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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 04-05-2008, 09:54 PM
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Cool Is your loved one a drug addict? If so... here's my stand on it.../Updated

When I joined PTO in 2002, my loved one had just been incarcerated. Heís a crack addict.
I am writing this from my point of view after talking to a very dear friend of mine who had been through hell and back with her addicted husband as well.
I am NOT saying that every addict is the same, but I would love to make those members here who are in new relationships with addicts or who have never had a life on the outside with Ďtheirí addict aware of what might expect them.
First of all, letís not make the mistake and calculate the time in prison into the time of being clean. Itís a totally different Ďbeing cleaní then it would be if your loved one was outside. Once released, this is when the real struggle starts. Temptationís everywhere.
Alcohol in a lot of cases is a trigger for a relapse. Just because he/she is not an alcoholic does not mean that itís a good idea to drink.
Be prepared to change your own lifestyle and be prepared for disappointments. Drugs change a personís personality. The person you love and trust can change from one day to the next. Itís not them- itís the drugs.
My story is not a story of failure, but it also isnít a success- story. My husband got out in November of í03 and has relapsed countless times. As a recovering addict myself, I can only urge those of you expecting him/her any time soon to not have too great of expectations. By all means, I am not saying to give up- just be prepared for a rollercoaster ride. Get off that ride if you think you canít handle it any more. Donít let that person make you feel guilty. Donít blame yourselves.
I just think I owe it to you guys to be truthful- so if you have any questions or stories, please post!!!
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:00 PM
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Thank you!! .. in one post you just answered all my questions without ever having to ask!
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:01 PM
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Thank you for sharing that story.. So many people need to hear the truth.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:02 PM
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No- thank you!!! If I could help only one person, it would make everything we have been through make more sense!
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:22 PM
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My husband has been an addict since I met him ten years ago. The sad thing is, it took me about 3-4 years to actually realize this. I had never done drugs, but my husband is a meth addict. I literally thought I was going crazy when I would confront him about the drugs and he turned it back onto me!! He even blamed the 80 year old man who had lived in our house before us when I found the crack pipe ( I had to call a friend to ask what the pipe was!!) That is how naive I was. I would find my husband out in the field, hiding, from no one!!! I got my ass beat for NO REASON!! I was drug by my hair wearing a T-shirt and underwear down a gravel driveway becuase I "guestioned" him!! Drugs CHANGE people!! Again, I have never touched them nor have I ever been hit by ANYONE before my husband touched me. He did it because I questioned everthing he did. He was on parole and even had "special" urine just to make sure he passed. I had no knowledge about parole and he told me it was because he smoked pot!! (yeah, right) Anyway, they can change IF THEY CHOOSE TO
CHANGE. I took my kids and left my husband. It devastated (sp?) him. I told him if he wanted back in our lives, he abides by OUR rules. Probabtion tested him whenever they felt like it, but i tested him randomley (you can buy drug tests at walmart). I was not going to put me or my kids through that misery again. He has been clean for about three years now. When he comes home, the first thing I will do is test him. I know i should trust him, but after what i have been through, YOU DO NOT TRUST A DRUG ADDICT. I mean, the man STOLE from me and his kids. I love him to death, but after what I have been through, it will be quite some time before I can trust him. that is what drugs do to families. You loose the trust.

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Get off that ride if you think you canít handle it any more. Donít let that person make you feel guilty. Donít blame yourselves.

Thanks Lucrisid for sharing!!
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:17 AM
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i use to do coke. A LOT but i made a promise and yeah its hard as hell at times but its a matter of fighting the addiction and having the will power to do so. its not easy. my man had a crack problem before he went into jail but im not going to loose faith in him i have to stay strong and yeah its hard but he promised me he was done. he's been clean for 2 years. 2 years in jail that is though. so who knows what the outside life with bring him. but i can only stay strong and believe that what he says is true. i cant control what hes going to do but i can only be supportive in helping him fight and not go back.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:09 PM
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I wish all of you nothing but luck and that your loved ones make it- I just want those of you who have no idea on what to expect not to be unprepared.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:53 PM
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I've been living this for 9 years. Hoping, praying, pleading, bitching, fighting...
trying to survive his sickness, trying to last long enough to keep our family together, trying to keep him out of trouble.
I'm still with him. He's a good man and my best friend, but he's an addict. And every time, it hurts more- you can't get used to it or get numb. Probably the worst thing is how you are helpless- there is NOTHING you can do to make it stop. Seeing your loved one turn into a stranger from one moment to the next, never knowing what might happen next week or IF it will ever stop. I used to be sure that 'this time' would be the last time- I know he wanted it to be, but those drugs have a harder grip on a person than they even want to realize. I know it because I am an addict myself- just that I have managed to stay strong and know that the lives of my kids is on the line.
I just hope for you that you never have to live through this hell- life is meant to be so much more than being afraid.
Would he/she commit to going to meeitings with you on a regular basis directly after his release?
I think most addicts locked up truly and sincerely want to stay clean and believe that the time clean while locked up equals the regular being clean, but that this is where most trip and fall when they get out. What I have noticed with my husband is that after a certain time clean he feels on top of the world and immune and then he isn't worried about his old friends and areas. And then it's just a matter of time...
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:53 AM
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Lucrisid - that *top of the world* thing, in AA is called the *pink cloud* and absolutely everyone is warned about it (at least in the open meetings and Al-Anon). It's when you think you've got it licked, you're in control, you won! And that's when the guard goes down and suddenly little tiny thoughts sneak in about doing just one more, I can control it now. Then comes the crash and burn. It's the pits.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:00 PM
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I also have been on PTO since the start 2002. I went to the 1st PTO Conf. in Houston.
I'm posing here because everyone should know what happened to ME after he got home!!
I have never been a drug addict! (never will be) He is.
I was with him for the whole 5 yrs he was in prison and he has been out since June 07. What a nightmare its been..
I believed he would never use again *sigh* I believed he would work *sigh* I believed he would be a Dad to his son that he never was *sigh* (my step son which I took to keep out of foster care) Point is I suppose...I believed!!
Until this week.....
We have had ALOT of rough days since June 07 but he never gave up the dope. He cost me my home I bought alone, he cost me thousands of dollars, he cost me my heart!
I'm 47 now have known him since we were 14 and I really "believed" that we would live the rest of our lifes together.
I was wrong!!
He is really good at turning things around on me..I am supposed to "stand by my man" no matter what, I am his WIFE!!
I did and I am and I stopped!
I am codependent I know that NOW and I'm working on that area of my life. He has been totally gone since Saturday and I don't know if I'm really breathing or not!
I have my moments where total relief washes over me and then I have moments like right now where all I want is to hear his voice
I could call him he has a cell phone but I simply refuse..
I'm going to find the closest Al-anon meeting and go this week.
God Bless you and and GOOD LUCK
Rememeber I believed and lost ....Jail/Prison/Rehab/Halfwayhouse is NOT clean time!! Clean time starts on this side of those...
Love to you all best wishes
Renee

Last edited by TxRenee; 04-07-2008 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:39 PM
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Txrenee-I am so sorry to hear that things are not going well. I remember you being so excited that he went to HWH and his coming home. Keep strong! You are a strong lady. I know what it is to be co-dependent and hoping that things will change. My husband has been clean before and now he's in prison because of his drug use. I am praying for peace for you and your husband.

Lucrisid-You are right to warn those that don't really know what they are getting into. I am waiting on my husband to come home and we talk all the time about how different things are and will be on the outside. We both know full well what the dangers and the consequences are. He says he is ready to work the steps but he knows that it is up to him and he has not been successful yet so it will be a strugggle. I know what it is like to be stolen from and have your dreams shattered, but here I am waiting and hoping that things will be better. Can we ever really be prepared for the total destruction of our hopes and dreams? I don't think we can. It is a chance that we take because there is nothing that we can do to make them stay straight. They really want to change but they have to do it themselves.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:11 PM
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Renee - Wow!!!!!! Sorry......

The first 18 months are critical, after an addict gets out. Once they're flying solo is when matters get sticky. They're triggered so easily by familiar sights/sounds/smells/emotions. Never trust them for that first year and a half!
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:39 AM
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Thanks so much for the posts!! I'm still a bit numb. I kicked him out in Oct and he was making it on his own so I thought. I let him come back in Jan. He admitted to me last Monday that he has never stopped using. He would save money I gave him for gas etc..5 bucks here and there and then go use that just amazes me.

"Dreams die HARD" <---my new motto

Thanks again for the support I'm waiting to go to a meeting here Thursday hope they can help me with the pain.

Renee
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxRenee View Post
I'm 47 now have known him since we were 14 and I really "believed" that we would live the rest of our lifes together.
I was wrong!!

Sounds like me and Fellah. We met when we were 14, and will be 47 later this year. (He is 2 days older than me).

It was good, it was bad, it was good, it got ugly.

I agree with you that you cannot count jail/prison/halfway house/clean and sober living as being 'clean'. They have just stopped. Much different than being in recovery.

I have been going to Al-Anon for over a year now, and in many aspects it has helped greatly.

JJT
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:23 PM
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JJT,
Thanks for the reply I'm so sorry that you have been up and down also
I know that life is nothing but UP and DOWN's but this is so NOT like my old life.
Will Al-Anon help me even though I have let him go? I'm going on day 2 with NO contact with him ...(Thanking God) It hasn't been easy. I have to keep hanging up on the collect call from a pay phone and when his cell is charged I have to watch those calls too. I have set his number on my cell phone to NO RING so I don't even know he calls on the cell till I looked at missed calles.

We are a few weeks apart on our birthday's he is early Dec mine is late Dec both 1960. Love does NOT help addiction I know that now!

God Bless
Renee
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:49 PM
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Yes, it will help in understanding and gaining some tools to use when those phone calls do come. And it helps in understanding the disease of addiction. Their addiction to mind altering substances and our, my, addcition to him.

I haven't seen Fellah in over a year now. No, that's not right. I saw him walking one day as I was headed to work last fall. I haven't spoken to him in over a year. I think about him every day. Some days more than others. Cried tons and have laughed some too.

Fellah is still my addiction.

Al-Anon is for anyone who has been affected by the disease, whether you are still living with them or not. Whether the addictive behavior is still active or not. It could be your parents, siblings, cousins, next door neighbors uncle. Al-Anon doesn't care what your relationship is, because Al-Anon doesn't focus on the "qualifier". Al-Anons focus is on the person who has be affected.

Do I agee 100% in everything Al-Anon teaches. Nope. Don't have to in order to gain the tools I need to get out of bed in the morning when I don't want to. Does it help when I log onto a web site and find out he is back in jail and the investigation I do afterwards? Yep. Because I don't let it affect me as deeply as before. Does Al-Anon help when I write him a letter while he is in jail. Yep. Because I can tell my sponsor about it and I don't sit around the house stalking the mailman!!

I aint' perfect. I don't always apply the program. But I am getting better.

Try a few meetings. Try different groups. If it is a fit, wonderful. If you don't like it, don't go back!

I regularly attend 3 meetings a week. I do service work for 1 of the meetings. And I am on the Round Up Planning Committee. Once in awhile I will attend an AA meeting.

I have met great people in Al-Anon. Fellah has court today at 1:30 and you know I want to be there!!! In my minds eye, I will show up and the judge and lawyers will see that I still love and support him and that somehow, just by my being there a miracle will happen and Fellahs' addiction will leave him, and the judge will order him to my care and we will ride off in the sunset in complete recovery!

Or, I'll walk in and shoot the (bleeper bleeper). Still working on the anger end of things!! LOL

A year ago, I couldn't tell you that without being hip deep in a pity party. Today, it's just a part of who I am and I can make fun of myself about it.

Hope that somewhere in the lengthy post is the answer!!!

JJT
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:25 PM
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JJT!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me so fast...
A hour ago I was sitting here cleaning my room and doing ok.
Now I'm sitting here crying wondering where he is and if he is ok!!
I don't know how you do it? I'm trying so hard to NOT think about him and it seems everything I do leads me back to him or I should say my memory.
A friend of mine told me I should call a battered womens shelter and they will help me get through this. I wasn't battered I don't think she swears I was mentally.
He never ever laid a hand on me.
I'll keep on cleaning and crying and try to figure out whats the 'right" thing to do.
I am going to the Al-Anon meeting though on Thursday evening there is only 2 a week here in town.

Renee
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:39 PM
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What a good thread. Being with an addict is something you that would never understand unless you have been there. Even after years clean they can use and it is the hardest thing to do. I would never do it again. Lost alot but I would never want my life any other way. It has made who I am today. I have been on both sides of the coin but only when I really wanted the addict to love me. I would use with them. But I have made myself a promise never to get like that again and it has been years...

TxRenee Hugs to you.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:52 PM
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*HUGS* Amy TY so much I need them at the moment!! heck always need hugs

I hate to admit that I was so close to trying coke for the 1st time at 47. I thought how can I know what he is going through if I have never used? He would have let me I know he would have....but I didn't. I can't!! I have to much to loose. My job (17 yrs) my grandbabies, my son, my family everything that means LIFE to me...thats why I don't understand I guess how he can just keep using and walk away from us ALL?

Ty for the great post!!!
*HUGS*
Renee
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:54 PM
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That time after you kick them out - you still have the habit of *caretaking* them, even though you've given up the reality, your emotional habit remains. God, I hate that!!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:23 PM
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Renee- you WILL be ok! I love you and I'm right here (and so sorry for yesterday, i thought it was someone else calling).
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
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That time after you kick them out - you still have the habit of *caretaking* them, even though you've given up the reality, your emotional habit remains. God, I hate that!!!

That is for sure!!! You can take the addict our of my life, but I have to work on my emotional habit with the addict!!!

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Old 04-08-2008, 09:37 PM
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No truer words were ever spoken/typed nim!! Luc...Love you too and I'll call you back in a day or 2 hope things are going good up your way!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:49 PM
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I have not been with my ex in years but the habits are still there and i will try to use them at times but my new man just looks at me like I have lost my mind. It will all work out it just takes time.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:21 PM
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Just an update...Tony has run off yet again. He was living in a mission downtown but I guess he is now on the street. My stepson whom I raised and is now 20 is worried sick.
I have tried to find him for Ryan and had no luck thus far. All I can do is insure Ryan that I love him and will pray for his Dad.
Life is sooo hard!!
Renee
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