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Knowing when to step back

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by singingintherain, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    As a teenager I was in a relationship with an older man who had addiction problems. These involved alcohol abuse as well as illegal drugs. I still had a lot of growing up and maturing to do and eventually I realized I needed to take a step back.

    Part of my reasoning for this was that I was completely lost in how to deal with things. I was living in a constant state of fear as to what I would find when I went home each night after class. I was pouring wine bottles down the sink secretly in the middle of the night, and throwing any drugs I found away.

    Another part of my reason for stepping back was that I came to the conclusion that I was not actually assisting with any kind of recovery for him. I was a late-comer to his addiction and it was far beyond any help I could provide.

    In order to leave the situation I visited his sister. I explained to her absolutely everything that had gone on, and was still happening. I made sure she was completely aware of the severity of his addictions. His family was very religious and did not see the warning signs earlier. None of his friends or previous girlfriends had brought anything to their attention (presumably for fear of criticism themselves). I felt like the best thing I could really do for him was to inform his family and let them help him.

    Has anyone else needed to step back from a loved one struggling with addiction? I still worry about my decision, and sometimes I regret it. I know it is something I will always struggle with as his journey did not end well. I try to reassure myself that I did the best I could under the circumstances.
    S24 likes this.
  2. GabinoTapia

    GabinoTapia Active Contributor

    I have an uncle who used to be an addict and do drugs and illegal drugs just like your ex boyfriend. Many of my family members tried to help him out and they did not succeed in doing it. They knew it was time to step back and get professional help when it was too late. I think that if a loved one needs help, their family and friends should help and also think about getting them professional help. I think that it would of truly helped my uncle and that he would probably still be with us today.
  3. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    Yes it's definitely something that really needs professional assistance. I think a lot of people struggle with getting that assistance for their loved ones as they think that means admitting defeat. Or even just admitting that there really is a serious problem. Sometimes I feel like I just 'gave up' but then other times I think I just realized I was out of my depth and needed to hand the reigns over.
  4. GabinoTapia

    GabinoTapia Active Contributor

    It may be hard sometimes to handle situations like these by yourself. As long as you get help with the problem (getting others to help you out) you will do just fine. Many cases people think that they can do it by themselves, but if you get others help, it will also help yourself with the stress that you may have or with the levels of patience.
  5. sonia11

    sonia11 Senior Contributor

    I think the best thing you could have done was hand this problem off to someone more qualified to deal with it. Many people try to shoulder the burden of addiction themselves, and they can't make someone change or shield them from the substances they're addicted to. You neither deserve nor are obligated to carry that burden.