Your breaking point?

heroin
self-care
relationship

#1

Here’s a tough question. So the past couple weeks have been difficult, my fiance gone down a slippery slope. She talking to all her using friends again, actively looking for drugs and now stealing again. On top if that, I’m pretty certain she stole a large amount of money from someone at a party we went to over the weekend. I’ve tried talking to her, I’m getting twisted truths and lies. I’ve done nothing but support her and looked for every option to help her beat he addiction but it’s out of control again. I’ve already lost so much, my car, I’m in debt. At what point do you guys throw in the towel and end the relationship? I’m at my breaking point, I can’t let this cycle be my life.


#2

Oh Dean,
ok so the number one rule , is YOU first . What happens a lot of the times is we become as sick as our loved ones, we don’t even realize it . You need to decide when you are done, you have to do what’s best for you. We call it selfcare , what this also means is that you don’t stop loving her you just are going to love yourself more.
Sometimes its when we stop enabling , helping , & trying to fix, that they realize their options are dwindling and that they need to seek help.
Always here if you need an ear - just sent a message :envelope_with_arrow:
Kris
Recovery Coach & Advocate
Ambrosia Treatment Center


#3

The Cycle …, it will drive you to almost the edge. You have to know you can’t fix her or heal her. She has to get help and you too need to be helped. I could tell you how many cycles and how close to the edge I’ve allowed my son to push me. It is the addiction that is her driving force. Please set some boundaries and take care of yourself. It’s so fragile. A fine line. Communicating on here and with a therapist is a great first step. My heart is heavy for you.


#4

Hi @Dean_Acton sending love. OK maybe I need to be labeled as the ‘Village Optimist’ :slight_smile: but I’m here to be your cheerleader and cheer you on :sunny:

I agree with everyone who’ll say you need to look after yourself first. Cue: oxygen mask metaphor and this video:

We can’t help others when we’re so depleted ourselves. So that’s #1

While you’re taking care of #1 - can we #2 engage a support team to step in and help look after your loved one? Maybe you can still be involved long term - and you get to decide what role you play. But it sounds like sharing the weight with some others (perhaps her family?) could be really helpful right now, and setting some group goals around getting engaged in professional and perhaps medically assisted treatment (which can be very helpful for heroin addiction). What do you think?

We love the idea of raising the rock bottom - perhaps we can call this rock bottom and decide as a family group that we need to coach your loved one towards treatment?


#5

@Dean_Acton to build on this - the super Village family and addiction specialist coach @erica can be helpful in guiding you to set some goals and helping you work towards them if you want to explore that option simply send her a private message for more details!


#6

Thanks, @jane! Yes I’m here to help :slight_smile: :wave:


#7

Well she’s on methadone right now, been on it for years. We tried suboxone, recovery therapy, groups, I made a relapse prevention plan for her. Right now it’s just the methadone and myself as her support, her Mom is supportive but I’m the one that deals with it directly everyday. It just seems like she’s not taking advantage of any of the support, actively talking to using friends, finding ways to get drugs, stealing and then lying to me about it. I feel like I’ve exhausted all my options. At this point maybe an ultimatum is what she needs.


#8

That’s super frustrating. This is one of the hardest things about loving and supporting someone through addiction - progress can be so slow and backsliding is not uncommon - think 1 step forward two step back (at times). Can you ask her mom to get more involved, to pick up some slack for you or join in on some conversations? Maybe take her back in if it’s become too much and you need a break? Sometimes getting some space and knowing your loved one will be taken care of can make a huge difference.


#9

Research shows that we - the concerned friends and family - struggle with higher rates of anxiety, depression, anger and physical illness. Getting a loved one the professional treatment / support they need, when they need it, can help lower these rates.

So as @Kris_Perry_Long says - yes we do get actually get sick.

Still, I want to be the friend here that says, it’s not crazy to love someone who’s hurting themselves. If we don’t, who will? Again, agree we need to look after ourselves first because we can’t take good care of others when we’re bottoming out ourselves. But I don’t want you to feel ashamed for loving someone like this.

warning: apologies for the soapbox!
There’s a ton of shame around addiction and most of the concern is with the person in active addiction or recovery. I just want you to know that I’ve been there and I believe it’s brave to love and support someone through addiction. I think a revolution around recovery is coming and we’re going to be part of a world that doesn’t shy away from these struggles but that puts our hands up for help and the final dot to connect is that we actually have quality, accessible and affordable care to catch us when we do.
<3


#10

No shame around your soapbox, either! :loudspeaker:


#11

Can I start by extending sincere gratitude to you, @Dean_Acton? It’s brave to be vulnerable, and I’m so grateful that you’re choosing to share openly with this Community. We want to share the weight of your worries because it feels a little bit lighter when we’re in it together.

A few months ago I hit a breaking point with my dad, so to speak. I ‘caught’ him in a big lie and he didn’t even seem to care that he had hurt me because of it. In fact, he didn’t even seem to understand that he had lied. I felt so enraged :rage: :triumph: :angry: after everything I’d done to support.

I know that this is different because you live with your fiance and I live apart from my dad, but to tag onto @polly’s suggestion - is there somewhere else she could go for a little bit? Her moms house, or a friends?

I don’t know about an ultimatum (that’s up to you), but taking a break was helpful. I wasn’t giving up on him, but needed some time/space to see things more clearly. We didn’t talk much for awhile - just brief spurts here and there, maybe 1x/week. And now with a few months time between us, some wounds have healed. Not all the way, but I’m much more able to be in conversation & connection with him.


#12

Ok so if shes using and on Methadon this is what makes me the most mad. The Clinic should be testing her and holding her accountable . If you know shes using , and still using Methadone you can always tell her your not going to support this behavior and longer . Its a hard thing to do Dean , not gonna lie, but if this was your best friends boy/girl friend and you saw them doing this , and saw how broken the non addict member was , what would you suggest for them todo?

Hang in there Dean, keep asking questions , there is no shame in doing so.

Kris


#14

My son is on Suboxone and I feel that is a better option than Methadone. You can still overdose while using Methadone; I think Suboxone is somewhat safer as a med, though still can be misused. There are doctors who prescribe Suboxone who will not stop prescribing it when patients test positive for opiates like heroin. I know this from experience.

It would be so helpful if you could find a counselor or medical professional to talk with your fiancé. But she has to be willing to take some steps to get help herself. You need to protect yourself emotionally, financially, and your physical health, and that may mean you have to step back if she’s not willing to get help right now. Not forever, necessarily, but you have to take care of yourself. You cannot save her if she is not willing to accept help.


#13

Oh, really good (really tough) question @Kris_Perry_Long!


#16

I had a “breaking point” of sorts. My husband was actively using heroin, telling me he would stop but not actually making any steps toward recovery. Instead, he continued to lie about his use. I was not well living in that house with him, never knowing what was real and what was a lie, taking care of our son pretty much by myself, just all around miserable. I decided I needed to take care of myself, so I left to stay with my sister in another state.

Here’s the thing about a “breaking point”: I don’t think it needs to mean the end. I made a decision to give myself space. That didn’t mean I was ending the relationship or that I was done caring for him or supporting him. It’s easy to get stuck in black and white thinking, where every decision we make tells the story of the rest of our life. Each decision is just another step, that’s all. I took the step to leave for a little bit. I didn’t know what the next step was after that. I just knew what I needed at that moment. It was my first true practice in letting go of the outcome.

So I took a break, and he ended up detoxing (with the help of his parents) while I was gone, and I came home and he was clean for a bit, and then he slipped, and then got back in recovery, and then he slipped, and so on and so on, each time getting stronger. Right now, he’s clean, and we’re doing well. Yes, there was a “breaking point.” But it didn’t break us - it opened us for more growth.


#17

@momentsandlight That is so beautiful :purple_heart: Thank you for sharing. I love that, and I relate to that a lot…one step in the direction of what you need in that moment is all that’s necessary. So beautiful.


#18

Thank you for sharing your experience. It resonated so much with me. I’ve been playing with this concept about breaking point and I truly believe that it doesn’t have to mean ending the relationship with our loved one. I’m going through the same with my partner. I’ve learned to love him exactly the way he is, but I also have to take care of myself and sometimes it means we don’t spend time together while he’s using or recovering. It’s for the good of our union. This is so insightful and feels good to know I’m not alone. Thank you so much!


#20

Dean,
It’s different for everyone. AND there is no right or wrong!!!
For me, I’ve been to that edge but always push myself over the line again and again. My bff has 4 children in various stages and she has a no bs policy. She doesn’t love her children anymore or any less than I do but she takes a firm stand on what she will and won’t do for them, depending on how they are doing. Example, she will take them to get medical assisted treatment (MAT) but she won’t take them to a friend’s house. She’ll take them to work but won’t loan them money for any reason. I tell my friends and support group that we all need to draw our line in the sand BUT don’t draw a line that you are not prepared to execute nor one that may have consequences that you can’t live with.
By that I mean that if you make a line that says if you test hot one more time, I’m kicking you out of the house. That’s not an unreasonable line for some. That may even be a wake up call for some. For others, like my son, he would go of just to show me that he has the upper hand. I can’t live with that on my conscience. Is that wrong? That’s my call not anyone else’s. It is morally unfair to me, yes, but I am not willing to have that on my mind the rest of my life. That’s an extreme example but the one most clear. Phones and use of a car are things that are more gray. If you pay for a phone, you allow the loved one access to a dealer. For me, I used it as a tracker to make sure my son was at least alive. Some folks think it’s wrong to reward them with a phone. No right or wrong, we know our loved ones best. I hope this helped a little. You are entitled to some peace and self care. My best advice is write down pros and cons to your line in the sand. If you can live with the cons, then draw that line and stick to it. If you don’t think you can live with the cons then try to adjust the line before you draw it. If you draw a line and don’t stick to it, they learn quickly to abuse you.


#19

@Karilyn @SnowOwl26 - One step at a time. I’m glad you could relate. We’re not alone. :pray::sparkles:


#21

That is great advice @Brenda_Allen. When setting boundaries, I agree it’s definitely important to make sure we’re okay with following through on taking care of ourselves if those boundaries are crossed. The lines in the sand are about us and what we need, not about them and how we can get them to change.