Nervous about visiting BF after his 28 day program

So, I booked a flight out to see A who will be finishing his 28-day program next Thursday. He is going to go out to Austin to stay at a sober-living and I have a flight from that Friday until Sunday. I spoke with the sober-living manager who encouraged me to come out and support A for his first weekend there. I booked a room about a mile away and am traveling alone. His mom is going to come visit him in a few weeks.

To be honest, I’m so nervous. I have missed A alot these past few weeks, but I have not missed the drug use, the lies, and the chaos. These past few weeks have given me more time to think about what these past few years have done to me. The using, the lying, and who he becomes when he uses is honestly haunting me. I am hopeful that when I see him he is doing well. That we can keep it light and enjoy some quality time together, but I am nervous that seeing him will trigger me. I’m afraid that I will start to get angry about everything that has happened and lash out at him. I desperately want it to go well. I just feel so closed off from him. I feel like I’ve surrounded myself with a barrier to try and protect myself. I’m afraid that he will notice. It’s just hard to know how it will go. Not to mention I’ve spent about 600 bucks on traveling expenses that I don’t have. I’m afraid that I will spend more time and money and only feel upset with what I see.

He sounds like he is doing well and that he’s really been trying to take in his rehab program. He seems focused, I’m just nervous. I don’t know if I can stand anything negative. I guess I just need to go and see it through. But has anyone else out here gone through similar feelings? It’s like I want to try and make this work with A, but then again I’m not sure I will be able to fully forgive him for everything that has happened while he was in active addiction. And I for sure can’t imagine being able to handle any more relapses. I feel like this is my final effort and it makes me feel really sad.

My other struggle is that I’ve always thought that A going to rehab was all that I needed. That everything would fall into place once he was there, but now I’m struggling with how to sit still while A actually makes an effort to get sober. He is genuinely making an effort right now and I’m now having more internal struggles than I ever had throughout our relationship. I get it – I now have time to face them, but I just feel upset that is hasn’t been easier. I want our relationship to get to a point of healthfulness and now after all this effort in staying with A during his addiction - I seem to be struggling more with how to handle staying with A during his recovery. It sounds awful, but it’s just a position I haven’t really been in yet and I just don’t want to mess any of it up. I know it is up to A, but I hate that! I just want to control it all and not being able to is harder than I ever thought it would be. Any advice? It's like after constantly urging A to go to rehab - I feel like he has gone and if it doesn't work he will die. The pressure for him to remain sober feels so intense and its scary.
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  • @rachael04... I think it's a good thing that you're going out to see A and support him. I can guarantee you, he's probably pretty nervous about it, too. I would just urge you to be empathetic, supportive, and kind. He's going through some big changes. So just let him know that you're there for him. And that you love him and care.

    You should also keep practicing self-care and working on yourself. Support meetings and a good therapist can be your best friends at this point. They can help you work through everything you're feeling and wondering about. This is hard stuff, and you don't have to go through it or figure it out by yourself. Period. There is strength in numbers.

    We're here for you. Anytime.
  • @rachael04 Many of the feelings that you're are quite normal for those on the opposite end of recovering addicts. This is why your commitment to your own recovery program is essential for yourself and for the relationship. If you're not willing to stay on your side of the street and work on your emotional healing, then sooner or later problems will arise.

    I can't remember if you said you're in therapy? Or do you attend support groups for yourself? All of those things are great moving forward to help you learn how you can first of all forgive him, and heal emotionally from plenty of wounds.

    I am sure I would be feeling some of those same feelings, but at the same time if I was committed the the person I would give them the benefit of the doubt if I really saw them doing the work and taking it serious. Perhaps you can do some reading some Al-Anon or nar-anon literature. Some of the topics might help. Here's a link to a daily Al-Anon devotional and different sayings. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest.

    Know that we are here and we are rooting for both you and a.
  • @DeanD @dominica

    Thank you guys. I have been attending the Nar-anon video meeting on Tuesday nights. I have been reading Courage to Change and Just for Today every night before bed. Reading Clean, as well (thanks to Dean!). I do not have a therapist at this point. Having a hard time navigating one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I'm on Medi-Cal and have been having a hard time finding one that would be willing to take my insurance. This forum has proved to be very helpful. Thank you guys. I think I am going to look into a face to face codependency group. I did Al-anon for a few months back , but was having a really hard time finding one that I felt really comfortable in. But it has been super helpful to articulate my fears on this forum so very appreciative for the input.
  • @rachael04 sounds like you're doing so many valuable things! that's wonderful. kudos to you for that. i found codependency group helpful and worked the steps with a sponsor... that helped me a lot.

    i understand about therapists and the cost involved.... when i couldn't go, i did exactly what you are doing, working on myself in various ways. youtube was like therapy for me, since there are therapists sharing all sorts of good things there :)
  • @dominica happy to hear I am on the right track! Thank you. And will definitely look into youtube too! And will find a meeting for codependent asap. Hoping I'll find the right fit there.
  • I'm feeling a lot of guilt tonight with not being honest with my parents about A's addiction. I work with them in a small business and we are extremely close. It physically hurts my heart when I look at my mom and lie about A's whereabouts. Always saying he is busy working and cannot come to this or that family dinner. Then it spirals me into memories of the many many many times I lied to my family about why A wasn't able to come to family functions because he was getting high. Like when he was sober for almost 3 months and then on Christmas Eve he relapsed. The timing was impeccable. I waited for him at home for hours until I realized he wasn't coming back and then told my parents he had suddenly fallen ill. I went to my family function alone and the whole night my parents were worried about A. I never wanted to be in a position like that ever again, but am sad to say it wasn't the last time such a thing happened.

    My parents and 2 sisters are very tight-knit and I hate having this big secret. I feel like a shitty person. A tells me that if it is eating me up inside that I should tell them. I feel so unwilling and maybe that will change one day, but for now I won't do it. I feel like I dug myself in this massive hole with no idea of how to get out. My mother and father both had alcoholic parents and siblings. My mom used to go to Al-Anon religiously while her brother battled with alcoholism. He stayed sober for the last 20 years of his life working a solid AA program. He was my mom's closest sibling and she loved him with all her heart. The idea of telling my mom that I am going through a similar struggle with A feels so nerve-wrecking. I don't want her to have to worry about me in any way. I also know she would tell me to run for the hills once I told her about A's addiction and how serious it is. I am not ready to run and I just couldn't bear to see the worry in her face. My dad takes a more judgmental approach. I think his coping mechanism for dealing with the hurt addiction put on him is by making fun of the disease. His father was a rage-ful alcoholic who was very abusive to him. I think his way to circumvent that is by being an above and beyond father and also having zero tolerance for drug use or drinking. It worked for me because he instilled a fear in me that made me NEVER want to seriously touch drugs or alcohol. I dabbled, but was always really clear on my boundaries in that aspect.

    But, my lack of honesty is tearing me up. I keep justifying it in my head that I need to sit tight. Focus on me and not stir the pot while A gets treatment. I do feel at a point that should A come back and life goes back to the chaos and madness that it was that I will leave once and for all. I also refuse to go back to a point where I cover up for him because he is using. I can see how codependent and unhealthy that was. I am being extremely judgment towards myself for my past behaviors and for how I am handling my situation now. I just want to take it easy, but am having a hard time doing so. Needed to vent it out. Thanks for reading. :smile:
  • Just got off the phone with A. He told me he is so desperate to stay sober and so afraid of what may happen. He says that if he uses again he feels like that will be it for him. He has been in and out of treatments for 14 years. He has lost friends and girlfriends because they couldn't stand him high and many because they overdosed and died. Him and I are hanging on by a thread and I could feel his heartache over the phone. He is so worried he is going to mess up. I told him to relax and that he should stay in Austin as long as he needs to. To not feel a need to rush home because I am here. To come when he feels like he can be strong and set up a solid foundation once he gets back. He said he is nervous to see me because it's going to be really hard to say bye. I am nervous about that too. It was an emotional conversation, but it was so encouraging to hear A be so vulnerable and open to me about his fears. He was genuine and it made me excited to know that the depravity of the situation wasn't lost upon him. When he is in active addiction his appearance of being nonchalant irks me to no end. And it felt positive to hear him be so honest. I just hope that it all works out. I am going to talk to his case worker tomorrow about what I can do on my end to help set him up for success whenever he returns so we'll see what she says. For now I am going to try and rest easy and stop attempting to solve every possible issue that I can in one night.
  • @rachael04 I'm sorry for what you are going through. This is a very hard thing for everyone involved. I'm curious if you don't mind me asking, what drug does your boyfriend use? How long have you been with him and do you two live together. Also in the last 14 years, did he manage to be able to have any substantial time where he was clean?
  • Sending you love and light today, @rachael04. <3
  • @rachael04 I am glad that he was able to be so open and authentic with you. I'm sure that he does want to stay clean. I'm sure he's also afraid at the same time. That's wonderful that you're giving him the space to take as much time as he needs. I watched a netflix documentary the other night called recovery boys, and it gave me some really great insight into how the recovering addicts really opened up and started feeling their feelings again while in rehab. It's a pretty good watch if you have Netflix.

    Know that we're here rooting for you and him!
  • @tiredmom - He uses meth and has been using it via IV for about 8 years now. His most substantial amount of time he had clean was 9 months in his early 20s. He is 27 years old now. Through-out our relationship the longest time he has had sober was 3 months. When we first started dating I was under the impression he had about 6 months clean, but found out later in our relationship that that was not true. We moved in together and pretty quickly into it I began to see that he was hiding his drug use. I attempted to "help," but am realizing now that I was enabling him by being emotionally and physically available to him. These past few months he has been in a sober living. A is very close to the owner of the sober living so often times if he screws up, the owner will try and find a way to get him back into the house so he isn't homeless. But, A will try and manipulate the situation so that it is most beneficial for him (for example - not go to an out patient program bc it conflicts with his work schedule, even though everyone else in the house who is newly sober has to go to one). I think this has allowed him to continuously go back to using without many consequences. I kick him out when he is in active addiction, but often his mom will take him in if he says he wants to stop and then she will desperately call me to take over when she is exhausted. I have always gone to help and we have either gotten him back into the sober living or I will let him back home with the contention that he will get it right this time. The cycle isn't healthy and I am really desperate to never get back into it again. I am financially dependent on him in order for me to keep our apartment. He surprisingly manages to pay for his half of rent every month despite all the chaos. I realize I'm not technically stuck in my situation and I'm thinking that this weekend when I see him we can think about what the next step looks like. Having the space away from him has been extremely helpful in giving me perspective on the situation.

    @DeanD Thanks for the love!!
    @dominica Thank you for the recommendation! I have seen it! It was uplifting, but also so sad for the guys that weren't able to stay sober. I watched it and feared that A would be one of those guys. I'm hoping that his time in rehab and the sober living in Austin will prove to give him the strength that he needs to stay clean this time. I am just worried sometimes that our relationship will get in the way. His addiction has resulted in many bad memories these past few years and I know that the guilt overpowers him sometimes and the resentments overpower me. It's hard to know when I should just call it quits and let him go on his own journey or when I should stick by him and give him healthy non-codependent support.
  • Update: I just got off the phone with A and it was a really good conversation. He is leaving the facility on Thursday and will be in Austin by Thursday evening. I am flying in Friday morning. A said he was really excited to see me and that not seeing me all month has given him some perspective. He said that he realized that the many times he would try to put blame on me for his using - it was only because I made it harder for him to continue in his addiction. He thanked me for all the times that I stood by him. All the times I took him seriously when he said he was ready to get help. He said that he hates that he wasted so many years of his life and of our relationship. He also said that he really feels desperate to make it work this time and I can tell in his voice that there is no false confidence or notion that he has it down this time. That is huge because it sounds like he is really starting to take heed to the fact that he will have to work on this day in and day out in order to stay sober. He told me he was really appreciative that I have been so understanding during his time at rehab and that I haven't been judgmental or anxiety producing. I really appreciated him saying that because I have been making a genuine effort to keep things simple when we talk on the phone. I was mulling and festering in my anger a lot yesterday and today. I was feeling very resentful, but instead of taking out that anger on him I wrote on this forum and I attended a Nar Anon meeting this evening. Hearing others was been very therapeutic. It also reminded me that those feelings will pass and none of those negative feelings will kill me. I just need to acknowledge when they are no longer helpful and let them float away. It felt good to hear A say all these kind things to me and it made me feel a little shy to be honest that he was being so forthcoming. I have heard him say similar things to me like this before. He often will get some sober time and then seems to really be able to take in how important the people he loves are to him. But, what felt different this time is that I was really able to hear him and take it in. A lot of the time I push it to the side or ignore it because I am fearful these sweet things he is saying will change (because they often do if he goes back to using), but this time I took it in. And I was actually able to hear that he was putting himself out there to tell me that he loves me and he appreciates me. It feels really good to be in the moment and to actually appreciate the bright spots during this hectic time.

    Note: I am mostly writing this just to write so don't feel obligated to respond. I am finding it helpful for me to articulate my feelings and knowing that other can read it is helpful too!
  • I'm glad you had a good conversation with A, @rachael04. I hope your visit with him goes well. I will be thinking about you guys this weekend. :)
  • Update: So I'm visiting A tomorrow. He just left his 28 day program and is at the sober living. He seems okay. He has access to his phone and texted me early this morning. We have been texting back and forth a bit, but I think he is nervous. I had to ask him a question from before he left for rehab. When he was using, I snooped through his phone because he was trying to pretend he was sober. I saw that he had been talking to girls via Facebook. Invited one girl over to his motel room when he was using meth and she declined. I saw that he had been in contact with two other girls, but was deleting the messaging that was back and forth so I couldn't see exactly what was being said.. Not sure if that makes sense, but anyways. I texted him about an hour ago and told him I needed to get one thing off my mind before I saw him and I didn't want it to linger and make me act strangely or lash out this weekend. I asked him about the messages and this time more calmly. Before he went to rehab - I told him what I saw and told him I was done. He stormed out of the house and then signed into rehab the next more. Anyways - I asked him whether he met up with any of the girls. And what his expectations were, etc. And he told me that he did it for attention with no intention of actually meeting with them. That he just wanted to talk to people while he was using and I wasn't the person he could talk to. So I just told him that I believed him. I do for some odd reason and that from now on that I'm setting a boundary. My boundary is that he cannot look to other women in sobriety anymore. Two of the girls he was speaking to are people he knows from the sober living. So I told him that I had to set a boundary. That looking to young attractive women working on their sobriety and developing relationships with them was going to have to stop. That there are plenty of men and older women in this world that could understand his position, but just for my sake I needed it to not be pretty young women. He said he understood. So I feel kind of odd setting this boundary and IDK exactly how I will go on without feeling worried or jealous. But, I do believe that he didn't sleep with these girls so I have to trust my instinct and hope that he respects my boundary, but be willing to pack up and leave should be not respect it.
  • I also want to get to a point where I'm never snooping through his stuff, but it's become my way of getting concrete evidence that he is using. He doesn't go to motels or talk to women when he's sober. So, do I just trust my instinct instead of going to my own devices to get proof? I've had difficulty with this because every time I have looked and found something I confront him. I tell him that I looked, but I hate that I'm looking in the first place. When he gets some clean time I never snoop, but as soon as something strange happens I'm like a FBI agent. I have to stop myself. It feels like addictive behavior. But, how else do other people cope with this feeling of not knowing for sure? I mean deep down I know, but he will lie until the cows come home if he thinks he can get away with it. Eventually it all comes to light but often because I find incriminating stuff on his cell phone.
  • @rachael04 Hey I get where you are coming from regarding being like an FBI agent! That actually made me laugh out loud ! That is something I never was able to control about myself. When I want to know something, damn it, I want to KNOW!! It's like an obsession! I will snoop and dig until I have the proof! I can't seem to help myself. It causes me more anxiety to not know, than the snooping does! I have got a little better about that though. Probably because it's my son I snoop on, and not my man! Lol But I know me too well, if it were my man I'd probably have a whole office set up and dedicated to snooping on him.! So if you ever figure out how to just stop, let me know. Hope everything goes well with your seeing A.
  • @tiredmom
    HAHA! Well thank you for making me feel less psycho. Good to know that I'm not alone with this tendency and thank you of your well wishes!!
  • I hope your visit with A goes smoothly, @rachael04. As far as the snooping goes... I know it's hard not to do it. But I think that's one of those things that loved ones of people with addiction issues have to learn to let go of. I think the snooping is a symptom of wanting to have control over things, and wanting to control things will make you crazy. Yes, not knowing certain things can cause anxiety, like @tiredmom said. But too much snooping will end up wearing you out, IMO.

    Just my 2 cents!
  • @DeanD I totally agree with that !! I try to control everything and it is just so darn exhausting!! I had to back off quite a bit and just let some things just play out. I'm getting better at it, though still have some trouble once in awhile. I been reading alot of posts and am taking it in and trying to use some of the great advice I see towards helping myself.
  • @DeanD I definitely agree with you! No good ever comes out of it to be honest.
    @tiredmom I am doing the same thing! This forum is soooo helpful.

    sorry this is incredibly long...
    Update: My trip to Austin ended on a horrible note. I went on Friday and we were like little love birds who were so excited to be together. We hung out and checked out the city. We walked around and shopped. A's mood was very relaxed and he was very excited to see me. Towards the end of our day - A started bringing up some bigger issues that I was hoping we could avoid talking about. He told me he was afraid to move back to LA and I told him that he could stay in Austin as long as he needs to. That we could have a long distance relationship until then. That set him off. He told me that I was not supportive bc I wasn't willing to pack up everything and move to Austin that minute. He also made a fair amount of negative comments about my family because they are my main reason for me wanting to stay in LA. I told him that I just wanted to take everything a day at a time and that if he ends up wanting to stay in Austin indefinitely then we could figure it out. He seemed okay with that and apologized for the things he said. His sober living house manager let A sleep with me at my airbnb for the two nights I was there - so he came back with me and we went to sleep early.

    Saturday we had a really good day. Toured some places. I met some of his buddies from the rehab that are in sober livings nearby. We all got along and they were very nice to me. They dropped us off at my airbnb towards the end of the day and A and I decided to go out to dinner and play some pool. He started to get moody at dinner. Was irritated by the waitress and by the uber driver. Was being snappy with me. I tried not to bite back, but was having a hard time ignoring his bad mood. We went to play pool and had fun, but I could tell that his mind he was pretty preoccupied. On the walk home, he started to question if I was happy with our sex life. (Sorry if this is TMI). He started to talk so quickly and told me basically that he thought I wasn't sexually interested in him anymore and that I only stuck around because I couldn't let go of him. I tried to tell him I didn't feel this way at all and he continued to push me with his words. He started bringing up previous arguments in the past. He went so far as to accuse me of cheating on him. I tried to look at it in a way that he is obviously having some self-esteem issues and my presence was spurring them up because our relationship has been a roller coaster due to the drug use. But, he kept pushing my buttons and I ended up getting angry and yelling/crying. He stormed out of the house and I managed to convince him to come back so we could talk in the morning. He came back and told me that he hasn't felt like using until I came to visit and that I cause more stress to his life than good. He told me that I don't care about him or his sobriety. Told me to confess to cheating on him (which is something I have NEVER done) or else he would never talk to me again. He spiraled out of control and told me ultimately that I was no good for him anymore and that he didn't want to be in a relationship with me anymore. I started to cry and he fell asleep. He woke up in the morning and tried to backtrack all his words. He apologized and tried to tell me he made a mistake. That he wants our relationship to work more than anything. That he wanted to start afresh. That he doesn't feel that way - he said he thought his medication was a little off. He started taking prozac for depression while in rehab and he started to take an anxiety medication that he ran out of on Saturday so he thought that that was why he had such a mental breakdown on the way home. I went along with it. We went to breakfast and then to dave and busters to play arcade games. It was raining like crazy so we had to do an indoor activity.

    We started to play and he was hugging me and telling me how much he loved me, but then his mood would shift to being very introspective. He was nervous about me leaving and him starting his time in sober living. I was the exciting distraction right after rehab and since I was leaving - I think he started to spiral again with his negative self-talk and self-sabotage. Anyways, he would go in and out of moods. His friend came to hang with us who he went to rehab with. Him and A have very similar personalities and he is a big flirt with everyone. He was talking to all the women around. He was telling me how special he thought A and mines relationship was and was being overall really nice and kind. A and I had joked about it the day before that his friend was so flirtatious, but when his friend went to the bathroom A accused me of flirting with his friend. He told me I was being disrespectful and that if the tabled were turned then I would never let that slide. I told him that wasn't my intention at all and that I was sorry it was coming across that way. But mind you as I was supposedly flirting with his friend - A had his head in my lap and I was hugging him and kissing him. I was being very affectionate towards A and I found it confusing that he thought I was flirting with his friend. Anyways - his friend leaves so A and I could have some together time before my flight. We sat outside and he couldn't get past that he thought I was flirting with his friend. Then he went back to his argument from the night before that he thought I was sexually unhappy with him and that I faked my affection just so I didn't hurt his feelings. He told me he didn't want to be with me anymore and I felt at a loss for words. He basically told me that if we were meant to be then it would happen, but my presence and want for a relationship was too much for him. He mentioned again that he never wanted to use until I came back. So I gave him a hug, told him I respected his wishes, and took an uber to the airport.

    At the airport his friend calls me and they are trying to find him. And unsurprisingly they find him dead drunk at the dave and busters bar. He takes trazadone to help him sleep and he took multiple with the alcohol. He punched his friend in the face, but they managed to carry him to the car and call his sober living manager. A is still passed out at his friend's house. The manager says that the house cannot accept him after relapsing and now he is sleeping it off to figure out where he will go in the morning. I'm terrified to see what A will do in the morning. It honestly is the worst way this entire weekend could have gone. I'm having a hard time not blaming myself for being there. I know A holds a lot of guilt inside for our relationship and old dynamics really die hard. I'm trying to remind myself that I didn't cause it but its hard not to when he was doing so well and then as soon as I came into the picture he becomes self deprecating and self sabotaging. I'm rereading that last line and it wasn't just me. He finished his program on Thursday and I came in on Friday. He hasn't had a chance to get acclimated, but I fear he will be kicked out before he can. I'm so disappointed that this is how our weekend ended.
  • @rachael04 Really sorry to hear how things turned out after your visit to see A. It is definitely not your fault any of this happened. It seems like he just has some issues still that he needs to work on and learn to deal with. You seem like a very loving girlfriend. You made the trip to see him and it sounds like you did your best to be supportive. You can't make his obvious self esteem issues go away, nor should you be blamed because he can't handle himself. Sounds like he still has a lot of work to do. It would definitely be a huge mistake to go moving off to another state to be with him. I did that once and it turned out to be a nightmare. There could be many reasons for his behavior. Some possibilities are he just hasn't had enough time to work on himself. The Prozac could have been effecting his mood. You saying he started talking real fast is one indication of that possibility, or he could have been setting himself up and looking for an excuse to just go ahead and get drunk. It's anyone's guess, but in the meantime there is nothing you can do. He needs to get himself together and figure it out on his own. It has nothing to do with you. I'm no expert of course, but I have been where you are, regarding this type of relationship. And maybe it is just too much for him to handle right now. Hopefully you let his actions fall on him alone and you don't beat yourself up over it. And if that is how its going to be when you are together, then maybe you should just take a step back and just see how it plays out. Hopefully everything will work out and he can get into the sober living home.
  • @tiredmom thank you for your response and your kind words. I appreciate you telling me it isn't my fault. It is hard not to start to reflect and try to figure out what I could have said "better" or what I could have done to navigate the situation better. I'm having a hard time today trying to figure out how I feel. I get that A needs more time to figure out his sobriety and his issues. I think he was not expecting to have all those feelings come up when we saw each other and he reacted in the worst way possible. The sober living manager and A's mom figured out a plan for him to go to an intensive IOP program in Austin and so long as he does that the house manager will let him live there. I am happy about that, but today I am feeling honestly hurt by a lot of the stuff A said to me this weekend. Feeling like I could have done more to stop him from relapsing. Feeling guilty and embarrassed that that is how our visit went. I feel like maybe A and I have too much history to really move forward. I feel awkward that I met all these new people in his recovery and now I feel like they are looking at me like I ruined A's progress. It's not rational, but it just feels so lonely. I also am not really sure if A and I are even considered still together. We have an apartment together and now I'm trying to find side jobs just in case I have to pay next month rent's alone. I just feel really broken by the situation and the wound feels fresh. Trying to figure out if I can move past the stuff he said to me this weekend while he was angry. It's a tough position to be in and I just want to be happier and away from the crazy. A's mom said the house manager told her to not check in with him. And asked me and his sister to just ignore him for now. It's a hard position because I feel like I visited too early and I let the fact that I missed him get in the way of giving him the time that he needs to get well. It's sad.
  • @rachael04 so sorry that trip went like that..and it's definitely not your fault. it does sound like he needs a long while to get himself in a place where he can have a mature relationship.... and i'm sure it is sad for you...

    stay focused on you... practicing self-care... do whatever helps you to get into a "good place"... like reading or watching inspirational things... use the tools in your life that bring you some peace and joy...

    and know that we are here to listen anytime.
  • @dominica Thank you. You are absolutely right. During these moments is when all those coping mechanisms are the most necessary.
  • @rachael04 i used to binge watch youtube videos by professionals when i was struggling pretty hard... it helped a lot!! :)
  • @dominica Definitely know what my plans will be for tonight then! LOL!
  • @rachael04 Don't beat yourself up. There was no way for you to know how he would react/behave when you visited him. On the other side of it, if you didn't visit then he could complain that you don't want to see him. So how can anyone really know what is the right thing to do? There always seems to be more problems for people who are facing addiction besides the addiction itself. Some people seem to be able to get it together with hard work and then there are others who try but never seem to get better. I'm not trying to say that A can't or won't change, but there is a possibility that this could go on for years. So I am asking you if you are basing your life on what happens with him? I think it is definitely a really good idea that he does the intensive outpatient program. He will have to be accountable to get to those appointments and stay clean if he wants to stay in the sober living home. But in the meantime you shouldn't feel bad at all. I know you feel hurt and I would too, but sometimes we are just an available person /scapegoat that the addict can use to blame all their self esteem issues and struggles on, or whatever problem they have within themselves. He may have been feeling weak or was struggling before you got there and who more perfect to blame than you. Who cares what his new friends there think. They haven't lived in your shoes and if they are working their own program they won't allow him to place blame on anyone but himself. He is the one who chose to allow your visit with him go bad. He could have been happy and appreciative that you gave up your time and money to come to see him and that you were there for him at all. Some women just walk away. I know you feel hurt by the things he said to you. That doesn't show much gratitude towards you after you taking the time to visit with him and I know you probably did your best to assure him how much you care. This is on HIM. Now you have to try to get the thoughts that you did anything wrong out of your head, so you can feel better. @dominica had some good ideas to help you get through this. And I know you will. Hope you can relax a little and stop questioning yourself. There is only so much we can do for another person.
  • @tiredmom your advice is music to my ears and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am astounded with how codependent I am. I feel strong and then get back around A and feel like I am to blame for everything that goes wrong. I need to get back into my own work to bettering myself and making choices that benefit me the most. I know that I can and for now I am looking forward to the time away from A. I am reminding myself that this is a day at a time kind of deal and am just trying to get my ducks in a row so that I am not financially dependent on him. When he said all those things to me before I left for the airport - I was able to notice some growth on my end. I didn't panic. I didn't feel a need to delay my flight or force him to stay with me until I knew where he was going. I hugged him and told him that I loved him and that I was sorry he was struggling so much. I told him that I would not be his scapegoat. That I loved him and was hopeful that our arguments wouldn't override the fact that we had some really good moments together and I left. I'm proud of myself for that because there were times in the past that I know I would have delayed my flight and would have caused a crazy scene trying to control A's next move. I realize now I can't do that. It benefits no one. So I have to appreciate the small victories and remember to trust my own instincts. I do think I have been basing my life on how he is doing. I often think... well once he gets it then I can really get my life going, but after years of that I have to shift. And I finally feel ready to shift. So, I am going to look into finding a side-job so I'm not so concerned about my bills and focus on work, exercise/diet, and my well-being. I know that I will be okay no matter how A's life goes and there were times in my life that I didn't have that perspective. So will educate myself with some good youtube videos and get back to my routine that makes me content.
  • @rachael04 That is great you were able to get on that plane and just let it be. I know all too well about trying to control a situation and it is quite an accomplishment on your part that you were able to go and not stick around and try to fix things for him.! It might be just the thing he needs to see too. That he can't act up, blame, make you feel bad so you put up with the crazy crap! Good for you girl! I feel bad that you have been going through this with him for years. It can be quite the roller coaster ride or it's like being on a train and the track only travels around in a circle. And unfortunately you keep coming around to the same things over and over again. Someday you might have to get off the train and get on your own track. Just remember no matter what we do, the other person has a choice in how they react.
  • @rachael04... I apologize that I am just now seeing the update on your trip to visit A in Austin. I'm so sorry for what happened. It's pretty obvious to me that A needs more time to figure things out and work on his sobriety. I'm glad he's gotten into an IOP program and that the sober living house is going to allow him to come back.

    As you've already been told by @dominica and @tiredmom, none of this is your fault. So don't beat yourself up over what happened. Just detach and let things progress as they may. I know there may be a lot of questions bouncing around in your head, especially about the status of your relationship with A. But stepping back is the best thing you can do for yourself right now. And it will probably help him, too.

    Always remember that YOUR life is the most important one, my dear. You deserve to be happy and healthy, both physically and mentally. So please keep working on yourself. And know that we're here for you. Even though some of us (*looks in mirror*) can be a little late to respond to some posts.

    Sending you love, light, and strength. <3
  • @DeanD Thank you for the kind words. And you are absolutely right. I do just need to take a step back and get back to making myself the main focus. He definitely needs more time to get into his sobriety. He sent me a long text today apologizing about his behavior and told me that he needs time to figure it out. I told him I understood and have just been focusing on work. He asked me to help him with his resume so he could send out some applications. I did help him and he is already getting some call backs. So I'm going to love him from a distance and enjoy my days for now. I have accepted that we had a rough time together and am not going to harp on the "what if's" anymore. It is what it is and there was no way of knowing how the visit would be. I am actually a bit grateful that we had some bad moments because it means neither of us can sugarcoat the issue. He won't try to convince himself or me that he is ready to be in LA again and I know I cannot be convinced. It almost reenforced the choice for him to go out of the state to get well. If he had been in LA, he would have used meth. I am grateful he couldn't get to it that easily and wasn't able to fall into the hole of active addiction again. He jumped right back on the horse and I am happy about that. So still hopeful that he can get well, but I'm letting all my expectations go for now (trying to let them go is a more accurate statement). I know I need to focus on myself and my life. And I'm going to make an active effort to do that.
  • I'm struggling today. I thought that I would be able to pick up and move forward, but this time I feel the lump in my throat that I used to always feel when A is in active addiction. He is teetering towards using and I seem to be the person he calls or texts to try and talk him out of it. I don't want this role, but over the years I have obtained it and now I feel this responsibility to answer his calls and texts even though they leave me feeling drained and sad. He texted me several times on Monday and yesterday. He would go from "Babe, you are the best partner ever... I love you"..... to "I'll be coming back to LA to hang myself off the lankershim overpass on the 101." How do you deal with a partner who is so unstable? How do you let go of someone when you've been there for him for years now? How do you tell him that you can't handle this shit anymore? I keep just ignoring the bad and responding to the good, but it's like I've become this thing that he just spits words to. I feel like a lot of his words don't even have meaning anymore. The good ones and the bad ones. I'm so distraught because I know his instability is not good for me. I sleep poorly and feel like everything will make me cry, yet as I sit here I feel so stuck because I don't want him to relapse. I don't want to not be there when he wants help. I don't want to feel like I left him alone. But a lot of my needs are overlooked and have been for so long that I can hardly even articulate what they are anymore. I'm just feeling so upset today and stagnant. And I'm trying to focus on myself and my wellbeing, but then he send me texts or calls... and I feel completely shattered again. I want to leave, but I feel like I can't. I feel like I'll be letting A down and I'll be letting his poor mother down who is so exhausted and sad all the time. It just is hard to watch and I need there to be a shift. I'm trying to give it time, but how do you let go of someone who has become so reliant on you? How do you let go of someone that you love and care for, but who is this unstable?
  • Oh honey. I feel you. I've been there. Addicts like to blame other people. After reading about your visit, it sounds like he used the night of the fight and was maybe looking for a "reason" to use. Mine totally does that. The littlest thing will set in motion the plans to use.

    He doesn't sound ready to be sober or to be in a relationship with you. And frankly what he is doing is emotional abuse. You don't need that or deserve that.

    The good thing is that he is in another state. I'm not telling you what you should do, but what I would do is not answer every time he contacts you, start phasing it out. I know better than anyone it's so hard not to take the calls or texts from someone you love who is broken. If you aren't ready to cut contact totally, at least taper down and start doing things for you that don't involve him. He has you so wrapped up in his stuff, it's going to suffocate you. Do what you can to keep the apartment, and if you can't afford it look for somewhere else. Even if you do end up together he needs a good long time on his own in sober living before you can live together again, this isn't a 1 month and done situation.

    I answer texts from my (now ex) boyfriend, but only after I take some time to respond and I always respond in a friendly way, but not in a romantic way. I do not go out of my way or change any plans to be in touch with him, he can work around me if he wants to see me. I've gotten the "I'm not going to make it" blah blah blah texts. And seriously if he relapses or goes to jail or even dies it is not your fault. You have done a ton for him and even if you hadn't it is everyone's own responsibility to take care of their side of the street.

    It still really really sucks though, I'm so sorry he is doing this to you.
  • @rachael04... I think @SarahZ has given you some great advice. You have to start invoking some change in your life or your boyfriend and his addiction are going to totally consume you. To be honest, I think you're in pretty deep already, but I think you can still rebound. It won't be easy, but you have to do it in order to save yourself.

    There's a passage from the book Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction that literally saved my life when I finally was able to comprehend it. It took my reading it about 200 times before it clicked, but when it did it was incredibly liberating. I know this passage is about a father and his addicted son, but I think it can apply to you and your boyfriend's addiction as well. Please read this. (And maybe substitute the word "boyfriend" for "son/children"):

    "Like many in my straits, I became addicted to my son's addiction. When it preoccupied me, even at the expense of my responsibilities to my wife and other children, I justified it. I thought, How can a parent not be consumed by his child's life-or-death struggle? But I learned that my preoccupation with Nic didn't help him and may have harmed him. Or maybe it was irrelevant to him. However, it surely harmed the rest of my family--and me. Along with this, I learned another lesson, a soul-shaking one: our children live or die with or without us. No matter what we do, no matter how we agonize or obsess, we cannot choose for our children whether they live or die. It is a devastating realization, but also liberating. I finally chose life for myself. I chose the perilous but essential path that allows me to accept that Nic will decide for himself how--and whether--he will live his life." --David Sheff (from Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction)

    I know this isn't easy. But YOUR life is so important. And if you allow yourself to continue to be subjected to what your boyfriend puts you through, his addiction will claim you as well. You can't be his savior. No matter what you think, you "being there" for him is not going to fix him. Like that paragraph above says, your boyfriend is going to live or die with or without you. No matter what you do, no matter how you agonize or obsess, you cannot choose for your boyfriend whether he lives or dies. Period.

    I'm sorry if anything I said here sounds harsh. I just want you to know that YOU are the only person you have complete control over. And you are also responsible for your own happiness and well-being. When you start letting your happiness and physical/mental health be dependent on your boyfriend's behavior, you are heading for a dark place.

    I've said this numerous times in this forum: I am no expert on relationships. Not by a long shot. I'm just an old guy who's been married for almost 30 years. But I will say this: If I were in your position, I would seriously consider moving on, no matter how painful it might be. I would also block his number, at least for a while. I would force myself to have no contact and see how things go. Because I care too much about me to let someone else have the power to make me miserable.

    I'm sending you TONS of love, light, and hope. And strength, too. Please know that I care about you and want what's best for you. I think everyone else here feels that way, too. You matter, my dear. A lot.
  • I agree with Dean, you need to care for yourself. My current ex isn't my first addict, my ex-husband was a major alcoholic, we loved each other so much. It was the kind of love you only read about. Absolutely besotted with each other. And you know what, when push came to shove, he ended up picking alcohol over me.

    I beat myself up, I cried and languished and messed up my own life because I couldn't believe it. How could that be possible?

    I finally (and I mean finally) it took over a year, let go of him and moved on. And you know what 15 years on he is still a drunk and he still loves and misses me, but he is still a drunk. I still love him, but I love him at a distance, it breaks my heart who he is, but that said he is who he is... and I can't fix it.

    So I truly do understand the not wanting to let go. It was the worst break up of my life, I was miserable alone I was miserable to be around. I was zero fun for a good long while. And when it was time for me (and not a minute before) I was ok again. No matter how many friends, family, people on boards told me otherwise, I didn't believe I should walk away until I was ready to. And then I did, and my life has been good. I think this is why I'm having less trauma about my current break up, because as much as it sucks and hurts, I know I'll be good again someday soon.

    You were awesome before you met him, you are awesome while you are with him and you'll be just as awesome alone. I promise.
  • @SarahZ @DeanD Thank you for your thoughtful responses and I agree with you both completely. I didn't respond right away because it felt like I should respond with a manifesto about how I would leave A and move on, but unfortunately I still don't feel quite ready to do that. I am working on understanding that I have zero control over his actions and am doing work on my end to mitigate my codependency issues. It has been a lot to take in. I am reading Codependency No More and have been doing the little exercises at the end of each chapter. It has opened my eyes with just how codependent I've become and it scares me. How can so much happen right under your nose without even realizing it?
    A few months ago, you could have asked me how I've contributed to the problem and I would have told you quickly that I hadn't. If A got sober - life would be good. But, I see there are a lot of things on my end that I can change for the better. And while I don't think I am ready (just yet) to let A go - I hope I can still come to this forum to vent and be encouraged to make decisions that are healthy for me. I don't think I am too far gone just yet and am hopeful that by making these small strides I can get better. That I can start to make decisions that benefit me and are made simply because of that. I am realizing how much damage this relationship has done and how I can change. And I am excited to see what that looks like for me in the future. It feels less about A and more about me. And that feels good.

    Sidenote: I had a very small victory yesterday. A called and was getting very negative about his work situation. I shut it down and told him I couldn't hear him get super whiney and had to go. He started to text me a few hours later continuing on his whine and I told him that if he just wanted to text me about how "life was shitty... etc." that it wasn't my job to listen. He said that it was my job because I'm with him. And I told him my only job is to do what makes me feel good and listening to him complain didn't do that. And his response was that he was impressed and his entire mood shifted. It was the most stark thing I've seen where if I get better by focusing on myself rather him - then he will take responsibility for his mood. It was empowering and good to see that I did not have to engage in any way. I could disengage and be clear about my feelings.

    Thank you for all the love guys.
  • Update:
    Well a week has gone by since A relapsed. He jumped back on the bandwagon and for that I am thankful, but his mood has been awful and I have mostly kept my distance this week. I helped him with his resume, but that was the extent of my efforts. Today I woke up with a text that read "Rachael - Call me when you get this." I called and his phone was off. In the past this was a sign of a relapse and I chose not to ask or engage. I went out to breakfast with my friend instead and didn't let it consume my thoughts. When I got home - I saw that he had texted me several times telling me that he wanted to come home. That this place wasn't good for him. That one of the guys he befriended in rehab is bothering him. That he didn't like the guys in his sober living. That it is too hard to "start over". And so on. He started to beg to me that he wanted to come home.

    So I responded after careful thought that if he approached the situation as unwillingly as he has so far then of course it will feel like it isn't "right". But, he is an adult who can take responsibilities for his actions and who can make more than capable decisions. However, if he decides to leave the sober living and come home, then I will not be there because I am not ready to have him home and do not think it will be a recipe for success. I reminded him that just last week he told me how fearful he was to come home because he did not want to relapse. I told him also that my mind would not be convinced otherwise and that he needed to do some soul searching because he told me that he didn't want to be with me anymore exactly 1 week ago. I encouraged him to advocate of himself. Stick with the winners and stay away from the losers who are not really trying to stay sober. And to put his sobriety first. But I ended it with that I was no longer in the business of trying to appease him and his comfort level. That if sobriety and our relationship was something he really wanted then he better do everything in his power to nurture it and keep it. He told me he understood and that he would think about everything I said. He is now trying to figure it out. He told me that maybe he can switch sober livings or whatever, but I think without me on board or his mom - he will decide it's more of a pain than just sticking it out and establishing his grounding again. I told his mom what A was telling me and she started to get upset. Started telling me all these things she thought I should say to him like.... "if you buy a house and hate your neighbor - are you just going to leave??" Etc. I texted her back that I wasn't going to engage with him anymore and I said my piece.

    So, today I am proud of myself for my responses to him. They felt a lot less reactionary than they have been in the past. It also is liberating that I cannot control or cure A. It isn't my job and A is more than capable in making the next positive step for himself. And if he doesn't, then so be it. But, I am standing my ground and feel like I clearly set out my opinion and boundaries to him today without being attached to what the outcome may be. The distance from A has been really good for me and the peace of mind I feel when I don't react to A's cries and complaining is freeing.
  • @rachael04... I am sooo proud of you! You are making excellent decisions and starting to focus on YOU instead of A. That's terrific progress, my dear!!! Definitely stand your ground and stick to the boundaries you've set. And keep reading Codependent No More (I'm so happy to hear that it's helping you!).

    Also, please know that you can ALWAYS come to this forum to vent. And we will be more than happy to encourage you to make decisions that are healthy for you. YOUR life is the most important one! Never forget that!!!

    Happy Monday! I hope your week is spectacular! <3
  • You are doing great! I get it, someone who is part of your life is part of your life. But you are the most important part of your life!
  • @rachael04... Hey, just want you to know that I'm sending you a double batch of positive juju this morning!!! Lucky you!!! :)
  • @DeanD @SarahZ Thanks guys!! Could use a little extra positive juju always!

    Things have been mellow these past few days. A figured out another sober living to live in that is also in Austin. So he didn't come back to LA (thank god). I was surprised that he did it himself because he often tries to get me or his mom to handle those kinds of things for him, but I think he got the message that I wasn't going to make an effort. And I'm thankful he didn't ask his mom because she probably would have tried to help him. But, he instead called his sponsor who helped him get into another house and he seems happy. I made sure to give him a lot of praise for problem solving on his own without trying to involve everyone. We have been touching base with one another each day, but mostly just to check in and say hi. I'm not trying to know every aspect of his life anymore and am keeping my efforts pretty limited because I want to focus on me. I get these pangs of loneliness sometimes though, but I've just been trying to fill my time with fun activities and am genuinely trying to make an effort in making myself feel good. Like, I've been exercising for an hour a day, resting, treating myself to massages or manicures when I'm feeling a little worn out, hanging out with friends, etc.. And have been planning these long day hikes with my sister on the weekends because there is really nothing that gets me more out of my own thoughts than intense working out.

    But, there are moments I feel really sad and I think I'm just dealing with all the craziness I've been exposed to these past few years. When you are right smack dab in the middle of it - it feels like you are just chugging along, trying to avert the chaos away while trying to "manage" the situation. It consumes you completely. And now that I am establishing distance and really making myself a priority again - I feel sad that I went through all that. That I didn't get myself out of it earlier. I worry that I will carry it around and push it onto other relationships and experiences that are in my future. I'm trying to just be diligent and really ask myself "What do I want?... Will this serve me?" I've been doing that when it comes to A, when it comes to my own self deprecating thoughts, and when I'm faced with trying situations through the day. It's been helpful, but it definitely takes work and I have to keep reminding myself that even when I feel these pangs of loneliness or sadness - it will pass and doesn't mean that what I am doing now isn't going to make me feel better in the long run. I guess, I'm just trying to find myself again and it's difficult. I just want to feel content and calm. I think it will just take me some time.
  • I've also been trying to say yes to more things. I have isolated myself a lot these past few years. There were too many times that I would plan something with friends or family and I would be blindsided by A's addiction. He would come with me and I would think he was totally fine, but then I'd notice he was in the bathroom for far too long and then he would come out amped up or drowsy. Or we would go out with friends and he would claim he was drinking water and I would find out later that he was actually drunk. I got frustrated by this being surprised aspect and embarrassed when it was in front of friends or family. People would notice and politely try to find an excuse for his strange behavior. I hated lying/being lied to - basically tired of the entire dynamic. So I isolated. Told everyone that I was busy ALL the time, mostly to just go home and be sad/worried about A. So, now I'm just saying yes to all social functions because I am far too isolated and A is far away from me and focusing on himself. I need to get back out there and be social. I am naturally REALLY introverted, but I just have to force myself anyways because I know it will help me in the long run.
  • Great job! It's tough to get out there, but it feels good later. I've been saying yes to everything now I'm too busy. I also signed up for a class that gave me some homework and structure so I couldn't bail on it, if there is something you have had interest in that you have put off now might be a fun time to do that.

    I might be putting off the enviable pain and suffering with making myself over busy, but it beats the heck out of how I have responded to breakups in the past (read some old journals... dang I was hard on myself).

    Keep doing you and enjoying as much as you can... Moments of sad are real and natural, nothing wrong with that!
  • @SarahZ Signing up for a class is a really great idea. And I get what you mean by keeping busy. It really does limit the time available for moping! Thank you for the encouragement!b
  • Hey, @rachael04... I'm so proud of you for taking good care of yourself! And for saying yes to more things! That's awesome!

    It's also great that you gave A some positive reinforcement for taking care of his sober living problem on his own. Giving someone who struggles with addiction positive reinforcement when they do something good is so important. Too often we concentrate on the negative and fail to acknowledge the positive things our loved ones do. So kudos to you for giving him some praise. :)
    Look out, because I'm sending you another truckload of positive juju this afternoon!!!
  • Thanks!!!! @DeanD

    Some thoughts - It's so hard to keep up with A's emotions. This morning we spoke about how he was excited to find some work and he felt good about it. He got another interview and was on his way. He was in good spirits and excited. Then all the sudden I get 15 texts in a row about how he wants to leave Austin. He hates it. Hates this and that, etc. I asked if something happened? His response just continued that he hated it there. I asked if the interview went poorly and he just continued to say the same thing over about how he hates it there. So no clarification as to what brought this on - all he had to say was that now that he is sober - life is harder and that he doesn't get why he's trying so hard. What's the point? He feels shittier now than before... etc. I don't believe any of that, but I felt a little punch in the gut when I read this because I feel like I'm doing a lot of forgiving/forgetting on my end and it's just so hard to hear someone you care about say that kind of stuff. Anyways, I responded saying that it sounded like he needed to call his sponsor and talk out his feelings and that the drugs are what brought him to this position in the first place. He said he talked to him and I asked if he felt better and all he says is "sure". So, I guess I'm just going to keep my distance and let him come to me whenever he feels like it. My impulse is to coddle him, but I know that is just my old dynamics trying to get me hooked back in.
  • @rachael04 true, coddling him won't do him any good. might make you feel better for the moment, but ultimately, he's gotta come to terms with some things...and take responsibility for his emotions... glad he is willing to work with his sponsor. there could be so many factors going on with him and i know change takes time and effort...

    meanwhile, you keep practicing self-care.... focusing on you and your life. :)
  • Keep keeping your distance, @rachael04. And no coddling! Let him work things out for himself. That's part of recovery. Learning to be independent and taking care of your own business. You can't control him. But you can control YOU. So put yourself at the top of your priority list and do what you can to make YOUR life as good as it can be!

    Happy Friday! Happy weekend!! :)
  • @DeanD You are absolutely right. Thanks for reinforcing my choice to step back.
  • @rachael04... Even my wife will admit that I'm right every once in a while! ;)
  • Update:
    On Friday, A called me and did the same frantic conversation (mostly him screaming in high pitch tones over the phone) - that he didn't want to be in Texas anymore and that he was coming back whether I wanted him to or not. I said, "Sounds like you made a choice already - I'll let you know how I feel about it after I think a little." He didn't like my calmness. He freaked out some more and hung up on me. I just disengaged completely. I was working and needed to focus. His meltdown wasn't for me to overanalyze.

    Later, Friday evening he texted me apologizing. Said that he just feels so uncomfortable all the time. Wants to do the right thing, but is having a really hard time and that he was going to just try to relax and focus solely on recovery. He's been trying to find work, but he doesn't have a car and has been offered several jobs only to find out after the fact that they are all about 25-30 miles away from him. He allows those kind of things to really rock his world, so I think his choice to just stop and focus instead on recovery is a good one. He has enough money saved up to keep him comfortable for a while. He said he makes money his higher power if he's not being careful. So, it sounds like he's making a decent effort.

    I completely relaxed this weekend. I didn't hang out with anyone Friday evening or Saturday. I didn't have small talk in me and while I love my friends - I am an introvert at heart and needed to stay home and recharge. I did a lot of yoga and reading. On Sunday, I went on a long hike with my sister and it was a lot of fun and really beautiful. When I got back - I had this feeling that something was wrong with A. My heart fluttered. I called and he was being really short with me. I had a bit of an emotional breakdown because I felt those feelings I haven't felt for months - where there was something going on and he wasn't being honest. I spoke to his mom and she calmed me down. I think I stressed her out though because I was so sure something was wrong. A texted me early yesterday morning and said that one of the guys he was hanging with was secretly drinking. When they got back to the house - the manager noticed and questioned the guy and A for a long time. It was determined that A wasn't involved and the guy was kicked out. This guy went to rehab with A and is a nice guy - I met him when I went to visit A, but I noticed they were developing quite the codependent relationship with one another. It was interesting for me to see because I had been reading a ton about codependency and I was watching A do these caretaker tendencies with his friend. I warned A and he acknowledged it, but A wasn't able to set very clear boundaries. But, now that his friend is kicked out of the sober living - A said he is relieved to have him gone. I told A that it was up to him to keep his distance and left it at that.

    I'm having a hard time not being super preachy lately though. I can feel my need to control trying to take over so I'm writing you guys to try and check myself. I know I have zero control over A or his choices. I also know that I really need to continue to attend meetings, continue to do exercises on codependency, and continue to do things on my day to day to ensure I make healthy choices. It just takes a lot of work and sometimes those old feelings come up in full force and are hard to overcome. I don't want to feel a need to take on anyone's problems and yet I do for A. I am trying not to anymore and need to disengage in the unhealthy behaviors and dynamics I've allowed to go on for so long now. As I continue in my codependency work - I can see how all my previous long term relationships were sprinkled in codependency too and how I allowed my choices of these men to be based on the fact that I could "help" them. It's all pretty wild once you can label what these relationships were and pinpoint why they didn't work. Anyways, now I'm rambling. Trying my best to put my best foot forward.
  • @rachael04... Thanks for the update. Sure, A is uncomfortable in his current situation. Because early recovery IS uncomfortable. He just has to buckle down and focus on himself and staying clean and sober. That should be his primary "job" right now.

    I have to tell you I'm super proud of you. You're making wonderful progress, and even though you may be having those "need to control" feelings again, you're recognizing them and you know that you have to put them in check. Coming here and telling us about how you've been feeling is a good way to check yourself. Use us for accountability anytime!!! That's why we're here!!!

    Keep going to meetings. Keep working on your codependency issues. And keep making healthy choices. Put YOU first, always. Let A concentrate on A. And Rachael concentrate on Rachael.

    Always here for you. And no need to apologize for rambling. You are welcome to get everything off your chest anytime you need to!

    Hugs and hope coming your way.
  • @DeanD Thank you for the CONSTANT love and support. Your presence on this forum has been soooo helpful for me. Thank you for being so responsive. I truly appreciate it and thank you for your kind your words. You continually reinforce the positive choices I am trying to make and I definitely need that support right now.
  • A will not let up on wanting to come home. It is what every conversation we have is about. I am so worn out. Yesterday I told him I needed a break on the subject and he grew angry. This morning he called me in a state of panic - he screamed that he hated himself and wanted to die. That he was sorry. Then he hung up. He did the same kind of phone call to his mother. I feel paralyzed with fear and sadness now. I hate this disease. I'm trying to step back, to trust that things will go the way they should, and I understand I have no control. But, moments like these are so trying and fill me with such dread. I feel like I am just waiting for the phone call that he either relapsed, has disappeared, or is dead. I loathe this disease.
  • @rachael04 I'm sorry to hear things aren't going that great with A. What you are going through feels very familiar. My son who is an addict has made similar comments while in treatment. And also threats similar to what you are talking about. I found he usually starts talking like that when people are not playing into his games and drama. It was always a desperate attempt to get what he wants and to draw someone into his shit, and get what he wants. I don't know about A and what he is capable of, but unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it. He might be seeing you aren't going to get sucked back in to all of his issues and now he is going to get more dramatic. I would keep doing what you are doing, and if by chance he would leave there and come home and resume his using, I would seriously consider being done with the relationship. This could go on for years. I hope everything works out.
  • @rachael04... You are in a difficult position, for sure. I have to say, like @tiredmom, I have had my addict son threaten suicide countless times. I think it's something addicts do to manipulate their loved ones. One thing is for sure: Addicts love drama. By the way, I'm not saying his talk about wanting to be dead isn't real, though. If you're concerned about that, I suggest you contact the people in charge of where A is staying and let them know what he's said. Just a thought.

    I'm sending you more strength and hope. Focus on yourself. And if you are firmly agains him coming home, let him know that the next time he brings it up. You have every right to establish boundaries that are acceptable to you. And if A doesn't respect those boundaries, then you may need to move on.
  • @tiredmom @DeanD

    I definitely know that his reaction is due to not getting what he wants. I think he wants me and his mom to openly accept him to come home, but neither of us are letting up and it's pissing him off. I am having a hard time because I can understand his frustration. Things aren't working out quite as well as he anticipated. Not having a car is hard in Texas (I'm from there and taking ubers around can get really expensive). The friends he went to rehab with are struggling and he is having a hard time connecting with people at the sober living. I know he is feeling like a loser not having a job and is obsessing over his savings being used while he is there. I can understand the pressure and the frustration. And I have been trying to tell him that and trying to talk to him about what an alternative plan could look like if he choses to leave. However, A just screams and yells about his situation and hangs up pretty much every time I try to respond. He then accuses me of not being there for him or on his team. Then will say a slew of mean things to me to get me to react. Sometimes I do and other times I don't. Today, he texted me saying all these things about why Texas wasn't working and I tried to respond, but he gave me the same reaction. Hung up and angrily texted me about how I'm not a friend and that he was done, etc. I told him I'm trying to respond and you aren't giving me the space to do that. No response other that he was done talking to me and that he thought i was self righteous. I said okay, should we just be done with this relationship and move on then? Because you don't think I'm hearing you and I don't think you're hearing me. He stopped responding.

    I want him to be somewhere he can thrive and I get his arguments about it not working in Texas, however the thought was to keep him away from a place he knows where to get drugs super easily until he has some more will power. Preferably with 3 months off meth. He has one more month until that 3 month mark. I want him to hang tight, but his constant discomfort and anger is standing in the way. I am going to stop responding until he tries calmly to speak to me. I don't have all the answers - I just want things to work out differently this time. He is like a little kid throwing a tantrum most of the time and he will say the things that he knows will hurt my feelings the most. It's obnoxious and inconsiderate. I am just trying to stay calm and move forward. I am trying to give him a chance to prove himself before I break things off with him. I feel incredibly close to just calling it quits and moving on. I am holding on my a thread. I don't want to abandon him during this hard time. He is obviously facing a lot of internal demons. I think time is what I have to give it.
  • I think giving it some time is a good thing, @rachael04.
  • @rachael04 He is putting you in a tough situation. You are describing the exact behavior I have had to deal with. They don't want to talk. They don't want to figure out an option. They want what they want and basically just do alot of screaming. My son does the EXACT same thing. When I try to speak, he would just hang up and not hear anything I wanted to say. This behavior was never a good sign. He would get home and it wouldn't be long before he got the drugs in his hands. At times like these it almost seemed impossible to come up with a reasonable and rational solution. They get into a mindset that is so full of drama and manipulation, you start to question what is the right thing to do or not do. My son had a million reasons why he should come home. The place wasn't nice enough. The people were influencing him in a bad way. He could do better at home. People were using there, bla bla bla! Try to hang tough because each time I caved, it was just more of the same old bullshit.
  • @tiredmom @DeanD
    Yes, you are absolutely right. And I have heard this all before from him and have almost always caved because he brings on good points and is so irrationally persistent that I think exhaustion comes into play. For me and for his mom. I am going to take some days away and let him figure it out. If he books a flight home and tries to come to our apartment then we'll see how that goes. He doesn't have a key so that is good. There's no way of knowing, but I genuinely think that if he comes back under these circumstances he will use instantly. He is attempting to manipulate the situation and I think he has gotten so good at it that he is also manipulating his own thoughts. So, I'm done engaging and not going to spend anymore energy on it. He can say pretty much anything, but at this point his behavior makes it so clear that he is not rational nor is thinking in a way that will better his sobriety, but rather in a way so he can continue the same old bullshit that got him into this mess in the first place.

    I do think he knows that if he uses again - the implications and consequences will be significantly greater than they have been in the past. And I think that is making him angry too. So, we will see. But, I'm done with his emotional abuse and name-calling, etc. - enough is enough, you know. He is a grown man and can figure it out. I'm done being guilted into decisions I'm not prepared to make and disagree with. Thank you guys for your input and helping me gain some perspective again! When faced with chaos it is hard not to go automatically to the old reactions and thinking I've been doing for years now.
  • @rachael04... I hope your weekend has been decent. I agree with you: Enough is enough. No one should have to put up with emotional abuse and name-calling, especially from their partner. YOU are the most important person in your world. Always. Never ever forget that.
  • Well, yesterday I got the full truth. A told me on Friday that he couldn't stay in Austin anymore and that he knew he would relapse if he stayed. The people he knew there were all using and he felt unsafe. His mom begged me to agree for him to come home and book him a flight. I did. Yesterday morning, I got a text from his sister that he was calling/texting her angrily saying horrible things to her while at the airport in Austin. That's when I had a feeling he had used. He becomes sporadic and angry. So, I went to the airport to pick him up like we had arranged despite not hearing whether he got on the flight or not - not really knowing what to expect. I waited for him and he had made his flight and looked sober when I saw him. We had a nice greeting and were happy to see each other, but I felt skeptical and I knew he could feel it. So we got to the car and he started getting incredibly worked up while talking about his experiences in Austin. How the people he thought were friends weren't and that he was miserable, etc. I told him that I really couldn't hear him be super negative and that I needed us to be able to figure this out calmly if we were going to somehow make it work. He seemed to agree, but he made a comment that made me realized that he used. I asked and he told me that he used once earlier in the week and then stayed at a motel instead of the sober living for the last 2 days. I was under the impression that he was at a motel just on Friday night and that he was sober. He said he called and begged me because if he stayed in Austin he would continue to use. So, now here I am. His mom and sister asked me to try and keep the situation calm while figuring out the best plan for him now that he is back. But, I am just freaking out. Yesterday, I managed to calm the situation. We went to dinner and to bed very early. Today, we went to the beach and I told him that we could talk about what's next this evening. On the way home from the beach - we started arguing. He suggested that he could work for Lyft so his schedule could be flexible for iop and meetings and I agreed. I asked if it was a lucrative gig. He took that as me saying that I was embarrassed that he wanted to do that for work and that I was making fun of him... I told him he was projecting and I don't feel that way. He then stormed into the house and went to bed. I am just now feeling confused and already defeated. I asked him if he wanted to look into the Lyft thing and he said no. He is shunning his mom and sister. They are begging me to try and manage the situation and now I am feeling like I am in way over my head. I probably shouldn't have managed the situation this way, but I think he would have died if he had stayed in a motel in Austin for very long. I don't want to enable and I don't want to be manipulated. I feel like I am just waiting to see how this goes. And there are moments I feel okay and trusting that we can get A into a sober living here and into an IOP, but then I have moments that I think he is just going to disappear and use. I'm just feeling many emotions and my worrying is coming back. I am attempting to just breath, focus on me and the things I've been doing these past 2 months that have made me healthier, and see how this cookie crumbles. But, this situation is reminding me why I've always tried with A over and over again and I hate how stuck it makes me feel. A told me bits and pieces of the truth to get himself back home. I am angry at him for using, but I am happy that he made the conscious choice to get out of there. But, this situation is so hard because then I wonder if I am just being manipulated again into thinking that him being home is better than him sabotaging his time in Austin. I just feel very overwhelmed. I feel myself starting to question my intuition so much so that I can't even gauge what to believe anymore. I don't want to be in this position anymore, yet I feel immobile. I don't know how to explain it, but I just needed to vent.
  • @rachael04 I'm sorry to hear what you are going through right now. That is too bad that things didn't work out differently in Austin. But what is really a shame is that there are two other enablers of his that pressure you to enable him further!! His mother and sister! You are NOT his manager of all his messes and situations! This would probably have happened whether he was at home or in Austin. So now he is going to complain about other people who he thought were his friends. Who cares if they were his friends or not. He wasn't in Austin to make friends! He was there to work on his sobriety! And he used and just manipulated you, his sister, and mother. He came home because most likely he used and knew he couldn't go back to the sober living home because they would know and throw him out. The fact he was in the motel before he knew he was coming home is proof. So how much longer do you want to be his fixer. I'm sure his mother can't cope with his problems, so how convenient you will take care of that for everyone. He had no problem whining and involving his mother and sister when he wanted to come home, but now he is shunning them??!! This is so typical of the types of manipulating tactics an addict uses. All the screaming. Name calling. Blaming. Begging. Anger. Persistence until you want to pull your own hair out and you give in to them because you can't take it anymore! Your life is going to go right back to where it was before he left. You should accept nothing less than him going directly to another facility. This is just what they do. They screw it all up and within no time you are back to the same old things. You owe him nothing. You owe yourself everything. He needs to get it together or you need to seriously get away from the insanity of it all. Wishing you peace and strength. Please take care of yourself first.
  • @tiredmom thank you for writing all that.... it's spot on!!

    @rachael04 this is one reason it's so important for you to have solid support...whether that's a counselor, support group, here, etc. b/c you can easily get duped into being the "fixer" or "rescuer" and that's not your responsibility.

    start thinking about firm, firm boundaries.... and know that should you decide to cut ties permanently, you're not a bad person.... but a wise person.
  • @rachael04... I'm sorry you're going through this. Again. You don't deserve this. I agree with @dominica that you need as much support as you can get. What about meetings or seeing a therapist?

    I know you're struggling right now, but I just want to remind you of that old definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You need to set up firm boundaries, like Dominica said. And you have to remember to put YOURSELF first. You are not A's savior. And you can't fix him. Just keep that in mind, okay?

    Sending love, light, hope, and hugs your way this morning. We're all here for you. Come and vent anytime. <3
  • @DeanD @tiredmom @dominica

    Thank you guys for the support and you are all absolutely correct. And I am really upset with how things are right now. A's mom is wonderful, but is an absolute enabler and his sister learned from her. I am enabling him too and I feel upset about it. I have a meeting in 10 minutes for Naranon and a codependency one on Thursday. No therapist. A is home and the truth continues to unravel. I have set clear cut boundaries with him now that we are in this predicament and he has told me what he says is the "full truth". I have drug tests and I told him that this was it for me. I am testing him on Thursday (exactly a week from when he supposedly last used) and will kick him out if it is dirty. A went to Texas in the first place because his insurance does not cover much in California, so now we cannot get him into an IOP without spending obscene amounts of money. Same issue with the sober living. This was the problem before he left too. He seemed to forget that and I did too when he was bargaining with me and I panicked. I feel stupid for trying this again and I absolutely know it is insane. I told his mom that this was it for me too. If he uses - he's out and I'm done. He is currently at an AA meeting and I told him if he couldn't get into an IOP then he needed to vigorously do the program. I am giving it a few days. I really do feel like an idiot being here in this situation again. The difference this time is that I am going to let him go if he strays again. I cannot continue to live in this situation and I am done talking about it. I feel pressured on a lot of ends here to stay and I am not quite healthy enough to cut him off. But, I am telling you guys this because I want to be held accountable and do something about this mess rather than contribute to it. I told him we are roommates right now that need to coexist until he either focuses on sobriety or I can find another place to live. Not an ideal situation, but I didn't see another option in the moment. I was manipulated into thinking this was another scenario despite knowing that this is exactly what A does when he uses and is trying to not face the consequences. I'm really feeling icky and tired. I'm about to head into the meeting, but thank you all for the honesty and the clearheadedness of the outside perspective that I need. I really appreciate you all.
  • @rachael04... I wanted to share something with you that may be helpful.

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a "Treatment Locator" tool on their website. Here's the link:

    If you plug your zip code in and do a search, it will give you a list of treatment facilities/programs in your area. If you click on the "More Information" that accompanies those listings, it will give you information on whether or not they have low-cost or no-cost treatment available. It will also tell you if the place offers a "sliding fee scale," which adjusts their fee based on your ability to pay. You may want to check it out. There could be an IOP available that could be affordable for A.

    I'm glad to hear that you've told A that this is it for you. I hope he doesn't give you reason to leave, but at least if he does you've made your intentions very clear.

    I'm also proud of you for going to Nar-Anon (how was last night's meeting?). And that you're going to a codependency meeting tomorrow. These are things that help YOU, and that's a wonderful thing.

    More love, light, and hope coming in your direction, my dear. We are here for you and we care! <3
  • @rachael04 Thank you for the update. I'm super glad to hear that you're going to meetings and you're doing the work for yourself. As I'm sure you know it's necessary so that you don't go mad. That's great that you've set some firm boundaries and are willing to back them up.

    I bet you are feeling worn out, but I think the more that you practice self-care, you'll be able to feel more refreshed and clear-headed. And we really appreciate you too!
  • @dominica @DeanD
    Thank you guys! I am looking into the site now and it has already showed me a bunch of other IOP options that I haven't heard of so I am going to do some research today! Thank you for that awesome tool. Also, thanks for the love guys. I need it extra today! I will be giving an update once I test tomorrow and see what the deal is with A. I will continue to take care of myself. Go to meetings and remind myself constantly that I have no control over A. If he choses to use - then that's on him and not me. We had a good talk yesterday and my approach this time has been significantly calmer than it ever has been in the past. I told him that I am struggling with this dynamic and cycle. I refuse to go back to how it was before he went to rehab and if he wants to continue on - then to not expect me to stick around. He seemed to get it and it was interesting to see how much more receptive he was when I was just speaking rather than screaming my feelings. Seems like this would obvious, but before I would get so infuriated and feel so out of control that screaming was all I could do. Now, I am looking at this as his choice and not getting my fears and worries involved. I love him, but am not going to get back into this mess the way I did before. If he wants it - he can go and get it.
  • @rachael04 Hey, that's a really good thing you are going to meetings. I always want to hope for the best for everyone, including the addicts themselves, but I think you should do everything possible to prepare yourself for the possibility that you have to let him go. Don't feel stupid because he is back and you are having to do this again. Addicts are master manipulators, and even though we think we have things under control, they can still manage to get to us. Anyway, I am hoping he can get it together for your sake, but the way everything transpired in Austin, it is my feeling this might not be the end of A using. So you keep taking care of yourself so you can be strong and make the break if it comes to that. Can you imagine having a life like this for possibly years and years? Life has its difficulties without addiction. You never get ahead when you are living with an addict. You might take one step forward but they will take you two steps back. Can you imagine having this life if you have children. One person can't do it all. I don't know your age. I'm guessing you are still young. Life is short. Time passes quickly. We all deserve happiness. So my advice to you would be Do not accept this life you are having to live while being with an addict. If A doesn't take you seriously enough or doesn't want to stay clean, you need to walk.
  • I'm glad the SAMHSA site gave you some information that might be helpful, @rachael04. I hope the research you do proves fruitful.

    Keep practicing self-care, my friend. You deserve it!
  • @rachael04 i'm super glad you are practicing self-care.... that's the best thing you can do for YOU at this point... and as always, know that we are here.
  • @DeanD @dominica @tiredmom
    Hey Guys,
    Thank you for the endless support. And I absolutely agree with your post @tiredmom. And I appreciate the candidness and your willingness to really push for me to remember that my life is the absolute priority. I am young. I'm 27 years old and still have so much in front of me. I want to ensure that I am living my happiest life. I have been attending meetings and reading books that have helped me while A was away. I have continued this routine. A has had to adjust and I think he is noticing that I am not willing to change just to make things more convenient for him. I have been looking to this forum and to the meetings when I am feeling overwhelmed and crazy again. I get in modes where I start to obsess about A, but I am recognizing the behavior and doing little things that I know help me to feel better so I can stop the obsession. I tested A today and he is clean. He also was offered a job today and starts on Monday. I told him the ball is in his court, but that I am not sticking around if he goes back to using. I will make that choice if/when he goes back. I have no patience for this anymore. So far - he hasn't strayed and I am thankful. But, my guard is still very much up and it feels like since he left and I recognized how peaceful my life becomes without his chaos - I am unwilling to ever go back to that mode. Like once I truly recognized how unhealthy I had become - I vow to never let myself get to that state again. And when I feel like I am veering towards that direction - I have to do adamant amounts of self-care. I deserve to be taken care of and if A can't provide me that - then I am 100 percent fine with cutting him off. I feel like I have done all I can do at this point.
  • @rachael04 glad he got a job! i hope this works out for him. and that he tested clean. good stuff!

    you have learned some valuable lessons..glad you're implementing them into your life. good for you!
  • @rachael04... The last part of your post really shows me how far you've come:

    I deserve to be taken care of and if A can't provide me that - then I am 100 percent fine with cutting him off. I feel like I have done all I can do at this point.

    You should print that out and stick it in your wallet or purse so you can look at it often.

    Happy Friday, my dear. I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend. And that things keep going well. :)
  • @rachael04 That is really good news that A got a job. Hopefully that will make him feel good about himself and could also be a motivator to do the right things. And I am really glad for you that you are doing so much for yourself. It takes hard work, but you are doing it! And I am especially happy to hear you say that if things don't change, you will be fine. I remember being 27. I wish I could go back to that age knowing what I know now. I would have done so many things differently. Here is a crazy story. I married at 18. After having a baby 2 1/2 years later, I decided I didn't want to take care of two children. (the baby AND my husband). So I left him and filed for divorce. He was an alcoholic and frequent pill user and it was a nightmare trying to take care of baby while dealing with his shit. Fast forward 4 years later. He had given up alcohol and he and his family convinced me he was doing well, he had not drank for almost a couple of years. He was living in another state and was sending me letters regularly begging me for another chance. Being young and naive I eventually went back to him and left my home state to give it a try. When I got there he was not drinking. But he didn't look very healthy. He said it was because he worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. I believed him. I never saw or smelled alcohol so I thought things were fine. Well after a whole lot of craziness and a whole lot of lies, one of his family members told me he was using Meth! I didn't even know what that was. That was not a drug that was available on the east coast where I was from. This was almost 30 years ago and it was all over the west coast. I won't bore you with all the details but it was an absolute freaking nightmare. The people he was associating with were the most hideous people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. I could probably write a damn book on my experiences when I was there. It was so bad and so scary I had to take myself and my child to a woman's shelter just so I could think what my next move was to get myself out of the situation. That was at 27 years old. Honestly, if I could go back to that time I would never have went back to him. For many reasons that one decision has had an effect on my life, still today. If I could do it all again I wouldn't spend one minute with someone who is an addict. Addiction as you probably know is a lifelong struggle. You can be clean one year and using the next. And if that happens your whole world turns upside down. For me personally I would never take that chance. I don't want to be Miss Negative, but I just want to give you something to think about should things not end up going well with your situation with A. So I think it is great you are working so hard to take care of yourself, because as you already know, it is pretty hard not to get sucked back into the insanity! You're doing a great job ! And I am glad you don't mind my candidness. I can't help myself in that area. Lol. Hope your day is a good one.
  • hi @rachael04 sorry you are going thru this. You are worthy of happiness, true soulmate love & peace in your life. Relationships should be easy (with some disagreements of course, however both people respect each other and they work through the situation) and your partner should enhance your life.
    I also find it shocking the way his mom and sister behave. I'm sorry you have that to deal with as well.
    I am amused that you are the age I was when I left my ex of 5 Years.... You sound the way I felt, just totally done and defeated. It still was so friggen hard... I had even tried leaving him a month earlier and he sucked me back in. The day I left, I basically had 2 ppl holding me accountable and to be totally honest, I may not have gone through with it if they weren't there.
    I went to the gym, it was a Saturday. I took a phone call, a couple minutes into the call he asks, "Have you moved out yet?" I was taken aback. No one had ever been so direct about it to me before. "No" "Ok, well why don't you go home, pack a bag and call me when you have left." I replied "Ok" "Ok, talk to you in a few hours. Bye" I was trembling, I felt like I was going to get sick, and I then called my colleague who offered me a place to stay if I ever needed it one day prior. She picked me up, drove to my apartment, shut off the engine and said "I'll wait here for you. I walked into our apartment that I paid rent on, told him I was leaving, Packed a suitcase and left.
    Do u have at least one person who could be your support if this is truly it?
    Some addicts decide one day to quit, and that's it, they never look back.
    Some addicts take a while.... relapse, recover multiple times, and sometimes switch to a different substance then end up quitting.
    Some addicts just never quit. They may say they want to stop, they may go to treatment, they may convince you they are changed... but in the end it continues. I don't know if A falls under a version of the second or third, but his behaviour makes me think the third, at least right now. I hope for yours and his sake that he is truly ready and wanting to stop... and if not, you are able to move on without looking back.

    Sending you love :heart:

    Oh ps, you said you are having difficulties trusting your intuition .... I was curious why you feel that way? Is it difficult recognizing the feelings?
  • @tiredmom @blueorchid @DeanD @dominica
    sorry..marathon post..
    Hey guys,
    I honestly am so appreciative of your responses and the love I feel from complete strangers over the internet. It is such a wonderful feeling knowing I have people who are on my side and cheering for me to make the best decisions. To answer @blueorchid's question about why I have had a difficult time trusting my intuition is because I think during the madness - I didn't quite realize how in depth I had gotten. Not until after the fact. After A left and we didn't have a lot of contact - I remember I initially panicked. I felt empty and honestly really surprised by my reaction. This profound sense of loneliness overwhelmed me. I felt so out of touch with myself. As if the curtain had finally had risen and I was able to see every time I had been manipulated into thinking A was sober, every time I spent nights driving around trying to find him, and ever time I forgave A for his actions. All against my better judgment. It was the first time in my relationship with A that I saw everything for what it really was. A sick man who wanted someone to stand behind him even if he wasn't ready to stop. I cannot be that person. But, in the moment I think I would get so panicked by the chaos that I went against my intuition over and over again.

    For example, I wrote about A's overdose in another forum. But that day - I went to get my nails done with one of my girlfriends and when I got home it was very clear that A had used heroin. I left and went to sleep at a house that I was dogsitting. A was supposed to come with me, but once I saw he was using I left and didn't want to be a part of it. But, he called me and cried. And I told him to come to me and I would watch him until the morning - until he could get help. That was the night he overdosed. I took a shower and when I came out he was purple, with foil and a straw hanging out of his mouth. I screamed, punched him, and called 911. They had me do CPR on him. I remember feeling like it wasn't real. Like I was some actress in a movie. Like I was a fly on the wall. Anyways, they revived him and took him to the hospital. I continually think about what if I had trusted my intuition to stay away that night. I would have come to my apartment the next morning to him dead. After he overdosed and went to the hospital, his mom took him home and got him into a sober living the next day and into IOP. It obviously didn't stop him and then came the treatment center and then his time in Austin. I want to protect him so badly and I know that I cannot take over his life. I think my time away from him reminded me that no matter how desperately I want to control A, I will never have that power. And I think the separation made him realize that he has to actively push for this sobriety day in and day out because it isn't anyone else's job.

    I know that my intuition is incredibly strong and is always right, I just fear that my want to protect A from his addiction has taken the responsibility he feels for his own actions away. Now that he is back in my life on a regular basis - I am taking this opportunity to make it very clear that he no longer can rely on other people to try and save him. That he has to adamantly want it and strive for it day in and day out. I don't have anyone in my day to day life that I feel very comfortable talking to about all of this. The only people are A's mom and sister - but it is very clear that their main incentive is to keep A alive and preferably with me so I can tend to him. It isn't about me, but rather about A's wellbeing. I initially took this hard when I realized this because I care about the both of them a lot, but now that I have taken a little time to reflect, I get it. A is a son and brother to them. I cannot heal them or expect them to encourage me to leave A so I can be happier. I have to find a different person to talk to. To hold me accountable.

    I have one friend that I was initially very honest with during my relationship with A, but she would respond in a way that made me feel increidbly judged and stupid for trying. And maybe it is stupid and even pointless, but her demeanor really turned me off. I want to talk to someone who gets why I am having such a hard time detaching and leaving. Who gets why I really want this to work, but also can help me move on if I have to. I haven't found that person yet. Hoping as I continue meetings - that a person like that will come and I can create a support system around me rather than be only focused on A having a support system. Anyways, I'm trying to make the next best choices and I know that a future with A as he is right now, is grim and unacceptable. If he shifts - then hallelujah. But, if he doesn't I genuinely hope I do not take it upon myself again to try and be his savior. That has been to both mine and his detriment. I have to let him face the music - if he decides to go back. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for the honesty. This addiction thing is so hard. Feels so endless sometimes and I know that what is meant to be will be. I might as well do things that make me happier and healthier. Stop letting myself live in a state of worry and hopelessness. And instead trust that everything is going the way it is supposed to - even if that doesn't reflect what I expected or thought I wanted.
  • @rachael04 Every word you said hits home with me. My son uses heroin and it is incredibly difficult to know what to do and not do. Like you I struggle with detaching from his problems. I have been through this previously with his father and it took quite a long time for me to let go. For me it has been 10 times harder, because my son is my son. It is so much harder when it is your child. At least that has been my experience. My son has overdosed several times. Three of those times I performed cpr. You are right. It's like being in some movie or something. It's so surreal. While I was performing CPR, I wasn't even sure if he was dead or alive. The panic I felt was overwhelming. The fear was overwhelming. I think I have ptsd now. When he uses now my fear turns to anger. There have been times when I am so angry and fed up with him I actually think I don't care what happens to him! I'm tired of this, but that feeling passes and then I am just concerned again. With addiction I have found that no matter what you do, it doesn't mean they will change. I have devoted the last 10 years fighting for my son to get well. And I have fought against many other people who have been involved with my son and his drug use. Living and loving an addict whether it is your partner or child is probably the hardest thing a person can deal with. No matter what you do you may not be able to save him from himself. I struggle with that thought on a regular basis. I worry about my son, that he may die. There have been so many fatal overdoses in my area. Some were people we knew well. I know I am getting older and my ability to cope with it all is not what it used to be. There is going to come a day where I have to decide if I am going to save myself if I can't save him. If he doesn't want to change, then it is his choice. I need to find a way to live with that. I know I am sometimes harsh with the advice I give, but I hate to see a young girl throw her life away because of their partner and his problems. Sometimes I feel I have no choice but to deal with my son, because I don't want him bothering and upsetting my elderly mother and my daughter who he seems to lean on and want things from. It is pretty difficult all the way around. I am glad you seem to be getting much more insightful regarding your feelings and actions. And especially that you are seeing the reality of the situation and relationship. And I understand how easy it is to feel confused in times of crisis and chaos. We are only human and the stress can rattle our brains. I hope everything is going well for you this weekend.
  • @rachael04 It's good to hear that you're doing some digging and exploring some of your emotions under the surface. You have definitely made progress since you first came to this forum and I'm super happy about that. I'm also glad that you're not letting yourself continually live in a state of worry or hopelessness. Understanding that you only have control over yourself, and that can be such a freeing feeling when we know that we're only responsible for ourselves. I hope that you have an incredible week!
  • @rachael04... Your post made me think of that paragraph from the Beautiful Boy book I shared with you a few weeks ago. Remember that A is going to live or die with or without you. No matter what you do, no matter how you agonize or obsess, you cannot choose for A whether he lives or dies. That's just reality.

    I'm glad you're doing some soul-searching and thinking hard about stuff. That's really great. I hope you will eventually get to a point where you can feel a bit more free.

    Sending hugs and hope.
  • @DeanD I just saw an advertisement on tv. I didn't catch it all, but I believe there is a movie coming out called Beautiful Boy. Have you heard anything about it? And thanks for the mention of my brother. He is truly a wonderful and loving person and does all the right things in life. He is a saint!
  • @tiredmom... Yes! The Beautiful Boy movie is based on the book and it's supposed to be fabulous! Here are a couple of trailers:

  • Omg! @DeanD It looks like it is going to be a good movie, but I am teared up just watching the trailers. I would need to take a box of Kleenex or buy it on tv.
  • @tiredmom... Right??? As I frequently tell people, Beautiful Boy is probably the best book I've ever read. Can't wait to see the movie.
  • @DeanD I am an avid reader. I think I'm actually addicted to reading. I have to read everything every day. These posts, world news, books, anything in front of me. I have always loved to read. What should I be reading first? Beyond Addiction or Beautiful Boy?
  • @tiredmom... Read Beyond Addiction first, because it’s full of helpful advice and information. Beautiful Boy is one father’s story of his son’s addiction. It’s great, too, but Beyond Addiction is like an owner’s manual for parents of addicted kids, and that’s a great thing.
  • Hey guys, so quick update. Here I am, expecting A to come home from a meeting. But his phone is no longer on and I have a deep gut feeling that he used today. I am dog sitting at someone else's home so I went to our apartment to see if he was there and he wasn't. I called/texted but no response and now his phone is off. No tears - just deep seeded exhaustion from this same old scenario. I told his mom and she told me that she has no ideas as to what to do anymore. She said he made his choice and we'll see what happens. I told her that I couldn't be in this relationship anymore and she told me she understood. She told me I could stay at her house until I figured out another living situation. I am dog sitting until Wednesday. I sent A a text telling him I hoped we could figure out logistically what to do with our apartment, but that I could no longer do this. So, now here I am. Feeling defeated. I am praying that he lives through this. His drug of choice is meth, but he messes with all drugs and has overdosed many many times. So, I am hoping he doesn't tonight but I have no idea what I can do to prevent it. I know I can't stop him from using. It's sad. All I can hear now are the endless paramedic sirens that I'm sure happen every night, but now I am just thinking A is in one of them. Or worse - around no one and dead. Ugh, I hope this disease doesn't take him. I hope he lives. I hope he gets past this. But, I am defeated and I am leaving. Will continue to write to keep me strong and steadfast in my decision.
  • @rachael04 So sorry this is happening. I know how and what you might be feeling. It's after 1:00 a.m. and I am still awake because I have nervous anxiety. I am going through the same thing with my son and this is truly a terrible thing to live with. My son was doing very well, but in the last month he is backsliding and using and it is becoming more and more frequent. I know how hard it is to think of them possibly losing their life. I had to do CPR three different times on my son. He has come close to death in so many different ways I swear he is the man of 100 lives! But I worry some day his luck is going to run out. If he were anyone but my son I would throw him to the streets and leave him to his own demise. That is how sickening and miserable this addiction shit is. There may come a time when I even toss him out and just give up. My son uses heroin and will use other drugs on occasion if that is what is available. Meth is one of the most hideous drugs out there in regards to how mentally strange people can become on it. When I was with my first husband he was addicted to meth. I saw some of the people he was involved with and damn, some of them looked and act like they just came out of an insane asylum!! I don't know how crazy it gets for A, but you really need to get as strong as possible for yourself. This life of living with an addict is shit! And it seems like you really care about A, but yes you are right. It is sad. I have been thinking lately there are some people who never get better. What are we supposed to do? I myself just keep plugging away but I don't know how much longer I can deal with it. As you get older it gets harder. My son used again today, then gave me the rest of what he had like he always does because I tell him you better hand the shit over or I'm calling the police to come search! So now he is sorry. He's always sorry. It's always the last time. It's the same thing over and over and over and over again. He is in bed sleeping and I checked to make sure he is breathing and he is. But how in the hell do you relax? I still haven't figured that out. So I really feel for you. I know what you are going through. The only good thing is he will sleep most of the day tomorrow. I'm seriously thinking of throwing his ass out. You would be smart to find a new and better life for yourself. I put up with alot of my sons shit for the benefit of my sick elderly mother. He bothers her if I throw him out and she feels bad and I worry about her heart condition. There are other reasons I keep him with me, but sometimes I feel trapped. You are not trapped. You just have to make the decision to get away from a possible lifetime of dealing with this if it turns out your fears tonight are correct. Only he can help himself. I been helping my son for at least 12 years since he started drugs and it has not made one bit of difference. I hope everything works out for you and at least that A is o.k. Stay strong
  • @rachael04 just wanted to add, please excuse me for the cussing. I get so upset and angry and then I cuss.
  • @tiredmom I am so sorry. I know A's mom has a similar feeling about it all too. She is so defeated yet so determined to help him. I know she will sit awake all night long now that I told her he didn't come home. I hate knowing she is going through so much pain. I feel awful for her because I feel this distraught about A, but he is my boyfriend. He isn't my child. He isn't my husband. And he isn't the father of my children. He is her son and I know he is her world. He's been the light of her life for a long time, despite the addiction and the chaos that comes. She enables, but I know she tries not to. She tries to take a backseat. She just wants him to live his life and not suffer. I don't want him to either, but not to expense of my life. I don't have to suffer and I don't see this dynamic changing. I hope he gets well. I hope he lives. I hope he finds love and happiness, but it isn't with me. I keep thinking about what if I were even more finically reliant on him and had a baby of ours to care for - and he comes home in a crazy state of mind. Or doesn't come home at all. A sheltered me a lot from all the craziness that comes with his meth use. He disappears. But as the years have gone by and he has become more and more powerless- I am seeing who these people are that use this drug. How crazy it can make you. A would have these psychotic episodes around me in the past that would literally make me shutter.

    He called me and didn't deny it when I told him I think that he used. He then told me he's worthless, sorry, and doesn't deserve me. He doesn't. But, this is the crap he says over and over again when he messes up and wants my love and affection again. And all I want to do it drive to the apartment to see if he's there and stop him from continuing. All I want to do is keep him safe from his own bad choices. I simply can't and that is such a powerless feeling. There have been many nights I would sit and stare at A to make sure he was breathing. I would listen to him in the bathroom to make sure he was still moving. Last week, when he was in his motel in Austin - he stopped answering his phone and I decided he overdosed and got the front desk woman to check on him. I literally found his iPhone location, called the motel and begged the woman to check on in. I don't think this is ever going to stop. And then I still managed to convince myself that he was just sleeping. I am so not clearheaded. I am no longer contributing to this relationship in a positive way. I am a nervous wreck and I have to break lose of this relationship. It has become so toxic.
  • @rachael04 I wish I could say something more to help you feel better. You are probably right though. It doesn't look like he is going to change. It is so sad. I know people who were sad when their son overdosed and passed, but then felt tremendous guilt for also feeling some sense of relief that the nightmare and the constant chaos and worry were over. I can imagine how A's mother feels and probably suffers so much because when you are a mother, it feels so unnatural not to try to do something. You seem like a very strong person. I know those psychotic episodes are crazy. There was one time in particular I remember my ex husband was awake for days and his behavior was so freaking bizarre that after days of him walking around the house and laying blankets and tools all over the floor of my house, while he methodically cleaned them for hours and hours and then became paranoid, I finally snapped and I am kind of ashamed to admit I started beating on him to get out of the house and pulled him by the hair all the way out the door. I had a new one month old baby there and he was getting too weird for me and I went into protect the children from this psycho mode! You know, my son does the exact same thing as you described of A when he uses. Saying he's sorry. I'm a good mom. I try so hard. He's not going to do it again. But that is what he says AFTER he gets his drugs. When he is scheming he lies, acts like I am the one who worries for nothing, yells, and blames. It sounds like you have been through alot too. It's no wonder your head isn't clear when all this is happening. I think A says all those things to manipulate you and to make you feel sorry for him. They are so good at that aren't they? That husband I was telling you about and that one month old baby I had is my SON. I swear addiction runs in families. I got rid of the husband and now I am reliving it all over again with my son. It really sucks.
  • @rachael04 Hey there. Thank you for the update. I'm sorry that you're dealing with this, but I am glad that his mother is letting you stay there until you find your own place. I understand your feeling defeated, but I tend to look at it as you are you have survived this. you are a survivor and you are tired of the merry-go-round of addiction in your life. I'm sure your thoughts will go to his safety, but try not to stay there. Allowing yourself to live your life will be a practice. Lovingly detaching doesn't mean you don't care, but it does mean that you are committing to practicing self-care living your life with a sense of Serenity rather than the craziness that can come with worrying about an active addict.

    I'll be thinking of you today.
  • @tiredmom @dominica thank you guys for sharing your own personal journey and for your encouraging words. It is beyond helpful to hear others who know exactly how I am feeling right now. I feel detached at times and then so distraught at others. I saw him this morning. I came to the apartment in an attempt to find him because I couldn't sleep all night. He had locked himself out of the house and popped out of the garage when he saw my car. He already looked skinnier and was filthy from sleeping outside all night. I let him in and told him I was done. That we could figure out the apartment in a few days, but this was it. He half heartedly tried to think of alternative plans that resulted in us staying together. But, we have been on this road for years now and he didn't have much to say. I didn't scream. I balled for a moment and then calmed myself and left. I haven't talked to him since and he hasn't reached out. I think I have been mentally preparing for a separation from A. But, I hate that I care so deeply for him despite all this mess. I wish I could just let my anger push him away. But, I can't keep lying to myself that this is okay. It isn't.

    So thank you again guys. I'll keep you posted. A's mom has been really sweet. She has been dealing with this for years too. I think when A and I got together she was hopeful that maybe he could get some sober time in. His exes would use with him and the last girlfriend he had they used heroin daily. A and his mom didn't talk for the entire 2 years A and his ex dated. So, when they broke up and he got some sober time, then A and I started to date. That's when his mom got back into the picture. I feel sad that this relationship didn't work out for me, for A and for his mom. I know her knowing I was around gave her a lot of comfort. I almost feel like I am giving up on her too. It makes me feel sad.
  • I keep thinking about the situation. Like my immediate thought is that I don't want to abandon A. I don't want him to suffer. I don't want him to feel alone. I don't want him to cry, etc. And I'm having to remind myself - What makes it okay for me to suffer instead? Why is it okay for me to feel distraught and unfulfilled at the expense of my partner? And what is all this suffering even doing? Just for the same cycle to repeat itself. I'm just really noting when I get in this train of thought. When I start to feel bad or guilty. Or start using words like "abandoning" - I have to remind myself - "Why doesn't it count as abandonment when its to myself?" His actions have been atrocious and I have continuously given them a justification. But to what expense? My own.. And I should not abandon myself just so I can think I am there for my partner. Just needing to process my thoughts. I appreciate ALL of you. The ones who respond and the ones who read. This forum has really forced myself to get out of the cloud and see reality for what it is. I am eternally grateful.
  • @rachael04 I know this has to be very hard for you. I understand. I had all the same feelings and emotions you had when I left my husband that I knew since I was only 13 years old. I completely get it when you say you feel like you are abandoning him. I felt the same way. I think it is not only because we really do care about and love them, but they just seems so pathetic and are so needy, it can feel like you are abandoning a child. But they are not children. They can change if they really want to. We do so much caretaking, they never have to figure things out for themselves. I know it is scary to think what could happen to him but you haven't been able to change anything so far. He has to do it for himself. Maybe it would be a good thing to cry, be sad, lose someone he loves. Maybe then he will at least have some consequences to what his actions have been. And no, you should not be expected to live your life for him. Or give up your own promising future because he wont get his shit together. Why should you suffer? You shouldn't. He has taken advantage of your love and compassion. When he uses do you think he cares enough as to what it will do to you and his mother also. You warned him. You gave him a chance and he alone chose to blow it. You need to keep reminding yourself of that. I feel bad for A's mom. I know how she must feel. Perhaps the two of you could go to some Nar anon meetings together and you could go to some alone too. You two could lean on each other for a little while. You just need to keep thinking back to how many times you were disappointed. How much chaos there was. How that chaos affected you. How many times you were afraid and everything else that was negative in your life due to his drug use. I think I stated in an earlier post when he went to Texas, to prepare yourself for nothing changing and I think you did and I can tell that even though you are hurting, you are definitely seeing the reality of this and are getting stronger. You are going to be o.k
  • @tiredmom Thank you. And I know you are absolutely right. I actually just finished a Naranon meeting now. It helped to hear others stories and to get some of my own feelings off my chest. A called me earlier and when I answered he hung up. He's obviously having some troubles. I am too. Letting go is going to be a feat, but I have literally tried every other possible tactic. I am going to give it a few days and then talk to him about logistics. He does this tactic where he won't give me a specific answer in the hopes that nothing will change - this has worked on me in the past. So I have to be calculated in my next move. The majority of the stuff in our home is mine and it will take me a bit of time to find a new space for my things. It's going to be a process and I suspect A will not make it easy for me to make the next step. I'll stop getting ahead of myself though. I have a place I can sleep for the next few nights and I can start to think about that in a few days when my head settles. It's starting to feel a bit overwhelming.

    A's mom said she attended Naranon when she and him had no contact during that period with his ex, but for some reason she is a bit resistant to return. I was too initially, but am realizing I just didn't go to the right meetings at first and wasn't in a headspace where I actually wanted help. I knew I was suffering, but was ultimately impenetrable in what I thought was the right thing. I have grown and am so open to other people's journeys and opinions now. I'm happy I'm over that feeling that I can do it all alone and know whats best. I don't. I am hoping she can find something that provides her some relief. I told her I was attending Nar Anon and told her if she ever wanted any info - I could help, but she didn't seem very interested.

    You are absolutely right that I should not suffer. Our dynamic has become futile and I don't want to stick around to see how it could be worse.

    Thank you for your responsiveness. It is SO helpful. Sending you and your son lots of love today and everyday.
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