Its not really about the cat


#1

Hi Village :wave:
My boyfriend is coming home this weekend from a 12 week inpatient recovery program for cocaine and gambling addiction. We’ve known each other for a couple years, have been dating/romantically involved for about 4 months. He has an apartment of his own, and I have a home. He also has a cat that has been staying with a family member while he’s in recovery. When we talked last night, he brought up some feelings/concerns he had about the arrangement for his cat. The plan was to bring the cat back to his apartment, but he knows we’ll be spending a lot of time together (at my place) and he feels bad for already planning to leave his cat alone for so long. He was wondering how I’d feel about having his cat at my place so he wouldn’t have to worry about leaving him alone. My immediate (internal) reaction was delight; I was happy to hear him say he’d be wanting to spend a lot of time here because I worry about him isolating. That was a thing before treatment. He would isolate to use and spent a lot of time alone in that apartment. I also have concerns though; is it healthy for him (me, or us) to spend so much time together so soon after recovery? Should he be trying to figure things out more on his own instead? Learn to be ok just sitting by himself in his apartment without “needing” to use?

What would be the “healthier” way here? He is also going to run this past his group leader to get some input from them, but I wanted to hear from the village to see what your thoughts are. You always seem to have such helpful insights :purple_heart: much love


#2

Dear @Couldbethe1, first and foremost, thank you for the laugh at your Subject line. :cat: That totally made me smile and made me think- you’ll figure it out because you have perspective-taking.

I believe in the God of 2nd chances, 3,4,5, it’s different for everybody. It is not a one and done life. We $%^&* up all the time and take years to figure things out. That being said, we can learn how to communicate with better clarity and learn our boundaries and how to be protective of our space. Even though it’s ALL about the CAT (box) , what is it about your private space? Will you have a place for yourself if you share? In the place you have, if you do have the right physical space, how will you communicate your fears, hopes, dreams, scary words to your Superman? All this, and more, are available for you to ponder. I recommend setting up a 1:1 with one of the village counselors and then, if you think they have some good ideas… (they sure helped me) then maybe you can carve out some time to take the online course to strengthen and inform your feelings about this relationship.

Good luck! And great news that your Sweet Babboo is coming around. Don’t lose yourself trying not to lose him, (or the cat! :cat:)… Fondly @Thinkstet


#3

Hi @Couldbethe1 - sorry for chiming in a little late here… how did the homecoming go? What did you decide with the cat (and how you manage your own spaces)?

I think it’s great that your partner was open about his plans and concerns. This open communication is absolutely the most important thing to making any relationship work, but especially so when one of the partners suffers from addiction. I think the “healthy” way is to take into consideration both partners’ needs and fears, discuss them openly, and talk about how you can both support each other as you navigate recovery together.

Sending you love and hope all is well!


#4

Hi @momentsandlight and thanks for the reply. He did decide to take the cat to his apartment, and we decided we would take turns sleeping at each of our homes which has been working out pretty well.
The first few days were absolute bliss. It felt so great to be able to not just hear him, but to see him in action, really working the program. The first Monday brought some challenges. He had expressed his desire to smoke weed (which wasn’t his DOC) and I expressed my concerns which resulted in us going our separate ways for the evening and night. During that time, he ended up at a bar and was dishonest/deceitful with me about it. He let on that he was at home, sad the whole time… And I later found out that was not true. When I confronted him, he got defensive and said it wasn’t really any of my business where he was. He didn’t have to tell me his every move and he should be allowed to do what he wants. After a while, he told me that he was feeling guilty and shame because, not only did he go to a bar, but he had also smoked weed. He had a negative experience with it and hated that he did it, which is why he was trying to hide it. He got honest with his sponsor and his group leader and has been really committed to working his program ever since. But now I’m finding that I have a lot of fear. I’m clinging to him because I worry about what he’ll do when I’m not around, and whether or not he’ll be honest with me. And I’m afraid to tell him how I feel because I don’t want to discourage him… So instead, I’m just clinging on to him to control the outcome which I know isn’t healthy. I’m just not really sure how else to manage it at this point. I am very much stuck in a “need to see it to believe it” phase and would assume the worst if we were apart.


#5

Letting go of outcomes is so so so hard. I still struggle with it all the time. It took a lot of work, but I finally learned to accept that things would be okay no matter what happened. Once I began my own healing through therapy, Al-Anon, spirituality, daily self-care rituals, a lot of self work, I was able to have faith that the skills and connections and community that I was putting into place would be enough to help me through anything. I started to realize that everything I need to move forward in this life is within, and to stop depending on others for my own peace.

Is there anything you can do for yourself that you think might help? Groups like Al-Anon can help with the self work and learning to let go, while the CRAFT method and The Course can help with communication skills. If you like reading, I highly recommend the book Beyond Addiction.