Often in Mental Health settings you come across situations where physical pain manifests from the inablitity to express mental pain. As I am sitting here in bed in abject pain from my jaw and gums I wonder if this is a reflection of my mental torment. It isn’t of course it because the dentist has been poking about in there and has triggered something off but in pain I am. 2 years ago K called me into his rehab setting to tell me he couldn’t stay with me as he had to focus on his recovery – bullshit of course as he didn’t stay in rehab or recovery but I can clearly remember the pain I felt back then. I felt physical and mental pain like no other I had experienced. I wanted to die! I was heart broken. But I also didn’t know that I was sick. I had started to attend Nar-anon meetings but was still very far from understanding what it meant that I had become a co-dependent and my pain was intrinsically linked to that. My focus was still on K not myself. I still didn’t understand how I had contributed to his addiction. And to some point 2 years on still am not 100% convinced that everything i did was wrong. What I do know for certain is whether I contribute money to enable him to use drugs or not will not stop him from using. What I did control to a greater or lesser degree was I stopped him from committing more crime than he did to get what he wanted or needed. So in that respect that was my reward. I kept him with me. He used that to his advantage at times when I was getting fed up of the constant daily ritual we went thro, the ‘love you don’t want me breaking the law and doing something stupid do you?’ line was used again and again as though if I didn’t give him the cash I would somehow be responsible if he went to jail. Of course now I see it was manipulation but when I was lock in to co- dependency actually believed it was my responsiblity – that’s how sick I had become.
For me my recovery comes in waves. I knew I had to change a lot of my behaviours before I was able to move on. Or at least learn how not to revert back to harmful behaviours. After speaking with my sponsor I realise that these behaviours will never go away and can be triggered at any time, but I need to learn how to control them. As with any addict. I have certain personality traits that will always be there. I am kind I am loving I am giving, all positives….but can be taken advantage of if co-dependency creeps in. Doing things for the right reasons can easily become for the wrong reasons. Helping someone out can be linked to wanting power and control of a situation that isn’t mine to control. So helping becomes enabling – that tightrope I mentioned in a post recently.
Now I am estranged from the addict in my life again I am able to reflect back to see how I have moved on. How much have I actually learnt and put into practice. I get upset when people can’t see I have moved on. Jeez if I hadn’t I would be still doling out twentys every day. Be running around after him phoning him pleading with him to take me back. Texting him how much I love him need him. But I have come full circle back to the beginning but with a new way of seeing things to the point where I have put into practice the steps I have learnt and jumped off the merry go round so I DONT repeat the same mistakes again. I can see the circle but am now a bystander. I can see HIS merry go round revolving door call it what you will, but it’s a ride I don’t want to be on and am not paying to get on it – physically mentally or emotionally. Of course I feel for him I would feel for any relapsed addict be that a friend a lover a family member. But I no longer feel I have to be part of it. It’s NOT my responsiblity.
I was asked by someone to make it implicit what I had learnt on my journey – I don’t feel the need to do that – but actually that sort of thing is difficult for me. To focus on my recovery is hard enough so maybe this post will go some where towards showing what I have achieved if it’s not obvious! 2 years ago I was thinking how I could kill my self I was beyond sick. Now I understand how I contributed to my own illness, and now how to keep myself safe. How I can let go – have let go. I have detached with love and am letting the addict make his own choices. Again I question – for the addict how he can make reasonable choices when in active addiction- but I have no input to his choices. Being a people pleaser is hard, to say no is hard, but saying yes is sometimes more hurtful and destructive.
So I wonder if this post goes some way to answering the questions that I was asked. Still being a people pleaser, by doing this so maybe I haven’t moved on that much when others opinions mean more to me – but I haven’t gone backwards or jumped on the ride again so for that I am grateful and if I have to justify myself to those I hold dear then here it is my justification and some of what I have learnt.