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Two Black Holes Will Never Get a Hole in One
We as human beings have a few basic paramount survival instincts. Hunt(or work) for food, sleep, shelter, and procreation. Survival and basic life skills can wait its turn when you are an addict. When you habitually put a substance in your body your brain becomes rewired to place the substance before anything else. After our brains are hard-wired to appease those neural pathways with a substance it is not easily reversed.
Once someone is addicted their baseline psyche is disrupted. The only way to feel normal, happy, and functional is to stimulate their pleasure receptors by flooding said receptors with the substance of choice. The more an addict uses the more they have to do overtime because of the plateau effect that occurs after long-term use.
Having a habit of substance use is a full-time job and usually, addicts have a hard time living a normal healthy life. Retaining a job is proved to be difficult so some people involve themselves in criminal activity to support their habit. Addicts can also become codependent on others when they can't care for themselves. Leaning on another addict never usually works out too well.
Chemical co-dependency in relationships
When two people are addicts it is hard to diffuse everyday life problems in a mutually beneficial manner. The ups and downs in the mind of an addict can cause fluctuations in behavior toward a significant other. A lot of domestic violence stems from addiction and substance abuse. "Two sickies don't make a wellie" is a common saying in recovery. Carrying the burden of someone else's luggage as well as your own is going to be too much to carry. You need to put that other person's luggage down and take a step back in order to help yourself.
When you take a minute to stop and consider your own introspect you may break down and ask yourself "Is this my life?", "Is this me?" A lot of us deny reality and stay in our comfort zone with our significant other and that is the number one problem, complacency. We will ride until the wheels fall off as long as we have our significant other. You think that it can't be all that bad as long as you two are together. Someone else is doing it and they love me so it is okay. No, nope, not gonna work.
I was in a relationship for 4 years with a girl I will call Kara. Kara and I spent the majority of our time partying and couch hopping, never having a stable place of our own. We used certain substances together, however, I took it to the next level and used intravenous heroin. She enabled me big time because I knew she would not leave me or scold me for what I did. In fact, at times she gave me money for heroin. I relied on her for comfort, love, sex, money, and companionship. Our relationship was not a healthy one and it was not mutually beneficial. We cheated on each other, fought verbally and physically with each other, and spent most of our time ignoring the reality of our unhealthy relationship.
I am now with a girl I will call Aria because I really like that name. Aria and I have been together for almost 3 years and we have an 18-month-old daughter together. Today we are both abstinent from all substances and we rely on each other for comfort and support in a more positive manner. We are both in fact addicts in remission and there is always the chance that one of us could relapse and use again. This is a chance you will always have to take if you love another addict.
Taking a step back
If you are having problems in your life along with your significant other you should take action before things get worse. Take a step back and ask yourself, "Do I really love the person I am with?" If you really love that person you will not enable them and you will not let them enable you. It is very difficult to sever ties with someone when you are using as addicts don't ever want to feel alone. If you use some foresight and try to project an image of the future you may soon realize that a happy healthy life is far out of reach.
In order to save your relationship, you may have to temporarily shut down your unhealthy domestic partnership. It is time to work on your own sole proprietorship. If you feel like there are root causes for why you use a substance look back on that. Try to fix your foundation with a new and stronger concrete. Don't procrastinate just do it. In order to be comfortable, first, you need to be uncomfortable. If you need a detox you can call an addiction help hotline. I'm sure there will be an ad on this page that you can click on and inquire about your problem. You can also contact me personally if you need help as well.
As for your significant other, it is up to them to decide what they need to do. If you pitch the idea to them that you want to sober up and they don't want to do the same, things may become a little difficult. If one person is clean and the other is not the chances of relapse for the sober individual is extremely high. You cannot make somebody else change, all you can do is change yourself.
If your significant other does accept your pitch and goes into treatment or stops using with you things will be easier. However, like I mentioned before retaining abstinence together an be hard. If one of you falls the other one most likely will as well. The alternative to that is either a very unhappy relationship or a breakup.
Maintaining a sober and healthy relationship
So if things do work out for you and your significant other here are somethings you should probably do to promote a sober and healthy relationship:
- Communicate with your spouse about cravings, feelings, and stressors
- Consider relationship counseling, outreach services, or abstinence meetings
- Develop a routine and don't break away from whatever works for you
- Find a hobby that you both can participate in together(this works for us very well)
- Talk about a contingency plan for relapse and how it will be handled if one of you use. If you have family in the area get them involved and have them interject as soon as possible before you get any ideas about using.
- Calling another friend in recovery or joining a group in person or online is always a big help for some people.
Following through with these things together will help you both stay clean and sober if you drive each other to do well. Bringing each other up and making one another feel good about yourselves is also a big plus. Confidence is key anyone can do this.