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Listen to your gut....

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by LostmySis, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    There have been quite a few posts on here stating "I think he is using again, what do you think". If you are at this point, then go with your gut. Your antenna is up for a reason, and it might be because you saw this same behavior before. If this is the first time you have gone through this with this person, then your confidence in the subject may not be strong. Educate yourself, then decide on what you want to do for YOU, not them. If you have seen this person high/drunk over and over, then you know exactly what you are looking at. Another reason you may feel this way is due trust issues that occurred in the past.

    Sometimes they are not using, but your suspicions are a formation of this person's past behavior. Accusations being hurled at a recovering addict who is truly trying may put on additional pressure, so be sure to handle the situation appropriately. Addicts in recovery who understand the process will expect to have to earn your trust back. Because of this, you should be able to have a calm and non-accusatory/non-defensive conversation--as long as neither of you allow emotions to get in the way. Keep in mind that someone who truly is trying can also become frustrated in the situation. Imagine if you were trying to stay sober and it is really hard, but you are doing it. Then you get accused of doing things you are not. You might feel as though all the hard work you are trying is pointless because you are getting blamed for things anyway.

    The best way to keep your own sanity and support your loved one is to get informed. Being here for moral support is a great option! Be sure to actually research the ways that alcohol/drugs affect the brain, motor skills and personalities of addicts. Learn why it is that addicts do what they do. When you do this, you begin to realize things they say to you are not personal, as most addicts say or do those same things. It is normal for them to blame everyone but themselves. It is normal for them to turn a conversation away from themselves, because they might not like what they see if they look in the mirror.

    Another important issue is abuse. Under no circumstances should you accept abuse, whether verbal, emotional or physical. If the person becomes abusive LEAVE! This time and every time. I have an ex who would drink, knowing I was coming to pick him up to go out for the evening. He was mean, but never physically abusive. I began calling him before I left to find out if he was drinking. I could tell just from his voice. If he was, I made other plans and did not go out with him. After a month of this, he asked me "How come we do not see each other much anymore?"

    I told him flat out, "I refuse to go out with you when you are drinking. This is just a reflection of how much your drinking increased over the past few months." He was shocked. He did not realize how often he was drinking. We were together for a long time, and we went through all of the cycles. He was so bad, he would hide beer and vodka in the toilet tank. I once saw him spend $500 on alcohol on a cruise, then complained about a $2 glass of orange juice being too expensive. None of this was because of me, or my problem in any way. This problem is the addict's problem, and there is no way you can change that. Only they can help themselves.

    The only thing you can do is ask them if they need support, help or someone to listen. You can find them information regarding rehabs or meetings, and even go with them if they want. But no matter how much energy you put into it, only they can change. Protect yourself and your children. Carefully evaluate, because each situation is different. Good luck.
    Nick W. likes this.
  2. frogsandlegos

    frogsandlegos Active Contributor

    Thank-you for sharing your story and advice. I agree with you - I'm sorry that you were in a physical abusive relationship. That must have been very hard. I also agree that each situation is different.
    Nick W. likes this.
  3. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    Thank you for the good advice and for sharing your story. There are many great points in your post. I don't have experience with being in a relationship with an addict in recovery, but I see where there would be many obstacles to overcome. It isn't easy to rebuild trust with one you love once it is broken.
  4. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    Thank you both. I think many people are under the misconception that once the person gets sober that everything is going to be perfect, but that is when things get really tough. The loved ones want the addict to be "normal" right away, and the addicts are usually on edge for quite some time. They feel as though everyone is waiting for them to screw up, or thinks badly of them. And guess what... it is true. Loved ones want the addict to immediately turn the situation back to fixing the relationships, but they cannot do that while they are walking a tightrope. This can make matters worse, because the loved ones still feel neglected. The whole situation is really hard to deal with.
  5. TheKid

    TheKid Active Contributor

    Thanks a lot for this, I have never even thought about using my gut feeling, but as you said, it is there for a reason. Thanks for the info!
  6. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Very well put. The information you've shared is very complete and well articulated, and I agree completely. It's best to approach the talk about possible addiction in a calm and non judgmental manner whether it is the first time or one of the multiple times. Often people will vent their anger in frustration but it doesn't really help that much as the addict will just feel even more alone than he or she did originally.