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End of a relationship with a heroin addict - living in limbo

Posted by Anne on 4 March 2011.

I've spent the last four and a half years of my life hiding my relationship with a heroin addict which ended over a year ago. I didn't know he had problems until a year into the relationship.  When my parents found out they worried themselves sick, my brother suffers from mental iilness and I didn't want to add to their burden. I was naive and thought I could help my friend and that I was strong enough, so I kept everything a secret and carried on.  I would tell people when it was all ok. I kept secrets from his family  so they would think everything  was fine. They were pleased he had met somebody they liked and  he seemed to be moving on. I only recently found out that he has spent 1o years of his life in  out of prison due to his addiction.  His family had kept this from me but I don't blame them.  The web of lies is easier than the truth sometimes and it has been his career, it's now mine. Despite everything we remained 'friends ' until recently I have had to cut him out of my life. It's been really hard.  I have spent the last few years living in an emotional zombie land, waiting for phone calls that tell me my friend is either dead or in prison, prison to me means at least he would still be alive and get clean. Lying to friends and family has been horrible and I suppose I had a taste of what it must be like for him. It's a lot of weight to carry on your shoulders. Sometimes I find it hard to feel any emotion at all and other times I think of him suffering and it makes me feel like I want to scream. I have tried to help him over and over again, I've tried everything I thought would work but the lies and stealing and situations he has got in to have finally got to me. I know the things he has done are wrong. Other people put labels on him like 'junkie' or 'smackhead' but forget that he is still a human being. He is more than just a 'junkie' to me. It's really hard to watch someone you care about  despite the  things they have done, dying a slow, relentless death.  Inside I am dying to. He recently went to rehab, after months of fighting for funding and lots of tears. I was  so happy that he was going to be safe and well and starting to live life. That's what mattered to me but it lasted three week's and he was out living on the streets.  The emotional roller coaster has started again. His mother is totally destroyed by it all  and is constantly taking time off work. I don't want this to be my life too and the ripple effect it has on others. I won't let him stay with me  anymore and have found out he is now staying with her.  Somebody told me the best way to help him was 'tough love.'  Before I met him I didn't tell lies and now I'm a liar too. I was selfish and kept him in my life for too long because I thought he would be safe with me and I didn't want him to die. I believed it was all going to be ok.  I kept thinking it would change. My lies  and my selfishness hurt him too. How arrogant was I? he could have died at any point from overdose with or without me. I would like to move on one day but I still worry for him and keep hoping everything will be ok. I feel guilt all the time that I have done  and said the wrong things. I feel guilt because I have given up. I feel guilt for trying to move on and live life when he isn't.
Anne

Comments

Rose
29 Mar 2011

Anne, perhaps the best way to care for him, is to care your YOURSELF!!! Get yourself to a safe place on the road back to the light, and one day, maybe you CAN help him? Narcotics Anonymous worked for my daughter. Decide today is the day you are going to turn life around for yourself. There IS hope. YOU can do it!! Rose

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