Clay Cutts, L.M.S.W. | Using My Pain To Help Drug Addicts

Using My Pain To Help Drug Addicts

September 13, 2014

Hi there. If anyone reading this is “In love” with an addict, I can honestly say, “I know how you feel.” I too, at one point had a heroin addicted boyfriend. I am 22 years old and only a couple years back, helped him come to the realization that he was an addict.

It took so much time and effort to get him to admit to me what all he had been lying and hiding from me over the past 6 months. Everyday was a constant struggle from the day I realized he had a problem for myself, to the day I got HIM to admit to me he was abusing heroin.

Powerless To Save Him…and it sucks!

Knowing the truth about his addiction and not being able to get HIM to admit is is probably the most frustrating thing I have ever experienced. Every night I cried myself to sleep not knowing what to do. The question lingered in my head, “Should I break up with him b/c of his addiction and the constant lying? Because I’m better than that?

OR Should I stay with him and do everything in my power to help him get better, for fear if the addiction goes on any longer he will overdose?” I’d been with this kid over 2 years at this point and I was completely lost. My own personal well-being was suffering more than I realized at the time.

Once we talked and he agreed to check into a rehab program – a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and there was such a sense of relief in the air. I knew him being there would keep him completely clean and in the right direction to a clean future. Sadly, the trust I once had in him was completely shattered the moment I found everything out.

Enabling Drug Addicts Is Not The Same As Loving Them

Thinking back on how awful he treated me while he was using – makes me sick. Everyday he lied and manipulated me. Borrowing money, for things such as “gas, bills, car repairs, cigarettes, etc” because he had lost a lot of hours at work and was low on money. And then finding out – all the money I gave him was used towards buying dope. It makes me sick.

Never actually being where he told me he was – was another problem. Never wanting to hangout or see me because he had “other” stuff he had to do (like going to the city to buy, and all other business associated with “dealing”). I was no longer his first priority, and I don’t even think I was a priority at all. His whole life revolved around the process of getting high.

I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. When you are in love with an addict your life changes in more ways than you will ever know. Our relationship has taken a 180 degree turn – for the worst. Like they say, there isn’t a relationship without trust and communication, two things our relationship is clearly lacking. After being out of rehab for a month, the signs of him wanting to change at the beginning were wonderful. Going to meetings like AA and NA, attending intensive outpatient treatment and regularly talking to his sponsor were all evident. I finally felt like our lives were beginning to change for the better, I had yet again SUCH an immense feeling of relief.

Obviously, I continued to doubt his word but still in the back of my head I tried to believe everything he was saying. He began treating me better, paying more attention to me – and this made me so happy. Currently (month and a half after treatment) things seem to be getting worse like we are going in a 1 step forward 2 step back kind of pattern.

Once you deal with an addict for so long – and they don’t prove to you they want to change, their fate is no longer in yours or anybody else’s hands – the only person that can help them is themselves. This is why it is so common to see addicts all alone, they put their addiction above all people and things in their lives – and after while it really takes a toll on the people who love them.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL CHANGE PEOPLE. My boyfriend is NOT the same guy he was when I met him – and just thinking about it makes me tear up. It hurts me both mentally AND physically. This experience has changed my life in more ways than I can tell you. Everything about me is different, my emotional state, my trust in people, and my physical well being has greatly declined.

Having to worry EVERY SECOND of your life about your loved ones addiction forces you to put their problems and needs before your own, and THIS has been the hardest part for me. I have lost myself, in my search for the guy I once fell so deeply in love with.

Love Your Addict, But Be Prepared To Cut Him Loose

If I can give you any advice it is, to not lose sight of your own needs, while trying to help your addict. Give them a chance to change for you – and if they decide to change because of your efforts then that’s GREAT NEWS, you helped save someone’s life.

If they continue to display the same choices and the same lifestyle, then it’s time to let go. You did your part in trying to help – but at this point it is beyond your control- they must now live with their decision to not accept help from someone who truly cared about them.

THAT WAS THEN. So where am I now? Well, I am currently interning at a substance abuse treatment facility working towards earning my CADC (and for those of you who don’t know what that is- it stands for Certified Alcohol and drug Counselor) and plan to start grad school to eventually earn my Masters in Social Work. My personal experience over the years has absolutely turned my idea of what I was going to do with the rest of my life upside down. I have found a true passion in life and finally know this is where I belong. I want to save other’s like him who have immense potential to help others. Experiencing a disease so devastating seems horrible at the time but it can be cured just like almost any other disease, and honestly once you find the light- you can use your experience and your story to help others find that light as well. I know I did.

And with that being said, C*****, you have taught me more than any person so far in my life and I cannot thank you enough.

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