How do you know when to let go?

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 do you know when to let go?

Post by violetskye » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:51 pm

I have been with my boyfriend for 7 months. When I first met him he told me of his 20+ year struggle with heroin and alcohol addiction. He had been clean for 6 years and had just moved out of sober living 6 months prior. He had been in a sober living house for all those years. I didn't judge him for his past, I had a lot of respect for his ability to get his life together. He is a bartender and he has chronic back issues. When we first met, he was occasionally taking narcotic pain pills to relieve the pain while he works on his feet at work for 10 hours at a time. Then he went to a doctor who started prescribing Percocet. Like a lot of Percocet. Like 100 a month. He has no health insurance and I guess they didn't know what else to do for him. I could tell he was addicted soon after. He has promised to quit several times over the last 5 months but has been unable to do so. He says the pain is too much and he doesn't know what else to do. He admits he is addicted and wants to quit. It causes him to be moody, distant and disinterested in sex. He has made many promises and has not delivered. I know the situation is tough with a legitimate back issue but integrity and respect and honesty is paramount for me and I know a healthy relationship isn't possible with an addict. I have a young son to consider too. So, I'm 7 months in and I love him but this seems like a lot to deal with in such a short relationship. He says he's going to try again to quit but how many times do you hear that and it doesn't happen before you go? I don't want to enable and I need to do what's best for me but I also feel like as long as he's trying to do the right thing I should love and support him and not give up.

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Re: How do you know when to let go?

Post by lbogie » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:18 pm

"How do you know when to let go" ...................... You'll know! For me, it was when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and starting putting the focus on ME and MY recovery.

Keep reading, so much Support, Strength and knowledge here ....... Letting go doesn't necessarily mean leaving. To me it means letting go of things I can't control and Believe me, it's not that easy. It's a daily conscious effort.

I've learned to really really trust my gut instinct (HP is God for me). I Believe that is my HP guiding me.
As much as I'd love nothing more than to help and support my Son (in jail), I have to be True to Myself first! And really, it is not up to me to "fix" him. If and only if and when our ALOs are ready to change their life, it won't happen by my wishing for it.

So sorry you are in this predicament and having a young child to consider changes alot..
"Be True To Thine Self"
“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

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Re: How do you know when to let go?

Post by MissingHim2016 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:25 pm

To me letting go doesn't mean giving up. It just means letting my HP take control because I can't.

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Re: How do you know when to let go?

Post by SDIN2T » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:21 pm

My 2 oldest sons are addicts. One of them, before he started doing heroin, had an incredible girlfriend for many years, who I loved like a daughter. They were completely in love with each other and I thought they'd eventually be married and start a wonderful life together. My son's GF found out about his addiction after he stole money from her. She confronted him and provided a boundary she was willing to follow through on. She offered to stay with him and support him if he committed to recovery, otherwise she had to leave in order to protect herself.

He didn't choose recovery.

His girlfriend ran out of the house in tears almost 4 years ago and I haven't seen her since. My son is still in the depths of addiction and always making promises to get sober. I've heard through mutual friends the girl finished grad school, has a great job and is engaged to be married to a wonderful man.

I can only imagine the insanity and chaos her life would be if she stayed with my son. But it's not hard for me to imagine because I married my soulmate who is an alcoholic and addict. I wish I made a different decision when I had the opportunity almost 30 years ago.

You're only 7 months in now. What kind of life do you wish to live? Keep reading here to understand what it's like loving an addict. Addiction is a disease for which there is no cure.

And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life - JK Rowling

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Re: How do you know when to let go?

Post by vscook » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:16 pm

Addiction is a life-long disease, which can be controlled but never cured. It is a family disease meaning it affects more than the alcoholic/addict - it affects everyone around him. There are people who choose to stay with their addicted loved one, and there are people who choose to leave. I was married for 19 years when I left my alcoholic husband. We separated, but never divorced. His addiction continued to spiral out of control, and he passed away five years ago this month. No one can tell you what to do, but if you stick around you will hear a lot of wisdom from people who have been where you are. Keep coming back.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present.

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Re: How do you know when to let go?

Post by DianeB » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:01 pm

You will know if you look honestly at your feelings and what you want for your life.

Addiction is life long. I have watched my son struggle with active addiction, relapse
for years, recovery for years, relapse again and again. He is 53.

He is also my son. I have had him for 53 years and will never give up on hope for his
lasting recovery and health.

I married my husband even though I knew his problem with drugs and alcohol. I didn't
understand the life long issue with addiction. After several months I knew he was
drinking heavily again and probably using. I chose to not live with addiction. I asked
him to leave as I would not participate in this toxic behavior. No matter how much
I loved him, I also loved myself. He made the chose to not drink or use again because
I would not live that kind of chaos. Trying wouldn't cut it. Trying got him nowhere.
He would still fall back. My philosophy was as Yoda said. "Do or not do, there is no
trying" He quit.

That is rare. Very rare. I was lucky.

7 months is not a lifetime. 7 months is a blip on the radar of life. What is your life
worth? What do you want for YOUR life? He has control of his life. You don't. You only
have control of yours.

Think hard

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Re: How do you know when to let go?

Post by violetskye » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:20 pm

Thank you for all your words of wisdom. Chronic pain is a difficult issue but it's made that much more complicated if the person suffering is also an addict. He doesn't seem very concerned about his current Percocet addiction. I am concerned. So concerned that I went on here yesterday and posted this and attended the online meeting last night. Which I realize now is probably more effort than he has made and it's his addiction. It's easy for him to justify the addiction because the pills are prescribed by his medical doctor. If he was doing "street drugs" or buying them on the black market I feel like it would be more cut and dry. But the fact is, he is addicted to opiates and it is negatively affecting all aspects of his life. He is a well know writer and poet in our city but he has almost completely stopped doing any writing or podcasts or readings that he used to do since he's been on the pills. So many writers and poets would kill for the opportunities he has and does nothing with. He has at times, in moments of clarity, acknowledged the addiction as a real problem and promised to quit. The most recent was about 3 weeks ago wherein he took a weekend to be by himself to detox. He did and he had some Suboxone to help with the transition. He told me this was it. He was done with the pills because he knew it was bad for him and us. He took the Suboxone for a week but two days after stopping that he was back on the Percocet. He says it's for the back pain and if he doesn't take them he gets withdraws and he has to work and life goes on so what else is he supposed to do. He has an appointment with the prescribing doctor tomorrow and he says he's going to lay it out all out and ask for help. He says he understands if it's too much for me to deal with and I want to leave and he loves me enough to want me to be happy, even if it's without him. He says I don't have enough sympathy for how much his back hurts but in those times of clarity he's told me it's not really about the back pain. He does not have health insurance so getting something like an MRI to figure out exactly what is wrong is hard to do.

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Re: How do you know when to let go?

Post by MarieW » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:34 pm

My husband gets all his pain pills from his doctor, but that doesn't mean they aren't destroying his life. He had chronic back pain, too. He also had the bad luck to go into a medical pain management program 10 years ago when they thought oxy was going to be the answer and that it wasn't addictive. We all know now that that was a lie.

I left my husband four years ago. His life had gotten so small that there was no room in it for me. After I left, he started drinking, too. Fell and broke his wrist, got a DUI, then fell and broke his hip and leg. That was two years a go, he still doesn't walk. I have compassion for him, but he is responsible for his own life and choices. If he doesn't choose to live his best life, even with a disability, I can't make him. God knows, I tried. Finally, I had to let go or be dragged down with him.

I came to Nar-Anon because of my son, who is also an addict. He started stealing his Dad's pills at 17, but that is another story. It took me some time in the program before I could make good decisions. Go to meetings, post and read. Work the steps. Answers will come.
The only wrong way to work this program is to not work it.

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