Former Long Term Addict Here - Open to questions

recovery
relationship

#1

Greetings village, I am a former addict who suffered through 20 years of addiction. My addiction started off with pain pills when I was young, then adderal, then crystal meth and GHB in my later years. I would use all day every day - I was a functioning addict to a degree but was deep in the rabbit hole where most of the time I saw no light what so ever.

Being an addict is a tough life, they say you can only recover once you love yourself enough to get better. I had trouble with this as I didn’t love myself enough, I felt shame in every single way for my addiction - I wasn’t worthy of love. It wasn’t until I met my now fiance who was somehow able to see the real me underneath all of my addictions. Her support, love, patience and understanding gave me the drive to give her the best version of myself.

For those with loved ones suffering from addiction, keep expressing and showing your love regardless of how difficult it may be at times. Remember, addiction is not a choice, it’s a life that is multiples tougher than others and the person with the addiction feels they are not worth any joy, any love or any happiness.

Having someone in my life love me who had the patience and understanding of what recovery looks like made all the difference, eventually I was able to get to a place where I loved myself enough to put my addiction behind me but without her love and voice guiding me through, it would have been challenging.

Tell your loved one you love them, while it might be hard to understand the mindset of an addict try and remind them that life will get easier. I think constant love and support for those struggling with addiction is a huge driver to recovery.

Remember, the road to recovery is not a straight line - you will have set backs but be patient and understanding and know there is a better life on the other side waiting for your loved one.


#2

Hello, @addictability (Jon), thank you so much for posting this and being so open about your journey. As the mom of a young man with addiction, I appreciate hearing that love and support can make a world of difference and that self-love is key - these concepts all resonate with what I believe as well.

My son has been making progress with not using his drug of choice for about 6 weeks or so (is on medication assisted treatment), but just recently, it’s as though his life has gotten worse anyhow. First, he was kicked out of his apartment for getting behind on rent payments.

Then the night after Thanksgiving, he hit a deer and looks like his car (our car, actually) is totaled. Luckily, he is fine. But he’s temporarily homeless and without a vehicle, which is tough. We and his girlfriend are shuttling him back and forth to work, and we plan to get his car fixed up. One reason is that he keeps talking about getting a motorcycle and we (me and my husband) don’t support that idea, so we will help make sure he has a vehicle, so long as we can afford to help with that.

I tell that story to comment that sobriety by itself is not a cure-all, and sometimes it seems like life even gets more difficult for a while. I’ve heard this from others in long-term recovery as well - that drugs shielded them to some extent from feeling the pain of their circumstances, and they had to learn to deal with the consequences of their use and find coping skills for the emotions that had been buried for so long.

Thanks again for being on this forum. You have a wonderful and encouraging story to share. I’m a member of a group called Refuge Recovery for recovery from addictions of all kinds, so it’s different from being in a family support group such as Al-Anon. I love it! My addiction has been anxiety, and I’m still working to overcome that. I feel so empowered by being part of a group with men and women who are on a journey toward long-term sobriety and wellness.


#3

Thank you so much for being here @addictability! Your story is important, and I’m positive your unique perspective will be of great value to this Community. :relaxed:


#4

I guess I’d just have two questions now, my fiance has been clean for a month now. She was clean for a few months before her last relapse. First off, how can I help her maintain that? We’re on methadone and just focus on her quality of life, exercising, eating, being happy. Also she wants to feel more included on my life and family, after all the lying and stealing from the past it’s been tough not to sometimes be distant or for my friends to be inclusive. What can I do about that?


#5

Great questions @Dean_Acton! Moved them to their own posts - here and here - so that others can easily find answers to the same qns in the future.


#6

@addictability Hope you can share your insight on Dean’s questions on the threads linked above! :relaxed: