend time with other women. The latest is a recovering alcohalic who turned to coke and suffers of course from depression.

All these men I tried to help and I got kicked in the teeth each and every time. My fault of course should have read the signs and keep on trucking. So the latest guy I am going the No Contact route to see if he understands what is happening. After a month I "may" contact him or not. But what I learned from all this is very rarely do they suffer because you gave up on them...there is always another person to fill your shoes.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:05 AM
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Reapples - maybe you are trying to fix what you felt was wrong between you n your father???have you had therapy to focus on YOU? You deserve bettet than this n im sure your Dad loved you but was ill n not in his right mind due to addiction
Until you focus onfixing you n the feelings about your father you'll continue to meet these men.
Take care of yourself. Hugs xxxx
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:21 PM
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Sorry to everyone who had replied. I had another rough night last night and got to a point where I just didnít want to address what I was feeling. Sometimes I have to try my hardest to just put all the b.s on the shelf and not look at it for a bit so to speak.

Mistrust: What you have said is helpful. I will read the online info. I just really wanted response to my story I donít know if thatís pathetic or not but sometimes itís like I just need to unload my brain. I should go back to Al-anon because youíre right it isnít about him. It needs to be about getting me better. I donít think he understands that it has been just as much a process for me of learning how to live without having him in my life and taking care of him. I never knew about him doing drugs but every time he was sick I was the one taking care of him even though I thought it was diabetes related. You said ďWouldn't I spend quite a bit of my time and energy worrying about what might happen? Wouldn't you if you and he got back together? ď And this is definitely right. I would be back to not trusting him babysitting him basically. That isnít happier than what I am right now. Also, you hit it dead on it is like my own little relapse, but of being devastated. After I have those moments I feel so stupid, because I have a lot in life to be grateful for but sometimes when Iím in a dark place I canít see that nor do I want to. Thanks again for replying to me.

Mfox: Thanks to you as well for replying. Iím really sorry to hear that youíve lost someone that you loved. Iím not considering having children with this man now not even slightly. Iím 22, I want to be a lot older when I have children. But my concern is if you date an addict can they have children down the road? The reason this is a question to me is because I want to have kids, that is a non-negotiable to me. Before when him and I were actually together I thought I could still have it all. But it doesnít seem like I can? Thank you so much for replying to me. Iím sure if youíve written a post you understand how much it means when people actually take the time to reply to you.

Eveleivible: ďSo basically addicts dont deserve relationships then as all they do is inflict suffering?Ē I donít think that personally, but I think it is hard to forgive but even harder to forget. This is one of the biggest things that I struggle with. Maybe I am naÔve to say that I donít think my ex-boyfriend should be excluded from life just because he is an addict. But personally for me I donít know how smart it would be to forgive what has happened or accept it and be with him. Like someone previously had said I must be asking questions only I can answer. I just wish someone could tell me all of the right answers. Thanks for replying to my post.

Mfox: Thank you so much for what you said. This experience has made me realize that I know nothing about myself or who I am anymore. Maybe part of the reason I so desperately want what I had with him back sometimes is because I knew what I wanted and I thought I knew who I was when him and I were together. Nothing you said was too harsh or bitter I need to hear this stuff. I thought your advice was great. I am trying my hardest to Ďdo meí but Iím struggling to know how. Everyone I know has their own life and is wrapped up in their own things, which is completely understandable, I used to be too. So I just have been feeling very lost, struggling with figuring myself out. I guess I just wish I could know what the future would hold because like you question his commitment to sobriety I do too. It is hard to know when someone is finally serious or if youíre just being manipulated yet again. When I wrote him back in the letter I guaranteed him not now. But for some reason since I put the letter in the mail Iíve been questioning myself, but I know the right thing to do is to let this play out. Let our lives play out separately for the time being and I guess if we meet again we do and if not it wasnít meant to be. Iím trying to remember myself and take care of myself. But for such a long time Iíve been taking care of him whenever he was sick, and you all probably think Iím stupid for not knowing it was withdrawals but I guess I am just naÔve enough to want to see the best in people.

Interrupted & everybody: I have read a lot of the codependent stuff and enabler stuff but I still like to deny to myself that I am an enabler maybe I was even though I didnít know when he was doing drugs.. But am I codependent from what you have read? Is that why I am so stuck in this situation? Thanks Interrupted for bringing that up.

Wow04: Thank you for your post. I agree that right now isnít the time 95% of my time, but there is that 5% that gets me and I have to bring myself back to reality. Thanks again for your post. I also wish you the best as you further your sobriety. Nothing is better to hear when on the topic of addiction than an addict in recovery. Even if him and I donít end up together I still want the best for him, always.

Redapples: Thank you for your post. I am trying my hardest to keep on trucking but I something seems to be wrong with me. I too tried the no contact blocked him on fb, he doesnít know where I live, changed my phone number because he kept trying to contact with me. But he sent a letter to my sisterís house after calling her from rehab. I wonder if he really wants to say these things to me, or if this is like a drug game where he will do what he wants until he gets it? Thanks again, I really appreciate it and Iím sorry for the troubles you have been through, I couldnít imagine walking this road with more than one person. That would kill me. You must be so strong.

I want to thank everyone who replied for their feedback. You have no idea how much it means to have feedback from people that have been there, dealt with addiction as an addict or someone affected by it. I am going to try al-anon again, it just angers me sometimes that I go to a therapist and group meetings because I love somebody and theyíre barely, barely in my life. I just feel like I should have more control to push this out of my head and feel differently. I was very young when him and I met and obviously our relationship has been all I knew for a long time. But Iíve seen girls my age move on from relationships (not with addicts) so quickly, I donít understand why this is so differentÖ Is it because he is an addict? Is it because Iím codependent? Or is it because I still love him. As anyone who reads this can see Iím clearly confused and it is almost embarrassing. I really thank everyone again.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:20 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
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Don't be embarrassed at all, this forum is full of people who have no idea what "the right thing to do" is all the time - I'm one of them. Nobody always knows the answers. What we're trying hard to learn is how to ask the right questions. And we still mess that up constantly!

You're the only one who can truly know if you're codependent. But if you find yourself frequently minimizing your own needs while excessively prioritizing the needs of somebody else, then it's worth examining how you might work to improve your own sense of self worth and your feelings of happiness, health, and satisfaction internally, without depending on the actions of others.

It's a journey - and it helps immensely to know that we're all walking together.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:42 AM
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edapples: Thank you for your post. I am trying my hardest to keep on trucking but I something seems to be wrong with me

Be a bit easier on yourself this has been a lot for you to take in and then their is the grief process that most of us go through. Please remember the only stupid question is the ones we don't ask.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:27 PM
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interrupted: its feels that I am codependent from reading things that make me feel that I've acted in a specific way. My mom always says that even as a child I wanted to help everybody. I know I was putting him ahead of myself, and my family noticed it too even the ones who didn't know at the time what was happening. When I had told them everything just clicked. But its strange at the same time because my ex would always tell me I was selfish....

I really want to be able to overcome having these tendencies in future relationships I don't want to be that person. So I'm hoping it is something that I can overcome. And it really does help knowing that people are going through the same things.

crazybabie: Thanks for your reply. I'm so wishing the grieving process would just end
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:53 AM
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I wish the grieving would just end as well but it doesn't work that way you could consider attending grief meetings some here have.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:47 PM
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I have never heard of those. Where I live is pretty limited I think we don't even have a nar-anon.. I feel like realizing that I am codependent has been helping me a lot in the past couple of days. My therapist talked a lot about the grieving process of course when I last saw her I felt a lot stronger. Strange how feeling strong wears thin after a bit of time.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:38 AM
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We don't have nar-anon where I live either but there are free grief support groups maybe google your area?
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