How can I help?

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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How can I help?

Post by Bugszy » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:13 pm

Hello folks, I'm new to this site and this experience. I am not completely new to the world of having to deal with a person who abuses a substance as I grew up with an alcoholic mother. For years, it was very difficult for me as a child but as a adult now, with my own kids, I've made great strides to disconnect from my mother's abuse. Because of her drinking habits and after 2 DWI's, I had to limit her involvement with my children as well. But I've always been very careful not to have my kids exposed to the sort of things I was growing up. My mom put me and my sister in some very dangerous positions, tried killing herself multiple times in front of us, and would get drunk and say terrible things. I'm not even sure I've dealt with a lot of that but my current situation is bringing up a lot of bad feelings for me of what I've been through.

My current concern if for my friend, *Ted. Ted and I briefly dated about two years ago, having met through a gaming site and hit it off as friends. Ted told me right off the bat about his life. He'd done some time in prision because he had a heroin addiction, one that he supported by robbing houses. When I met Ted, he'd been out of prison for two years and been clean for a year, having gone to multiple rehabs before, he only actually got clean when he decided he really wanted to and went through withdrawals on his own. He was very forthcoming about his experiences and I told him I appreciated his honesty and I've never judged him on the things he's done in his past. Ted has been nothing but caring, supportive, and a good friend to me. The relationship didn't work out as we want different things and we're very different people but from that came a really close friendship. Skip ahead 8 months, I'm looking to leave NY (he lives in Arkansas) and he's looking for a roommate. I'm widowed with two small children and the burden of being consumed by my husband's death was overwhelming in NY. I had a wonderful marriage to a great man. It's been almost 6 years since we've lost him and I've done extensive grief work and really pulled myself out of the fog but I felt it was time for the kids and I to start somewhere new. So, Ted and I decide to co-purchase a house together. He had briefly lived with us for a few months while inbetween places and we got along/lived together well. I helped him and he helped me so co-purchasing a house seemed like a good idea and investment for both of us.
So we bought a house in Arkansas but the kids and I moved in first, as Ted is still on parole for his jail time and had to get all his ducks in a row before he could move, which ended up taking longer than expected. What was supposed to be a month or two became almost 6 months and while my kids and I are enjoying our new life in a new place, I could that Ted was starting to struggle. He's about 5 hours from us, so we don't all see each other often, but we talk daily. Ted was getting very lonely and started reconnecting from people in his past.. people who're not good influences. He steadily began no longer having a normal schedule, quit his job, and was obviously depressed. His mother who has been through by his side through all of his stuff (when she first found out he was using at 16, she dragged him to a rehab out of the state, and took him to several others through out his life), has contacted me a few times to ask how he's been. Ted has never really been comfortable talking to people but he talks pretty openly with me and his other friend Gerry. Her reaching out though showed me that I wasn't just imagining him slipping backwards, it was happening.

Then yesterday was my son's birthday party so Ted and Gerry drove up for my son's party. All was well until the party ended and the kids went to bed and then out it came.. Ted said that the last couple months have been harder on him than he wanted to admit and how lonely he felt, both with me being so far and Gerry being so busy with work, he felt like he had no one to talk to. Long story short, he relapsed. He spent over 1500 dollars on both heroine and cocaine over the past few months and has been using again.

At first, I didn't know what to feel. I'm angry that he didn't come clean right off the bat, or call one of us, but I know being angry with him is only going to push him further away. And I know it really has nothing to do with me, it's his own issues and demons that he has to work with. And when he came clean about relapsing, a whole other mess of stuff came out. About guilt that he feels having robbed people's homes, some with people who were in home, the fear that he created.. and I know he genuinely feels bad about the stuff that he's done but the guilt is eating him up alive. I know I can't baby him or 'fix' anything for him but I don't even know where to start directing him to try to help him. He obviously has some serious things he need to work through. And it's so strange to see that other side because even though I've heard about his past, he's never been anything but great to us and a good friend. I would really appreciate some guidance on how I can best support him.

My other anger/worry/concern is now that if he's relapsed and using again.. what if that happens in front my kids? He swears up and down that he would never risk putting my kids in any sort of danger and he would never bring anything into the house but I feel like my trust in him is a bit shattered. I don't want to expose my kids to any sort of a toxic environment and though I know he'd never hurt them, I don't want them to see him in a state of being high, or withdrawls. They love him a great deal and they've already been through enough of a shitstorm from losing their father in a motorcycle crash. My daughter, especially, is highly sensitive to people hurting. So, I need to take into consideration if I should just take my children out and make other living arrangements or what. And I told him that, I told him that I want to support him but as a parent, my kids's safety always comes first, and that the only way I would consider still co-habitating with him is if he started going to NA meetings again and took them seriously - gets a sponser, gets activites, takes this relapse seriously as a wake up call that he needs to be actively involved in recovery and he promises he will. He says he'll start going to meetings there and continue them when he moves here.

I've just come so far in my own personal work to better myself and be healthier, I was severely depressed and suffered PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks after my husband was so suddenly taken from us. I was miserble for a long time and I used alcohol, much like my mother, to deal with it for a while but after about a year of that, I realized that I was just digging a hole and quit drinking, made better choices, got my stuff together. But it's been a uphill battle and I still have my depressed days, though now I'm able to more easily work through them.. I just don't want to get dragged back into a bad spot myself, or make things harder for me and my kids, while trying to support him as well. I love our new city, I love my new job, I'm seeing a guy who's very healthy for me and my kids like, things are finally a lot better for me. But I want to support my friend, too, I want his life to be great and I want him to see that there's still hope after @%&* hits the fan but I don't know how to help him.

I just needed to get some of that out.

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Re: How can I help?

Post by grateful » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:03 pm

Welcome. I learned that it's okay to say to anybody with a drug problem the truth. I am a recovering codependent. I can't be helpful to you because of issues that are mine. I need to protect my own sobriety, my well being and that of my children. I am willing to say things like that because it is true for me. I cannot help a practicing addict. The best help I'm aware of with people who have this disease are other recovering As. In NA or AA (if no NA in their area), there is help and hope for those who will go to any lengths to get it. In Nar-Anon (or Al-Anon if no Nar-Anon meetings in a reasonable locale), I can get the help I need to make sure I take good care of me and not try to take good care of the A.

Keep coming back. Others will weigh in. We understand.
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Re: How can I help?

Post by adzmom » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:28 am

Sorry your here, but welcome. We learn here that addictiint is a family disease and it affects those of us closest to the addict. A family living with an active addict is very stressful, I'm speaking from experience. I have tried too many tines to allow my ah to recover in our home with our children and it has never been successful, for us. Read as much literature on detachment and enabling. I regret all the back and forth my ah and I have done to our children, they are worth protecting even if its from our dysfunctional relationship, keep your focus on u and ur kids. Get to a ftf MTG, keep coming back

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