Awesome! 

Last night I was privileged to be invited to a surprise party in celebration of a ‘first year’ in recovery party. I can’t tell you how special it was. One year clean of drugs after battling with a disease that takes so many. To be in a group of recovering addicts it’s truly magical. The hope that radiates from them is tangible. I was more than lucky to be invited as I didn’t know the guy personally but know his wife. For us affected by another’s addiction this is what we dream of, we get it wrong we push them into recovery when they don’t want it, we make them feel like shit because we want them to stop using drugs – they want to stop but it’s not that simple. In the UK rehab and detox are not easily available on the NHS we don’t have the funds for private treatment centres – that’s for the rich and famous! But last night knowing that this individual had faced his demons and will have had the resolve to stay off the drugs for a whole year was most definitely worth celebrating. This morning I thank his HP for giving him the strength to do this, for his gorgeous wife who has stood by him, and arranged his special evening and my HP for guiding me to this life where I can celebrate the successes, but also be there for those who’s loved ones haven’t got there yet. We have to remember this is their journey when the time is right they will find recovery, we have to have faith. 

I feel truly blessed that I have been given access to this amazing community, and whilst I work in my recovery give thanks for all those that are also finding theirs. 

Enough of being a pawn

When you are wrapped up in co-dependency you can become a pawn in a game that you don’t think you have any control over…in fact you might not even know you are a pawn! I look back and wonder how much I was played without realising. Other people’s agendas and fucked  up lives.  As things and stories unravel truths come out I wonder just what part I played in fact in the case I am thinking about I wasn’t even aware I was in some ‘master plan’ being played. But truths come out like I say and even tho my pride is a bit hurt from what I now know I also wonder if it was meant. Or if it was that persons way of looking for an escape. 

I am doing ok. I have been lazy with my step work I try to blame my sponsor for not pushing me even though i asked her too but it’s not her responsiblity it’s mine. But at last I think I have stopped people pleasing. If I don’t want to do something I don’t have too. With my qualifier back in jail I have been able to think about me again. I am getting stronger. He keeps phoning and has written asking for money. I say no. The time before last when he called he asked for money I evaded the question didn’t answer yes or no, but was deliberate in not answering. He asked if I could see what I could do…I said I would, but to me that meant I don’t have to see what I could do I didn’t need to see what I could do, I wasn’t going to do anything….it was just easier than getting into a battle by saying no directly. Last time he called he was going on and on even said you said you would see what you could do…yes I said but that didn’t mean I was going to give you anything, just I will see….he then said but if you send me some money I can phone you. I am afraid I didn’t even think the words came out before I could think of the impact – I reacted! But for once reacted in my favour. I could hear the words come out my mouth I didn’t like the tone of my voice I wish I could have said it in a nicer way but I just didn’t give myself time to think. I didn’t breathe I heard myself saying – why the hell should I pay you to phone me? The line went dead he hung up – good there was nothing more to say. Maybe he’s getting the message that this time I mean it it’s over. He’s not my responsiblity I get nothing from this relationship ( I use that word loosely!) you can give and give but if you get nothing in return eventually you have to walk away. Draw a line under it. It’s not his fault he has this disease. But it’s not mine either. He actually was honest enough to say in his letter that he won’t make promises he can’t keep any more. That words are just that words and he needs to action it not talk about it. I feel sorry for him. I think he has had his chance – too many times. Twice he’s been given rehab. He even did detox in jail, and even tho he knows it makes him sick he lives a hopeless life on the rob to pay for his drugs or selling them until he gets arrested and back in jail he still goes back to it. Again and again. A hopeless case ☹️ don’t get me wrong I know I too was on that merry-go-round I too was repeating the same behaviours hoping for a different outcome, that little co-dependent voice is still trying to mug me off whispering but what if this time he does stay off the gear??? Well if he does then Well Done K! But I can’t live a life wondering if he will relapse the minute something doesn’t go his way. Which is way I must let go. I said to someone the other day, if he could use ‘socially’ smoke a bit of crack or heroin for a bit of pleasure I could accept it. I have a drink at the weekends or what ever it isnt something I HAVE to do. I know others that smoke crack snort coke have a joint but it’s controlled. 

I have gone way off my point! I guess to finish off I am getting more aware of being played, I will no longer be a victim, I catch myself all the time, saying stuff that really is trying to make people feel sorry for me. Not about the addict. But poor me I have had to do this or that. I might not have stopped it but I am becoming aware of it.  I am getting better! 

People pleasing and recovery. 

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. 

Old diary entries!

Last year when he was in rehab and things weren’t going so well I tried to write things down, to try to make sense of my thoughts and feelings ( bit like this blog really!)
I am now going to share some of them with you. This was ‘live’ as it happened, my thoughts are muddled up, they might be difficult to understand and read, but it gives you an idea of how ill I was, and now really egocentric I had become. This really was all about me! I was in denial of that of course, and I suppose because my day to day life had been totally consumed in addiction, I thought everything was focused on him. I did and do try even now to think about the impact rehab was having on him, and maybe because my feelings had been shut down for over a year, now I was able to think about the impact all this had had and was having on me. When I was living with him I had no real time to focus on me, so now given this enforced space and time, it becomes me me me.
What I found interesting is some things I had forgotten until I read my diary. In fact if I had been well I think I could have probably been able to have a conversation with him far better than I could then. I was obsessed. But you can read it for yourselves, and make your own decisions. I think it shows how sick I was, I was losing my world, I couldn’t think straight. Maybe if I had read it again before now, I would not have gone back to him again and again. It its obvious that he doesn’t want me in his life I was saying it out loud and so was he, nearly a year ago, but couldn’t hear what either of us was saying! That is sad. I could have saved my self a lot more heart ache and heart break. So here it is 3 days of despair. I have obviously forgotten a year on that I must have had another phone call from his key worker….but I guess I was very stressed and until now and reading my diary was basing my blog on memory!

So karl is in rehab and even tho it’s been less than a week I am really struggling. I feel very low today, firstly he somehow bought a phone yesterday and as great as it was to speak to him I am very worried he will get a room search and get caught and then get chucked out. He said he doesn’t want to stay, and I think even tho he said he got the phone to speak to me he has only phoned me once and I had to get credit for him and then call him! So I am not happy about that. I think as he is not happy there and wants to leave and I said he can’t if he does he won’t have the coping strategies to stay off the gear and if he relapses then I can’t stay. I have invested too much into this to walk away but now don’t want to go through or live my life like that again. He seems to be on fb all the time and not even bothering to contact me and that pisses me off, and adding female friends again! Yes they might be ppl he knows but I get so overwhelmed by it and feel so insecure and he would say its just me but I can’t help thinking that I am convenient til something better comes along….but that is just because we are apart.
I got a call from a worker last night and that threw me…he said karl was desperate to contact me and explained why they didn’t allow it and that was fine I understand it but now he’s bought this bloody phone and I just feel it damages his chances of success. Part of me wants to tell the staff but I can’t cos he will be thrown out 😩😩
I feel better now I have spoken to that fella last night but karl is so in denial and thinks he knows best, he was horrible to me on the phone he said something about having to be in groups all day and I said and all night and he said your clever! I know he expected me to be really happy to speak to him but I was in total shock, and I was grateful that he phoned me but it goes against every thing that he is supposed to do. I couldn’t think what to say I am rubbish at being supportive when he breaks the rules cos I see the outcome if he is caught and now I haven’t been able to talk to him. Then when I saw he had been on fb today and asked if he wasn’t talking to me I just got a really short message back saying see you l8r! I just feel like I did 2 years ago when he was in rehab and that’s another thing that man said he has 12 weeks then goes into secondary! Not what we thought I just said you better talk to karl about that because there has been no mention of secondary but if that what you think he needs then so be it! All I care about is he gets out and doesn’t go back to using. I hate being so negative but I have to prepare myself for the worse. I will be devastated if this doesn’t work out.. I love karl he is the nicest kindest most loving man ( at times) I have had the pleasure of being in a relationship with. I wouldn’t have stuck by and put with all the shit I have if I didn’t think he was worth it, but at the same time I don’t want to live like that.
I think the best thing for me to do is to just stay off fb stay away from his mum and just wait for him to contact me. Let’s go back to assuming he can’t contact me for another 3 weeks and leave it at that…no doubt that won’t last lol 30/3/14

He called again last night ( Monday) and really battered my head. He is working on relationship stuff which is good but then says staff will want to talk to me about things and says he’s still in love with Jackie to which I said well if ur still I love with her then I don’t want to be with u. He then hung up he doesn’t understand I actually know all this but have put it to one side I thought he would be over her by now and she would be a happy memory but it seems not. I just don’t know what to do for the best staff are obviously saying they are going to ask me about the relationship so that he has to say stuff to them. Cos they haven’t phoned me! But he has only just told me the truth about taking the car that day and I am not happy about that. I knew he as lying at the time but couldn’t say so to him I was grateful he was home and had the car. He tells me this on Sunday and he was to unwell to challenge him on it. We have so much work to do on our relationship. It’s not going to be enough to just share a space with him. I do like his company and of course think he is a loving and kind supportive man but at what cost. When we met he obviously still had issues to work through but he seemed so on top of things. I suppose that there is a chance he won’t be in a place to be with me or want to be. There’s a chance I won’t be able to see this through. I want to be with some one that can look after me can be on an equal footing with me share life with. I love him there’s no doubt about that but I love what I see him to be. Not the bag head he became so I am guessing we have to start again if he will ever be ready. Like I said to Al I could probably go out and get myself a lawyer or someone with money that could take me out and look after me, but I want karl at the moment. I don’t know if it’s because I just want to see this thro, but he has to learn that if something happened to me he could live without me without turning to drugs. God knows it’s hard the drinking is so hard to stop. Even tho I am not getting pissed I am having a glass or two of wine when I get home, not bottles like I used to and god knows how I functioned when I was drinking that much. No right now my head is battered. I want to be able to sit down and talk to him about how I feel it’s not only about him. I wish in some ways he wouldn’t phone just focus On the work he is doing and then see how I fit into it. If he had been with me for convenience money replacement for Jackie then let’s address it and see if he really wants a relationship with me. What is it that he ‘loves’ about me. Gratitude is not love.
What he doesn’t seem to understand is when he calls me all it does is messes with my head. He tells me about the work he is doing and that’s good to know but at the same time really disempowering because we can’t sit down and talk about things. I am getting little bits of information around what he’s working on and that raises all sorts of issues for me. Makes me question why he is with me and why I am with him. He hits out verbally if I say things and it’s so difficult I want to be honest but feel I don’t want to challenge him or if I say the wrong thing it will start and argument. I wish he would understand that hearing about the work he is doing is not comfortable for me. He needs to do the work work out what he wants from me and where I fit in to his life and then we can talk. I get the feeling that he has used me for money not in a bad way but has probably unconsciously stuck with me because it was easier than stealing. I think he had loved me in his own way. But then I think well we met when he was well and in rehab so must have made an informed choice then? Of course ppl think he has fell On his feet yes I have putup with shit because I wanted to see this long term.., it’s all so hard 31/3:14

So now we are getting to the realisation that he has used me for money him I mean or at least them they are telling him that he can’t come up with any thing to counter it so if that is the case we have no future because that’s exactly what I asked him why do u love me and he had no answer. This is as hard for me as it is for him as the realisation comes to light if it’s true it’s my worse fears. As I have said I can come with with loads of reasons why I love him but if he can’t do the same then where are we? What do we have – nothing. The only good thing is we met before he was using so surely that means something. Have just sent him a txt to say tell them why u love me and that they are wrong that we met before the addiction came back if he can the we have something to work on if not they and I was right sad but true. Then what can I do I will be devastated all this for nothing I can’t even start to think about it! Something I don’t like is the fact he thinks it’s ok to take all his frustrations out on me his head is jumbled I understand that and that’s why he is so aggressive but I am not happy to accept his behaviour not any more. Have told him we need to start again when this is over and see how we get on. I love him like I say but not the way he is treating me now and now there is no excuse! 3/4/14

So as I read it back I wonder how far I have come, know what? I have come miles! It may only be in the last couple of weeks, and part of me still doesn’t want all this to have been in vain, ( the reason I keep going back?) but the truth was there all the time I just didn’t want to believe I had been taken for a ride. Time is a great healer but you can’t fix what isn’t broken and because I was still in so much denial I couldn’t be healed or fixed could I?

What is this 12 steps?

I was told that the programme he was doing was going to be the 12 steps programme. I had very little understanding of it. So started to do a bit of digging. That was harder than I expected! I didn’t realise it was so closed! But what I was reading I didn’t like the sound of. Higher power? Wtf? Prayers giving your will over to God? No this wasnt going to work at all. No wonder I couldn’t have contact for 3 weeks! They wanted to brain wash him. I was fearful I would be left behind in this process. That I wouldn’t understand what he needed to do what was expected of him, how could I be good support if I couldn’t work with these people? Why wasn’t I allowed to have contact? The questions kept coming, and I couldn’t find answers. Then I found a web site , it was for family members of people living with or affected by someone else’s addiction. At last! There was a forum it was based in the States and called NAR-ANON. here would be the answers to my questions. I joined the forum and started reading posts. The language was alien to me. Phrases being repeated. Thank you for sharing, addicted significant other,  in recovery, qualifier, what did these things mean? I had my man doing the ’12 step programme’ I wanted to know what the 12 steps were. I wanted to know why I couldn’t have contact. I wanted to know how I could help him when he got out, I wanted to understand what he was learning about. But couldn’t get any answers, I asked was told it wasn’t about him it was about me! What the hell were these people talking about? No I don’t think you understand, my boyfriend is in rehab in England, he isn’t allowed contact with me, why? He is doing the 12 steps programme what will he be learning about, I want to help him? We are not here for the addict, we are here for you, keep coming back! Keep coming back??? Yes get to the groups on line groups. What at 2am when I have work in the morning, when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired you will will attend groups if you want to get better. No you don’t understand, it’s my boyfriend that is in rehab, I don’t need to attend groups, why do I need to attend groups. To discuss your issues how you can get better. Keep coming back.

No this wasn’t working for me, I needed answers. I needed to know what he was learning and what I needed to do to keep him safe in the future. There was nothing wrong with me, God knows  what those Americans were wittering on about! So I looked again there must be something in the UK? Surely? I knew there wasnt much services wise, I had asked the macclesfield drugs services if there was any support for me before, and was told not. So I went on looking. I found NAR-ANON UK. This would be more like it I was thinking , they would understand how services worked in the the UK. They would tell me what he was learning about and how I could help. There was an email address I sent an email. I explained I needed to know what was going on, I needed to know what I needed to learn about so I could help him when he got out. I got a reply within a few hours. I was asked if I wanted to chat on the phone. Yes I said I would. So I got a phone call. The lady I spoke to sounded quite young, but she was full of empathy and enthusiasium! She explained that it was normal for us not to have contact so they the one in rehab focused on what they had to do, but suggested I called them and see how he was getting on. Why didn’t I think of that!

I called and eventually got to speak to someone in the centre that K was in. The worker was a bit shady, he said he didn’t know K but would pass my message to his key worker who would call me back and let me know how he was getting on. 2 days passed no word. A lot of things were happening at the same time around now. I should also say that this was all in the first 3 or 4 days of him being there!

I was in the flat and my mobile rang. It was a mobile number but not one I knew. Hello? Hi! Omg I didn’t think you could call, I got a phone, what?? Are you mad? I thought you would be pleased, I thought you would be worried not being able to talk to me, yes of course love but if you get caught….I won’t get caught will I! He was really pissed off with  me for not being pleased he had got a phone, how did you get it? Bought it from the shop. How? Errr I went to the shop and bought it, how? All I could think of was how could he have gone to the shops with staff and managed to buy a phone, it didn’t make sense, he wasn’t making sense. I went to the shops on my way back from a group and bought it, no still didn’t make sense, don’t you have to be with staff? No, I am in a house we have to go to groups in Stockport and Manchester, it’s costing me a fortune in bus fares. This was worrying me, he was allowed to just wander about without staff?? What was going on here? I have to go…ok thanks for calling. I was shell shocked! What was going on? When he had been in Lancaster he had been allowed out but everything was done in the centre. They had their treatment food slept there everything. I was told I couldn’t have contact for 3 weeks but he was allowed to go out un supervised, in a area he used to live and score drugs really was this for real?

I was stressing about him having the phone, I was stressing about him being able to go out without supervision I was stressing about him being cross with me because I wasn’t pleased he had a phone! I was of course but I was starting to understand why they didn’t want them to have contact, it distracted from their programme ( what ever that was) plus I didn’t want him to get found with the phone he would be thrown out. I texted him and said I was pleased he had called but was worried of the consiquences if he got found out. He didn’t text back.

I didnt know how sick I was I still didn’t realise that this was as much about me as it was him. I still didn’t know that I was in need of the 12 steps programme as much as he was. But I was sick I was so sick I couldn’t even be happy that he had put himself and his future at risk to call me because he cared about me, all I could see was the negatives, I was starting to loose him and I couldn’t see it, whilst he was free of the substances that had fogged his brain, I couldn’t see he was getting better, all I could see was the bad. I couldn’t see how I was now pushing him away by not celebrating what he had achieved. All I thought was I was right, and because of my illness couldn’t accept that I might be wrong about any of it. After all I wasn’t  the addict was I? I knew what was right for him what he should do or shouldn’t do! Oh I was so ill. But sadly didn’t even know I was.

The visit

So I got though the next week and could hardly wait to drive to Liverpool to see him. I was nervous of course I knew he would be ill, but this would be the first time I had seen him without drugs in his body ( not including prescription drugs) since we went to Egypt for my birthday the October before. Not that he changed when we had been on holiday in fact he didn’t seem to have any negative affects at all. He had been given some tablet form of methadone, it was strong and he said it worked well but they wouldn’t give it to him in England. It was too expensive or something. But it held him well so he wasn’t too irritable. Plus he drank a lot which I guess helped. Well not helped but stopped the feelings of wanting to use. Also he had things to do we went snorkelling and swimming, so he was busy. So now in cold dreary England he was having to deal with all the feelings of withdrawal from heroin and crack plus a reduction in his methadone, so I wasn’t expecting miracles.
I found the house, and was greeted by staff. He came out and was looking well. Had a bit of colour to him and his face didn’t have the long drawn look it usually had when he is using. He took me to the family room and we made small talk. He was ok he was attending groups he spoke about himself, eventually asking how I was and how work had been. I was nervous and felt uncomfortable, there was another couple in the room he introduced me as his girlfriend and I relaxed a bit. We sat just holding hands and he chatted on about nothing. He felt like a stranger but I was so pleased to see him. After about half an hour he asked if I wanted a cup of tea and said he wanted a smoke, so we got a drink and he took me into a smoking room. I don’t smoke, but sat in there with him. 2 or 3 other residents came in, after he said they were just being nosey want to see who I was. I hoped he wasn’t ashamed of me. I had dressed up and put makeup on, I didn’t want him to be embarrassed by me, I wanted to look my best given my age and he had said everyone in there were a lot younger than him. I knew how cruel people can be, and how some people get a kick out of taking the piss out of others, bullying, so didn’t want to give any reason for him to feel ashamed of me. It wasn’t often that our age difference made a difference but I was acutely aware of it at times. I think that came about not from him but right at the start way back when he came to stay at mine the first time. We had called into a garage, when we were in there he was getting a drink, and I had asked if he wanted anything else, and the girl behind the counter had made some comment about aw is mummy buying you a drink? I don’t know if he knew her ( it was in Macclesfield) or if she was just being a bitch, but I just said I am not his mother I am his girlfriend. Paid and walked out. But it stuck with me, especially when I was with him around people that didn’t know us. He knew that episode hurt me and was lovely about it afterwards but I don’t think he realised how much of an effect it had on me. And if he did. He never said, but then again neither did I.
So being in the detox place made me nervous. There was all these young people all there for different reasons and addictions. It was sad really, and it must have been hard on him being the eldest there. A man in his 40’s surrounded by kids in their teens and twenties. But he wasn’t there for a holiday and make mates was he? he was there to get clean before going to rehab. But of course bonds are made. A common bond. Something I could never share with him. He had more to do with these people more in common than we could have. It was obvious that he would feel more at ease with them. He shared stuff with them that he wouldn’t share with me because they understood it, they too had their own addictions. He was in groups with these people so of course they shared stuff about their lives. It was expected. Thinking right back to when we met that is exactly what he had done with me in the hospital. I thought it had been an honestly thing, but I guess now I have come to learn that it is what is expected, when you are in that environment.
We went back to the main room, sat and chatted about nothing really. It was mainly about him and others in the detox centre. He didn’t point anyone out and break confidentiality but he talked about why people were there. I guess I was so wrapped up in my own happiness at being able to see him, I wasn’t paying attention, to how he was with me. Maybe I am over analysing it now. But I had no reason to suspect anything was wrong between us. Maybe there wasn’t. Yet.
The 2 hours flew by, it was time to go. He kissed me and hugged me and said he would call. I drove home, I hated him being in there but knew it was the only way. At the end of the following week he would have done his 3 weeks. I assumed they would transport him to the rehab centre so was in for a bit of a shock when he called me and said could I pick him up on the Sunday and take him home. He said that they wouldn’t take him to the rehab he had to go to a centre in Macclesfield on the Monday morning and that they had arranged for him to get a lift from there. I was overjoyed to have him home for a night, because I knew once he went into rehab there would be no contact for 3 weeks. So the following Sunday I drove over picked him up and came back to Macclesfield with him. He wanted to see his family of course, I think we went to him mums, but can’t remember if she was in or not. He was phoning everyone. He was only allowed one phone call a day in detox and most nights phoned me. So obviously wanted to catch up with everyone. I suppose I was a bit reluctant to share him with anyone we had less than 24 hours together. I wanted us to do something but he wasn’t well enough. We went for something to eat but he wasn’t hungry. He had done a rapid detox and wasn’t at all well. So I got something to eat and we went back to the flat. He didn’t sleep much that night. He seemed closed, irritable with me, but I put it down to the detox. He had come off 40mls a day to zero in 3 weeks. I had no idea how hard that was then. He had asked if he could stay another couple of weeks in detox but they said no. But now I wonder if he wanted to stay there for other reasons…..
As with everything drug service related in Macclesfield nothing happens as its meant to. He was supposed to be getting a call in the morning about when he was being picked up. He had all his clothes and things with him and I was supposed to go to work. In the end I called in work and said my car was broken down because I had a very strong feeling if I didn’t get him to rehab he wouldn’t go! His lift didn’t happen, more phone calls…he was making noises about getting a phone and smuggling it in. I told him I thought that was a very bad idea, if he got caught he would be thrown out. But he was very insistent so as I have said before what K wants K gets. So we go to tescos and I buy him a cheap phone. He is very persuasive like I say,and said well then I can call you, you don’t want to be without speaking to me for 3 weeks, I know you will worry…. We then have to go to a different centre as someone there was going to pick him up, this is all before 10.30! So we pack his things into the car and drive him round. Eventually the guy comes and takes him away. He says to me I will bring him back when he’s fit and well, thanks I say. It was almost as though he couldn’t wait to get away from me. No hugs or kisses good bye, but then again we are in public. So I push my feelings of hurt down. One thing he did do though before he left was say I was right about the phone. He didn’t take it with him. For that I was grateful. So I am there in the street my man taken from me again. But this time no phone calls for 3 weeks! As long as he had been in detox with no contact. No letters nothing. It was going to be a tough 3 weeks. For us both! But it had to be worth it didn’t it? A life free form drugs. This is what I had wanted for so long, but that was just it wasn’t it? It was what I wanted, he said he did too, and back then had no reason to doubt it, but wanting it isn’t always enough.

Back to the story!

And so it went on, day after day, week after week month after month. He used to ‘borrow’ money from me all the time. Then every 2 weeks when his benefits came through, he would pay some of it back. Of course I never really got the money he owed me. By the time I had filled the car with fuel bought some food it was gone. He could be ‘borrowing’ well over £100 a week, so when his money came through he could never have afforded to give it me all back. But I got 24-36 hours respite from the lies and bullying. There was always another reason for getting another fix. The last lot of drugs were rubbish, he sneezed and blew it from the bag, he was chased by the police so swallowed it….blah blah blah…and yet I couldn’t leave. Once when we were screaming at each other I said it wasn’t the money that bothered me, oh boy was that a mistake! Partly it wasn’t, I just wanted him to understand that the more he used the more he WOULD have to use! Why couldn’t he see that. Again and again he would say I don’t like being like this I want to be off this shit, but it never happened. Then he would come out with the line well you said its not about the money so why are you being like this? It’s tunnel vision, of course. When he is in addiction all he can think of is how to get his next bag When he was away from the environment One or two days up at mine we might have a break from it a bit of normality, we even went on holiday a couple of times once to Cornwall camping and then to Eygpt for a week. So he could do it IF HE WANTED TOO! But it was taking its toll on my mental health. Back then I didn’t realise that I couldn’t change him. I thought if he loved me he would do it for me. He kept saying I only need to get into detox and then we can have a good life, and of course I believed it. Because that’s what I wanted more than anything ,still do! It wasn’t until I started my programme that I realised how I had got it so wrong. The enabling didn’t help him it hindered him. All he had to do was plead and beg and promise the impossible ( I won’t use tomorrow, I will go and see the drugs team tomorrow and get them to increase my methadone) and I always believed him. I Thank my HP that now I see the lies for what they are. It’s interesting that this time even though I know he is using and have even ‘leant’ him some money he knows that I know what the score is, I won’t take the BS that I did before. I have told him that now I know I can’t change him only he can do that, all I can do is remove myself from a situation that just makes me as sick as he is. I told him today he bullys  me, trying to persuade me to give him money, when he knows I haven’t got any to give, that the promise of his benefits being paid tomorrow isn’t enough for me. All I feel is stressed and I no longer want to live in that state. Today I came home because I had to for work, but he is left to his own devises, and you know what? I am not stressing about it. Before I would have been scared he would break the law to get money, and that somehow it would be my fault because I couldn’t give him the means to pay. Today I don’t care. I care for him, I would be upset for him if he did something stupid and got arrested, but it’s not my fault. It’s not my business. Of course it’s hard to put into practice something I have learnt in theory. I won’t even say I have been successful, I haven’t, I have given in to him, more than once, but at least we both know that this time I am not responsible for his choices. Today because I had to come home unexpectedly he asked me for my bank account details, so that when he gets his money tomorrow he can pay me back the money he owes me. He said ‘I know if I don’t I won’t see you again’! That is a huge step forward for us both. Him taking responsibility to actually pay me back without me prompting him but also realising this time, I will walk away. It’s my only option, if he doesn’t get himself sorted out.

I have kinda left my journey again, but this blog has given me a way of putting down my thoughts in the now, in fact when I started writing it I didn’t expect for me and him to ever get back together. We haven’t really in my heart, I love the man I met, I even love the man that was in jail, but I hate the addict! So for me right now I have more barriers up than ever before. I had a break from it for 6 months and my programme has helped a lot.

Looking back I don’t know why I put up with the financial abuse that I did. I do not under any circumstances want to equate this to being with a man that is violent. It’s not the same at all, mentally tho there must be a parralle. When some one is loving and kind and supportive 80% of the time, the 20% that is spent screaming and shouting over £20 is pushed to the back of your mind. When the ask is wrapped up in love in the voice, the pleading voice that says love you know I don’t like asking or babe sorry to be a nuiceance but could you just lend me £20 you know I will give it you back ( even tho I knew he wouldn’t ). If I said no he wouldn’t leave it at that. He would go on and on please love come on I know you have it, I am not asking you to give it to me it’s only a borrow. If I tried to say no, I need that money to get to work, or I haven’t got it, I would get the same back again and again, come on they won’t send you anywhere I get my money tomorrow you will get it back, or you get your travel expenses in 2 days you have enough fuel ( not if they send me to Birmingham,) they won’t love come on. Sometimes it was just easier to give in and give him the money, and stress about it later if I got a call, but before I didnt understand that stressing about something that hadn’t happened yet was not good for me so I did stress. Thinking ahead to make some excuse if I got a job and couldn’t afford to get there! There was only a couple of times I couldn’t go to work because I had no money. Sometimes in the beginning work would pay my expenses early, but you don’t like asking too many times, it’s embarrassing. A week after pay day and no money!  The lies and excuses I came up with were scandalous really. I had 2 loans from work, which I had to pay back of course monthly. Big loans the equivalent to my monthly salary. All spent on drugs! That’s about £5k!

And that was why it was so embarrassing I had a good job with very good money. About £2500 a month plus my weekly travelling expenses and I still had no money every month. Eventually I set up a second account. I had my wage paid into the new account and on pay day transferred the money into my other account to pay my bills. It was the only way of protecting my cash and to make sure my bills got paid. Later I set up a third on line account and would put money into that so if he took my cash card it looked like there was no money in my main account. That way at least I had a bit of money put by for later in the month. But more often  than not we lived just off my travel expenses. My friend Ali, at that point wasn’t working, she has 2 kids and an ex husband that sometimes pays maintenance but often didn’t. She was on job seekers allowance and still had more money than me! She would invite me over for a drink at the weekend God I felt bad! I appreciated the fact she was helping me out, but felt so ashamed that I couldn’t even buy a bottle of cheap wine. She said time and time again, leave him, but I couldnt! I still to this day don’t understand the hold he has over me. I hated my life. But in the same breath wanted the man I met back, and the only way that would become reality was if I stayed with him, and got him into detox and rehab. Otherwise all this pain would have been in vain! So I hung on in there. Hoping all the time that he would get a place in detox……mmmm be careful what you wish for, sometimes what you have is better than what you think you want!