Don’t be fooled by a drug addict

Don’t be fooled by a drug addict.  First of all, addiction affects not only the addict, but those related to him or her- family members, spouses, significant others, co-workers, children, friends.  The addict’s drug use causes broken trust, confusion, health risks, emotional and/or physical abuse, lies, secrets, lost time, money wasted on drugs and more.

Our relationship

I was in an eight year relationship with a drug addict. When we met, he had been clean and sober for three years.  He had been in the recovery community for 15 years, but had one relapse.   

My husband and I separated and two months later I met “him.” He seemed completely different from my emotionally abusive husband.   It appeared that he was your basic all American guy. He had two kids who he absolutely adored, he was kind, funny, loyal and ran a small business. He volunteered for his kids’ school and sports events, small business functions and recovery events. Everyone seemed to like him.

We had a wonderful relationship, and loved spending time together. We went on trips and were enjoying life. Occasionally we’d argue, but we were always able to talk things out. I introduced him to my family who instantly liked him, (although it took my kids sometime  to come around). I thought I had finally met my “soul mate.” 

Spoiler alert. Although the relationship seemed wonderful it wasn’t likely that I’d encounter the “perfect guy” after a 25 year emotionally abusive marriage.  

He was a drug addict

“He” seemed completely different from my husband – at first.  However, as more time passed, his addiction started to escalate. He became controlling, manipulative, accusatory, and uninvolved with both me and his life in general. Watching TV when he wasn’t working and passing out at 8:30 at night was his routine. He did a stellar job of keeping his addiction hidden – he frequently accused me of causing all the problems in the relationship whenever I confronted him on anything.

When you love an addict you’ll be manipulated. Sometimes I’d get a glimpse of the funny, charming, attentive guy I’d met at the beginning, but it wouldn’t last long. All of that great energy started to dwindle, consumed by his drug use.  

 Occasionally he would come clean and admit to using drugs. He’d apologize profusely and swear he’d never use again.  I believed him. I read somewhere that we trust addicts, even when they lie, because there was a time when they were trustworthy. Don’t be fooled by a drug addict.

Even though he said he had “cleaned up” the relationship got more and more dysfunctional. Our arguments got worse. Our breakups were more frequent and lasted longer.  I continued to blame myself for our problems as his erratic, addictive behaviors escalated.  That wonderful, fun relationship had turned into one of resentment, fear, isolation, rejection and boredom.  He was still using. Don’t be fooled by a drug addict.

The end of our relationship

A girl alone in the forest
The end of the relationship

After one of our breakups I hadn’t heard from him in a while so I called him.  He’d found a new girlfriend – one he could “be himself” with, someone who enabled his drug use. I couldn’t compete with that. I adamantly opposed it.  It changed him, and destroyed the relationship.

I didn’t want a relationship with a “drug” anyway. He said he was the same guy. That was denial and he was fooling himself and leaving wreckage everywhere–especially in our relationship. He bragged a lot about how he hadn’t drank in 20 years, but he wasn’t sober. His obituary stated he’d been a sober member of AA for 26 years. He fooled a lot of people.

Don’t be fooled by a drug addict

Girl with big, tattered suitcase
Moving forward from the addictive relationship

Don’t be fooled by a drug addict is my new mantra. The breakup was a blessing in disguise.  I developed better relationships with my kids, and started going out with old friends. I took care of my mom and dad, hired a life coach, travelled, and started this blog.  I’m doing the things I love that before I’d sacrificed to dysfunctional relationships. I’m grateful he ended the relationship. I felt free for the first time in my life and shifted my focus to my personal growth.

The unexpected phone call

women sitting and holding cell phone
The unexpected phone call of the brutal murder caused by drug addiction.

On July 4, I received an unexpected phone call from someone I knew when “he” and I  were dating.  He was assaulted, brutally murdered, dragged into a vacant house, and his body was set on fire. I was stunned. What a horrific way to die. I was devastated and I could only imagine how his kids, family, friends, and business associates were feeling.

To add insult to injury I was shocked when I found out he was murdered less than a mile from my house. He was 10 miles from his own home, at 9 or 10 at night, in a somewhat sketchy part of my neighborhood. During his “recovery periods” he told me he’d bought hard drugs off the street. Looks like he was doing the same.

 I don’t know what kind of trouble “he” had gotten into, but it seems his addiction put him in a dangerous situation that resulted in his brutal death. 

Addiction robs us of awareness, healing and growth

Addiction to anything robs you of that beautiful opportunity to pause, step back, view your life and start to heal and grow. Don’t be fooled by a drug addict because addicts do crazy things. It’s terrible for their health, they risk dying from an overdose, and they put themselves in danger dealing with sketchy drug dealers. In his case he was int the wrong place, at the wrong time with the wrong people.

I’m very sad for him. He was only in his mid-fifties.  He’ll never see his kids’ futures: graduations, marriages, and maybe even grandchildren.  Nor will he get to enjoy his retirement – his dream was to buy an RV and travel the world. He’ll never get to see how life evolves for his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. His life was blotted out by drug addiction. I’m angry with him. He was warned. His ex-wife, me, his family, and his friends urged him to stay clean, but he didn’t.

If you’re dealing with addiction, get help.

If you’re an addict, get some help. Talk to a doctor so they can assess your best medical/recovery options. Most insurance plans cover all or a partial amount for recovery programs.  You can also talk to a pastor, priest or therapist. You can visit a local Alcoholic Anonymous Meeting, Smart Recovery, and/or check out the CDC’s Alcohol Program.  Additionally, the internet has many online programs, facebook communities and books.  

If you are in a relationship with an addict, get into a support group like Al-Anon.  You can also check out this link for more support programs (some are free and others have a cost).

This was a very upsetting situation situation all around. Nobody won. Again, get whatever help you need if alcohol is affecting your life in some way.

Leave a comment below of click below to email me. I’d love to hear if addiction is affecting your life.

Picture of Kathy blog author

Until next week—from my ✍️ to your heart ❤️—Kathy

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