Help: My crack addict left again; only this time to recover...

Old 11-01-2014, 02:17 PM
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Unhappy Help: My crack addict left again; only this time to recover...

Hello. I'm not really sure what I'm doing on here; but I need to get this out somewhere....
My live-in boyfriend and I met 3 years ago in AA (I know, I know). We started a relationship after we'd both been sober a year; and he planned to move in with me shortlythereafter. I am a recovering alcoholic; he a crack addict. He explained to me that this was the longest stint of recovery he'd ever had; and that he'd never had more than 4 months clean in the last 15 years or so. I didn't really understand what that meant..but he seemed to be doing good. I had no idea what I was in for.
Relapse after relapse after relapse began and my life became a living hell. He is truly a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - 2 different people. He moved in and out and in and out as he left for rehab and to stay with his very enabling codependent mom. He stole everything from car, electronics, money. 18 months later I relapsed also, which only added fuel to the fire. He moved out for good last February. He went to rehab and I eventually went to detox to get myself back together. (In April).
We'd been apart for about 6 months when we started talking again. He'd been clean for 4 1/2 months and me for 3. He relapsed again. He got clean and then moved in with me. (As I write this I realize how crazy it sounds).
I'd bought a house in the mean time so he came to live in the house; it was a little domestic dream. He talked of getting married and being committed. He did house work and fixed the toilet. He paid rent and worked and had a car. Everything seemed perfect. Until it wasn't.
He started seeming "off" again (I know the behavior patterns by now) and I was nervous he was acting out in other ways (sex, stealing....etc. all of it that comes with the crack addict territory).
Anyway - he seemed 'off' yet he's been doing everything right. Talking ot his sponsor (who is also his boss), reaching out and calling people....and then Wednesday he tells me that he is not ready for a relationship and he is moving out so that he can get his head together and stay clean.
This should be wonderful news. I should be so happy that he's finally, for once, doing something so different than anything he's ever done. Only I'm not. I feel just as betrayed - if not more so - then when he leaves because he's high. He left me sober. It kills me that he has to leave me in order to get better. And I feel like a bad person because as another recovering addict; I understand that this is probably the absolute best thing he could do.
So he left; he's back at his mom's; and I'm left alone, again to deal with all of those things he promised to help with.
The rational side of me knows that I'm better off without him here while he goes through this - his 2 sided-ness is impossible to live with. As he goes through his moods he acts out (Like I said, sex (mostly porn, but who knows what else)....he acts out very disrespectfully, i'll just say that. And he gets mean. He's not a mean person; but there's this side of him that is so filled with rage. Anyway - the rational side of me knows I"d rather not live with that person. But there's this other person; the one who moved back in; who was loving and caring and loyal and everything I want and love. And I miss him. And I hate that I have to let go of him; and I'm not sure how. All of this time I have been his biggest supporter (not enabler; for the most part. I learned pretty good boundaries early on), and yet I get left in the dust again.
Well, that's my rant. I'm hoping here has something similar to share - even in AA the people, for the most part, don't have experience with such late-stage crack addiction and so it's hard to find people to understand.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:34 PM
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Sperry, welcome.

This might be a good time to have some space between you, for him to try recovery without the distraction of a relationship (that is about him, by the way, not about you) and for you to decide if you are willing to risk your own recovery while he flounders in his.

Crack addiction can be tough to beat and take time. While he works on this maybe open your life to more meaningful ways to spend your time and building a healthy foundation for yourself.

Others will be along to welcome you but I wanted to say hello and say I am glad you joined us.

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Old 11-01-2014, 10:20 PM
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Thank you, Ann.

It's been an interesting struggle to go through this and trying my best to step back and look at it at the same time. Like I said, as an alcoholic myself, I absolutely logically understand the need to take time and space to yourself to begin recovery. And I get that it can take awhile. I remember my 11th month of sobriety; finally feeling like I was just beginning to see the world as it really is. It took 11 months of hard work to finally start to notice my perspective change. He deserve that same chance. And I'm so proud of him for standing up to take it.
I feel so betrayed. I can't say I'm angry with him; because like I said, I do understand. But the disease; this horrible awful disease; I hate it. I am angry with it. Without meaning to sound like a martyr, there's also a part of me that feels like "I've gone through this struggle alongside him for almost 3 years; I've been his biggest supporter and, next to him, have suffered the most of anyone else in his life (there aren't many people left). And now, after all of this, he leaves me to go finally get better? How is that fair?" And I know the answer, logically. I know how awful that sounds; but it's honest.
I guess part of this struggle for me is that I feel as though I'm playing both sides of the coin: the girlfriend who has been through the ringer and feels betrayed and scared that she's going to lose the man she loves; and the fellow addict - who, inside, couldn't be happier that he's (so far) actually breaking his patterns and doing something so different for his recovery.

As for what you suggested about what I do myself - I came to the same conclusion yestrday. This is going to have to be a chance for me to look at my life and my recovery and make it stronger. I cried in bed for half the day yesterday; and then went out with other sober friends for Halloween. Today; I didn't cry (mostly) and spent the evening with sober friends again. And I laughed; a lot. So I know that however much this hurts in moments; I just have to have faith that it will all be okay and there is a bigger plan.

I don't know much about this site; I've read through it a zillion times in the past looking for people who were going through similar experiences with their active significant others. I think I'm grateful for it, though. I may be rambling but maybe it'll help someone else? - Or someone will be able to relate and share their experience with me.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:39 PM
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I know this drug well…crack. It’s not going to just let him go to his enabling mom and find recovery. IMO, he’s setting himself up to return to using without being under your knowing and watchful eye <buzz kill>. He also may see that his relapses may have had an impact on your relapsing and doesn’t want to drag you down with him.

I hope you take this part as it is intended, just as a precaution, and said with concern. Get yourself tested for STD’s, Hep, and HIV, and when he comes back, use protection each and every time.

If you want to know more about crack and the associated lifestyle, I have some good stuff in my Blog
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:02 PM
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You know, cynical one....I've actually had those same thoughts. I've done this enough times now with him to see his patterns as I've said. And, as I said, the old behaviors started coming out about a week ago. The night before he actually left I looked through his phone (one of my old behaviors coming out as well...not good I know) and found that he'd been posting ads for sex on-line; he actually had a voice mail from someone responding to him. From my experience, crack addiction and sex go hand in hand; and as his addiction with the drug progresses; so do the sexually deviant behaviors. When I confronted him about this he screamed at me (really, really screamed. His anger has progressed also), and called me "psycho". Not exactly sober behavior.
Anywho - he's been honest with me about feeling 'off' and has genuinely seemed more self-aware than I've ever known him to be. He's doing all the rights things, as they say. However; in knowing his patterns and knowing also that he never wants to drag me down...and that his relationship with his mother is toxic at best....I've wondered the same thing. he recognizing his patterns, and trying to do something different to stop them? Or is he beginning to fall? I want to think the positive; but experience (and something in my gut) thinks that this may not be as positive as he made it out to be. Crack is a horrendous drug; the pull is more powerful than anything I've ever witnessed. He's relapsed over and over and over; I've lost count of the rehabs/detoxes he's been to in just the few years I've known him. So it's hard to think positive.
I guess only time will tell...
But I've also had to ask myself; does it really matter if he left here to set himself up to relapse to recover? Either way he left; and I'm left to work on my own journey. Somehow, I've got to find a way to let him go. I'm just not quite sure how to do that, yet.
Thanks for your honest words. I appreciate that someone else saw the same signs I did.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:23 PM
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Hello again,
I'm not sure anyone is really interested in this; but it feels good to get this stuff off my chest so I am back to vent.
I spent the day so sad. I did the best I could to stay busy; and care for myself. I had lunch with a friend and met with my own sponsor. I'm just so so sad. Through all the anger, the ups and downs, the lies, manipulations, etc., this disease just breaks my heart.
I spoke with my XAB (I think that's right?) a bit this afternoon - via text only. He's more consistent in what he says about doing this for his own well-being than I've ever heard him be. I know it could be a ploy; he could very well be deceiving himself; but maybe he isn't. Maybe he finally is going to start to get well.
I keep feeling that I should've known better; I should've known better than to let him move back in. I did know better, in fact, when I think about it. I was hesitant. But while he was here there was so much good. That's the thing, with my addict at least; when he's really here and present and his true self; he's the most amazing man in the world. If only he would stick around....
Before he moved back in I'd begun to start thinking of him as a person with a severe mental illness/disability. It helped me to have compassion and understanding; and I guess I"m going to have to remember to think of him that way again. It is true; such a severe drug addict is a person with a severe disability. It will likely take him years to get to a place where he can have a 'normal' functional life. That is, if he ever gets there. I told him today that I'd like to stay in his life; as his friend; and that I love him and support his decision so long as he feels it's what's right for him.
Because it's true; maybe I made the mistake of thinking he really was ready; I forgot that he has this horrible, heartwrenching illness; and I treated him as if he was well. It makes me sick to think of losing him in my life altogether. Does that feeling go away?...

I'm really rambling now so I'll stop with this; this f****** disease just breaks my heart. If only he weren't an addict.....
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:43 PM
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Welcome to the Board. I'm a bit late responding to this post, but I'm glad that Ann and cynical_one have welcomed you and have shared with you their hard earned wisdom.

So now it's my turn.

Anyway - the rational side of me knows I"d rather not live with that person. But there's this other person; the one who moved back in; who was loving and caring and loyal and everything I want and love. And I miss him. And I hate that I have to let go of him; and I'm not sure how. All of this time I have been his biggest supporter (not enabler; for the most part. I learned pretty good boundaries early on), and yet I get left in the dust again.
He's not two people. He's one person, and he's one person with some serious, serious problems, his rage obviously being one of them.

Is it possible that you thought if you could embrace recovery, he could too?

It doesn't work that way. As cynical_one has noted, crack doesn't let go so easily. The fact that he has taken his act on the road may be something Ann would call a "strangely wrapped gift".

Yes, you're hurt, and that's totally understandable. But just because you love someone and miss someone doesn't mean they're good for you. If you look at his total package, you have to ask yourself is that what you want to deal with. And I would bet the answer's no.

If only he weren't an addict.....
He is what he is.

Emotional pain...emotional suffering...blows. It just plain sucks. But the good news is it won't kill us. And you've done a lot of hard work staying sober. It's time to build on that. Remember this?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

It's time to work on you. That's what's you can affect for the better.

Keep us posted.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:59 PM
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sperry you're well aware that you shouldn't be anywhere near this guy; he's straight out trouble, not because he's necessarily a bad person, but because he's an addict. The 'disrespectful sex' stuff sounds worrying too and maybe distance will give you some perspective on that.
He sounds like he has enough self-awareness to get away from you once he's relapsed; be thankful he's done that. Don't be a classic victim an go chasing after him despite him doing the right thing. It probably took some strength on his part but you can undermine that if you really try.
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