Addiction, Love, Recovery:

What Are You Waiting For?

11 Feb 2012 by Recovering You, 6 Comments »

One day I reached a point, where supporting and loving someone with an addiction was simply more than I could live with any longer.

Maybe you have too?

But you haven? done anything about it yet.

Because you?e waiting for it to get better.

I reached the end of my reserves of being able to love through thick and thin, for better for worse, for richer and poorer (and oh, we were poorer for sure!).

But I stayed, a bit longer.

I continued to wait.

I stuck it out.

I knew intellectually what I should do. The few friends I confided in knew what I should do. A whole online community who shared my journey with their own addicts knew what I should do.

But I choose to wait.

To battle on.

To win the war.

It wasn? until the quiet moments, after a major fight with my addict that saw him walk out on me, I realised I wasn? even sticking it out for him anymore, I was there for me.

For me?

Yes, I wasn? holding on with selfless dedication to my partner? recovery, I was holding onto the hope that somehow I would become good enough, worth enough, important enough for him to change and then give me all of the love I was looking for.

And yet, I didn? believe those things about myself.

In my eyes, the relationship I was in was the likely sum of all that I deserved.

If I allowed myself a moment to think about what my partner was doing, how he treated me and how wrong it all was I knew I was angry and hurt by him, and I knew I should leave.

But as quick as that moment was over, I would turn to thinking about what leaving meant for me.

Maybe this is as good as it gets, maybe the kind of love he gives is better than nothing, maybe I can still save him, maybe he will want to do it for me, maybe I could be important enough to stop for, maybe I deserve this, maybe I should try harder?

Maybe this is all about me?

Staying in my relationship had become more about me, than it was any altruistic desire to support and love my addict through every step in his journey.

In fact there was no way I could support him in the ways he most needed it, while I was busy leaning on him for scraps of validation of my worthiness, my efforts, my love.

The few scraps I got kept me hanging on, waiting for more, for those little bits of hope.

But they were never enough, and never would be.

I loved him but how can someone who hates themselves so much, ever give enough to make another person feel valuable?

Because that’s how he, and most addicts, feel about themselves.

It wasn? his job to make me feel valuable anyway.

It was mine.

I had to stop waiting and start taking control.

I had to take it step by step to build up my beliefs that I am good enough, that I do deserve more, that there is more to be had, that I am worthy and lovable, that happiness is possible, that I can have love in the ways that I want it, that just by being, I am valuable and important.

I had to let go, and stop hurting myself.

I had to begin my recovery, rather than wait for my husband?.

I had to take a risk on me and be willing to accept that you have to find love for yourself, before love is possible with anyone else.

I had to trust that I could learn to give myself enough love, so that receiving it from others was the bonus, not the pre-requisite.

So I did.

What are you waiting for?

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  1. Jennifer says:

    As I navigate through your website, I swear that every single word I read resonates in one way or another. Thank you.

    • Rachael says:

      Hi Jennifer

      Thank you so much for visiting. And I am glad that you are finding value in the site. Look forward to having you back sometime : )

  2. Megan says:

    Yes, thank you so so much for sharing this. It has made a world of difference in helping me figure out my own situation and I know I’m not the only one.

  3. Gabrielle says:

    I have been married only seven months, and I thought my husband had gained control of his addiction to shooting up pain medications. But I was wrong. I found hidden needles, dozens of empty drug bags, cotton, and sterile water. He is using again and constantly saying it only once and a while when the evidence just laying in plain site ( the couch, living room coffee table, bathroom) proves otherwise. He makes the same grand promises and optimism about how easy it is to just stop and stick to his own prescribed pain meds. But after about five rounds of these grand promises and attempts, I’m starting to think it will never stop. I can’t trust him, he never has money, and his agitated moods are so often I feel lonely and unable to connect with him. He spends most of his time focused on tv and Internet and had very little to say to me… And then its the complete opposite when his work check gets deposited into his bank account every two weeks ( full of energy and really overly happy drug high) It is just arguments about his use followed by happy bursts when he pretends everything is Normal. This up and down roller coaster of denial is making me unravel one the inside… Should i just leave him and salvage myself while it is stil early in our marriage? I think I married the drugged up guy that was sweet, open, calm, and happy all the time. Now that he is trying to not do it like he did. All he seems to be is quiet,reserved, and eager to spend time away from me. I feel like such a fool.

    • Recovering You says:

      Hi Gabrielle

      Thank you for asking your question.

      My first piece of advice to you is to please NOT feel like a fool. You haven’t done anything foolish. You have fallen in love with a man who is affected by an addiction that makes it very important for him to cover up his truth and present you with what he thinks you want to see. An addict can fool the best of us, but it doesn’t make us fools unless we continue to ignore what we see.

      From what you have written, your husband is still very much caught in the trap of addiction. His moods are typical of any kind of addict. Happy, calm and open when he’s using or is able to get his fix, angry, down, isolated and agitated when he can’t. It’s a cycle that will continue as long as he is using, and trying to either hide that he is or avoid using.

      The decision as to whether it is better for you to leave is one only you can make. It is a decision that takes a lot of thought and personal reflection but ultimately if the addiction is impacting your life then it is important to protect and care for yourself first and make a choice that preserves your personal wellbeing.

  4. nandita says:

    u r speaking frm my own heart…after years of waiting i finally knew i had to let go.n i did..nt fr hm bt fr honour the life god hs given me.i continue to pray fr hm.n fr many others who hv lost themselves in d maze.after years of useless hope and waiting all i want to tell them is dat life is beautiful.gv it a chance.amen

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