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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:40 pm 
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I reconnected with a friend from junior high in January. He was getting out of a relationship - one he had begun while using heroin and cocaine - and we began as friends but things developed quickly between us.

The first time we chatted on the phone he told me he had been an addict and clean for three years. He was in jail for a stint and said jail is what saved him and taught him the willpower he needed to stay clean.

He has two young boys, one of whom is severely autistic. He is an excellent father. They keep him motivated in his recovery.

I'm the daughter of a former alcoholic. I dated a man who drank too much for my liking in the past. I'm very sensitive to keeping an eye open for addictive behavior and when my friend told me about his past, I told him flat out I wouldn't be with someone who did drugs. He told me he didn't and didn't expect to ever go back.

I find out he smokes marijuana, a hit or two a day. He doesn't change much other than to get a little relaxed. He says it's for his anxiety and depression, that it keeps things at bay. I think he shouldn't be using anything. He argues that he does not want to go on prescription meds because he doesn't want to get addicted to them or feel like he needs them.

He told me he doesn't think the pot is a problem, but that he also has made a list of reasons why he does and does not want to continue. I feel like if he bothered to make such a list, it must mean he's not too happy about his usage of weed. He quit for a week or two but a few weeks ago told me he went back because he's under a large amount of stress. He is. I won't argue that. But I don't think he's smart to use a substance to deal with it.

In August, he relapsed. He used heroin or cocaine. He asked me to keep it quiet because he didn't want my family and friends to judge him. He is always worried about what the people in my life will think of him, being an ex-con and ex-junkie. He used for a weekend and came to me, told me about it, said he needed help. He asked for some money for Suboxone. He went and got it and took it for about two weeks. He told me he wanted to not use it too much because he didn't want to become reliant. He went to a doctor who used to treat him for advice and the doc told him his body can not handle the drugs and he will be dead if he didn't stop. He was able to kick it and stopped the Suboxone.

He was proud of himself. He was very worried that he would slip back into it full blown. He told me it was important for me to believe in him, that having me in his corner meant everything, etc. He asked me several times if I felt differently about him, if I still wanted to date him. My feelings never changed once. He is the man for me.

He's been out of work for about two months. Having a felony does not help him find a job. His son with special needs is getting worse. These things are very challenging. I understand, I really do.

I've told him where I stand on the pot. I get where he thinks it's okay. I have never done anything more than drink and smoke a cig. He thinks I'm a bit of a square and "oversensitive" about his usage. A friend whose ex-fiancee went back to heroin badly said I am overreacting to the marijuana, that it is better than hard drugs, that if it helps him, what's the harm? I just wish he didn't feel the need for ANY substance but I don't know if that's a realistic goal. He is really opposed to prescription meds because he says he's not bad with cravings/depression every day but that when it does hit him, it's bad. And that he hates feeling that low.

Last week we talked on Tuesday. I asked him why he thought he was able to not slip full blown into drugs again in august. He said because he doesn't want to die and that's what will happen. He said he has the willpower to handle everything a lot more.

The next day, not so much. He visited his other son at school. He is adored by his son and vice versa. He called me when he left, said his son was so happy to see him, thinks he's superman, etc. He said, "You see me as wonderful. I'm not wonderful. He thinks I'm a hero. I'm not a hero." And he said he felt so low, that he's not the man he wants to be, etc. He asked for some money to get suboxone. I told him let's just talk about it and think about it, that maybe that wasn't a good idea. He said I needed to trust that he knew what was right for him and that he doesn't always tell me when he's freaking out/craving because I get so worried about him. Which is true. I just wish he didn't have to fight this battle. I don't know if I'm paranoid because I have a bit of anxiety myself, or if I'm overly cautious/distrustful because alcoholism runs rampant in my family, or if I let my worries get the best of me. I need to have limits. I don't want to have children with someone who's an active addict. I know he wants to be clean and healthy. I know he's strong and I'm proud of how far he's come. I know that at any time, any former addict can go back. I accepted all of that a long time ago. I guess my question is, how do you deal with it? How do you protect yourself, try to be there for that person, but also keep enough perspective?

We really have a wonderful relationship. We are so good for each other. My therapist is supportive of it. I just get so nervous sometimes LOL.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:45 am 
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al anon, girrrrrlll.

I'm going through a similar situation with my boyfriend, i truly feel he is the one for me, and the love will NEVER go away. i also feel that I'm 24 and being naive. he had always been very honest about his use since day 1, and as soon as i caught him in a relapse and lying to me, i let his addiction CONSUME ME. i was constantly checking his phone records, his Facebook messages, blocking his old friends, counting his money in my head, going thru his things.... he had been doing really well on suboxone for about 3 months and then i walked in on him with heroin in our bathroom.

I'm new to the forum and i'm new to al anon, but he was the one that wanted to go. he said he wanted to see how his actions effect everyone else in his life. i know he WANTS to be clean and i believe IN him... but i am SO scared of going through this life constantly in fear of this addiction. its soooo hard to know where the line is between being supportive and being walked all over. i know he loves me, but i'm learning that love is not enough. I'm learning there is nothing i can do to stop or prevent a relapse. I'm learning that the shame and embarrassment is what is causing the lying, and that its the fear of losing someone so important that scares him from being truthful.

I'm at the point now where i made the mistake of confiding in my girl friends, and now none of them support our relationship. I'm taking it one day at a time to rebuild the trust, but i have found that talking and listening to people who have been in the same situation and gone through the same experiences help. a lot. I'm still trying to decide if this is a battle i am strong enough to take on, but what it comes down to is him. the day i realize he doesn't want to fight for his own sobriety, I'm gone. as long as he's honest with me and open about his feelings and continues his road to recovery as hard as he has been, than i am willing to fight just as hard to learn how to trust and support him.

know that you are not alone, and many girls have given up. its a daily battle for me. but I'm learning that my battle is very different and completely separate from his.

good luck to you and your man :)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:42 am 
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Thanks... He's been ok but it is a constant monkey on the back. I think it's important to know your boundaries. And not give in because - deliberately or not - they do manipulate into getting what they want. Money, sympathy, drugs. My philosophy is relapse happens - it's how or whether you pick yourself up that matters. You're never "safe." My friend had a peer who was clean something like 13 years and was found one day of an overdose. I told him, "he made it 13 years. That's something to celebrate." And he said, "was he dying to use every day for 13 years? How do you live with that?" He says he keeps waiting for it to go away and it never really does. He is proactive in his recovery but still feels the pull. This is not to say all addicts are doomed. It's just to say this life is not for everyone and saying you can't do it is not weakness or abandoning them. For every story about Sharon Osborne or Nicole Kidman helping their man get clean there's ten women who sacrificed their money, standards and pride on theirs. You'll know when and if to say when. An addict who is recovered shouldn't feel worthless but they should be mature enough to recognize that this life is not for everyone, and to love you enough to just you go if you want to be let go of. Don't delude yourself into thinking you're their safety net. There's something intoxicating about being the "rescuer." And they feel indebted to you and that makes you feel loved in a twisted way.

I think the key is to be aware of your motivations and weaknesses and what you bring up the table. I've dated three addicts in varying degrees of recovery. I did not set out to do this. This is not a coincidence. I'm giving off some vibe and I am missing something. That's my work to do - to be the best version of me for me, and also for my partner.

No one can tell you what to do. My advice? Be honest and true to yourself. Some guys are selfish pricks. Some are because of addiction. Others just are and addition makes it worse. If you wouldn't want your daughter putting up with something, you shouldn't be. If you couldn't deal with this for the rest of your life, don't stay. I hope and pray your guy keeps up his recovery. It's easier to be an addict. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It's torture for them and us.
Thank you for your kindness, and good luck.


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