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Drug & Alcohol Treatment & Rehabilitation For those whose lives have been touched by addiction to drugs, alcohol or otherwise. For addicts and those who care about them.

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  #1  
Old 04-29-2017, 09:10 PM
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Default Help with understanding dual diagnosis and romance

I feel a little silly having to post about this because I work in the field and I deal with co-occurring disorders, homelessness and mental health. I am finding it hard to step back and see things clear because I am in the situation.

I work at a harm reduction building where it is low income housing for people with co occurring disorders, usually mental health and addictions. I love what I do. I recently started talking with someone who lives there and I am finding myself to be very drawn to them, they have expressed interest in me and at first I was scared because it so against policy( I have a history of being with people who suffer from addiction, and I myself have personal experience with it) but I can't help but have feelings back.

He is a meth user, he injects it his mom lives 2 doors down from him and he has a ex gf who lives in the building that left him for his cousin 3 years ago....he reached out to me and we have been talking everyday. He occasionally waits for me after work and walked with me to my bus.

then there are days where he will barley say hi, or stop to talk. Always busy going somewhere and I find I'm getting jealous thinking hes with other women, he says h hasn't been with a women in 3 years but I still get jealous. It may sound silly but I wasn't expecting to have feelings.

I am finding myself taking some of the things he is doing personally, he will use with women and I instantly think sex. Or if he doesn't say hi I get upset, he doesn't have the same thoughts as I do I guess. I don't like taking all this personally..i know cant change him and I know I should be looking at myself to understand why I am attracted to him...but I am and I want some clarity on addiction...can they love? is it real? are they unfaithful?

he wrote me a love letter expressing how he wanted to take a chance and see if something could happen even tho odds are most likely that they wont.. and that life is to short to sit back and wait for it to happen. he will give me little gifts ( one of his shirts and a ear ring he thought I would like) I think other people have noticed that were close but it's not sexual, we just get along really well and have great conversations. he will spend all night( sometimes) talking with me. other days he is off on some adventure or hes depressed and withdrawing inwards but still using...

I have read articles about addiction and get mixed advice on what to do, tough love doesn't work but boundaries should be set. Don't just toss them to side..i want to support him and be there for him but I also don't want to get hurt and I find that I am.

thank you
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:17 PM
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Welcome to the site!

Now the hammer has to drop. Look at the psychology of the situation, and then get the heck out!

*You have a romantic history with addicts
*He is deeply inconsistent
*He's still using

If you can't see how inappropriate this is, then go find a therapist who will remind you of your ethical obligations and of your own problems that may be playing into this sense of romance.

Good luck with managing this correctly and coming through with your mental health and professional cred intact!
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:46 PM
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He's not clean. He needs to be clean for at least a year before he can date anybody including you.

Get to some al-anon meetings. Get to some CoDA meetings (co-dependence anonymous). You have some serious issues in your own life that need to be addressed or you will not have a healthy relationship with him or anybody else.a

I agree with Nim - you really need to address your own issues now, before you get entangled with him and his addiction. And yes, if you're working with that population, you really need to have a good understanding of your ethical boundaries. If you don't start addressing your issues, you'll just be helping him use and maintain some very bad habits. Habits that could kill him. If you care about him, you'll address your own issues before you get involved with him.

It's okay to care for a person. It's not okay to get romantically entangled with a client.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:17 AM
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He's not clean. He needs to be clean for at least a year before he can date anybody including you.
That's just a suggestion.
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:40 AM
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You will never be number 1 with someone who is in active addiction.

If it is painful now, it will only get much worse. do not lose your profession, your mental health, your heart in a toxic relationship.

Please get help and I second everything the others have said.

I once was in love with an alcoholic (amongst other things). It was very hard to break it off. I wound up counting my sobriety days of no contact with him. It started getting a lot better around day 30.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:39 PM
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The "policy" is there for a reason. By ignoring that, you are not helping, you are doing this person harm. What you are doing is manipulative and selfish. It's nowhere near supportive.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:04 PM
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Communication has stopped, he barely talks to me even as friendly like we use too. I'm going to speak to a thereipist on the weekend about these patterns I'm doing and codependency.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:55 PM
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Communication has stopped, he barely talks to me even as friendly like we use too. I'm going to speak to a thereipist on the weekend about these patterns I'm doing and codependency.
I don't know how to say I'm glad and I'm sorry in the same post.

I am sorry you're feeling bad. I'm sorry it's hurting, cuz I know it does.

But I'm really, really glad you're going to talk to someone about "your patterns." You really DO deserve better than the relationships you've restricted yourself to!

You deserve chocolate cake, not cow pies.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:05 AM
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I have seen him numerous times tonight, he will barley say hi or make eye contact with me. He has been hanging out with his ex gf,who also uses and left him/ cheated on him with his cousin....I cant help feel like i have done something...he was so friendly and seemed caring, now he can barley look at me....wtf
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:56 PM
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... he will barley say hi or make eye contact with me. ...I cant help feel like i have done something...he was so friendly and seemed caring, now he can barley look at me....wtf
I'd look on him seeming to "lose interest" as a good thing. It can maybe make it a bit easier for you to back away as well? Try to remember that this was not a relationship. This was a "crush." An infatuation. Nothing more.

It's never your job, your skill or your business to know what is in someone else's mind. Pay attention to what's in your mind. Where are your thoughts going?

Quote:
I'm going to speak to a thereipist on the weekend about these patterns I'm doing and codependency.

^^ THIS ^^
is what should be in your mind. YOU. Taking care of YOU. Period.

What's your plan for contacting someone to help? A therapist? Do you have a person in mind? Who else can you call if that 1st person can't help right now? Get your names and phone numbers lined up, so that when you sit down to call, you can go on to the next person on your list if the 1st isn't helpful.

Please realize, you're going to have a much better shot at this if you can make these calls M-F 8am-5am. Use your lunch-break if need be.

Try to turn your mind to more realistic things when you start wondering about him. Not "WTF did I do that he's not noticing me."
But "WHY do I care that a homeless, unemployed, active addict doesn't notice me?"
"REALISTICALLY, what do I think this relationship could do FOR ME?"


What would you tell your little sister, your best friend, your mom if they asked you that?

FORCE yourself to turn your mind to another subject. Hard? YEP. But do-able.
Pick something happy. ANY thing, the sillier the better! That stupid squirrel? Ok, his name is Earl. Think about EARL when your mind won't shut up. Think about how funny Earl looks when he's running with a mouth full of leaves to build a nest. Obsess about Earl!

Start noticing what your body is telling you.
Stomach queasy? Feel kinda shaky? Head kinda hurt? Tired but can't sleep?
Yes? Ok, NOW pay attention to what you were letting your brain tell you.
Is your body getting upset every time you think about this homeless addict?
Think about poor Earl, he has to live in a TREE, FFS!

[Am I being silly? You betcha! But I'm also totally serious because doing this silly stuff has helped me in the past.]

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Remember your decision from yesterday to
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP.

I can speak to you from my own experience, but you need a therapist to talk to face to face.

Call your local crisis line. Yep, this is a crisis, that's why you're feeling so rotten. This is why they're there. Ask them to recommend where you can find help. They generally have good suggestions.

Just take one step at a time. They'll add up in no time.

Now. Go forth and care about YOU!

and Earl!
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_nox View Post
I'd look on him seeming to "lose interest" as a good thing. It can maybe make it a bit easier for you to back away as well? Try to remember that this was not a relationship. This was a "crush." An infatuation. Nothing more.

It's never your job, your skill or your business to know what is in someone else's mind. Pay attention to what's in your mind. Where are your thoughts going?



^^ THIS ^^
is what should be in your mind. YOU. Taking care of YOU. Period.

What's your plan for contacting someone to help? A therapist? Do you have a person in mind? Who else can you call if that 1st person can't help right now? Get your names and phone numbers lined up, so that when you sit down to call, you can go on to the next person on your list if the 1st isn't helpful.

Please realize, you're going to have a much better shot at this if you can make these calls M-F 8am-5am. Use your lunch-break if need be.

Try to turn your mind to more realistic things when you start wondering about him. Not "WTF did I do that he's not noticing me."
But "WHY do I care that a homeless, unemployed, active addict doesn't notice me?"
"REALISTICALLY, what do I think this relationship could do FOR ME?"


What would you tell your little sister, your best friend, your mom if they asked you that?

FORCE yourself to turn your mind to another subject. Hard? YEP. But do-able.
Pick something happy. ANY thing, the sillier the better! That stupid squirrel? Ok, his name is Earl. Think about EARL when your mind won't shut up. Think about how funny Earl looks when he's running with a mouth full of leaves to build a nest. Obsess about Earl!

Start noticing what your body is telling you.
Stomach queasy? Feel kinda shaky? Head kinda hurt? Tired but can't sleep?
Yes? Ok, NOW pay attention to what you were letting your brain tell you.
Is your body getting upset every time you think about this homeless addict?
Think about poor Earl, he has to live in a TREE, FFS!

[Am I being silly? You betcha! But I'm also totally serious because doing this silly stuff has helped me in the past.]

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Remember your decision from yesterday to
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP.

I can speak to you from my own experience, but you need a therapist to talk to face to face.

Call your local crisis line. Yep, this is a crisis, that's why you're feeling so rotten. This is why they're there. Ask them to recommend where you can find help. They generally have good suggestions.

Just take one step at a time. They'll add up in no time.

Now. Go forth and care about YOU!

and Earl!

Thank you very much for this response I have my appointment tomorrow at 3 with a face to face session with a therapist whose specializes in addictions and codependency. I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm also not at work involved with seeing him until Monday, being away helps my thoughts and clears my head. I've calmed down and will do self care and self love activities this weekend. Again thank you
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:02 PM
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Thank you very much for this response I have my appointment tomorrow at 3 with a face to face session with a therapist whose specializes in addictions and codependency. I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm also not at work involved with seeing him until Monday, being away helps my thoughts and clears my head. I've calmed down and will do self care and self love activities this weekend. Again thank you
I'm so glad to hear all of this - thank you for letting me know!

How wonderful that you were able to get in right away! It really sounds like you've got a handle on what the problem is, you just need guidance and support in working to solve it.

Keep us posted ok? You and I aren't the only "codies" out here.
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