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Confused, Exhausted

Old 02-22-2015, 08:05 PM
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Confused, Exhausted

Hi. I've never posted here before; in fact, I have never posted on any forum, so this is probably indicative of how confused and upset I am. In short, I began dating a guy a few years ago. He is a combat veteran with PTSD and who has suffered combat injuries and was prescribed anything you can imagine by the VA. At times, he would tell me he needed a few days alone to come off of Klonopin, but that was rare and I didn't realize what that meant until now. In any case, this past year and a half, I noticed he was not the person I once knew (in fact, the extreme opposite) -- emotionally unavailable, flighty, eager to leave when we were hanging out, etc. Of course, when I asked about it, he did the typical gaslighting thing, making me feel I was crazy. Eventually, he told me he was hooked on Oxycodone. I supported him through that...as is often the case, the cycle repeated itself and he lied again, confessed about a subsequent relapse and I stood by him. Almost a year later, we were about to begin couples counseling and, out of the blue, he told me he didn't want to go through with it because he wanted kids and I didn't and therefore there was no point. Based on our past conversations, this didn't add up to me and eventually, he told me he had never really been sober for a long period after each relapse and that he went from Oxycodone to IV heroin, using several bundles a day. This time, I told him he had to get into a real program and just be honest with me, even if he relapsed. So, he enrolled in an outpatient program through the VA. It's only been four months, but I am so confused and hurt. I understand that recovery can and should be "self-focused" early on and I have no problem with that. In fact, I have let go of this notion that he will ever truly apologize to me in a real way anytime soon, because I want him to get better first and foremost. What confounds me is that he is completely dismissive of me and seems to never want to be around me, despite saying he wants us to work it out and go to counseling. He is so emotionally unavailable and when I'm upset, he doesn't comfort me like he used to -- he just appears unaffected. He is on Suboxone and has tapered down to 1mg a day. Of note, the VA was going to end his Suboxone maintenance sooner, so he sought out a private doctor to he could extend it (is that a red flag?). I also found out (he wasn't forthcoming at first) that he convinced his doctor to prescribe Klonopin for him as well. He also started drinking and smoking pot -- I am not saying he does either of these excessively, but it concerns me because he did neither before...he had no interest in these drugs. He said the pot is to help him sleep so he doesn't need the Klonopin as much (suspect, I know). He also uses Flexeril at times. On a positive note, he looks healthy again and is training 30 hours a week (he's an athlete) and is back in school again so I don't think he has relapsed on heroin, but I am worried about the likelihood of such due to his behaviors. I have Googled these matters to the point of exhaustion and would love some feedback from those who have real experience with these things. I am especially clueless because I have had zero experience with drugs and alcohol, both directly and indirectly-- I've never even smoked weed or had a drink so learning about all of this stuff is overwhelming. Here are my main questions/concerns:

1) I know there are different schools of thought on recovery and complete abstinence. My concern is that only four months into it, he is admitting to using all of the above substances, which would mean he has never had a moment of true sobriety, which I would think that, no matter where you stand on complete abstinence, is important early on. Thoughts?

2) Would Suboxone maintenance treatment even at the low does he's now on have an effect on the emotional availability in someone?

3) He has also had some childhood trauma which, despite his years in therapy, he has never talked about. I gently nudged him to talk about it and suggested it was integral to the recovery process and he agreed. He claims that when he brought it up to his therapist, he was told that he shouldn't talk about things that are too heavy this early in recovery because he might be more prone to relapse. I always assumed that stuff should be talked about whenever one finally gets the courage to bring it up and certainly during recovery. Does what he claims make sense to anyone?

4) Why won't he just break up with me if he doesn't even want to spend time with me and hates that I disagree with him on how he is acting and the stuff he is using?

5) In short, is he acting like someone who is truly in recovery? If not, how do I approach him -- he always gets so defensive.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:17 AM
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Welcome to SR.

It sounds like you are shouldering more of the responsibility for his recovery than he is himself.

I sound like a cracked record BUT to support somebody with an addiction you need to be in a strong and secure place emotionally yourself. If you get 'dragged down' then there will be two broken people in this relationship. That is not healthy or fair for you.

For all the efforts you and the professionals have put in this chap, after beginning counselling etc, chose to start drinking and taking pot. You say that he is not being honest with you etc.

Stop and think about what your life is now. And then think about what it will be like in one year, two year, three years time if this guy does not face up to the fact HE needs to sort his addictions out (with professional help).

xx
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:48 AM
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Why are you waiting for him to make the first move?
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:21 PM
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I'm glad you joined us and am sorry for your troubles.

If you read your post, it seems like you are looking for answers to understand him so you can save him. Sadly, there are no good answers when active addiction exists, and all the love in the world cannot save him, if it could not one of us would be here.

It's not you, I can honestly say that most of us have been where you are, with me it was with my addicted son. "What if he did this?"..."What if I did that?"..."He said he couldn't do it without me...."Why did he steal from me/lie to me/rage and turn my home into a war zone/overdose/keep drugs in my home/pretend I was selling an office full of computers and collecting money from victims who thought they had found a good deal?".

Trying to figure him out is futile. If he is willing to go to a rehab and/or talk to a counselor, they maybe can help him, but the key word is "willing". Until he is ready nothing will change for you and it will get worse with him.

Take a read around, that might help you understand more about yourself and what your life will be like if you stay with him.

We don't judge you here, or rush you either, and please know we are walking with you until you can find your balance again. You are among friends here who understand because we have been where you are and found our way back to sanity.

Hugs
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:36 PM
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and for welcoming me to SR. It feels good to share without feeling judged. All of your comments helped me realize that I am so busy looking for answers to specific questions, hoping I'll hear what I WANT to hear...making myself "crazy" in the process. Esspee, you are so insightful and I am amazed at how well you assessed my role in this -- prior to this, I have been in an emotionally fragile state due to other personal issues and I do have a history of taking on more responsibility than my partners in past relationships (none of which involved an addict). This experience is dragging me down and, you are right, it will never do for him, me or us. Muunray, with one question, you've really caused me to pause and think hard on the matter. Ann, thank you for the warmth in your words. I am sorry for your situation with your son...thank you for your willingness to take that experience and offer your firsthand knowledge to me. I have a lot to think about and will continue to peruse this site to help. I can't say I know what I'll do in this moment. I am regularly seeing a great therapist and plan to attend an Al-Anon meeting as well. Thank you all again.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:02 AM
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Welcome SobRecNYC!
Glad you found us. I know how miserable it is to take on the task of making everything right in a relationship. I wish I had had SR way back when....

I hope you stick around and keep posting. You will meet a lot of folks who have been where you are, and who will be happy to listen and share their experiences too.

Take care of yourself first...I think that if someone had been able to tell me that years ago, and if I had listened, I'd have been spared much misery and grief. Great that you are seeing a therapist and Al-anon is a great idea as well.

hug,
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ann View Post
I'm glad you joined us and am sorry for your troubles.

It's not you, I can honestly say that most of us have been where you are, with me it was with my addicted son. "What if he did this?"..."What if I did that?"..."He said he couldn't do it without me...."Why did he steal from me/lie to me/rage and turn my home into a war zone/overdose/keep drugs in my home/pretend I was selling an office full of computers and collecting money from victims who thought they had found a good deal?".

Trying to figure him out is futile. If he is willing to go to a rehab and/or talk to a counselor, they maybe can help him, but the key word is "willing". Until he is ready nothing will change for you and it will get worse with him.

Hugs
Ann is right. It is the disease we get from living with their addiction and addictive behaviors. We become hyper-vigilent. We listen for bottles opening, behaviors, looking at their activities, wondering "what can we do?" The answer is nothing, we are powerless over their addiction. We have to take care of ourselves, because we can and they are certainly not going to.

Welcome keep reading and posting. Glad you're here.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:14 PM
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Hello, and welcome! Sending you strength and lots of hugs My AH is an IV heroin user and also been on suboxone for a very long time. He just got out of rehab, detoxing from both and boy, oh, boy, the stories he tells me. I have to admit that he is a very different man from the man that went into rehab. I don't know how long this will last, but anyway. AH is now constantly sharing with me, we talk every day. I was a very sophisticated CIA agent for the 2 years that he has been using apparently. I was also researching, I was asking questions, trying to figure out what doses of sub he is on, is he using, why is he not available, why does he think it is ok to drink (sometimes he would also drink), etc. My AH is also very athletic and by the looks of it, you just would never know that he uses heroin.

I was so wrong. Apparently AH used the whole two years and all the worrying and checking and trying to figure out, gave me maybe 2% of the whole picture, which was much much worse. I spent 100% of my time trying to figure out his chit and for what??? The point is - either they are in recovery or they are not. Because eventually they will go to what they really like - opioids. If your bf is drinking and smoking pot and taking a benzo on top of suboxone, he is not sober. You are not supposed to take Klonopin and Suboxone together, I am sure he knows that

You love him and you worry, but the thing is, there is nothing you can do. You feel that something is not right, it is not right. Yes, suboxone numbs their feelings. AH now tells me that he always felt on the side, didn't want to be intimate, didn't want to be around me or the kids at all However, who knows what else he is doing or not doing. I even **** tested AH, IOP **** tested AH, he had a sponsor and he still got high around it. We are powerless, all we can do is build a strong foundation and relay on ourselves. Their addiction engulfs us, makes us doubt ourselves. Do you go to Al-anon? It has been a lifesaver for me.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:56 PM
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glitterdeva, thank you for sharing your story -- there are so many parallels to mine (and so many others, I'm sure). I, too, obsessed (and still do at times) -- why is he avoiding me? What dose of Suboxone is he on? Why isn't he taking recovery more seriously? On and on... Intellectually, I know what you and others say is true -- there is nothing I can do to help him and I should trust my gut. Emotionally, it's just so hard when you care for someone so much. As I mentioned, I am in therapy with an amazing therapist and, at his nudging, went to my first Al-Anon meeting yesterday and look forward to attending regularly. I haven't practiced enough self-care in my lifetime and certainly not when all of this unfolded and it's more important than ever now.

I know that my boyfriend should not be mixing Suboxone and Klonopin and the fact that he is using and/or has so many substances around him (Suboxone, Klonipin, Flexeril, pot, alcohol) is almost a no-brainer, huh? He just speaks with such certainty that drug abuse is behind him and I believe he believes it's that easy and simple, but it makes me wary.

I am sorry for your pain and sadness and appreciate your willingness to share your experience to help those like me.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:59 PM
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Thank you, Firefall. Yes, this is what I am doing -- expending my energy "policing" my partner. It's exhausting and leaves little time and energy for self-care. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting yesterday and between that, my personal therapy and the kind support and warmth I'm finding on this forum, I feel more hope than I've felt in a long while.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:53 PM
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SobRecNYC--welcome...and so glad you shared. I am just happy you are here. It makes such a difference in our lives to have this safe SR recovery!
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SobRecNYC View Post
I know that my boyfriend should not be mixing Suboxone and Klonopin and the fact that he is using and/or has so many substances around him (Suboxone, Klonipin, Flexeril, pot, alcohol) is almost a no-brainer, huh? He just speaks with such certainty that drug abuse is behind him and I believe he believes it's that easy and simple, but it makes me wary.
Hi SobRecNYC. I read your post. Sorry to hear what you are going through. I am an addict. I have over 2 1/2 years clean off Heroin (and pills and booze and pot and whatever other drugs I used to pile on top of it).

Personally complete abstinence is THE ONLY WAY that ever worked for me. Your boyfriend might actually believe that drug abuse is behind him. I too believed it for a time and played that game before too. Well if I just don't touch opiates and stick to booze and a bit of pot it is okay. For a while I thought the Heroin was the root of my problems and as long as I didn't do that I could justify everything else. Unfortunately booze and pot are drugs too, but many an addict has a harm reduction mentality until that blows up in their face enough times and they finally find a bottom.

Maintenance meds have their place for sure, but when I was just taking Suboxone or Methadone and still drinking and not working any type of recovery program I was destined to fail. Yes I could function a bit better on alcohol or pot for a while, but inevitably either my drinking / pot use progressively got worse OR I would eventually find my way back to opiates.

My sobriety date started the day after my last dose of Methadone (I had been on Suboxone many times before that too). I am not saying that to start an argument and for a time I considered myself sober, but after getting off methadone (which sucked by the way) and getting truly clean from everything my outlook did change quite a bit.

I came to realize how much work I had to do on myself when I couldn't reach for a beer, or a joint, or a pill, or a needle full of dope to wash away my feelings. I had to start to really feel them good and bad and realize I don't have to act on every thought that popped into my head. Learn some actual coping skills basically. There were good days and bad. Actually there were plenty of bad days early on where I was about to jump out of my skin, but until I was ready to do the work on myself SOBER nothing was going to change long term. My brain and body also had to recover from all of the abuse I did to it over the years which took a while too.

Anyway that was and is my experience. Things might get worse before they get better (or they might just keep getting worse unfortunately). Take Care!!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:04 AM
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Marcus, thank you for sharing your ES&H...it helps me immensely as I have an active heroin addict daughter...and there is also drinking in the family...so you provided a lot of perspective...and also some good information that I didn't know that makes it clearer for me. Many of the things you describe are in her behaviors and actions but I didn't understand quite as clearly...and the information from personal experience is always best...
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Old 02-27-2015, 12:59 PM
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Hi Marcus. Thank you for sharing. It is so helpful and insightful to hear from someone who's been on the other side of addiction. I appreciate your honesty, even though, of course, it's not exactly what I wanted to hear...or, rather, admit to myself what I already know to be true. My gut tells me you are right and my gut has not been wrong once during this whole situation with my boyfriend. It's so hard for me to reconcile it all because on one hand, he is functioning so well -- he's in school full-time, he's training 25-30 hours per week (he's an athlete) preparing to compete and he is consistently going to his own therapist and group meetings...yet he is still putting so many substances into his body and he started doing so less than two months into recovery. By the way, despite our agreement that he'd be transparent about anything he put into his body, he didn't freely tell me...I started suspecting and then he admitted to it. I guess such omission of truth is addict behavior in of itself. He is doing so well in so many ways and that's what confuses me... Thanks again for your reply. I've read some of your other posts and they are so helpful to me and I'm sure for others as well.

Last edited by SobRecNYC; 02-27-2015 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SobRecNYC View Post
Thank you, Firefall. Yes, this is what I am doing -- expending my energy "policing" my partner. It's exhausting and leaves little time and energy for self-care. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting yesterday and between that, my personal therapy and the kind support and warmth I'm finding on this forum, I feel more hope than I've felt in a long while.
Yes it works if you keep coming back. I don't understand how or why, just that it does.

You are doing some good things that will help. We are all here for each other, that includes you.

Huggs
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