Addiction: Living with an Addict Community
Does it ever end well?
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WELCOME TO THE ADDICTION: LIVING WITH AN ADDICT COMMUNITY. This patient support community is for family members and loved ones of people who are substance abuse addicts. Discussions cover how to help your loved one, enabling, coping with the emotional impact of addiction, intervention, and when to seek medical help. If you are not a family member of a substance abuse addict and instead need help with your addiction, please visit our Addiction: Substance Abuse Community to get the support you need.

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Does it ever end well?

Does anyone have a story where living with an addict ended up working out, or is it just living with a ticking time bomb where you never know when the addict will relapse again? Do you go in and hope that this time the person will take recovery seriously and it will be okay?  Or is knowing a relapse is around the corner again just what to expect? I don't know if I can take another one honestly. I feel bad saying it, but if I stay, I fear I'm just waiting for another surprise.
13 Comments Post a Comment
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1970885_tn?1385151576
I'm the addict in the relationship. I stopped drinking 27 years ago, and then 12 years in to my sobriety I found pills. I've been using for 15 years; I'm almost 9 months clean now.
All I can offer is my perspective - staying clean is a life-long struggle. The addict's mind never stops, however, the longer you're clean, the easier it is to manage the temptation. You didn't mention the drug; that is a big factor.
Anyway, what I did was tell my doc, pharmacy, dentist, family and friends that I'm an addict. Telling my secret meant I could never use behind it again. I then started going to NA meetings. My wife knows all of my tricks; all of my lies. She's a big part of my support system.
If your addict does these things, then that should indicate that they are serious. But you never know. My addiction has been with me for many years; I work hard not to relapse.
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Avatar_f_tn
My boyfriend's drug of choice is heroin, which he snorts I think.  I keep forgetting the exact number of years he was clean before I met him, but I think he was clean 8 years before he relapsed the first time.  The first time he relapsed he used suboxone for his treatment for about a year.  He was clean a few months and last week I found out he was using again. There were some tell tale signs but I still wasn't sure.  

He doesn't want to go to NA meetings. He still drinks, which I thought you weren't supposed to do?  
But he is going to start seeing a therapist that specializes in addiction. I'm not sure how dedicated he is to recovery. He says he is and he doesn't want to use again, but it's hard to trust him.  
He still wants to keep it a secret from some of our friends which feels bad and I don't feel like I should be the one to tell everyone.  
It sounds like you've definitely taken major steps to change your patterns. I am not so sure he is in the same mindset.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh and by the way, thanks for responding. It's good to hear from the other side of things.
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377493_tn?1356505749
Well, not sure if this counts, but I do consider the addict in my life to be a success story.  I grew up with an alcoholic father.  Not a nice man when he drank, which was pretty much all the time for many years.  He was in and out of jail, was pretty abusive toward my mother and nothing anyone said or did would get him to stop.  At his lowest he was literally on the streets.  My mom never used, but was pretty co dependent and had some pretty serious issues of her own.  I wound up in foster care for awhile.  

My dad decided to get sober when I was about 7 or 8.  My parents reconciled and I was back in the home.  Dad got into AA, mom Al Anon, and they really started to work hard on the issues.  Dad had several slips over the next few years, and was in and out of our home, but he kept at it.  He has now been sober for over 25 years (I'm 43).  

Believe it or not, my parents will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary this year.  It's been a long long road, but I have a very close relationship with both of them.  There has been a lot of therapy and I also was an active member for many years of Al Ateen and Al Anon. I think for my dad the turning point was when he realized that nothing could come before his sobriety.  It had to be first, and he treats it that way to this day.

Now, I work in the social services area and women dealing with what my mom did?  I would advise them to leave and offer help to do so.  However, that isn't what she wanted (although she did leave for periods of time) and today she is glad she hung in there.  I know I wouldn't if this was going on in my own marriage.

Funny though, I do consider him a success story and am very proud of him.  I really am.  He fought the demon and still fights it every day, but he seems to be winning.  He's a good man who battled a horrible illness and I love him to bits.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your response. That's truly terrifying to think about. But it sounds like the truth.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much for sharing your story. It is clear to me from your story that deciding to stay is as much a difficult choice as deciding to leave. I'm still not sure where I stand but it's really nice to hear your story.  Thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

I'm new to the site and came across your post. Just wanted to check in and see how you are doing?

I will say that it can end well in some cases and I encourage you not to give up.

My boyfriend was a crack cocaine addict for a decade. I went through recovery with him for 3 years and I can happily say that we've made it. We are dedicating our lives now to helping other people on their path to recovery.

If you ever want to talk, please do contact me.

All the best to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
i just wanted to add that there are a lot of recovering addicts on this forum who have gone on to lead happy, healthy lives.  i have a thread going on here since my husband is addicted to coke...and so many wonderful people have shared their success stories. they are out there.
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3060903_tn?1390303996
My husband and myself have been clean and sober for going on 14 years. I no longer like the smell of alcohol, yet i used to down a 26oz of vodka and two bottles of wine every day for a decade at least. I love my life since being off of drugs. I've gone through death of friends, deaths of family members, physical injury, loss of jobs, no contact with family members (who did not believe it was possible for an addict to get and stay clean).  I haven't gone through the loss of my husband or child, since getting clean and sober. I obviously hope and believe that my son will outlive me, but there is the possibility of losing my beloved partner, or he will live through my passing from his life. The plan is to continue on with our live's as we are now, clean and sober. The reason is that there is no amount of alcohol or drugs that will lessen such a grievous loss. We have learned this in our sobriety. I can't imagine ever losing my hard fought sobriety for anything. I am in "love" with being clean and sober. I understand life and death, and choose life, and feel i am honestly capable of choosing life over death. Using drugs and alcohol is a very painful life, we feel that we are choosing an inferior life, by using. We know how much we have let our loved ones down. Many of us find that we were using because we did not love ourselves, and have found a way to stop disrespecting ourselves. We have found how to love ourselves's again.  Most addicts, and alcoholics, while they go through a stage of "loving" their DOC also hate their DOC. In sobriety, every day of their sobriety (once they have gone through detox , withdrawal, and the depression etc.) an addict/alcoholic is grateful that they are clean and sober, and do not ever want to lose the freedom to love themselves and others. In reply to your question, is there ever a happy ending? Yes, dear girl, there is. With the technology that is available for people now a days, there is a lot of support for those suffering from addiction, and please believe me, a person who cannot stand on their own with drugs and/or alcohol are suffering. My husband's alcoholism and drug addiction was handled by his x wife by dropping him off at a police station. I handled my husband's addiction by looking underneath it. Underneath, i found my husband suffered from paranoid schizophrenia that had been left with no diagnosis. Many addicts suffering (active) are trying to cover up their mental issues, with drugs and alcohol. It is often helpful to have a therapist talk to the addict and determine if their are childhood issues, or mental instability in the form of anxiety or depression that may be fueling the addict's desire to escape. Whatever the reason for abuse, an addict is capable of change, especially if they have people left in their lives that care to support them in their recovery. That's they key here for you. You must support your husband's recovery and not his addiction. Do that, and you will have a chance to see your husband in his "recovery" Although you'll hear that we don't "recover" fully, like people suffering from cancer who are in "remission" we can and do go into long term "recovery" never to use or abuse our DOC's again.
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4313265_tn?1352853017
Hi,

I am new to this and also live with a drug addict. DOC heroin but he never injects, which I am grateful for.

I recently found out he had relapsed again, and it broke my heart I spent most of my days crying, I could't stand the person he became when using.

Today I asked myself the exact same question, does it ever end happily... and after reading the posts from both people in recovery and those that live with an addict, it has brought me some comfort.

I am really pleased I found this forum, I have no one I can really talk too, I feel shame, when all of my friends don't even touch any drugs so I cannot talk to them about it.

My partner of 5 years has had many ups and downs, which after being together for a while I started to notice a pattern as to when he was relapsing.
His brother passed away quite a long time ago, and when that happened that was when he turned to drugs, recently our neighbour a very old gentleman whom my partner was a carer for passed away, and I now understand that this is his way of escaping his demons.

I want to support him, and see him through this, but how do you do it?
Where do you get the strength?

I have asked him to be completely honest with me, and if he needs to use he tells me, and if he is rattling he tells me. He has agreed to go back on methadone, that he really wants to stop hurting, and I think deep down inside he means it, he has made an appointment with his Dr, to discuss this, and these were all things he decided he wanted to do, I didn't tell him.

The other issue is that he is 43, I am 26 and I sometimes wonder if I am wasting my life away, but when he is clean, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and would not ever dream of leaving him.

I think after reading all the posts I want to give him this chance to show me he can change.

Thank you for all the positive posts, it has really helped.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm so glad you posted this question; I wonder this all the time.
Two things that keep me going:
1. Most of the counselors my addict has worked with are recovering addicts themselves (do you watch Rehab with Dr. Drew? Yeah, yeah, I KNOW it's "reality" TV, but his counselors are recovering addicts also, I believe).

2.From my experience, the only people we see at NarAnon are those with family members who are still struggling. Who's going to commit that time if their addict is in active recovery?  They're out there...they're just not going to meetings anymore, so you don't see them.

I tell my addict all the time why I believe she will overcome the odds (often I have to convince myself).

As we have no control over the wrong actions our addicts take, we also don't know what positive inputs they are receiving when we're not around. There is always hope!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi I have to sympathise with you. My bf DOC was also smoking heroin. He is also in a subatex intervention programme. I hear what you say so much as this is how i feel daily too. He started doing H 3 years ago which i was unaware until an admission one night after our relationship was falling apart. I decided to stay and support him through recovery. 9 months on, i am awaiting the same relapse! he takes .4mg x5 daily as he is tapering but his behaviour has changed again, he has lost alot of weight! I just dont know anymore. I cant believe him anymore to say he is clean he so blatantly lied to me for 3 years. All i do is hope everyday. I cant tell how long it lasts, or how long i can continue feeling paranoid about his relapse..if he does! I wish you luck and good wishes, but i dont know either xx
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Avatar_f_tn
I ran across your post and figured I would try and answer you the best way possible. My husband was addicted to brown and cocaine. He used by IV. He did both drugs for awhile. He is now on methadone which to me is not much better, but it is better than IV use and using the other. He is a great person and was before I married him. He just changed when he was using, he became mean and I swore I wanted to leave. You can go back and read my post and see how bad it was. It was HORRIBLE. I would not wish that on my worst enemy and in the process of him doing what he did, I lost myself to pain pills. I have been clean for about a year and he has been clean for about 2 years. He might have had slip ups in there but nothing that was on going. It is very hard to see the one you love go down and nopt be able to stop it. If you love him and you are a strong person then try and stick it out, if you think that you can move on then do that. If you ever need advice I can answer. I know what it is like and how bad it hurts.
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