How to incorporate healthy self care when everything feels so dramatic and overwhelming?


#1

Me and my bf have been doing seemingly well for a few weeks. After a big thing and some talking/planning, things have been relatively light. Minus a few hiccups here and there but nothing grandiose. But since Friday, I’ve had that gnawing feeling that things just aren’t what they seem. I communicated this to my guy out of an attempt to just let out some word vomit. But more than likely to try to weasle my way of figuring out what he’s up to that he’s not telling me about. Fast fwd through Fri and Sat and it’s been one thing after another. Lie after lie. To which anything rational I completely lost sight of. Long story short, it wound up in me requesting if he’d be okay with my viewing his bank account to back up the story he’s telling me. I got met with resistance. His reasoning was bc he just didn’t see that it was necessary and he didn’t want to and doesn’t have to. That This is so miniscule and I’m making it way more complex than necessary. I believe his story. I should take his word for it.

I tried stupidly debating my side. Telling him I understand what he’s saying and while he’s correct, he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do… it would be of huge assistance to me and my peace of mind. Nothing I said was compelling enough. So since last night I’ve been stuck in this space that feels dangerous and untrustworthy and not knowing what to expect or feeling like there’s a ball about to drop soon. I’m in a consistent state of anxiety. Shaking, can’t sleep for more than an hour at a time, weird off feeling… my emotions are just all over the place. To top it off, I wake up this morning to discover him awake and downstairs having a full on convo with himself and behaving just weird… he was definitely high. But I’ve never experienced the particular behaviors before with his past heroin use. Making strange noises, singing to himself, clapping and laughing at his own words… at 6am in the morning. I’m just lost and I don’t know what next to do. I reached out to his mother and got no support from her bc I discovered she’d been giving him $ recently and agreeing with him to keep that happening away from me. When we had an understanding that we’d communicate things like that with each other. I just asked her if it was true or not and she said yes. I then explained what was going on with him and she sent me a thumbs up…? So all of that hurt my feelings I guess bc she’s the only one I discuss this with whatsoever. Except for here. Then I am told that she called him on the phone to back up my story and then chatted with him after he told her he wasn’t hiding anything he just didn’t want to show me the account. Ugh I’ve just had it this weekend. I’m so tired of the same cycle. Every month or so. No trust. When I think it’s being re-established, I find out that was bullshit just to appease me for a time frame. Until the next big blow up happens. The perception that he understands but then when that’s inconvenient for him, he completely changes that around without even explaining. Like he never said he understood 3 days ago when we talked… Where did I come up with that? Back to the start line. It’s an every other day thing almost that lies and schemes are discovered. Even when I’m not even so much digging for them.

Just need to vent :woman_facepalming:t2:

Hope you all are having great weekends! It’s been quite on here for a few days!


#2

I’m so sorry you’re in this situation right now. For me, living with my husband in active heroin addiction with all the lies and suspicions and nodding off and isolation… it was traumatizing, and to this day certain behaviors will still trigger the same fear and anxiety that I felt at the time. I feel like the fear never goes away, but what I continue to work on is how I react to it. Feelings come and go. They pass if I let them. I’m learning to become more aware of my feelings and then let them go, trusting that everything will be ok. Maybe I can’t always trust my husband but through all of this, I have learned to trust something bigger - a power in this universe and within myself. This trust helps me let go of certain outcomes because when I become attached to how I think things are “supposed to be” I just start to build resentment and become more afraid and anxious when they’re not playing out the right way.

Have you considered checking out Al-Anon meetings near you? Al-Anon has been a huge part of my recovery and self care. The daily readers alone offer small bits of wisdom and truth to hang on to when I feel like I’m getting thrown into the deep. The tools and steps of Al-Anon can really help as we work on developing healthier reactions to certain behaviors. It was really eye opening to realize how I was developing unhealthy behaviors as a result of loving an addict, (or maybe I had them all along and his addiction brought them to the surface and forced me to face them) and learning that while I may not have control over my husband, I do have control over myself.

When my husband was in early recovery, my therapist suggested keeping a gratitude journal. Just write three things that you’re grateful for every day, from running water to being alive to finding online communities like this one. Helps to stay grounded in the present and develop some perspective when everything else seems to be crumbling. Sending you love. :pray:t4::sparkles:


#4

@momentsandlight I actually have not been to any Al-Anon meets. I’ve researched them and made plans to, then I never stick with my plan. I’m not great at doing something totally new and foreign, by myself. I’ll just talk myself into doing this or that instead. Or make excuses for myself to not have to go. Things out of my element and routine really affect me for some reason. That’s partly how I stumbled across this community! But I’d love to one day soon stop being such a chicken shit and just do the dang things. Lol.

I guess where I struggle a whole bunch is the fact that I want to be supportive and understanding and all the things… but I’m so let down when x or y happens. It isn’t that I don’t understand or empathize. But that doesn’t take that hurt away, ya know? That new notch that’s been chipped away from me each time we make a round in this same cycle. I get to the point where I question if choosing to fight it out and be the great supportive partner, is going to essentially cause me to look back in hindsight years from now and wish I would not have let my life lead the course I feel it will lead if I keep doing the “well what if we try this” and “what if we freaking change our names, jump ship and go to a brand new place and start over” lol. I’ve really been in my own head recently about the line between choosing to be the supportive partner and ride this wave and being in denial about the reality and as result committing my future and possible fulfillment of lack thereof to “being the support system through someone else’s dark season in life”. Like I don’t want this shit to last for forever. I guess I battle with myself on sticking it out for the possibility of brighter days versus not being so naive and making these decisions based on hopes and dreams. I’ve always been one who has wanted extra reassurance for everything. Hesitant… and with the cycle of addiction, there is no reassurance and if any is given, it’s more than likely total bullshit.

As far as Al-Anon, is it the same set up as anonymous meetings? Like am I supposed to seek a sponsor sponsee relationship and work a program? Or is it just the meetings for support for the people affected by addicts?

Thank you for your feedback. It helps to know that I’m certainly not the only person alive with a partner that uses heroin… even though it really does feel like that sometimes! :heart:


#3

“How to incorporate healthy self care when everything feels so dramatic and overwhelming?”

Take a moment to observe what’s happening, apart from your brain’s story about it. You are making it mean a lot of things about you, your relationship, his mom, your life.

When really, nothing is going wrong here. This is all supposed to be happening. How do I know that? Because it IS happening.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn in the beginning. I kept asking myself: What lesson is this situation trying to teach me? How is this perfect for me?

The pain and suffering comes from the resistance of what is happening. So the BEST self care is learning to observe the thoughts in your brain. Look for ways to accept what is happening.

I was EXACTLY where you are. After learning to accept things as they ARE, not as I wish them to be, my life has undergone a massive shift. I am finally in a place where I have control over my life.

It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.


#6

Gosh this is a tricky one @Laceytbowen.

I recall calling a therapist desperate for them to speak with my loved one, only to have them say - “I think you need help and to talk to a therapist.”

At that point I had already spent a year of putting his needs ahead of mine. For me it happened slowly over time and without me realizing. It was an easy decision to put him first when he was clearly in so much suffering.

I remember the dramatic nature of it all too. It felt like everything was SO important. And that any day could make a world of difference. Looking back, I realized that none of those individual days were crises and that because addiction takes so long to heal it is VITAL to look after ourselves because:

  1. if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of anyone
  2. we deserve to thrive
  3. recovery take so much time, we won’t make it through if we don’t look after ourselves

If those logical reasons don’t help convince you to take care, then maybe making it more practical will help.

Two ideas:
When depleted take a break. Get away. Stay with a friend. Put someone else in charge of the worry while you recharge.

Choose one thing. Write it down. And do one thing a week to replenish you. Can be really simple - hot long shower every day, movie night with a friend.

Your wellbeing is so important. In some ways we can be more present to their suffering because they numb out.

Also, do you meditate? I’ve been in a meditation training and it’s been super helpful for me throughout the journey with my loved one that I’m going to be looking for ways to share it with you (all!)


#5

No, it doesn’t. Painful emotions will always exist, and it’s not up to us or anyone else to make them go away. That’s what our loved ones are doing when they use, isn’t it? Numbing out to take the hurt away, to avoid the emotions, to take their mind and body somewhere else. When really what’s important is to feel the feelings. To recognize them, accept them, understand them, and let them go. The hurt doesn’t go away forever but it also doesn’t last forever, either. It’s just a feeling. It will pass.

Whenever my husband slips, I still question whether or not staying is the right decision. Here is what I do know for sure: All I have is this moment, right now. And right now, staying with my husband is the right decision. I’ve had to let go of the idea that we’re definitely going to be together forever no matter what. I don’t know what the future holds, and I will always do what is best for the safety of my son and myself. You’re right, with the cycle of addiction, there is no reassurance. I don’t know what he’s capable of when in the hands of active addiction because he becomes a different person. Addiction is an ugly demon that kills. I will fight it alongside my husband as long as he is fighting too. And I will always trust in his love, and I will always have hope, and that’s what keeps me going, too.

In Al-Anon, you are encouraged to work the same steps of AA with a sponsor. This turned me off at first because I was like, that sounds like a lot of work and I don’t have a problem so why would I do that? I didn’t get a sponsor until I was in the program for well over a year. The steps are really helpful for guiding someone through a spiritual path, whatever that might mean to you. I was never spiritual but I realized I needed it in my life so Al-Anon was really helpful for me in learning to believe in something bigger. But really, in Al-Anon they say “take what serves you and leave the rest,” which I apply to all areas of my life. Work the program the way it works for you in this season of life. What you practice grows stronger.

Here’s today’s reading from the Al-Anon reader “Courage to Change,” which actually made me think of your post: “Sometimes I have to let go of a problem before I can find a solution. My racing thoughts may be making so much noise that I can’t hear the guidance my inner voice is offering. Quieting the noise is a skill I can learn with practice. At first I may have to still my thoughts again and again, but in Al-Anon I learn that practice makes progress, one minute, one thought at a time.”

love to you :pray::sparkles: