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Accepting he may be an addict forever

Old 04-12-2019, 11:38 AM
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Accepting he may be an addict forever

My ABFand I seem happy on the outside, to most of my friends, and to our families.
However, inside our home behind closed doors I am simply pretending that things are normal. My ABF has been living with me (again) since October. Actively using, although not nearly to the extent he used to.
I have gotten so much great advice from this forum over the years, and I am so very grateful for the help.
Even with all the advice and discovering the depths of my codependency, I have been unsuccessful at ending my relationship. I think because I don’t want to end it. There is so much about him that love. But I realize since he has been back here with me, I have fallen into a cycle of enabling again. If I tell him he can’t use drugs in my home, it creates a conflict that can (& has) sent him to some very dangerous places. He has done lots of time in jail. I don’t want him to go back. I have been justifying him recreationally smoking heroin in my house for months. His mother literally thanks me for not kicking him out and giving him a “safe” place, so to speak. I am so torn. In my job, I sometimes work with people who have addiction issues, so I have had “harm reduction” training. I understand that for some people, recovery is not - and will not - ever be an option. I am starting to wonder if my ABF will ever have the desire to stop using drugs. He would likely do any drug, but his choice is heroin. He orders it from the dark web, he says it’s better because unlike the street heroin around here it isn’t cut with fentanyl. He has taken tiny steps to keep his addiction “under control” as he perceives. He only uses for 3 days. Then takes about a week off. I think this is mainly due to how he accesses the drugs - via the Internet. But regardless, he’s not snorting 6+ fentanyl pills a day like he was 3 years ago.
I hate the my codependent ways are so obvious right now.

has anyone else come to the realization that the person they love, who they’ve been with for 8 years, will never stop using? what did you do? how do you cope? My life is not in shambles. But I do daydream about all the things we’ve sadly never done together. I am 29 and he is 33. We should be having the time of our lives.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:24 PM
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I also just want to add, I have been to one meeting in my small city. There were 3 people that knew me there, and I’m a very private person. One “acquaintance” even asked me personal questions about my life afterwards that I didn’t feel comfortable answering.
I’ve been turned off going to meetings ever since. I just sit here and think, maybe he will never stop using. Maybe this is just who he’s going to be forever. In my eyes, He is still a person who is worthy of love, and I don’t want him to feel like nobody cares for him. Ugh.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:54 PM
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Hi mkr. Why would you not believe he will always be an addict when there is no behaviour to rule this out. He is using, he's not in any kind of recovery?

I have no idea what your life was like before you met him, but does this sound even remotely "normal" to you:

I have been justifying him recreationally smoking heroin in my house for months.
Smoking heroin in your home. hmm

His mother literally thanks me for not kicking him out and giving him a “safe” place, so to speak
So he has a history of being enabled then, that's not surprising.

He orders it from the dark web, he says it’s better because unlike the street heroin around here it isn’t cut with fentanyl.
This is just addict-thinking. He has no idea who is behind the drugs, surely the "street heroin" dealers aren't on the dark web! He wants to believe that but he has absolutely nothing to back this up.

I do believe you know all this already. Certainly you have to accept that for now your boyfriend is a heroin addict, or don't accept it. If you can't you need to move on. You can't change him.

The question is, what do you want? He may be worthy of love, however are you his caretaker or his SO? What is in any of this for you? Is this a good place for you? Are you happy?
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:58 PM
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hopefully by now you realize you are not IN a relationship with another engaged human, you are in a relationship dance with addiction. the addict's one and only purpose and focus is the next hit.....how to get it, when to get it, how to fund it, where to use it. and that's it.

over time you have come to believe that you are somehow making a difference. that you are the only thing keeping him alive. and yet you really just provide him a place to smoke dope. you are his resource. he isn't there for your great pancakes.

you are not in charge of his life. HE IS. the lifestyle he is choosing to live, the drugs he continues to take, that is what runs his life. and there may be tragic consequences. but it's dangerous crossing the street and most of us don't have a person dedicated to stand in front of the bus for us.

in a sense, you hold him hostage. you'll do anything as long as he'll stay, you enable and take abuse, just to have him near.

that's not love.

what about your own life? YOUR LIFE. the one that isn't centered and steeped in active addiction. sucking up heroin smoke. checking a pulse. keeping the narcan handy.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:58 AM
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I have my own sad story posted on SR concerning a relationship with an addict. I learned a lot about heroine addition from my relationship with her.

In all my time spent with her she never asked for help to deal with her addiction (s). She needed constant help dealing with a wide range of problems which stemmed from her addiction. She is mid 30's now. Started using heroine when she was 15. She is not in nor ever has been in true recovery.

I read your post. Recreational heroine use? If he was smoking weed ok I can accept the term recreational. He is using heroine because he is addicted to it. Heroine is an extremely powerful & dangerous drug.

As you may know, heroine has a short half life. The high only lasts for a few hours. Then if you don't use more withdrawal symptoms set in. Could start with watery eyes, runny nose, unable to focus on anything, irritability. Gets way worse from there.

Typically heroine is not a drug where use can be controlled just to a few days especially after addiction sets in. My guess your BF is using heroine more than you know or he is supplementing heroine use with other drugs.

There were times when her life (my addict) seemed ok. But that never lasted very long. Things would go off the charts bad like a train wreck & this happened on a regular basis.

I had to leave the relationship with her. For me in the end it all came down to a simple choice die continuing trying to saver her or save myself. Given how much I love & care about her - those are crappy choices. Its just part of life with an addict.

I'm sorry for your situation.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:26 PM
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I have been justifying him recreationally smoking heroin....

there is absolutely no such thing as "recreationally "smoking heroin.
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:35 PM
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After almost 20 years, I had to accept that my son was probably going to be addicted forever...and that his "forever" would most likely be brief because drugs kill. It was the most difficult acceptance I ever had to make.

My alternative was to keep believing that he would change, or worse, that I could make him change...and go down with him to the depths of darkness where addiction lives.

It's up to you to make your own choices, but like Tomsteve said, there is nothing "recreational" about using heroin. If you think it's just once in a while, it just means he's getting his using past you. Heroin doesn't DO once in a while.

Good luck, this must be hard for you.
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:15 AM
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mkr86, were you thinking of having children at some point? If so can you see yourself having them with him? I think you may be right that he will use in some way indefinitely, but what does that mean for your future? There's always the possibility he'll ramp up his use, as there is with any addict.

I just don't want you to get to your mid-30s and say you regret not having a 'normal' relationship where you would feel confident about raising kids. It's not for any of us to say what you should do, but if you stay, at least make that decision having thought through all the consequences.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:52 AM
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After working with my addict for 15 years, 3 rehabs, jail, etc., I can say that it is best to assume that your bf will struggle with chemical dependency for the rest of his life. The only question is - will he ever get to the point where he wants to enter active recovery.

I have often thought about that "point of no return" - where someone has done so much harm to themselves that they no longer have the strength (or brain cells) to admit they are an addict and enter recovery. And, the further down the wrong road a person travels, the longer the road back is. Drugs do actual harm to the brain.

Even in active recovery, there is relapse.

The thing is, we humans can get used to almost anything. So, if by some magic a "normal" (not codependent) person would take your place in the relationship, you might imagine what that person would do differently.

You insightfully identify that you don't really want to end it. So, as they say in the recovery literature, maybe keep the focus where it belongs - on yourself.

Why is it OK with you that someone uses heroine in your home - an illegal substance that if you were raided by police would be linked to you also - translation - felony. And do you think the police don't know about the dark web?

And with all addictions, some progress slowly, some progress quickly, but ALL addictions lead to a crisis of some type. So can you accept that every day that goes by you are living on borrowed time?

Are you prepared for the crisis when it comes? Overdose, raid by the police, arrest of your bf, health crisis due to drug use, car accident?

As a recovering codependent, what I have come to realize about myself is that I get over-focused on other people's problems to avoid doing my own moral inventory and my own 12 step recovery. So maybe the question shouldn't be - will he be an addict for life. It might be - will I be a codependent for life?

I would say, in whatever way shape or form you can - start working your own recovery. I received some wonderful advice on this forum once that said - "Work your own recovery with as much dedication and commitment as you wish you addict would work theirs". I think that saved my life. If you don't like 12 step groups, get a therapist, coach or start your own group. Try everything until you find something that helps.

At 29 you still have a lot of life to live - BUT - time moves quickly. And you could wake up one day and be 39 and still struggling with this. What do you want from life and how are you going to get it?

Wishing you all the best,
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:45 AM
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Until the addict wants to change things won't change. They'll probably get worse. Not just for the addict but those around them because their addiction will become their priority including an ends justify the means mentality.

And yeah running into someone you know or who knows you has always made me leary of meetings unless I make them a day trip.
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