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Friends & Families of Addicts Information for coping, dealing & living with a loved one's addictive behavior.

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  #1  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:33 PM
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Default Tips for prior drug addicts?

So my MWI is in the hole and I haven't been talking to him much. Thus the lack of communication is magnifying my worries.

But I have been talking to his counsellor who's been advising me that I should not move in with him after he gets out, and how he may say he's determined and yet he's not in the real world so he may relapse.. etc etc. I value her observations of course. Even if I take it with a pinch of salt.

I've never been around drug addicts, so I don't know.. What helps them from not relapsing? Would staying away from him a year really help him while he finds himself?

I know he would not want that at all. He thinks I'm too good for him and he thinks if he's away from me, I'll find someone better. He's very determined to change and he reads up a lot about how to change his life and he talks about the program to me. He's an honest person and even his councillor validates that. So he is for not the lack of trying, to be a better person and he wants that for himself and not just for me. He actually decided to change before he met me in the first place. Which is a good thing.

I guess I'm getting cold feet and I'm overwhelmed with the realisation that it might be really really hard. I know he's been telling me this of course but.. It's different when you hear it from another person and start to realize that although you've seen his progress he's still only halfway there and isn't really 'fully functional', even when he gets out he might not be. And he needs more work.

Any help? I want to make sure that he gets better cos he has a year left inside and we're both in this safe bubble.. And I don't want it to pop when he gets out.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:48 PM
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His counselor was giving you good advice about not moving in together as soon as he gets out. You are MWI so you only know how he is on the inside. Let him get out and give you what you deserve, which is to date and learn about each other first.

You can browse through the when the relationship is over forum and will find many testimonies from ladies that came from MWI relationships and when the man came home it was a train wreck. Not saying all MWI relationships are like this but there are very few that actually work the way they planned when he hit the gates.

By the way... this advice is coming from a former MWI.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:47 PM
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I am both MWI and a Substance Abuse Counselor,, I've worked in a Opioid Maintenance Facility (methadone clinic) for 12 years,, now I work in a Harm Reduction Safe Haven,, plus I got 13 years sober as of October 23rd.
Now,, there is absolutely nothing u can do to make this person stop using drugs,, or NOT pick up that 1st one,, in MOST cases,, that includes alcohol. You loving him is JUST NOT ENOUGH.
It would be a good idea for you guys to not live together right after release,, that's just because a practicing addict cannot give EMOTIONALLY what it takes to flourish a relationship,,,, not even with THEMSELVES. His 1st order,, IMO,, should be plugging in with some sober ppl in the 12 step program. I'm saying 12 step simply because,,, "IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT." I'm testimony to that,, but he has to WANT to be sober before all else.
I remember wanting to be in a relationship,,, I had like 4 or 5 months sober,,, I *thought* I had it licked (addiction), my Sponsor asked me if i wanted a goldfish or live house plant,, at that time I was living in a SRO,, so i asked for a plant,, I thought to spruce up my room. She got me a beautiful,, healthy,,, vibrant plant that I really loved. 3 months later the plant was dead,,, leaves wilted and soil dry as a bone. I loved that plant,, for real... My Sponsor told my that's how she KNEW I wasn't ready for a relationship because I didn't know how to INSTINCTIVELY take care of another living thing. That was a lesson for me. p
I say that to say,, give him time,, he will go kicking and screaming,, but a relationship and living together is NOT WHAT HE NEEDS. He has to find his way,, and relationships can be stressful,, which may lead to a relapse.
I didn't say stop loving him,,, most definitely not that,, but love him by being strong enough to allow him the space and time he needs it get himself together.
Don't let him sway you with the I love yous,, because although he may,,, his thinking may be off a little because REAL TALK,, His BEST thinking told him to use drugs in the 1st place,, so you gotta put YOUR thinkin cap on for this one... IM me anytime....
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:53 PM
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I am not an MWI but I am a wife of an additct. He came home and I wanted him to go somewhere else first for a while. Things are just so hard when they first get out. There is so much to adjust to. It might be better if you are new to each other. I would think that it keeps the expectations under control. My husband did relaps and he got stupid and ended up back in there and got a parole violation so we do this and try again. I would research addiction if you are not familar with it. It has a whole life of its own. You will be dealing with two issues.. an addict and an ex con. Neither are an easy road and it is twice as difficult when they are both together. Join a support group if there is one near you. I wish you much luck and success. It will not be easy that is for sure but it is possible. I believe that anything is possible....
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:03 PM
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I have zero experience with relationships with a drug addict. I *do* know however that prison is not rehab and if an addict doesn't treat their illness, it is a hard, uphill battle to kick it.

I would caution you from moving across the globe (your location says Singapore so I'm making an assumption) before you let him establish his sobriety on his own. If he can stay clean, and can demonstrate he is able to be in a relationship then you can revisit the whole living together thing...

He says he is afraid you will find someone else? That's a pretty lame excuse considering you are waiting on him now - how is that different?
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:51 AM
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Thanks all for the practical advice.

No I'm not moving in for him actually. I've been wanting to move since before I met him and it just coincided that where I got a job was where he was at. But I understand your concern.

He is very into his aoda prog, his counsellor spoke to me and said that he was really bright and determined but thinks that he's still not ready yet even though.. Of course he thinks he is.

One of the ideas she gave, like many of you mention is to live separately. Which I kinda did think was ok but practically his home has siblings who still use and he doesn't want to be influenced.. And he doesn't want to stay in a halfway home. His best friend died in one of them and he's certain they'll be useless. He has to be paroled somewhere right? So now we're stuck. We both agree that he needs a new environment but.. If him moving in with me is bad.. What other options can you girls think of?

I was told that if he moved in with me I could attend a support group for the families of addicts? And yes, he's been telling me that he'd need to attend the 12 steps prog. For him his counsellor has told me he doesn't lack the determination to change, but the capability to change. About how he could slip up, the warning signs. What he knows now and all the determination he has (which is a lot) is not enough. It's not enough to realize you need to change right? You gotta know how as well. Smth like that.

I will look at the testimonies. I definitely want to go into this with my eyes wide open and not turn a blind eye to his faults. He knows this as well. Keep the advice coming ladies! I appreciate all of them!
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:37 AM
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Here's a tip for you straight from a non-using addict - An addict is never a PRIOR addict. He or she is ALWAYS an addict. It can be controlled and successful achievements in life are a very real possibility for those who put their mind to it. Having said that, becoming involved with someone who has been clean due to incarceration is not to be taken lightly. Upon release he or she will be subjected to all the triggers that causes one to use in the first place. Proceed with caution.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:04 PM
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I hope you will consider all the great advice you have been given, especially form zachary's woman.
Our youngest son, now 23 has been dealing with drug/alcohol addiction. He's been to rehab many times and even in and out of jail.
I can tell you he has times of true sincerity of saying he wants to stay clean. During those times I truly believe he really does mean it. But then like everyone is saying the challenges arise and in many cases relapse is right around the corner.
Your loved ones greatest challenge will be when he walks out those prison gates.
He will again have his freedom back and it is very easy for them to slip into the I'll get high just this one time mode then BOOM! they are right back in the cycle.
The good thing for now is he has a clear mind, his brain is healing.
As a mom I worry about my son's future and what his life will be like if he doesn't give up drugs and alcohol. For now he is on suboxone and a handful of other drugs to help with his depression and sleeping disorder.
I would definitely tell you to not move in with him. Protect yourself until you both have a good amount of time with him being clean.
I know you love him but pleaasse protect yourself. Addiction breaks hearts and DESTROYS families, you don't want it to be yours.
Wishing you both the best!
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