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Old 02-05-2014, 10:53 PM
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Hello to all!

It has been many, many moons since I posted anything on this forum. Which has felt strange to me for many, many different reasons. Prison Talk has been a refuge for me for a long time; being in love with an incarcerated man (and a Met-While-Incarcerated man at that) is not the easiest road to walk. Not even close.

But I also learned something else...being in love with an addict is even harder.

I vanished off the face of the earth for a while, after posting last February 2013 that I'd learned the man I love, J, was having an affair with another woman. That after I stood by him for three years of incarceration and many, many months of hectic travel back and forth between Oregon and Texas because he couldn't yet leave the state and travel to me.

At the time, it was the single most devastating piece of news I could have ever heard. My father literally found me sobbing on the floor when he first came through my front door. Because to me, I'd lost my soul mate. The only man I ever wanted to spend my life with.

Since then, a lot has happened. J and I have both been on incredible journeys. And I look forward to sharing some of the stories of our journey together with all of you. (I'm sure there are lots of new people here who have no clue who I am, so if some of this seems like riddles to you, no worries...I'm sure all the stories will come out as I start posting more again.)

J's affair, first off, was linked more to his love affair with Methamphetamine than it was linked to his love of another woman. No, that doesn't excuse it...but it explains in part his frame of mind. It isn't simply about being a "bad" person. There are a lot more shades of gray involved than that.

In her, he found someone willing to not only look the other way while he did his drugs (which he knew I would never do), but even someone willing to give him money to buy more drugs whenever he wanted. She made life VERY easy for him. Bought him a brand new Lexus. Bought him an iPhone 5. Allowed him to live rent free in her home. And in exchange, all he really had to do was look good in the clothes SHE bought for him.

And for quite a while, he was content with that. For many, many months after he and I broke up, he seemed determined to erode every last bit of good work and effort he'd put into his life. All his progress with his business endeavors...up in a puff of smoke. Bridges burned with many of the connections he'd worked so hard to build in order to build up his private business enterprise.

Meth will do that. Any drug addiction will do that. I know this from personal experience; Meth is not my drug of choice, but many years ago I suffered from an addiction to opiate pain pills. And while I've been proudly clean and sober for over six years now, I still remember what it felt like at the time.

Addiction is a powerful, powerful thing.

Anyway...

Months went by. I struggled to put the pieces of my heart back together. And really with only minimal success. J is the other half of me. I love the man he is when he is himself; that man is wonderful. Beautiful. Handsome, charming, intelligent, and highly ambitious. Everything I could want in a life partner. But I also was having to recognize that I might have to live my life forever without him; I'd have to view him as the love of my life who passed away at a young age, because so long as he did Meth, he would never be who he was capable of being. It was not a road I could walk with him.

That was a tough choice at the time to make, because he'd reach out to me. Oh yes, he'd reach out. I'd get phone calls at 2am sometimes, safely in my bed in Oregon while he was in Texas; he'd be crying, telling me how alone he felt and how much he missed me...but I could tell he was either coming down off a high, or wasn't prepared to give up the drugs even if in that moment he was sober. Other times he'd call while high and talk about our life together; how I was the love of his life...he just needed time to be 'free' for a while first.

I knew that wasn't really what he meant. The addict in him was still in control. And so long as the addict remained in control, I could not have anything to do with him. But I never, ever stopped loving my J. That would be like asking me to stop breathing. Still, for my own sanity, I kept him at arm's length (the barrier of 1,700 miles between Oregon and Texas helped a little with that, I have to admit).

More months went by. Summer came and went. Autumn rolled in. And then...everything changed. J's biological father passed away suddenly from a heart attack in August. Doctors said it was due to strain put on his body from years of drug use in his past. While J was never close to him, it was a somewhat sobering experience, as it brought up his own mortality (the way death does for us all); he tried to get sober then. And like most addicts, he stumbled and fell and relapsed over and over again...but I noticed he was actually trying (he still kept calling me, and I never had the heart to block the number).

And then things took a turn for the worst. He and the woman he'd cheated on me with were still technically together, but he wasn't supposed to be living with her. It wasn't an approved residence for him. Not only was he caught there, but he was caught there while high on Meth, and it was because of arguing the two of them were having nearly every night that finally triggered some neighbors to make a phone call.

In October, I got word J had been arrested and violated for his parole. Initially it looked like they might try and nail him with a domestic violence accusation, but that went by the wayside thankfully. Still, he had violated his parole six ways to Sunday by the time of his arrest, and there was an overwhelming amount of evidence...so in jail he stayed.

And that's when things started to really change. He went through detox in there. Slowly came out of the fog of drugs and alcohol. And then was given an olive branch by a merciful judge, who instead of sending him back to a state prison, instead sentenced him to time at a prison treatment facility. And that is when I got my first phone call from him since his arrest (he'd sent me a few letters before then).

The J on that phone was not only back to sounding like the man I knew and loved...he sounded like an older, wiser, slightly battle-scared version of that man. His stepfather passed away this January, from a stroke; and again, doctors blamed a history of drug abuse and drinking and smoking on his premature death.

Yet again J was facing his own mortality, and the realities of his choices.

"I'm tired, Megan," he said to me. "I've been doing this, in some form, since I was fourteen years old. I'm so tired of it."

"So what do you want now?" I asked him in response to what he said.

"You. I just want to love you. I want to finish my time...I only have nine months left...and come to you. If you'll have me. If you can ever forgive me. Because I have never, ever stopped loving you. And I am so, so sorry."

There was of course many other conversations we've had since then, and many heartfelt letters and pictures and some crying and tough discussions...but in the end, J and I are back to a good place. He is done at the East Texas Treatment Facility on March 28th; I plan to go down and pick him up. He doesn't want anyone from his family picking him up, says there's too much water under the bridge and too many triggers. So I'll be picking him up. And then together we're going to speak with his parole officer about getting a different housing arrangement set up, where he's not living across the street any more from cousins who use Meth on a daily basis. I'm going to help him obtain employment with the company I'm a part owner of; we're in need of recruiters, and I can train him even from a distance, so that when he moves to Oregon in August he'll be ready to go. And in the meantime, see if the Parole Officer might approve at least one trip to Oregon to do some in person training as we get closer to August.

I'm impressed with his attitude. He really is taking to heart everything he's learned. He genuinely wants to do well. He no longer acts like he's totally invincible; instead he recognizes he's fallible. That he can make mistakes. And that to succeed, he has to not just try and "white-knuckle it" as the saying goes in recovery, but he has to change his environment and not set himself up for failure.

It's been a rough, tough year for us both, in different ways. But the amazing thing is, I feel no anger towards him. No resentment. Perhaps it's because as a recovering addict myself I know what addiction is; I know that SHE was just a symptom of the addiction. Had he simply had an affair to have an affair, that would be different. But it was more complicated than that. She enabled him in the ways he wanted to be enabled. Once he relapsed on the Meth, the addict in him knew he couldn't stay with me; because I wouldn't stand for it. But I believe him when he says he never stopped loving me. I could hear it in his voice, even during those times when he'd call and sound so lost and confused.

Now grant you, we have a long way to go still...but rock bottom, which is different for each addict, may finally be where he is. As he told me just earlier this evening, to lose two father figures within six months of each other...and for similar reasons...it's forced him to think. And to have sobered up, and then been looking at his relationship with her through sober eyes and comparing it to the genuine love he and I shared...it also forced him to recognize what he'd done, and all he'd lost. And most of all, he has said he's stunned how quickly he lost everything that was good in his life once he relapsed. One year. Not even a year. He relapsed on Meth in December 2012, and by October 2013 he was back in jail with no money in his pocket and nothing that was truly his. The car belonged to her (funny how she never actually put it in his name). The house was hers, he just lived there. The clothes...she tossed those in the trash the minute he decided he was done with her, and there wasn't anything he could do about it because he was in jail.

"A puff of smoke...everything's gone in a puff of smoke..." He said to me a few days ago. Marveling over everything that's happened. And then a magical thing happened; he laughed. He laughed and said: "And you know what, baby? I don't even care. All that stuff...it doesn't mean anything to me. Because I'm happier right now, just being able to hear your voice and know that you love me, than I ever was driving around in that Lexus. The Meth isn't fun any more. None of it's fun. I just want to love you, and be loved by you."

Now...there are no guarantees in life. I don't know if he'll make it a second time or not. He might relapse again. But he also might not.

The only thing I do know is this: I love him with all my heart. Forgiveness came easily for me with him; that was never an issue. He is a wonderful, wonderful man at his core. Tormented, perhaps, in many ways...but a wonderful man. Who I am proud to love. And because of the connection we share, I'm willing to give us another chance.

The road to Hell, it's often said, is paved with good intentions that go horribly wrong in the end. J, in his own way, thought he was doing the right thing choosing a life with her, because at the time, in his frame of mind, he really thought it's all he deserved. And really...I think he had to make that choice for himself. Had to test that theory; take it out for a spin. He had to 'set me free' because he thought I could do better. Had me on a pedestal so high even I really was unsteady being there, because I'm no saint.

So that was the road to Hell...but the road back is paved with Humility and Love. And we have plenty of both for one another at this point.

It's good to be back on this board, everyone. I've honestly missed coming here. It's just been a process for me; and part of my trying to live my life without him this past year (which I did fairly successfully, all things considered, even though I never stopped missing him) was not being reminded too much of him in the interim. But now...I think the timing is right. The Universe always knows what it's doing. This was the moment. The right time for this. And I have hope.
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2014, 11:14 PM
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It's good to see you back Atomic! What a journey you have been on. I truly hope that everything works out for you. It makes me nervous that he has suddenly seen the light and hope that it isn't because he is back behind bars. We all know how that goes many times. When you are known to be his rock it's easy to get hurt. I'm pulling for you!
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:25 PM
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Absolutely agree there. And it's a thought that's gone through my mind many times. The main reason I have hope there's more to it than that is because he was starting to make the shift prior to his arrest; even his own family had to admit to me he seemed to be trying to pull away from the partying and the craziness of the life he was caught up in.

My hope is this latest incarceration wasn't the trigger for him, it was more just the tool to help him kick the Meth habit. He certainly wouldn't be the first addict in the world who wanted to quit, but then needed an extra 'push' to fully get through the initial detox phase of things. "Jails...Institutions...and Death..." as the saying goes. Sometimes it takes all three for someone to really get the message. And in this past year he's had jail, now in a prison treatment facility, and two deaths that were very, very unexpected and shocking for him.

The other thing that gives me hope is he's summarily told 'the other lady' they're done. Given up his "sure thing"; the woman who would have welcomed him back with open arms and all the money and 'toys' she was giving him before. That took some guts too; he did it before he called me to ask if we could try and make things work, so it's a choice he made for himself, independent of how I felt about 'us'. And I know this because of the "lovely" messages I started receiving from her after he did this (threatening to come and hurt me, and other such pleasant things like that).

Now all that having been said, relapse is a part of recovery. And frequently we don't know until months...years later that our last use was truly our last. I am cautious. But I'm also hopeful. To me, the investment of all those years of my life before, and the unique, special bond we share, is worth my seeing if he's finally there and ready to be the man he's always wanted to become.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:30 PM
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Wow. well it is great to hear from you although im sorry you've had to go thru this, but hopefully he will be a success story and so will your relationship. I do have people very close to me that have remained clean after bad addictions to meth and heroin and I admire them so much. because I do know some that are still stuck in the relapse cycle but I am glad that you were protected with physical distance. Happy to have you hear even though he is in prison ' that's probably what has saved his life. thanks for sharing. I imagine many members have been in similar situations. welcome back
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hisbabyny View Post
Wow. well it is great to hear from you although im sorry you've had to go thru this, but hopefully he will be a success story and so will your relationship. I do have people very close to me that have remained clean after bad addictions to meth and heroin and I admire them so much. because I do know some that are still stuck in the relapse cycle but I am glad that you were protected with physical distance. Happy to have you hear even though he is in prison ' that's probably what has saved his life. thanks for sharing. I imagine many members have been in similar situations. welcome back

I'd absolutely agree that where he's at right now is where he needs to be for help. Treatment is always a good thing. I'm grateful the judge or the parole board or whoever made the final call ruled that the drug problem needed to be addressed, rather than simply ignored.

There are no guarantees in life, and loving an addict is a rocky thing. However, I look to myself as proof that anyone with addiction issues can recover and move forward with their lives, and I know dozens of others who were in far worse situations than I ever was who pulled themselves out of it and moved forward.

I love him. That's all I know. And right now, I feel he's worth another try at this, because while I allowed myself to meet and interact with other men in this past year...the connection wasn't ever the same. He and I have been through a lot together, so here's hoping the worst will (soon) be behind us. Truth be told, the final 'test' will be the 3-4 months he'll have to remain primarily in Texas; then there will be distance again for us, and temptation will be present. But I'm not afraid; I go into the situation with eyes wide open to the risks, but also feel like I'm willing to take the risk and give him that chance to finally, truly hit his rock bottom and climb back up to solid ground again.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:55 PM
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Im happy to see you're optimistic and happy. And Im not trying to be a negative but all of us who are trying to pull our lifes out of the gutter are warned not to get into a relationship for at least a year after finding our sobriety because we need to be standing firmly on our feet . Addiction is tricky, you know because you admit to being there with us.
Just be careful, hun. Im not quite a year into my recovery and I have hell days. The man I love stays a thousand miles from me for now because if I fall, if Im not strong , Im not taking him along with me...I hurt him bad I don't want to again. This first year has been a bitch
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:10 PM
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Im happy to see you're optimistic and happy. And Im not trying to be a negative but all of us who are trying to pull our lifes out of the gutter are warned not to get into a relationship for at least a year after finding our sobriety because we need to be standing firmly on our feet . Addiction is tricky, you know because you admit to being there with us.
Just be careful, hun. Im not quite a year into my recovery and I have hell days. The man I love stays a thousand miles from me for now because if I fall, if Im not strong , Im not taking him along with me...I hurt him bad I don't want to again. This first year has been a bitch
bb

Not negative at all to say that. It's the truth.

I remember my first year of recovery; I did thirty days of in-patient treatment first, and was told over and over again the importance of taking time for myself. Of not jumping into a relationship. And I was grateful for the time I had to get to know myself all over again during that early recovery; relationships can definitely be distractions from really getting better.

At this point, while I'm supportive and there for him, I'm keeping him somewhat at arm's length. I've told him I actually think it's a good thing that the phones at the treatment facility only work some of the time. Told him that I think it's a really good thing he can't just sit on the phone with me or others all the time, and have encouraged him to use the time to himself to really do self-reflection and focus on making clean and sober plans and creating tools for success.

And he agrees. I told him I think that it's a good thing he'll have about four more months after he comes home March 28th before he can move to me. That will mean by the time he's able to make the big move, he'll have almost a full year of sobriety. And I think that's a very, very good thing. Builds a good foundation for the future, and teaches him to function on his own without leaning TOO much on me. Because I also feel that while being 'the rock' or the 'life preserver' seems sweet and romantic in a romance novel, in reality it's exhausting. He has to be able to stand on his own if he wants to succeed.

I'm hopeful...but also as I've said, I'm cautious. We take things one day at a time.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:31 AM
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Good to see you back Atomic, I am glad you are both working your way back to solid ground and I wish you both all the best in the future
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:42 AM
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Please excuse the lack of paragraph formatting...darn cell phones. While I've only been here a short time, I have been reading your recent posts these past few days and really enjoy them. You've got a good head on your shoulders from what I've been reading, so it seems you're remaining cautious. Let me quickly relate a bit of my story (which you can find more details about in other posts), because methamphetamine made my life a living hell. I married the man I thought was my true once in a lifetime love in 1991 after having been engaged 9 times previously, and always running away--sometimes at the last moment before taking the plunge into marriage. I did not know about my husband's addiction until 2010. He was exceptionally good at hiding it from me, and literally lived two separate lives because he knew I didn't approve. When he went to jail in June of 2010, he begged me not to leave him and swore he would never use again. I caught him with a dope pipe in March of 2011 and told him then if I ever caught him again, we were through. I had terrible gut feelings for a very long time, but no evidence to suggest he was using. Like I said, he was incredibly good at hiding his addiction. It wasn't even the drug itself that I had a problem with so much, even though I had learned how damaging it was, both physically and mentally. It was the mountains and mountains of lies he constantly told me. I could have handled the drugs (and tried to help him) had he just been honest. Many addicts are liars, and lies to cover up their addictions and actions seems to permeate their lives. On my husband's 46th birthday, I caught him again, after almost 2 1/2 years since the last time. It turned out he'd been using all along. Holding myself to my word, I told him I was leaving him. That morning, he committed suicide by hanging himself from our master bedroom loft. I was the one who found him and cut his body down. I have since learned suicide is extremely common for meth addicts who feel hopeless. I truly wish you the best...and I'm glad you are proceeding with caution. Take care of yourself first!!
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:04 PM
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Please excuse the lack of paragraph formatting...darn cell phones. While I've only been here a short time, I have been reading your recent posts these past few days and really enjoy them. You've got a good head on your shoulders from what I've been reading, so it seems you're remaining cautious. Let me quickly relate a bit of my story (which you can find more details about in other posts), because methamphetamine made my life a living hell. I married the man I thought was my true once in a lifetime love in 1991 after having been engaged 9 times previously, and always running away--sometimes at the last moment before taking the plunge into marriage. I did not know about my husband's addiction until 2010. He was exceptionally good at hiding it from me, and literally lived two separate lives because he knew I didn't approve. When he went to jail in June of 2010, he begged me not to leave him and swore he would never use again. I caught him with a dope pipe in March of 2011 and told him then if I ever caught him again, we were through. I had terrible gut feelings for a very long time, but no evidence to suggest he was using. Like I said, he was incredibly good at hiding his addiction. It wasn't even the drug itself that I had a problem with so much, even though I had learned how damaging it was, both physically and mentally. It was the mountains and mountains of lies he constantly told me. I could have handled the drugs (and tried to help him) had he just been honest. Many addicts are liars, and lies to cover up their addictions and actions seems to permeate their lives. On my husband's 46th birthday, I caught him again, after almost 2 1/2 years since the last time. It turned out he'd been using all along. Holding myself to my word, I told him I was leaving him. That morning, he committed suicide by hanging himself from our master bedroom loft. I was the one who found him and cut his body down. I have since learned suicide is extremely common for meth addicts who feel hopeless. I truly wish you the best...and I'm glad you are proceeding with caution. Take care of yourself first!!

Thank you, truly, for sharing your story. I think I can definitely say as someone in recovery myself (coming up on seven years of sobriety!) that the hardest part for those who love addicts isn't the actual drug/alcohol use...it's the behaviors that go along with it. Because you're right, chronic lying/deceit to cover their tracks gets old, and it wears down love faster than acid on armor. I remember my parents looking at me in the early months of recovery, and saying honestly that they looked forward most of all to some day getting back to a place where they could KNOW everything I said was the truth.

And that took time.

What encourages me about J is how he's embracing the counseling he's being offered. And trying to incorporate the tools the counselors/groups/therapists are giving him. Including telling me everything he's thinking and feeling about the state of his life now, how he feels about everything that happened in this past year, and how he feels about his chances of success going forward. I encourage him and tell him I'm glad every time he admits to me he's having a craving, or admits he's afraid he'll relapse.

In the past, he admits now he was afraid to tell me if he had a craving for Meth, because he thought that was a sign of weakness. He knew I had success with my recovery, and as a result felt there must be something 'wrong' with him because he'd still sometimes be triggered or crave/desire the Meth. He was afraid I would judge him, and didn't want to lose me to that judgment...but also acknowledges now that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy, because by lying to me and turning to a woman instead who would enable the addiction.........he lost me anyway.

So right now, we proceed with caution...but hope. Every saint has a past, and every sinner a future. I firmly believe that. I don't yet know how he's going to handle the challenges that mount against him as he continues moving forward...but I'm proud of him in this moment, for truly appearing to try and take all the tools he can and put them in his toolkit. Planning ahead. Trying to anticipate the problems he can, and then use relapse prevention planning to steer around them. (Like the reality that the parole board is ready to send him right back to his grandmother's house; I'm so proud of him for speaking up and saying he'd prefer to be sent to a halfway house, or a sober living house, or anything else.......because his cousins live right across the street from his grandmother, and do Meth on an almost nightly basis. It made his family angry, because they - in their enabling mindset - felt like he was rejecting THEM, but so far J has stuck firmly to his request, and at this point the parole officer is helping him find a different place to live for the remainder of his time before he's off paper. "I don't want to have easy access to it; I don't want to test myself that way," he said to me. And I'm so very proud of him for that choice.)

Only time will tell, of course; time is the great judger and evaluator of everything. But for now, I still feel it's worth waiting, watching, loving, and supporting him - albeit from a distance in the beginning - because I love him. So I hope. I hope he's finally hit that rock bottom and is ready to move forward.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your story!
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How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."



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Old 02-27-2014, 10:26 AM
qpwings qpwings is offline
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Hey Atomic, i have missed you so much !! Thank you so much for the update !! I often wondered what became of you and J. I wish you all the best and hope great things come your way. I try not to fear or think about C. going back to old addictions. But i know that there is always a possibility, so sad.
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Atomic Songbird (02-27-2014)
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by qpwings View Post
Hey Atomic, i have missed you so much !! Thank you so much for the update !! I often wondered what became of you and J. I wish you all the best and hope great things come your way. I try not to fear or think about C. going back to old addictions. But i know that there is always a possibility, so sad.
Hey!

So great to hear from you too!

Yeah...if there's anything I can pass on in terms of advice from all of this, it's the reality that if addiction was a part of their past, it has the potential to become a part of their future too. And prison is not rehab. I knew that logically before, of course, but it's only really been through J's own relapse and then watching him struggle back to sobriety now that I've fully grasped how true that reality is.

And recovery is hard sometimes. A person has to want it. Badly. It's not impossible...it just takes work. And I've told J one of the requirements for us is he has to continue outpatient rehab in some form when he comes home; because crazy as it sounds, the courts aren't mandating it. They really do seem inclined to just slap him on the wrist with this, and then send him RIGHT BACK to the environment where he got in trouble. Mercifully, he's getting approved for a sober house when he comes out, but I also told him he needs to continue working on his recovery with a counselor. And so far he's very willing to do that. But we'll see; as I've said before, while I love him, I also know he's in a very controlled environment at the moment, so I'm CAUTIOUSLY optimistic about everything. It's easy to say he wants to do outpatient rehab and be responsible, because right now that still seems one heck of a lot better than being in jail/prison. But will he be able to maintain that once the temptations of the real world kick in?

Only time will tell.

Still...I'm hopeful. All any of us can do in life is utilize whatever tools we have in our toolkit. And I'll give him credit for currently doing everything he can to set himself up for success. He's had me change his phone number on his cell phone plan (paid for by a tiny bit of money he'd actually forgotten he had in reserve...he's soooooo grateful he forgot about it, or else by his own admission he would have spent it on drugs towards the end), so that neither she or anyone else can contact him when he gets out. He had me go in and delete his old email account as well, for the same reason, and is going to set up a new one when he comes home. He had me set up a PO Box mailing address for any of his bills or other mail, that way it'll be harder to figure out where he's living.

As he puts it, he's doing his best to hit the reset button and in the process 'disappear' from the lives of those who are bad influences. Drug using friends. Her. Anyone really who would tempt him back into old habits or patterns of behavior. And again, I'm proud of him for that. He really seems to be doing what he can from his current position to set himself up for the best chance of success; no guarantees in life, but he is trying. And that is why so far I'm willing to wait, support, love, watch, and see what happens next.
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"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."



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mg113 (03-05-2014)
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:10 PM
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Good to hear things are on a good swing. Hope things continue well.
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