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When will it end

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by courage53, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    I have been married to my husband for 26 years. Throughout those years he has battled many addictions. It has been a roller coaster of hell. Now, at 64 I find out he is using meth. I knew it was something. The sneaking, hiding lying same old song and dance. This is different. This is a horror show. He is a walking skeleton with sores on his arms he is always messing with and his teeth are rotting out and food and drink comes out of his nose. Why can't he see? He denies he is using even though I have caught him in the act-still deny, deny. Recovery is not an option for someone who dares you to say they are using anything. I want to leave, but everything we have worked for is tied up in this property which we will lose if I leave. I am now disabled and my options financially are slim. I always thought he will see how life could be for us and he will quit. This meth stuff is different. I don't even see him in there anymore when I look in his eyes. I just avoid him as much as possible. If I mention divorce, he becomes enraged. It's like walking a tightrope. I just want a life-if not now, when? But, I don't know what to do
  2. lonewolves

    lonewolves Community Champion

    Hi @courage53,
    I’m so sorry that you and your husband are struggling. I wish I could give you all of the answers you are searching for, but I have none. I hope you know that someone will always be here to listen, and I hope you can find some support in the “real world” as well. I don’t know if Al-anon is for substances other than alcohol, but maybe that could be an option for you. (@Dominica would probably know the answer to that one!)
    deanokat, courage53 and Dominica like this.
  3. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @courage53 hello there. thanks for reaching out. it does sound like a very tough situation to be in....and i'm sorry you're having to go through it. addiction can certainly steal our loved ones... sounds like he is very closed and not wanting to admit or doesn't see he is an addict.... but you're right, at some point you're thinking, "what about me? what about my life? is this what i have to look forward to the rest of my life? these are supposed to be my golden years?" right?

    many women find themselves in similar shoes, financially dependent on the addict/husband.... or not wanting to lose all the time they've invested... or just aren't strong enough to leave...(afraid)

    you want a life....and deserve a life where you feel safe and happy... what you want and need MATTERS.

    i suggest embarking on a journey toward becoming stronger and more independent.... perhaps get a counselor and attend support group meetings. if you have medicare, counseling may be covered entirely... it's worth finding out. commit to going for a series of sessions... also, there's al-anon, nar-anon (for loved ones of addicts) or codependents anonymous meetings. you can find meetings at their websites...and start going. get some support from others in similar shoes... you'll feel supported and encouraged...

    there are also many good books and videos you can dive into... essentially, learning how to take your power back, lovingly detach from your husband, and move on with your life... yes, even while you still live there.

    i hope this is making sense.
    deanokat and courage53 like this.
  4. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    Thank You. It does make sense. I basically hit a wall and I can't do it anymore. If he wants to continue on that path, I can't help. If you let, and I have, your spouse's addiction takes over everything. I joined a gym and I am going to start taking care of myself. Hope it doesn't sound uncaring, but I have become detached. I neither respect nor do I want to spend time with him anymore. If he doesn't like it, he can leave. There is a reason they call it getting clean. He seems dirty to me now, infected. With or without him, I'm focusing on positive things. Thank you Dominica. I do believe counseling would help me. I've lived with this dirty little secrete too long
    lonewolves, Dominica and deanokat like this.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @courage53... Welcome to the community, my dear. And thank you for sharing with us. I'm so sorry you're having to go through what you are with your husband. Addiction is a disease that affects everyone around the person struggling.

    @Dominica has given you some fabulous advice. I echo everything she said to you. I think support group meetings, either in-person or online, and counseling would be a huge help for you. Joining a gym and taking good care of yourself is great, too. Self-care is absolutely essential when someone close to us is battling addiction. And please know that detaching is NOT selfish. Not at all. It's something you have to do in order to preserve your sanity. YOUR life matters, too!!! Never forget that!

    Focus on the positive things in your world. Take care of YOU. And maybe think about doing some reading on the subject. Knowledge is power. Here are some books that may help you as you try to cope with the situation you're in:

    6 Essential Books for Those with an Addicted Loved One

    We're always here for you. If you need help, advice, or just some people to listen, you can always reach out and lean on us.

    I'm sending you love, light, and hope. And tons of positive energy.
    lonewolves and courage53 like this.
  6. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    Thank you so much deanokat. I'm trying to find that woman I used to be before. One who was brave and had a little self-esteem. It's hard. One day at a time. Thanks for the book suggestions. I will check them out. I need to stop being so scared of being alone. It would be infinitely better than this.
    lonewolves, Dominica and deanokat like this.
  7. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    You are very welcome, @courage53. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon teach us this about a loved one's addiction:

    You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

    Those words are absolutely 100% true. The only person you have complete control over is you. That's why you need to focus your attention on yourself.

    We're here. We care. We understand. And we're glad you're here with us. You are not alone.
    courage53 and Dominica like this.
  8. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    i understand the fear of being alone...and it is challenging, but know that the fear is mostly bark and no bite. meaning, in our heads we think being "alone" will be horrifying...and some days it's lonely, but it's not horrifying. it is actually empowering...and when you surround yourself with a supportive network, it's much easier. it's you taking care of yourself, which is something many women put on the back burner...

    for now, continue to work on growing your self-worth and self-love... great about the gym. make a good friend or two that you can share deeply with...come here and we'll be your friends too :)

    take some time each day to read about codependency recovery, or those books dean mentioned... it will help. some great videos on the topic too.

    hugs!
    deanokat and courage53 like this.
  9. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    Thank you so much. I've been doing some reading and I think they have a picture of me beside the definition of codependency. Wow. It was like reading about myself. I've not been helping him or me. Until I take care of me nothing else is ever going to work out not just for our marriage but every aspect of life with or without him. I think us codependents think we are being so selfless and giving when really we are just perpetuating the misery. I'm beginning to see things in a different light which actually may lead to answers instead of the vicious cycle we've been on for so many years. I'm so glad I found this sight. I've been afraid to even talk about it for so long. Thank you and hugs back to you
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  10. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    Not being alone is a huge weight off my shoulders. Thank you so much for being here for me. This is a great site and I am thankful to you. I always thought he has a long road to recovery, but I have just as far to go.
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  11. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @courage53... When someone struggles with addiction, everyone who loves or cares about that person has to go through their own recovery. In light of one of your recent comments, maybe see if there's a Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) meeting in your area. You may find some help and comfort there. Here's a link to the meeting locator tool on their website:

    http://locator.coda.org

    We're here for you. Always.
    Dominica and courage53 like this.
  12. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    Thank you deanokat. I will. I really think I need this. Thank you for being here for me. There is a meeting this Friday near me and I am going
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  13. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @courage53 glad you're planning on going to a meeting! let us know how it goes!
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  14. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    You're very welcome, @courage53. I'm glad to hear you're going to go to a meeting on Friday. Let us know how it goes, okay? We're here for you.
    courage53 likes this.
  15. lonewolves

    lonewolves Community Champion

    @courage53, I noticed how you said “if he doesn’t like it, he can leave”. I hope you apply this to yourself as well. There is no shame in leaving when you are unhappy and have done everything within your power to help him.
    deanokat and courage53 like this.
  16. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    Some days I feel like I could do it and others I let the fear take hold again. Fear is what has kept me here so long. Fear of being alone at my age with health problems, fear of being without him even though I know it has been such a destructive relationship. There have been good times in the mix of 26 years. I can't imagine a life without him crazy as that sounds. We have been through so much. But, much of it has been a lonely existence. When he is using he isn't there in any way. But, when he's clean, he is the best person you could know. Sometimes I wonder why he has stayed. Knowing how unhappy we both are. He wouldn't have to sneak and lie all the time if I was gone. But, he absolutely wants things not to change. I have threatened to leave and he says then his life would be over. I don't get it. Then he starts threatening me with all he will do to me in a divorce that will make life hell for me so I get scared and retreat again and try to tell myself that things will get better. It's a never-ending cycle. I haven't helped the situation any more than he has. Now we are older, he's 64 and I'm 52, and I can't imagine this is all there is for me. If I had the financial means I would be gone. But, even then my whole life has been about him-I've done that. I don't blame him for that. It's like I don't have an identity besides the one I've built around him. I'm so confused sometimes and hopeless.
  17. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @courage53... I saw a quote last night and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I'd share it with you, because I think it might resonate with you as well:

    "What we allow is what will continue."
    courage53 likes this.
  18. courage53

    courage53 Active Contributor

    How do I find the strength to let go. I've allowed it to continue for so long. I'm having a bad day-sorry. I can't seem to separate myself from him or the situation. It's like I'm addicted too.
  19. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    You are addicted, @courage53. You're addicted to his addiction. And it's killing you. And if nothing changes, nothing will change. And things will likely get worse.

    How do you find the strength to let go? I think it's a matter of letting go and knowing that it will make you stronger. And you have faith.

    Which brings me to another quote that just popped into my mind. It's from a great book called You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero:

    "Faith smothers your fear of the unknown. Faith allows you to take risks. Faith is the stuff of ‘leap and the net will appear.’ Faith is your best buddy when you’re scared shitless."

    Sometimes we just have to leap and hope that the net appears.

    Okay. One last quote. And this is one of my all-time favorites from my favorite author, Anne Lamott:

    If we stay where we are, where we're stuck, where we're comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. If you want to know only what you already know, you're dying. You're saying: Leave me alone; I don't mind this little rathole. It's warm and dry. Really, it's fine.

    When nothing new can get in, that's death. When oxygen can't find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing - we had this all figured out, and now we don't.

    New is life.”
    lonewolves, courage53 and Dominica like this.
  20. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @courage53

    My heart really does go out to you because I do understand this feeling of being addicted to another person and not feeling strong enough to leave. Not feeling as if I'd make it financially and being emotionally awreck. At the time I was trying to get out of that toxic relationship, I don't didn't understand codependency all that well, but I was determined to learn about it and really work on myself just like you are starting this journey. This journey to really start digging deep looking at your life separate from your husband. Realizing that you've become overly dependent upon him, and now you're ready to start a new Journey recovering from this codependency and any other issues going on under the surface.

    I will say that it takes time. I'm really glad to hear that you're going to a meeting. Getting yourself that consistent support will help you heal and grow. There are different types of meetings, so feel free to check out co-dependents anonymous and perhaps Al-Anon or Nar-anon. If you're able to get to therapy, I definitely suggest going for a season to work on your self-worth, developing new goals, dealing with any issues like anxiety or depression, and so on. Be patient with yourself. This is more about progress then perfection.

    I think the toughest part for me was dealing with this underlying fear of abandonment. I equated being single with being abandoned or feeling like a failure or bad person for leaving. All of those things were not true, but I had to work through a lot of these things in therapy, especially picking up that fear of Abandonment way back in childhood. I think having a supportive network will help you a lot. And know that we're here to support you however we can.

    You ARE becoming stronger, even just by coming here and sharing!!!
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