- Mental Health
Living With An Addict - There Is Help
Here's my story...
If you are living with an addict you are not alone.
In the fall of 2004 I met the love of my life. I was online one day and this guy sends me an IM. No picture, no cam... I'm not too interested. Then he says he just got out of rehab... definitely not interested. I let him know very quickly I was not in the market for a man or even a new online friend. Drugs scared me, still do. I, personally, have never done drugs, not even pot. Addiction and drug use was completely foreign to me. I wanted no part of it.
Something about him, I guess persistance, got me to talk to him. We clicked immediately. I still was a little worried about him telling me he just got out of rehab. But, then.... he got a webcam. Sweet, smart and hot! Who cares if he used to have a drug problem, right? I'm not gonna marry the guy, one date won't hurt.
We got married 2 years later.
We lived together about 8 months. He was clean. We were happy. Drugs were in his past. The perfect couple.
Let's fast forward about a year... We had just bought a beautiful new home. He had a wonderful job. We were even talking about having a baby. Then, one day I notice he's a little... weird I guess. A little slurred speech, a little off. I ask him about it and he says he's just tired. I gets worse and worse. I suspected drugs but he stuck to his story. He was clean, hadn't done anything.
One day I went into his truck to get a cigarette lighter. I opened his console and there I found a little baggie of pills. I freaked! Called my friend, she googled them and found it was methadone. This wonderful friend of mine happened to have an addict as a spouse and happened to have a drug test. I went to my husband and asked him if he wanted to tell me anything. Nope. I pulled the bag of pills out of my pocket, "now doy uo want to tell me anything?" He says "Those aren't mine, they're a friend's, give them back!!!" I walked to the bathroom and flushed them. Apparently, I found out through him yelling, I flushed something very important and very expensive and he would never forgive me. The I pulled out the drug test. I have no idea how I got him to pee for me but he did. He failed for 3 kinds of pills. That was the beginning of it.
I knew he was using . I could tell by just looking at him. I would ask him about it and he would get mad and lie. How many times should you have to ask the same question? How many fights is it worth? I stayed on him, I was not going to let him just use drugs.
Things got progressively worse over the next few months. According to him he had been sober for over 2 years. He would assure me of this as he drooled on himself and fell asleep in his food. He would assure me of this while I gave him a bath and kept him from drowning. He couldn't stand up long enough to take a shower. I bathed him, clothed him, watched him, helped him. When he smoked he would fall asleep just afte he got it lit. He would burn himself, his clothes, blankets, furniture. If I left him alone I had to take his cigarettes and lighers with me so he wouldn't set the house on fire. Living with an active user is a full time baby sitting job. Not only are you having to take care of them but you are having to watch them slowly die. You are helpless. They are helpless. The person you love, you can not help.
One day he came home and was in the best mood. No slurred spech, no drool. What was up? I didn't know it at the time but meth was up. The next day we were back to the drooling and sleeping, Vicodin and xanax. He was out of it for 7 days. He could not function. It was like waching him die. He took so much that I had to stay up all night and make sure he didn't quit breathing. It was the worst thing I had ever seen and to this day he is still the same.
I told him he had to go to rehab, he had to get help. I was supportive and loving and let him know I would never give up on him. He gave up on me. Two months after the 7 day incident he left me. Married less than 18 months and he leaves me for a... I will try to put this gently... a fat, old, ugly, pill popping, drug addicted maried woman who is 20 years his senior. I am not saying these things about her because my ex is now with her. I am saying these things because I have never seen her even able to walk. Makeup smeared all over the place... not hot.
He leaves me and moves in with her, her husband of 26 years and their small child. The husband is also a pill popper. In about a month the husband is kicked out and takes the child with him. Now my husband and this old lady can have the privacy to do drugs. I tried and tried to ge him to come home. I could not give up on him. Eventually I was unable to find him or get ahold of him. He showed up a couple months later 40 lbs thinner. He said he had been sleeping in his truck and had nowhere to go. How do you tun away the man you almost had babies with? I had to feed him. He looked like hell. So, dumb me, took him in, fed him, gave him a place to stay. He was reasonably soberr and we were able to talk for the first time in months. He said he wanted to get sober, wanted to get help. He spilled his guts to me that night. He told me he had never really been clean. He was doing meth from day one of our relationship and pain and nerve pills to come down so I wouldn't know. The man I loved had lied to me since the day I met him. Did the person I married even exist? Was it all a lie?
This is probably not news to you but addicts are lairs. They will tell you anything to get what they want. And this time he wanted money. He had pawned or sold everything he had. He pawned his truck title and it was about to be reposessed. I'll admit it, I fell for it. I love him. I paid the truck bill. I also got some things ou of pawn for him on his word he would move back to his mother and father's house. He told me he was going to go over to he place he had been staying, get his things and be back. He was going to spend the weekend with me and his mother would pick him up and take him home on Monday.
Five days late he called. He said he had taken some pills and fogot to come back. I let him know it had been 5 days. He had no idea. And at this point I realized something. Something extemely hard, extemely sad and extemely distubing to me. I realized he was a drug addict and there honestly wasn't a single thing I could do to help him.
At some point you have to decide what you want for you. I know, when you live with an addict the last thing on your list of priorities is yourself. Make a new list. Their addiction can actually, physically kill you. I am on wo kinds of nerve meds and heart meds because of the stress he put on me. I am physically sick. I had to pick... me or him. I realized I could no longer let his addiction control my life. I can do nothing about his problems. An addict has to want help. If love could fix it, he would be healed of it.
As I sit here tonight, alone in our home, I do not know where he is. I do not know what he is doing. I do not know if he is safe. I do not know if he is alive.
He chose to leave. He chose to do drugs. He chose to say no to my help, my love. He chose to say no to his family. It kills me to think of what has happened to this wonderful man. I feel like a failue as a wife, a friend and a fellow human being for not being able to help him.
I pray eveyday that he will wake up and get the help he needs.
I don't know if you agree with the decisions I've made or the opinions I have on drug use. If you live with an addict I am sure you have felt the same ways I have. I am sure you feel helpless, hurt, resentful, emotions you can't even describe. I can not tell you what to do. But I have told you my story and what my personal feelings are. The only thing I will say is if you have children in the home with an addict, think of the things they are seeing, absorbing, learning. As adults we can handle a lot. Children cant. What they see is what they know. You set the example for them. They will look to you and your decisions as instructions as to how ot live their life. Do you want them to think drug use is just a part of life?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT. YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY.
YOU CAN NOT HELP AN ADDICT UNTIL THEY WANT HELP AND EVEN THEN YOU CAN NOT HELP. ONLY PROFESSIONALS CAN HELP THEM.
SAVE YOURSELF. SAVE YOU CHILDREN.
IF YOU ALLOW AN ADDICT TO LIVE IN YOU HOME, EAT YOUR FOOD, WATCH YOUR TV.... YOU ENABLE THEM TO DO DRUGS. YOU ARE TELLING THEM IT IS OK.
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