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I am looking for info/help/tools on how to support a recovering addict

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by tdawn, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. tdawn

    tdawn Member

    I'm hoping I can find some resources or feedback on how I can help with a drug/alcohol addict who is currently in recovery. I have searched on line for information and can't seem to find anything that helps me. We just met 6 months ago and I want to help him through his recovery as best as I can, but I need help with understanding why he says and does what he does.
    I hope someone can point me in the right direction.
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Hi, @tdawn. Welcome to the community. I think the best way to help your partner is to educate yourself. There are lots of books out there that will help you do that. I wrote a blog not too long ago and talked about six books that I think are essential for anyone who loves someone with addiction. I'm putting a link to that blog down below. The first book I talk about in the blog, Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change, is especially good. I think it should be required reading for anyone who has an addicted loved one, even if they're in recovery.

    I wish you and your partner the best of luck and will keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers. Here's the link to the blog:

    6 Essential Books for Those with an Addicted Loved One

    Also, the authors of the Beyond Addiction book offer a free companion workbook called The 20 Minute Guide. You can find that publication at this link:

    The 20 Minute Guide

    Peace and hugs to you, my friend. Reach out whenever you need to. We're here to help and support you.
  3. tdawn

    tdawn Member

    Hi deanokat,
    thank you very much for the information and kind words. I have been doing research on what I can do to make our relationship work, but like I said I didn't really see anything that suits my situation.
    I met J 6 months ago while sitting at a pub watching football by myself and he just said hi. We talked for a few hours and I found out he was homeless and on the streets for 2 years, addicted to drugs but also a recovering alcoholic.
    Ive never met anyone who did hard drugs and had no idea what he was using, Ive only seen stuff on Intervention so I kind of had an idea. We never really started out to date, I think he was looking for a place to hang or maybe saw a sucker to rip off, either way we grew to love each other. Three months ago he was put on a one year probation for things done on the street with strict conditions. He and I have had it pretty rough since we started seeing each other, we mostly argue and fight over things he says to me and accuses me of. He has stopped using all together and now has a job, an apartment, and goes to meetings with a counselor but I think only to see where he is with his conditions.
    He has been told that being in a relationship this early is not good and they usually go bad. I do agree with this, but when I suggest that weekly meetings with other recovering addicts might help he says they don't work and he doesn't want to be sitting with a bunch of people. I don't know what I can say anymore as he is very bitter towards life, people, and the fact that he has to change. I do understand that he has a lot of adapting to do from being on the streets to living a normal life again and I sometimes forget this and treat him like he is just a normal guy which he is not...yet.
    I get frustrated when he tells me one thing then says the opposite, or accuses me of cheating on him or always lying. I know that from the drug abuse his mind, thoughts and take on things is muddled and he knows that to and it frustrates him for thinking the way he does. In my heart I feel that he should be seeking more help from the resources available to him to help him through this and I feel that we should not be in a relationship until he is ready. I do tell him this but there is always negative reaction. I don't feel that our relationship can grow or be at its best unless he does, or am I wrong? He does tell me that I am the reason for his seeking recovery and that I got him this far and if he was to lose me he would probably go back to the drugs. I struggle with him telling me this as I know it isn't healthy and it puts a lot of stress on me. I am really at a loss of what to do as I know he needs to work on himself first then try a relationship, and I am willing to support him and wait for him, but should I stay away altogether, should we just see each other now and then, or go to meetings together? I do also know that if I am going to have a relationship with someone in recovery I need to be supportive in every way possible and change my life too. I like to go out to a pub and watch sports or socialize with friends, but he can't or doesn't want to and if I do go out he thinks I'm cheating and lying. I am not sure I am ready to give up things I love to do now and then as I'm only 3 years out of a long relationship and love my independence. 6 months ago I wasn't looking for a boyfriend, falling in love, and certainly not changing my life, now I feel as though I have to. I'm sorry for being long winded but I just don't know what to do or where to start. I appreciate any feedback you can give me as I have only a couple of people I can talk to especially about this.
    cheers and thank you!
  4. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    Have you read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend? I consider it a must-read for anyone with codependent tendencies and relationship problems. You need boundaries to protect yourself before you can be a help him. This is his problem; not yours. None of us can tell you what the right thing to do is. You have to find that inside of yourself. Sadly, many addicts have underlying mental disorders. This is what drives them to self-medicate. Put yourself first and be educated and aware.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @tdawn... You're very welcome. We're here to support you however we can, my friend. As far as whether your relationship can be at its best or grow in the current climate... I think that's something you're going to have to figure out for yourself.

    I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
  6. lost247

    lost247 Active Contributor

    I would recommend seeing if there are any NarAnon meetings in your area. My mom found a lot of amazing support and guidance in that program while I was in recovery myself. You can connect with people one on one, people going through exactly what you are. I found my first year in recovery to be the hardest, but my mom was a constant and amazing pillar through the whole thing. A few years after I got clean, she told me that she had been going to NarAnon, I had no idea at the time, but she said it really gave her perspective and she understood a lot more what I was going through.

    Sending you love, light and strength!
    deanokat likes this.