Fountain or Drain?

Sometimes it feels like there is no space in my life for me. My goals, my dreams – everything has to sit on the backburner because I am busy cleaning up someone else’s mess.

Always.

Whether it’s the dogs or my boyfriend, I might as well be a 24 hour maid. Occasionally I find extra pill crushers too, or a rolled up dollar bill. So why is everything such a struggle? I ask myself this question more and more often. Don’t we want the same things? Because if we do, then shouldn’t this relationship be easier?

Life is messy when you are on drugs. Things get lost, things are easily forgotten, and procrastination becomes a daily habit. He takes the pills to numb himself even though he says he doesn’t need them. He just wants to ‘have fun’.

So where do we meet? And how do we connect? What binds us? I ask myself these questions every day. Is it love? We are in love, yes. But is love enough to sustain this relationship forever? Who gets worn down first? Because surely I am picking up more than half the slack.

It takes more than love to sustain a relationship. It takes patience, understanding, making adjustments and compassion. Sometimes tough love is necessary but without meanness. It has to come from a good place.

But if he is in love than he must be happy so why the drugs? What is making his life so unbearable? At times the confusion is so overwhelming and I know he feels it too but his way of dealing with it is simply to NOT.

This has forced me to reexamine my life and my relationship with God or my Higher Power. I used to have more time to nurture myself and my relationship with something greater than myself but that voice has been silent for a long time. It has been a tough lesson in evaluating where I am and where I want to be.

Carving out even ten minutes a day to sit in silence has become crucial at this point. I need the stillness to reflect and reassess. I can’t be a fountain forever can I? And he can’t be a drug addict forever can he? Doesn’t it get old? Doesn’t he want a live a life free of depending on something that is slowly destroying his body?

There has been some progress but when you are the only sober person in someone’s life who has addiction issues you are biting off more than you can chew.  I realize I may not get all my answers right way, but asking the questions are a release just as taking the time to nourish my mind and body is important.

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Boyfriend 2.0

Did I mention I have the perfect boyfriend? My boyfriend rocks – literally. Every morning and every night he tells me he loves me. He is a great parent to our three dogs and dinner is always served when I get home from work.

But when he’s on coke he’s an A +++ PLUS boyfriend. In addition to his usual routine, he vacuums, spit shines the house until its sparkling and organizes his closet like someone with OCD.

I barely recognize him on coke. In fact the difference is remarkable and I have seen a lot of people at both at parties and clubs on coke. Coke has the opposite effect on him and is nothing like the painkillers.

He is serious, quiet, introspective and almost docile on cocaine.  This is why I am convinced that addiction is a mental disease. Even if I try to press all his buttons and act like the kind of girlfriend that would make you cringe, he is still the perfect gentleman. Never once does he lose his temper and he is overly protective of me to the point where I have to tell him to relax.

Go figure.

When he’s sober he teases me for being a square. I don’t take it personally because it has always been my anxiety that has prevented me from dabbling in drugs. My fear of committing to a drug that could hold me prisoner for hours on end terrifies me.

I always like to know exactly where the EXIT signs are and I have yet to come across a drug that has a five minute life span. Something I could literally sample or dip my toe into the pool and test the temperature before diving in.

My fear is when the coke gets mixed with painkillers. This is a deadly cocktail from what I’ve been told. And when the coke doesn’t allow him to fall asleep he will snort a small line of a blue pill to take the edge off. His brother has warned him about the dangers of mixing the two and my anxiety goes through the roof when I see this.

He assures me he is fine but I’m afraid he won’t wake up. Like all things addictions shift and change. Like trading Twizzlers for Snickers. I know he wants to do less drugs. We even have refrigerator magnet where he wrote ‘Do Less Drugs’ as a goal.

But I want zero drugs. Every week I see him battle between where he is and where he would like to be. I will only support his healthy habits and in turn have taken more time to nurture myself. I’m on a mission to get him into a Yoga class at least once so that he can get a taste of how deep breathing and focusing inward can benefit him.

I have also decided to go back to teaching Yoga as well. Not full time, but at least a couple classes a week. In a way I’d like to set an example for not only him but for myself. A reminder that you always have a choice. And it’s okay to feel your feelings instead of numbing yourself with drugs and alcohol.

I love him but I know I always have a choice.

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BRB Babe

I hear these words a lot. Accompanied by the sound of keys and before I get a chance to ask where he’s going or exactly how long ‘brb’ is going to take, he’s gone.

It used to be that he would take an hour or two at a Dotty’s, which is a local gaming bar. I would call and text asking why was he taking so effing long? BRB means a five to ten minute trip to me but to him it could mean an all nighter at the bar dropping hundreds of dollars into a machine I’ve grown to hate.

There was one night where he said he was going to McDonald’s across the street from us to get me a hot fudge sundae. It would have been a brisk five minute walk but he took the car and guess what? It was the longest McDonald’s run in history. It took two hours and I never got the stupid sundae. Did I mention it’s next door to another popular gaming bar?

Gambling used to be one of our biggest fights. He would feed one twenty dollar bill after another into a machine that would light up, blink a bunch of times and then ask for more. I would watch those numbers on the screen dwindle, feeling my heart sink and unable to comprehend why anyone would take their hard earned money and basically throw it away.

He told me to be more positive because it was affecting the energy of the machine. I laughed really hard at how ludicrous that was which just pissed him off. He actually told me to leave because my negative energy was affecting the machine. These are the moments I have to ask myself if I’m an enabler.

So is living with an addict like babysitting a giant kid? It feels like it most of the time. Some of my good traits have rubbed off on him because he barely gambles anymore compared to last year, but now painkillers have substituted the gambling. And in a big way.

I work, I clean and I pay the bills but not always on time because money is tight. He works too but if I told you I knew where he spends all his money I’d be lying. I know a good chunk of it is on pills and most recently Suboxone. We fight over money a lot because he can’t always contribute his share and this is where I start to feel more like a parent and less like a girlfriend.

I hate it. We fight, I cry, I tell him to grow up, he apologizes, makes more promises and the entire cycle repeats itself. I hug my dogs and my visit my yoga mat daily for sanity because I sure as hell can’t tell my mom.

For now I’ve made a promise to do one nice thing for myself each day. Something for me, independent of him so I can feel normal.

My Addict is Better than Yours

I met my boyfriend almost three years ago. He partied just like everyone else but who isn’t a weekend warrior these days? I had just gotten out of a relationship with someone who had a coke problem and was ready to move on.

Fast forward to now. We live together with our dogs and I am happy most of the time. To everyone else we probably seem like a normal couple except if you look closer our lifestyle are very different. My night table has a lamp, a candle and sometimes a bottle of water. His night stand has the same things as well as a cut up straw, a credit card and a pill crusher.

He actually has several pill crushers. I’ve found some in the pockets of his jacket, one in his shoe and a few in our medicine cabinet. The world of painkillers is completely new to me but this year I’ve learned  A LOT. Like the difference between blue pills, green pills and how suboxone is supposed to help you wean off these.

There’s been cold sweats, stomach aches and a list of other side effects I could never live with. In fact, I have never touched a drug save for smoking a little weed in college. I have my anxiety to thank for this. Most of my friends know that my fear of experimenting with drugs is up there with asking me to jump out of a plane. My fear of losing control trumps everything.

And then there’s my vanity. I’m a girl who’s obsessed with skin care, yoga and all things beauty related and have seen the ugly side effects from drug and alcohol abuse.

There was one time he asked to go to rehab and I felt the biggest wave of relief but it was short lived. Someone told him he could curb his cravings with Kratom, an herbal drug from Southeast Asia that acts as a sedative at high doses and helps people with opiate addiction.

So this is where we are at now. He is sweet, caring and I love him to pieces. I want to help him but all our fights lead back to the same place – ‘one day’.

 

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