Hi everyone. I have been dating (and am now engaged) to a wonderful woman. She is one of the most kind hearted people you will meet, and she adores me (and I her).
About 4-5 years ago she was assaulted-it was very bad. She turned to cocaine and alcohol to ease the pain. Things got out of hand, and she wound up going to a 28 day inpatient program. She has been clean and sober for about 1 1/2 years now. Until recently. She did have one relapse early on in our relationship. I got very mad about it, and she told me she would tell me if she felt those urges again.
Anyhow, back to present day. About 3 weeks ago she relapsed-for one evening. It devastated her. I was supportive and not judgmental. And she said that when she used it she realized she did not enjoy it. That was OK, but she has relapsed two times more since then. Both times it was using the rest of the cocaine she had bought the first time.
I am really angry. I told her I equated what she did with lying to me. She said she didn't want to use it again after the first time, but she saved the leftover cocaine. I can only assume it was so she could use it a second (and third) time.
I don't know where to turn. I love this woman, my kids love her, etc. But I cannot be with an active addict. She needs to get back to her 12 step meetings, but hasn't made that step. So I need to take care of myself. I am not ready to end things, but I will if this continues. To me, she destroyed my trust in her. I know addiction is a disease, but she has to have some responsibility for her actions. Should I look into getting her back into an inpatient program? That seems a little extreme right now. Also, I suspect she has some PTSD issues from her assault. Am I being too intolerant?
Also, what about al-anon and nar-anon? Those programs look like they are for folks who are "enablers" and I don't feel like I fit that bill. But I am open to suggestion.
OK, I'm all over the board on this post. Sorry. Any input is welcome, however.
It doesn't matter if you put her in rehab, she has to want it for it to work. I myself would give her some tuff love. I would call off the wedding and stop seeing her until she proves she is clean and staying focused on her recoverey. Yes addiction is a disease and we addicts are 100% not responisable for our addiction but we are 100% responisable for our recoverey!! I know it sounds hard but being with someone who is addicted to drugs is even harder. I am an addict with only 2 months clean but I am sober and I speak from my heart and mind and they are clear thoughts from being sober. God bless and say your prayers.
Al-anon is not specificaly for enablers it is for folks just like you who have a friend family member, wife daughter son husband etc. in their life that is using or drinking or both.
Being an enabler is part of what we do, when we want to "fix" or try to help some one that we care about and love! Even one addict to another.
Being an enabler is not a bad thing! You could be worse!! What I am saying is if you know that you are you can take special care right now to not do this with your beloved fiance'.
I now that you really want to help her, but you can not help her! I am sorry to tell you this but she really needs to help herself. If you go and set it all up for her to go to an out-patient thing and then she doesn't it is only going to hurt and frustrate you more. All that will do is foster up a huge resentment for you if it does not work out the way that you want! Talk with her and if she wants to do this stuff let her get it all set up on her own. She needs to do the footwork to make it happen.
If I were in your shoes there would only be so much that I would deal with. I mean any money access would be cut right off. If she is living with you at present and came home in a loaded state I would turn her away. I know these things sound harsh but you said it your self, " I have to take care of Myself" and your children!
I am not saying that it is to the point that these things need to be done. I am only saying what I would do if in your shoes. It is so hard when you love someone dearly, like the way I am sure you do her!
There is so much help out there but from my own personal experience and from watching others become clean and sober, it really will not stick unless you really want it and are willing to do anything to get it and then keep it.
Please go to an al-anon meeting, and express yourself there. There will be many people there with the exact same issues. If they are not going through it at present there will be some who have already faced these things.
Taking care of yourself and children is hard and tricky because the love we have for others is so strong that we do the wrong thing insted of the right thnig.
I know you are not ready to give up and please don't. She will need you to be strong when she is ready to take that step to a better life.
I will say a prayer for you both! You keep strong and talk to her. You never know she just may come to you and say she is ready for some help.
All the folks here are here to help...hang in....Chrissy
I just want to put it out there, that if you do leave her do it as a last result. Most people who are on the edge will either go one way or the other if put in that position. She may use you leaving her as an excuse to go back right into it. Not that that would be your fault, but tough love doesnt EVER work as fast as you want it to.
Hi there! A lot of very good replies! Someone said ,its not the addicts fault for being an addict,but its the addicts fault for recovery,I disagree.An addict has to take resposability for him or herself.I have a relative who is an addict[in recovery,14 yrs] and I used to work at a rehab,and it is very inportant for an addict in recovery to take resposability,not put the blame on someone,or something else.I've seen many people go back out,some after yrs of recovery.
And when they came back,one guy put it like this- I'm going out tonight to get some dope! Hey,its not my fault I'm an addict". He realized it sure is his fault,but,that don't make him a bad person. Them meetings you were talking about[alanon] them are to help you understand[better] how the 12 step program works,how an addict or alchoholic thinks etc.
How long someone has clean isn't that big of a deal[ well,to old timers anyway]
they do it one day at a time.One guy who had 25 yrs clean said-"Whoever got up the earliest today and didn't use,has the longest time.I give you a lot of credit! Like I mentioned,you got some great feedback already.My advise to you would be to let her know you love her,that your proud that she's trying to get some help,but assure her that she has to be doing this for herself! Not for you,etc. Try not to threaten her,for ex. you'll leave if she doesn't do it etc.
And try to understand that there will be moments when she needs to talk to someone in the program and not you,because no one on this planet,understands an addict more,than another addict.Go to some meetings with her,to get some understanding about them,and about how a sponcer works.Sorry for rammbling.Goodluck!
Guys-thanks for all the responses. I got it all off my chest with her last night. Wrote her a 4 page letter telling her how much I love her, and how her behavior is hurting me. Basically implied that at some point down the road, I might throw in the towel. It really shook her up and she said she would get some help.
You mentioned you are planning a wedding? You know sometimes and this is by no means an excuse but, she may be using because of all the stress she is under cuz of the wedding. I am almost 2 mos sober and when I am stressed I either go to a meeting call a recovering person go for a walk...etc. You might want to try and talk to her but definitely get her to go to a meeting. Tell her you'll go with her for support, maybe she just needs a nudge. I go to 7 meetings a week and my husband and I go to one together he's a normie but it gives him lots of insight into the disease. Hope this is helpful.
When I said you are not 100% responisable for your addiction and 100% responisable for your recoverey, if you think about it I'm right. Addiction is not something you set out to do. It is something in an addicts brain that allows us to become addicts. I'm not saying that it was right for us to use or that we have no reponsiablitiy for our addiction, just not 100%. Now as far as recoverey goes, that is a different story. We are 100% responisable for that part. Once we admit to ourselves that we are addicts and get clean then if we use then it is completely on us 100%. Does that make more sense?
If she has PTSD, maybe something that you don't know about was stirred up. it would be wise for her to get counseling so you can be with trust and love. .Maybe she is going through a lot of emotional pain and doesn't want to jinz the wedding. She needs to learn how set boundaries up for herself.
**She had a normal reaction to abnormal past events**If she went to counselling, she would learn the difference between normal reactions and abnormal reactions.
I will guess that her recovery and her relationship with you is attractive and I will guess that she would like to keep it that way after a bit of counseling. I am guessing because she has showed her willingness by a previous attempt with in-patient program.
p.s. Do read these posts together with your fiancee? There is a lot of great help here. She might be interested to log on. Would you agree?
Just wondering,has she ever been to a meeting? They are so important! I know addicts and alchol. who haven't picked up for a few yrs,and don't go to meetings,but if you don't know them,you would never know they have a couple yrs clean,because they still have the behavior.You ever hear the term clean and sober? You can be clean,but not sober.Meaning,you may have not picked up,but still thinking like an addict\alchol.I know it sounds crazy maybe,but thats why the meetings are so important! I had a client of mine[has 11 yrs clean\sober]
say" I only need 1 meeting a week.But,I don't know what one it is,so I go every day"! I can't stress enough how important meetings are! And your woman will see that she is not alone.I hardly ever promise anything,but I promise you this,
If she really wants to stop,she has to go to meetings,and LISTEN,get a sponser,and truly implicate the 12 steps into her life,one day at a time,and she will truly see a change in her life for the better.And you have to understand how important these meetings will be to her.There may be a time were you two had some important plans,and she tells you"honey,I can't go with you tonight,I have to go to a meeting" Just remember,that may be the meeting that saves her butt that day! Godbless!
Good job mad hatter I also go to meetings 7 days a week and I haven't gone in 2 days, due to family obligations and guess what I am climbing the walls and I cannot wait till 7:30 a.m when my meeting starts. They truely are the lifeline.