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The other side of addiction

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by DavidS, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. DavidS

    DavidS Member

    I wish it was not me writing this story. I wish I wasn't the one married to a heroin addict. But I am, and I know all too well what it’s like to be married to the love of my life who also happens to be an addict.

    I know what it’s like to worry yourself sick. To cry yourself to sleep on the rare times you actually can. To stare at pictures and try to figure out why did this have to happen. To check on her while she sleeps to make sure she is still breathing. To attend NA meetings and watch her cry listening to the stories knowing that she is still using.

    I know to watch out for pinhole pupils, rashes, scratching, picking at finger nails, coughing and changes in behavior. To listen to her lie and pretend to believe her to prevent a confrontation and more fabricated stories. Only to wait until she leaves and breakdown wondering how someone you love so much could put their family through this.

    I know what it’s like to be confused all of the fucking time; to see her potential and to know what she is throwing away.

    I know what it’s like to want her recovery more than she does. To be the one doing research on rehabs and other recovery options. To spend countless hours doing research on heroin. To read so many stories about overdoses and death. To read successful recovery stories and pray that she will one day get there. To get your hopes up only to be let down over and over again.

    I know what it is like to get her into a rehab center and knowing she will not complete it.

    I know what it's like to be so desperate to prevent her from getting high that you would confront a drug dealer.

    I know what it’s like to miss someone who is still standing right in front of you. To pray for her to come back and wonder if it is even possible now.

    I know what it’s like to be hurt so bad that part of you wishes you would just get “the” phone call. You so badly just want the vicious cycle to end. I know what it’s like to hate yourself for even allowing yourself to find relief in that horrible thought.

    I know what it’s like to become a detective, to snoop through drawers, phones and trash cans. Hoping and praying that you won't find something, but you almost always do. And when you do your heart breaks all over again.

    I know what it’s like to be physically present but mentally not there because your mind is so preoccupied with what can I do to stop this madness.

    I know what it’s like to stop caring about your own self at times. I know the feeling of hopelessness of putting all your energy into saving her.

    I know what it’s like to be really upset, because between the sadness there is a lot of anger. I know what it’s like to feel guilty for being so mad, because you know all about addiction. But, still so incredibly sad because you just want her well.

    I know what it’s like to hear people say that addiction is not a disease, but a choice. I know what it is like to have friends and family tell you they are done with her. I know what it is like to get to that point but get sucked back in because maybe just maybe that this will be the time she takes recovery seriously.

    I know the feelings of wishing you never heard the word heroin.

    I know the difference between enabling and supporting. I know there is a fine line between the two and the difference can mean life or death. I know the internal battles you have every time she asks for money. Is she really going to use it for groceries or will this be the heroin that kills her.

    I know what it’s like to feel stigmatized, to be the “husband of a drug addict." I know what it is like to have acquaintances now turn the other way when you walk into a room. I know the embarrassment of people talking behind your back.

    I know that keeping this a secret will not help anyone. I know that anyone reading this who is already using will not care or is unable to care. But if one person reads this beforehand and decides not to use for the first time I know that I may have saved a life and a family. Because I know heroin has destroyed mine.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
    Drandolph, upallnight83 and deanokat like this.
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @DavidS... Welcome to the community and thanks so much for sharing with us. Addiction affects so many more people than just the addict; and loved ones of addicts suffer incredibly. My son has struggled with addiction for more than 10 years and it has been gut-wrenching at times. I can only imagine how hard it is to be married to an addict.

    Please know that sharing your story will help break the stigma that's still associated with addiction. We've come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. I commend you for making such an honest and insightful post.

    Don't forget to take care of yourself, my friend. When we loved someone with addiction, we oftentimes forget about ourselves. But we need to work on our own recovery; we need to be healthy--physically and emotionally--so we can help and support our loved one. It's like they tell you on an airplane before they take off: In case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first, THEN assist others. If you don't take care of yourself first, everyone will suffer.

    I urge you to find a Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meeting in your area and attend. Those groups can be incredibly comforting and helpful. It's very helpful to be amongst others who know exactly what you're going through. I also suggest you do some reading. Here are some books I recommend to a lot of people:

    6 Essential Books for Those with an Addicted Loved One

    You are not alone. Remember that. So many people are in the same position that you are in. A lot of them are here in these forums. So don't hesitate to reach out and lean on us anytime. You can ask for support, advice, or just come and vent. We will listen without judgment.

    I'm sending you positive vibes and lots of hope. And I will keep you and your wife in my thoughts and prayers.
  3. Every word hit my soul. I feel your pain in each and every one of your words. I too love an addict , the pain and suffering on our side is hard to even describe . Thoughts and prayers are with you .
    deanokat likes this.
  4. Leelee

    Leelee Member

    DavidS, I have walked in your shoes and experienced exactly the same thing. The addict was my son, the only difference was 6 months ago I did get "the call" the one asking to speak to the next of kin. The call telling me my child was gone and could I please come and get his things. No facial ID was needed because by the time he was found half his face was decomposed and they ID'd him from finger prints and his ID. He was a heroine addict for 6 years and had been in rehab 3 times. We really thought the 3rd time was the charm, he made the decision to get help on his own and was in residence and sober living for almost a year with two small slips but he always got right back into a program. He was afraid to leave the program and thought if he did a little cocaine it would keep him in a little while longer where he felt safe. He knew doing heroin would be to risky so he did the coke but he ended up dying of cocaine intoxication. It was not his intent to die just buy some more time in a safe environment. I hope your wife gets the help she needs and you never get "the call". He was only 24.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Leelee... I am so sorry for your loss. My son has struggled with addiction for several years and is clean and sober at the moment. But I know so many people whose children have been taken by this insidious disease. I can't imagine what that feels like. Please know that my heart aches for you.

    Good thoughts and prayers heading your way.
  6. Leelee

    Leelee Member

    Thank you deanokat. I hope your son can stay the course and I wish him continued success in his sobriety. My thoughts and prayers are with you too.
    deanokat likes this.
  7. Umm

    Umm Member

    God bless your soul. For being strong and staying by your wife. It takes a special and strong man to do what youve done and continue to do. Being on the other side tears at a persons soul and painfully slow peels off layer by layer of it and of our lives. I hope that your wife succeeds, comes back to you one day so that you can live your lives as you intended to when yall married =).
    deanokat likes this.
  8. Umm

    Umm Member

    Ms. Leelee,
    Im so sorry for your loss. No matter how tough things get or have gotten we all wish we never get that call. And im sorry that you did. Especially knowing that your son was on his road to recovery. He knew he wasnt ready to come out. I hope and pray that anyone in the recovery programs read or learned from that desperation he had to stay longer. And that they make necessary changes to make the programs for our loved ones more accessible financially and all. Alot of us dont have the means. As well as aware that although the program theyre providing may have reached their end or has met the time limit allotted may not necessarily mean that our loved ones who are not text book or machines will necessarily be ready themselves just because a book and studies say they are. And i hope that they make our loved ones feel they are able to feel comfortable and not ashamed to voice just that. God bless you and your angel in heaven. Xoxo...
    deanokat likes this.
  9. Bets

    Bets Member

    @DavidS every word hit home. Especially missing someone standing right in front of you. I wish you every strength to make your life choices xxx
    deanokat likes this.