An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Running out of air

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Yoga679, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Yoga679

    Yoga679 Member

    Hello everyone,
    Let me start by saying I have been reading many threads pertaining to loved ones of substance abusers for a long time now, but this is the first time i've ever actually posted myself.
    My current partner and I have a very complex relationship. Although we are young, we have been best friends for about 5 years now and have been dating on and off for about 2 of those years. At the moment we are living together, as I had experienced somewhat of an emotional emergency with my family requiring me to move out immediately, so naturally, I went to his house (though we were not dating at the time).

    He has a big problem with opiate drugs (oxies) as a result of a serious back injury and becoming dependent on his prescribed medication. However, he has (for most of his adult life) struggled with other mental health problems and addictions, such as binge drinking, caffeine, weed use, gambling, as well as suffers from ADHD and presently SAD, so, depression. To say he is a human at risk is an understatement, and I frequently worry about his depression and suicidal thoughts getting the best of him. We are not happy as relationship partners, we know that we are not a good fit, yet have a history of going back to each other due to our trust and close bonds as friends. I care about and love him more than anyone in the world, and I hate to see him struggling as much as he is. He received help in the form of daily methadone back in July, as prior to that he was becoming verbally and emotionally abusive. I am so thankful he took the initiative to get help, as I was definitely at my breaking point (between him and my family issues) at the time.
    However, that is not to say that things have been even close to easy since then. He is not a naturally controlling person, yet has a strong tendency to suffocate me without meaning to. I have read this is common in addicts. He will go through my phone, and frequently say things that will put me as well in a deep funk like the one he's often in. My whole family, who at one point all really liked him, have since changed their perceptions of him on the grounds that they think he is manipulating me.

    I have always defended him to everyone, and probably always will. I make up excuses for his behaviour out in public, as he is often inappropriate or embarassing due to either his ADHD or just simply being doped up. I love him to death but realize I am in a toxic situation that has been slowly killing me for months, and I will be moving to another country to live with my aunt in less than 2 months (which he knows about). Yet, the guilt and my conscience eat me alive over the thought of him spiralling out of control in the way of him relapsing or self harming over the trigger of me leaving his life. I am his only support system, as he has no other close friends that he can talk to about his struggles, and his parents and family are highly conservative and controlling (which would only make the problem worse if they knew). I too am incredibly private (due to his wishes) about his addiction, and this is the first time I am talking about it out loud, with the recent exception of my one friend who is en route to becoming a clinical psychologist. I fear the judgment of both him and myself that would be casted should anyone find out, and I am one of the last people to care too much about what other people think.

    We both agree that our relationship is incredibly taxing on our mental healths; I alone have had more emotional breakdowns in the last few months than I have my entire life. Yet, we also find safety in each other, which although comforting, I think has produced a level of codependency between us. I am not worried about myself once I move away, or if we break up in general, but I do worry how he will respond despite what he says right now. I know tough times in our relationship in the past have served as triggers for his addiction's development/relapse, and I guess I just feel so trapped and scared over the idea of leaving him alone and without me when he is at his most vulnerable.

  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Yoga679... Welcome to the forum, my friend. I'm sorry you're going through these struggles with your partner, but I'm glad you reached out. Loving/living with someone with addiction is such a difficult thing to do.

    Your partner's addiction is affecting you in negative ways, and that's not surprising at all. That's what happens when we see someone we love battle these demons. Unfortunately, if you allow yourself to become addicted to his addiction, you will both end up suffering mightily. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon teach something that is so true: You didn't cause your loved one's addiction, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. As much as we want to fix our loved ones...we can't. Only they can do that.

    I don't know if your partner is getting any help, but if he isn't he should be. But again, he has to want it. He should definitely be seeing a psychiatrist and therapist to help him with his mental health issues. So often mental health issues are the root cause of addiction. If he got his mental health in decent shape, maybe he could beat his addiction. It would also be great if he could see an addiction specialist, who could help determine the best next steps for him. If your partner wants help, these things could make a huge difference. But if he doesn't, then he will just continue on the same path he's on until who knows when.

    Since you're moving away in a couple of months, maybe consider sitting down with your partner and having a heart-to-heart conversation about his situation. Tell him you're concerned about his health and well-being, and tell him how his habits make you feel. Ask him to get some help. And tell him you'll support him if he does.

    You have to take care of yourself first, my dear. Your life should be number one on your priority list...always. When you move away, whatever happens with your partner is not your fault. Not at all. So please don't let yourself worry too much or feel any guilt. This is on your partner, not you.

    There are some books out there that may help you deal with what you're going through. I wrote about some of my favorites a while back in this blog:

    6 Essential Books for Those with an Addicted Loved One

    You might want to check out some of those books.

    We are here to help and support you however we can. You can come here and lean on us anytime, whether it's to ask advice or just to vent. We will listen and never judge.

    I am sending you positive vibes and lots of hugs full of hope. And I will keep your partner--and you--in my thoughts and prayers. You are not alone. Always remember that.

    Love and light to you.