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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:29 pm 
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I think the more I post here and read responses it is helping me to unknot this mess a little more each time I read a post.

I am realizing our problem is the sum of many factors it's partly situational - Gman is a former addict on Sub therapy and very early in his sobriety, he has great difficulty communicating about our relationship whether an addict or not ( he actually communicated better when he was using) then there's me and I'm know I'm no cake walk.

I am paralyzed by the belief to be loved I have to be perfect and I am not ever perfect. I know that no one is perfect. I can give everyone else grace for their imperfection but I don't cut myself any slack. His actions tell me every day that I am a priority in his life and he that cares about me but there is a disconnect where my brain tells that unless he says "I love you" I doubt his love although he shows me his love and care on a daily basis. I know this is my junk from my past marriage.

My ex told me over and over I was not worthy of any man's love. His words were brutal and he told me many, many times that no man would ever want me and no man would ever love me. I still hear his words to this day. I need Gman to tell me he loves me. Hearing him say "I love you" is like stacking a brick and building a wall up against all those times the ex cut me down by telling me I was not worthy of anyone's love. This is not me coming from a place of playing the victim role or being needy. It's a fact I know that being told I am loved by the man I love reinforces the positive thought process and helps me let go of the negative belief.

I don't really think I am a wuss at all. I am still broken. Gman is broken. We need to figure out how to get through being broken together - to connect so that we can eventually heal together? He will never admit he needs to heal that will be another thread for another day. Am I making sense or does it sound like am I pulling psycho-babble out of my ass? I am not qualified in psycho-babble at all LOL!

I do know I feel real love for the first time in my life after wasting the first 25 years. It only took 50 yrs to find it better late than never. Gman gets me. He trusts me - with everything, his kids, his life, his money. I trust him with my everything.

I know this post and this thread has gone all over the place. I promise I'm not lose from the looney bin. I am frustrated on many fronts, a little scared of losing someone I love deeply, emotionally drained, feeling very alone and feeling out of control because I have no point of reference to know what to expect with Gman on his w/ Sub therapy.

Feelin' a little crazy...

Pops :?


Last edited by popsicletoes on Thu May 26, 2016 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 11:15 pm 
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Hey Popsicle,

Thanks for your authentic response. Thank you. Much respect to you for that.

I want to comment on Gman as a 'former addict'. I was an addict in active addiction, I was an addict in recovery while on bup, and I am now off bup 5 yrs and am an addict in recovery now. Gman is an addict - pre, on or off bup. Lots of info here, especially from a MOD Amy on this...P

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 11:44 pm 
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Pelican,

Gman doesn't think he is an addict. He says he was addicted just to the pain relief first and foremost the added high benefit was a nice extra. His pill use increased only because of his need to kill the pain he says. I don't agree with that statement. I know he has pain but I know he could tell a difference ion the pills and he liked being on the pills -his focus, motivation, energy level, you know the drill. Those are not pain related issues. Gman is an addict and that's okay. I love him and will continue to do so it's no different than if he had cancer or another disease.

I am understanding there is a lot of shame that goes along with being an addict and there is an addict mindset whether you acknowledge you're an addict or not. If you have the behaviors of an addict then you most likely have the mindset of an addict. Gman was a functioning, white-collar addict so I think in his mind he wasn't a 'real' addict like the stereotypical addict you see in a movie. I have no doubt even the minimum of therapy or a support group would benefit Gman tremendously but he is adamantly opposed to the idea. I think on one hand he sees himself as smart and strong and only weak stupid people see therapist or go to support groups. The other possibility is I think he is very, very afraid of being real and letting his guard down - fear of losing that control and appearing weak.

Any advice how to help persuade someone who sees no value in therapy and thinks they are fine and dandy just the way they are" see the light and be open to the idea of therapy? Counseling? I brought up the idea of him getting on this forum and just reading he poo-pooed it by saying he didn't need it - too much effort.

Feeling frustrated,

Pops :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 12:34 pm 
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I just read through this thread, but I'm sure I've missed a few things. This week has been a bit crazy with my son's 18th birthday and my birthday the day after, plus new summer classes. I haven't been on the forum much this week. Since I'm usually commenting all over the place, I didn't want Pops to think I was ignoring her very thoughtful thread. Plus, you've all done a great job of offering such good advice that I thought that the thread doesn't need my input! :) However, I'm finding that I do have a couple of things to say.

First, to Pops. What I'm noticing is that you spend so much energy on thoughts of Gman. You mention codependency as one of the things that you've struggled with and you probably continue to notice some elements of codependency in your relationship today. It's a difficult struggle to change. I would like to challenge you as you move forward, to focus on yourself and the changes you need to make. I know that this thread is about asking for advice about your BF, who is on sub. However, your comments show how deeply invested you are regarding changes that your boyfriend needs to make. I totally agree that he has issues that he needs to work on, btw. I can't help but wonder, though, what might happen if you were to apply as much focus to yourself as you do to Gman. You know that you can't make another person change, no matter how much energy you put into your relationship. You know that you only have power to change your own behavior and thought patterns, yet I think it is hard for you to separate the two. I would like to see you in individual therapy if you're not already. You need to love and respect yourself enough to figure out some bottom lines. Once you figure out those bottom lines, I think it would be fair for you to write Gman a letter stating what some of your needs are to stay in this relationship. That would be a very good goal for you. But I don't think you're there yet, because I don't think you think enough of yourself to make that kind of statement. (I'm not suggesting that you give him an ultimatum as I don't think they work with addicts all that well. But what you can do is to move toward a healthier you. I hope this makes sense.

Lilly, I also think that therapeutic intervention should be required for buprenorphine patients and I will tell you why. My thinking on this has evolved over time, in part because of the members of this forum. I see so many people who come here to get off of bupe without having made any changes to themselves. As addicts, we tend to be self-centered, we project blame outward, and we don't take much responsibility for our actions. I'll tell you where I see this behavior the most. All the people who come here and are angry at buprenorphine instead of their addiction should be getting therapy. They are people who have not taken responsibility for their addiction. We all know that addiction causes behavioral changes that are difficult to deal with. However, until an addict can recognize that they can make changes to improve their situation, they are not going to stay in recovery very long. An addict needs to develop a feeling of self efficacy to move forward from addiction. Instead, this is what I see. I see addicts who blame every physical, emotional, social, and mental problem they have on a buprenorphine. I see addicts who don't take responsibility for their attitudes and circumstances and blame it on buprenorphine. Their anger and pain are misdirected. It's like blaming a plow that all the fields are not furrowed yet.

I believe that until addicts recognize that they are at least partially responsible for the choices they make, they will blame others and other things for their addiction, and other life difficulties. Opiate addiction can and does affect people of all backgrounds. People who have fewer coping skills, people who have experienced trauma, people who started using heavily while their brains were still developing during their teen years, all have more difficulty in living a life of recovery than addicts who don't have these obstacles and vulnerabilities in their lives.

I think that some people will need less therapeutic intervention than others. That's why I have a problem with therapy being mandated by law across the board. Every addict is different. I sought out individual therapy without prompting because I knew I needed help in dealing with the grief over the loss of my mother and the anger that I felt toward my father. After several months my therapist told me that I should make another appointment when and if I was struggling, but otherwise she was releasing me. (That doesn't mean I'm perfect, of course.) I just use myself as an example because I am a very fortunate addict. I had an intact family of origin which provided me with unconditional love, structure, boundaries, and resilience. I have no major mental disorders except for addiction. There is no reason I should need more therapy than another woman my age who was abandoned into the foster care system after years of abuse. Who started drinking at age 11 and was addicted to substances by the age of 17. Who is bipolar. I could go on, but you guys know what I'm saying.

Anger is an emotion that is often substituting for another emotion entirely. Anger can be a mask for pain, sadness, hurt, self-loathing, and any number of other emotions. We see anger expressed here on a daily basis, anger against medications, doctors, family members, moderators. There are definitely times that anger is warranted. However, too often anger is a sign that an addict has not taken responsibility for their actions and is not acknowledging their addiction. How can an addict make changes that move him or her towards recovery without acknowledging that personal change is needed in the first place? Addiction counselors learn skills to help addicts move toward change. They are trained to notice the first signs of readiness for self-change and to support the client throughout the process.

If a mandate for therapy or group attendance is added when the 100 patient cap is lifted to 200 patients, I at least hope that there is a stipulation that a client can be "released" from therapy after a consultation between the doctor and an addiction professional. It would make sense to me if buprenorphine prescribers were strongly encouraged to hire an addiction professional who would provide therapeutic support to clients. The exception should be for psychiatrists who provide there own therapeutic skills for their clients.

I went from being a person who thought that there should be no therapy requirement for people on bupe, to one who is firmly pro-therapy. This has very little to do with the fact that I'm studying to be an addiction counselor myself. It has been this forum that has convinced me that therapy is almost always a benefit to clients taking buprenorphine and methadone. It is the anger I see every day here from people who are unable or unwilling to take some responsibility for being on their medication. These are not addicts who are ready to continue recovery after tapering or jumping off bupe.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Thank you Pops for allowing me to go off on a tangent to your thread. I hope that my advice for you is helpful or at least that you will think about what I've said. You are obviously a wonderful person to have so much empathy for Gman. I do think that Gman might have more of a chance at changing if he sees that you are undergoing helpful change that makes you happier.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 2:31 pm 
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Very well said :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:38 pm 
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Amy -

You're right. I do spend a lot of energy focusing on Gman and I spend a lot of energy stressing over how to fix me and my perceived and real short comings. I am extremely hard on myself. I'm mentally exhausted and emotionally depleted most of the time.

I believe I drift in and out of codependent behaviors if that is possible. I am focusing more on me now than I have in a very long time but am still very focused on Gman at the same time. I am exercising daily @ the Y and I do go to individual therapy once a week. I have identified that I am dealing with self esteem issues so I do have a grasp on me to a good degree and I'm working on me. I guess as I have written my posts in this thread I have drifted from the original topic a bit I apologize.

I posted out of a need to understand how to show my concern for Gman's recovery but not ask too many or the wrong questions. Back when he was using and I would ask what I thought were very innocuous questions he would be taken aback and tell me honey you don't ask questions like that. I have learned/read addicts are very sensitive when it comes to questions because of secretive nature they develop because of the disease.

The whole no sex thing has me reeling and there has been a few who have help shed some light there. I appreciate the input. I appreciate everyone's input on this thread. I am trying to understand and navigate the "flat"-no motivation blank space place in his mind he tend to visit often. I have handled his recovery with Kidd gloves and maybe that's a mistake on my part not that I would go gang busters on him but perhaps instead of filtering every thought and debate word before I express it perhaps I need to just say it and let it go.

I have always been the type of person if I have some knowledge of a situation, thing, person, what to expect, etc. then I can cope and hang in for a long haul. Having never abused/used any script drug or street drug, I have no point of reference on anything - the before, the during or the after and no experience with Sub therapy. Sub therapy has been uncharted territory for me as in like night and day, black and white.

I was thrilled for him and us when he told me he was starting Sub to get off the opiates. I just never expected to end up feeling so alone during this process. I'm a fighter. I love this man. I'm not giving up.

Pops 8)


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Pops I agree with saying what's on ur mind with Gman. Get ur feelings out there and make them known and heard. Even if he doesn't try to fix or work on these issues, then at least he knows where u stand on things. Addicts can be so selfish sometimes with me me me and I I I, it's pretty standard imo that we focus so much on our feelings (mental and physical) that we can sometimes forget that our partner is going through this with us. Not all addicts but a lot of us do this. U know what I noticed yesterday? I had my monthly doctors appointment and I was so horribly irritated at my clinic over how they do things (a whole other thread lol) and I was going on and on complaining to my fiance, that I didn't even realize that he was trying to tell me how he'd gotten sick earlier that day and thought he was gonna need medical attention! I was just so wrapped up in my "recovery problems" that I didn't stop to listen. Now I know that happens in relationships anyway but it's an example. We as addicts struggle, we do have such a hard time working on ourselves that it's almost like sometimes we forget ya know? Now I'm not saying this is Gmans issue but it's possible. So don't get lost in his fight, u matter too! And he needs to recognize ur in need of support also. He may not even know he's doing it, that's why it's so important to speak up when u need to or when something is bothering u.

Amy gave u great advice. I think you'll be so relieved to just get ur feelings and concerns out.

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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 7:34 pm 
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Hey Pop, Just checking in to see how your weekend is going and if you have acted on any of the suggestions you received here. You have a difficult hill to climb with Gman. I believe, that if he loves you, he will start to make some very small changes, you know what I mean...the things that will be least painful for him to move on! Just be on the lookout for them! It is easy, for me anyway, to want to drag my husband along to the beat of my drummer! And, sometimes when I have to slowdown and wait for him to catch up or stop altogether until he is ready to take the next step, I can get so frustrated! The journey is never easy but it is so worth it!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:50 am 
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Michelle F. wrote:
Hi PST, Yes, I agree with both Willow and Razor's wonderful advice! You may want to try naranon...it is free and can be a great support. It is 12 step based. I know lots of people shy away from the 12 step stuff but what I like about it is that you can take what applies to you or what is going to help and support you, and leave the rest! Lots of addicts, who are new to recovery, are resistant to looking at their own behavior as it can be very upsetting to see the pain you have caused the ones you love! Don't push too hard. Look at it as a time that you are both growing and learning about how to support each other and make the relationship stronger! Reaching out to us is a great start! To answer your questions, they don't call it a selfish disease for nothing! And, I think its so much worse when the person is clean! So, give him some space but don't let him off the hook for meeting your needs as required in a healthy relationship! Good luck! Please, keep posting so we know how you are!

this is what i was going to say, too though i didn't know the name for it. I am familiar with Alanon and Alateen and figured there was an offshoot for NA, too.

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