Tuesday December 23rd 2014

How to let go of an addict

How to let go of an addict

Letting go of an addict can seem like a huge task. It helps to break it down into smaller steps, and to make steady progress towards the life you want. Here, we review practical tips and suggestions for how to let go of an addict. Then, we invite you to share more about your situation in the comments section below. We try to respond to all comments personally and promptly!

The concepts of Al-Anon

Six years before I started to consider leaving my addict partner, he had a major relapse and disappeared for the weekend. I stepped into the room of an Al-Anon meeting. I went, half-hearted, because I thought it was something I should do. I learned the terms,“let go and let God,” and “detachment,” in those meetings but I wasn’t ready to do that. I thought if I let go that I would be giving up on him. When my husband would use, I went to meetings to get away from my problems. After a few months, I stopped going.

Years later, when things were spiraling out of control in my marriage, I started to go again. I was desperately looking for answers. I saw the same people, some still living with the addict. Al-Anon teaches that you can emotionally detach from an addict while still being with them physically if they are actively using. I would never be able to accept a life with my husband if I was in recovery, and he was not. I wanted to be with him but refused to continue living with him while he was actively using.

The concepts and approaches discussed in Al-Anon were enlightening. They helped me realize that I had to put the focus on me. Even with this new refreshing insight, I felt a disconnectin the meetings. Though I realized it was not for me, I was still able to take what I needed from those rooms. I forced myself to get up and leave my husband and make a new life for myself and my daughter.  I needed to start treating codependency and behaviors associated with it.

Letting go of an addict starts by finding help

Each co-addict will find their own journey in the recovery process—some will utilize Al-Anon, psychotherapy, the support of family and friends, uncover strength, or sometimes the addict leaves and gives them no choice but to move on. Others will lose their homes, their savings, and go into debt before being able to walk through the door of recovery. Recovery is a journey—the following are a few skills to help start letting go of the addict and bring you back to center.

Techniques for letting go of the addict

Break things into small steps. No one expects for this to happen all at once. Create small, doable ways, to start taking your focus off of the addict. Here are some practical tips and suggestions for how you can start doing this:

1. Before contemplating separating yourself emotionally or physically from the addict, find a support network. This can be a community group, friends, family members or anyone who is aware of your situation and will be there to help support you. Pick a group or someone who inspires you. When you leave a conversation with your support of choice you should feel better, less afraid and more motivated.

2. Create a list, mentally, or an actual list of actions you know you need to change. Pick things that will stop you from becoming engulfed in what the addict is doing wrong. For example, the next time the addict is out “using,” do not call them, instead talk to your support person and refrain from trying to get them home or get them help.

3. Every time you slip up on your list, do not beat yourself up. Self-love and care is something you need more than ever. If you had it to begin with, things may have not progressed to this point.

4. Find activities that you enjoy which don’t involve the addict. Force yourself to start doing them! Take a walk, breathe deeply, take a bath,read a novel, see a movie, or anything you used to enjoy before your life became unmanageable.

5. Walk Away! Instead of arguing with the addict, force yourself to leave an unhealthy discussion you know will only escalate and get you upset.

6. Visualize the life you want and the life you can have if addiction was not part of it. Write it down and say it to yourself every day. Every single day when you get out of bed.

You may feel like a fraud at first, but slowly, these actions will give you an emotional detachment you didn’t think you could have. You will actually feel less affected and consumed by what the addict is doing. In the beginning, this may be forced, but when you find joy or can culminate a genuine laugh again,you are on the road to letting go.

Letting go of an addict: questions and situations

If you’re struggling at the moment in your life with an addict, you are not alone! Please leave us your questions or need for help in the comments section below. We do our best to support you and will answer you personally and promptly.

Photo credit: thisbedistoosmall

Leave a Reply

63 Responses to “How to let go of an addict
9:30 am July 17th, 2013


I’m 30 years old, with a 9 year old daughter, a nice home, a cute dog and cat and a 35 year old addict boyfriend.

My life is quite peachy, and has been. We are a sweet family.

There are situations, like last year my boyfriend went to jail for selling things that did not belong to him over a period of a year.
I knew he had sold things that did belong to him, but had know idea he was stealing.

He has been in and out of therapy. Rehabs. He is on Suboxone and alzam and an anti depressant. He still uses as far as I know about every 2 weeks. He is a heroin addict. He smokes it. But also as far as I know has used cat and mandrax since being in jail.

Over the last month he pawned my camera, but got it back after I found out. and my bicycle was stolen. But may not have been him.

When he uses, I make him sleep on the couch, I don’t cook for him, I take all his cards and money and I pretty much let his family know and give him a hard time.
I know it is ridiculous.

But he stops for a while then.

His mom is definitely an enabler, she sends him a load of money every week. She knows he has a problem. She also pays for his meds.

Am I an enabler?

We live quite comfortably. I work and we go half with everything to do with the house and living.

I like to think my daughter is not affected?
She has a good life and has routine and is not subjected to his nonsense. She does well at school, and has friends, she is healthy. She is beautiful.

What am I suppose to do?
He refuses NA or rehab.

It breaks my heart. I don’t know how to make it work.
Sometimes I think, it ok, ill except that he uses drugs, But no drugs in the house. It can be controlled somehow.
But then the stealing and lying doesn’t work well with that.
He is so nice, sincere, caring, affectionate, strong, but can be quite a arrogant shit when he’s using, and he looks terrible.

If push comes to shove I will kick him out, or move.

People say something drastic will happen before I do that. Like a accident with my daughter.

Anyway, I guess my first question is, why am I still trying to deal with this?
And second, how could I fix it?
And third how do you live with yourself after your love has hung himself or disappeared forever out of your life?
Is there a way to manage this situation?


11:19 am July 17th, 2013


It is very likely you will not take my advice. You will be ready to walk away from your boyfriend when you are ready and no sooner, and therefore I write about my story and wrote my book Hope Street, to give others in our situation Hope, a way to see how great life can be without addiction, and not just advice.

I was you, young mother with a daughter, living with an addict. I can promise you one thing, leaving him will be hard, love gets in the way of letting go, but a life without him is better in more ways than you can imagine. He is not going to clean up while living with you, he has no boundaries if he continues to get high, come home and be with both of you despite what he has done. Your daughter may not know exactly what is going on but my daughter is now 9 and they know a lot more than they let on. Do you want her to think this is what a normal father figure is? What would you tell her if she were dating someone like your boyfriend? And if the answer is you would not want her to be with someone like that, then why do you stay?

For a moment imagine a man that comes home every day and spends quality time with you and your child, loves you, respects you and when he says he is going out to the store, he does what he says. Imagine a man that is there for you when you need him and someone you don’t have to take care of or throw on the couch to sleep off his drugs. Imagine even living with your daughter and cute dog and no man and living in a house of peace. I promise you, right now you are just used to living like this but it is not peachy and it cannot be a good example for your child.
At 5 years old I took my child to therapy and found out she knew a lot more than I thought she did and that is why I wrote my book, for her, to show her that I was strong enough to leave and to give her a happy, normal life. I thought living with my husband/addict was normal, we had great times, he was so loving to me, he gave me everything, but what I realized was how could I be happy when every few weeks I was dealing with relapses, strange phone calls, finding pills in my home and much more. I couldn’t and until I physically got up and walked away I could not see how great my life could be on my own terms and not on an addict’s terms.

There are many different kinds of enablers, even if you don’t accept his behavior and put him on the couch, by not leaving him, you ARE accepting his behavior. You have to be strong enough to leave and care enough about yourself to want more for you. You deserve not to be living with this. I heard people tell me this 100X with my husband and I didn’t really hear it and I made excuses and then I stopped talking to those people, but when if finally set in that this was no way to live, a whole new world opened up to me as it will for you.
Good Luck.

10:38 pm July 19th, 2013

Hi, That’s realy taugh what you goin through, but I have respect of you that you showing your boundarys when he was using, don’t cook for him, tell that to all his family wow that’s good!! But don’t listen to other people, with that comment your daughter need to have an accident before you kick him out. You know yourself in your Heart when its the right time to do so.!! I wish you strength and encouragement.

12:26 pm July 23rd, 2013

Thank you. And thanks for the well wishes.

I think everyday that its probably the right time to kick him out. He wont leave.
And you are right there is no way id wish this life on another person, especially my daughter.
So i am being a bad example.
EVERY SINGLE TIME he needs to pop off to the shop I dread it.
And frankly i dont like it when he goes to the loo either.
It isn’t natural…consuming.
He doesn’t think his actions should effect us in a negative way at all.

Anyway, we all have the same story. How messed up is that.

Nobody ever comes out of this as a closely knit family with nooooooo substance abuse?
Need to read your book. What ever happened to your husband?


12:52 pm July 24th, 2013


I know that knot you have in your stomach every time you know he is using or wants to. You can ask him to leave and if he won’t then you can. You are worth much more than this. Living with addiction is not a choice for your boyfriend but it is a choice for you and I would chose sanity, happiness, your child over the insane cycle of addiction. I guarantee if you add up all the good times, they don’t hold a candle to all of the bad times. Please read my book, Hope Street, if you can, I have had many people tell them it really helped them to heal and to find hope. I wish you and your daughter the best.

8:55 am February 8th, 2014

I was married to an addict for 16 years and left. I met what I thought was a wonderful, in recovery and working it, man, that I became engaged to, despite vowing to never marry again. It’s almost a year later and guess what, he’s using. I’ve got those sickening feeling in my stomach, I have no car, we we’re saving for one, and we live together. I have a good job and can afford to be on my own, but I am having a very hard time “letting go”. My mind races (I have ADD), and I don’t eat or sleep. I really hate all of this.

3:42 pm February 11th, 2014

Good for you for getting out of your first relationship. I know how tough that can be.
You were able to get the strength to do that just like you will muster it up again to
make a change in your life now. I know that sick feeling all to well. If you can afford
to be on your own, then you can afford to live without that sick feeling.
There comes a time to look at ourselves and why we keep letting these types of people
into our lives. Are we missing something or is this familiar to us? Are we reliving the past and
since these feelings are all we know, we feel comfortable. I learned much later, that the sick
feeling, the drama and the sadness I lived with my ex-husband was similar to how I felt
growing up with two parents that fought and screamed all of the time. So with my husband, this
uncertainty was familiar to me and therefore, I felt it was normal. You need to be out of that situation long enough to heal yourself and accept love from someone who is a healthy person.
It may feel strange at first, boring even, at first, but having a healthy relationship is the best experience. It took me 12 years of my life, youth wasted on my ex-husband, but I was able to get out alive and find someone who has no issues with addiction, and I promise you, there is nothing like doing laundry, going through the pockets of your husband’s pants and not have that sick feeling in your stomach.
When this happened to me, I wrote about it, it transformed into a book, Hope Street. It was my only solace at the time, but it helped me look back and say, “who is this person?” It helped me and still helps me today realized I never want that life again. When this was going on, I couldn’t let go and although people were telling me I was part of the problem, I couldn’t see it. People can only hurt you if you accept it. I didn’t realize part of my personality was to accept things and
rationalize and love too much. This is not a strength in a relationship with an addict.
Jen, take a look at yourself and know you are worth it.
Of course you hate this, and unfortunately it doesn’t usually get much better.

2:32 pm May 30th, 2014

Hi, thank you so much for writing this article. After 5 years of being in an on-again/off-again relationship with my drug addict boyfriend, I reached my limit this morning and found this article.

For me the problem has always been letting go of the loving, strong, caring and highly intelligent man that he IS when he’s not using. But last night, when he got his first big pay cheque at his new job, he disappeared again. I’m tired and exhausted of having to worry about him, connect his stories to see if he’s lying to me, and living in fear of when he’ll leave me next.

My only problem is, I don’t hate him. Even though I should after all the humiliation he’s put me through, I don’t have it in me to hate him, I just hate what he does. I can see that he’s battling something that’s very debilitating and I never want to be the persont that puts him down. Having said that, I know it’s time for me to WALK AWAY from our relationship. No matter how in love we are. I think it is best for us both.

My question to you is, do you have any tips on how I can communicate this? As of now, he hasn’t got in touch with me since he left last night. But I’m sure he will. Am I supposed to tell him it’s over? That I don’t love him anymore (because it’s not true..)? That I’m moving on? That we can get back together after “x” amount of months in a rehab program or something? I guess what I’m saying is, should i or shouldn’t I give him a hope for us?

What’s the best way to communicate why I’m choosing to leave something so amazing we share because of his problem? I guess, my constant efforts to not make him feel bad that he’s got an addiction is my problem here. Is there a way to not make someone feel bad for their mistakes but still put your foot down when it comes to what you won’t tolerate anymore, i.e. deceit and drugs?

Sorry if this is complicated. Thank you reading my comment and posting this article.

9:32 pm May 31st, 2014

Thank you so much,i am new to your site,my husband is an addict,, i now know that im on the right track,its really hard living with an addict,,the lieing,stealing,aruging and never keeping a job and yet you try to help and suport them, i kicked my husband out three months ago and i tell you i really fill at pease ,i love him very much,but i know that i will never be happy with his addiction, my question is how do remain friends with out trying to munipulate you to give them another chance,it will never happen because i have five years of bitterness inside of me, but i do want the best for him and i pray for him everday, that the lord deliver him from this and i know that he will ,in due time, he jast have to want it but as for now i am so very happy thinks to this wed site.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:50 pm June 2nd, 2014

Dear Sarah and Gina,
I am writing to you both from the room of my dying grandmother. I have been crying all morning and I have not wept this hard since my ex-husband disappeared because of his addiction. Being here is a reminder that life is short and should be lived well.
I truly understand your struggles and your pain, but you both have a choice. You can continue to live and worry about your loved one or you can chose to let them go with love. I can promise you that if you move on for real, you will find a serenity and happiness that will allow you to thrive and flourish. You both deserve to be happy. Sometimes it is best to stop all contact with the addict because it gives you distance, time to heal, grow and get strong again. If you need a reason to give to your loved one to leave them, it can simply be that you are not happy and need to move on so that you can be.
You can still love the person you are leaving but you need to love yourself more. An addict will lie, pull on your heart strings and you could be right back to square one. The only way for you to really live a full and happy life is to get healthy and I assure you that happier and healthier relationships will follow.
If you keep in contact with someone who is sick, it will keep you sick. This is your time to get better.
Please read my memoir Hope Street, I wrote it to help others because I have been exactly where you are. If you can not afford the book, email me personally and I will get it to you. The book will take you through my journey and show you there is not only a way out but a great life afterwards.
In honor of my grandmother, who helped me move on, I aspire, as it sounds you both do, to live my life happily and to the very fullest.

3:03 pm June 13th, 2014

Hi there, thanks for the advice here. My partner is an alcoholic, I moved out of his house last year because I couldnt stand his behaviour and his drinking habits that often lead to more stress and financial problems. He becomes this raging drunk but he is completely opposite when sober. When I left, i started reclaiming my life back. I went back to my hobbies, live solo in my house and in control of my finances etc, im quite happy about these. It took time for him to realise to seek help in at Al-Anon. He was in total denial before. When he told me he was serious going to AA and be sober, I also thought maybe its good to give it another go. Since then, I come with him to meetings as I am quite interested about the disease and also be his support. We decided we want to fix the relationship. I know he really wants to recover but really struggling on keeping sober, something like his brain telling him he needs the drink like food. He had a minor slip before (not to point of drunkeness) that made him feel guilty and start putting more effort to the steps and go back to his calendar again. I keep reminding him about consequences if he wants to go back in that kind of life again and lose everything again. He appreciates me for doing that. BUT I am so disappointed today for his recent relapsed caused by his enabling mother….

i remember when i was living with him, his mother gets overbearing and tends to get over involved with us. She “loves” her son so much she kept defending, funding him, cover-up and bail him everytime he got into trouble when he was younger.. I got so pissed off one time when she bought him bourbon and I had to put up with the violent behaviour when he got drunk. His mother even told me put a pillow everytime he passes out on the floor, she told me “this is how i care for my ex-husband before” (wth?) everytime i tried to convice him not to drink, his mother calls me “controlling” or “trying to change him” or “trying to be his mother”.

His mother did it again today and my partner relapsed after weeks of sobriety (like i said he just started again his calendar after a minor slip) She gave him smokes and booze and money. I got so disappointed when I visited him today. he looked so guilty when i left.
i dont know what to do, how to support him if his mother is always an active enabler for his active addiction.. Its hard to have a relationship while addiction is active. Its hard to reason out with his mother, its frustrating but I care for my partner! I just keep ignoring his calls today, there’s no point of talking while he is drunk! I dont need unecessary stress! Anyone can give me advice to my situation? What should i do?

Amanda Andruzzi
12:00 pm June 14th, 2014

It sounds like you have successfully pulled yourself out of a non functional relationship. When an addict is sober, you can see glimpses of a person you love and it can feel so amazing. The truth is, the disease, if an addict is not in full recovery, and sometimes even if they are is a viable part of who they are.

When it comes to his mother, it is apparent that she is a co-addict. She is stuck in a cycle that has nothing to do with you. She loves her son and she is not ready to detach so he can actually get better. Some people have their own issues that they are hiding from so they like focusing on and taking care of someone in order to put the focus somewhere else . Also the parent/child dynamic with addiction is much different. Her love is unconditional and it is hard for her to see the difference between enabling and simply loving her son. He will have to be healthy enough to break from her or vice versa for recovery to stick or he will always be able to use.

I think you already know the answer to your own question and this may be hard to hear, but that peace that you feel when you are in charge of your own life will not be restored until you let him go. It is so hard to stop helping someone you love especially when you know the potential they have, but this is not your fight. Remaining in his life will only hurt you because he is not ready. Please read my article in this blog, “zero tolerance: help for families” to help you with some tips about this topic. Addiction is a cycle that will repeat itself, as you have probably already noticed. Your only responsibility and power lies in helping yourself.

Amanda Andruzzi

1:49 pm June 25th, 2014

Hi , I called the police on my alcoholic husband this weekend in order to get him out of the house . I did it because I had asked him to move his things to the basement and in doing so he had a rifle that we had for protection ( I had removed the amo a long time ago) I have great job and own the house my problem is emotional . I have such guilt and remorse for throwing him out. The gun situation was the last straw because he insisted I give him the shells because he bought them. I know I sound ridiculous , but I can’t stop crying for having given up on hm.

Amanda Andruzzi
11:38 am June 26th, 2014

I understand how you feel. You have every right to feel upset because it is an upsetting situation. Every person needs time to grieve a loss but also understand that not only did you do the right thing, you made a gesture to save yourself from an unhealthy relationship.
Moving on is never easy but things do seem worse before they get better, but they will get better. If you can focus on that it will help guide you through the pain. You did not give up on your husband, when someone chooses to use, then it is they who have given up.

Addiction is a sordid process that sometimes you need to remove yourself from because it can make you sick too.

You called the police because you went with your gut which was that you needed this to stop! You should never feel guilt over protecting yourself from someone who is hurting you. In fact, by making him leave, you are probably helping him hit bottom.

Now is the time to get strong and go for help that focuses on your recovery; al-anon, therapy, reading books or anything you can do to help you heal.
I can promise you, with your husband gone, slowly but surely, the peace of not living with addiction will be an amazing feeling, just give yourself some time.
Amanda Andruzzi

3:00 pm June 26th, 2014


Thank You for responding . Everything you said makes perfect sense. I just have a need to hear it over and over again . I’m staying strong this time .

Your blog helps because I don’t feel so alone. I’m going to counseling already and will give al Amon another try. I just worry that I will meet with a room full of people who have decided to stay. Last time I went that was what I encountered .

Amanda Andruzzi
12:09 pm June 27th, 2014

My best friend in the whole world, the one who insisted I publish my memoir about co-addiction, Hope Street, because she watched me with my ex husband for 12 years, ended up marrying an alcoholic. I thought that she, of all people, would know the life you are in for when you choose an addict as a partner. She is a professional and is beautiful. When things started to fall apart for her, I was on the other side this time. Unfortunately this whole cycle is irrational and unpredictable. I told her how Al-anon did not work for me because it was a room full of people who we’re learning how to live with am addict and that was not going to be my future. She found a group that was the opposite, she found many women who left and moved.
I wouldn’t rule anything out until you try it, it is better right now to go for all the help you can get. But believe me, I left, and it was the best decision I ever made. I took time for me and a healthy relationship found me this time. I am happily remarried and having my third child. I have no contact with my ex husband nor does he with his daughter. My story was an extreme situation but to get out I focused on the fact those I knew that moved on and gained their strength back and went on to healthier lives. I knew I deserved that.
I no longer get anxiety when doing the laundry, for fear of what drug I might find in my husbands pocket and when he leaves I don’t question what state he will return home in. This new reality is something I appreciate more than anything.
Amanda Andruzzi,

10:12 pm June 28th, 2014

My husband has an addiction to pornography, he doesn’t always tell me when he has gone into it and I feel he should. I ask him to tell me, but I wonder, is this stopping my recovery? I have in the past checked his phone etc to see if he has gone into it, I have tried to stop and did pretty well for a while, but have started to check his computer and I feel I am getting pulled back in. I always checked because he wasn’t telling me and I feel I have a right to know…but do I really? Is it best to leave it up to him if he wants to tell me or not and do I need to accept it if he doesn’t?

Amanda Andruzzi
11:18 am June 30th, 2014

My experience with this type of experience is limited but I do believe all addiction and co-addiction scenarios have similar characteristics regarding behavior. It sounds like your husband is involved in a behavior that consumes him and isolates you. In turn, you are feeling the negative affects on your relationship and intimacy with him.
With all addictive behaviors, we have to take responsibility only for ourselves because we cannot be responsible for another persons actions; only our own reactions.
You are on the right track, checking up on him is only making you feel worse and it is not stopping him. I would continue to get healthier and the healthier you become, either your husband will see this and be inspired to get better and be a part of it or go the other direction. Either way it is out of your control. You can set boundaries and express that you are unhappy and that you both need to seek counseling or you cannot continue on with your relationship.
If I were in your shoes, I would help myself first and take the focus of off what he is doing, even though it hurts, then when you are okay, you can deal with whether or not his addiction is something you want to live with or if you need to move on. Check out my article on Zero Tolerance for Drug Addiction, some of the concepts may be helpful to you.
Amanda Andruzzi

3:40 am August 2nd, 2014

I’m in love with a Heroin Addict How do I let go! Please, any response will help me!?
I cry from the minute I wake up and as soon as my day is done and I’m finally able to lay in bed I cry for hours. I know there’s many people out there going through it I just need some guidance. Sometimes I feel like I can do this sometimes I feel like I can’t take one more minute of this pain. My ex boyfriend and I met and fell in love instantly I’ve never met someone like him I’ve had 3 serious boyfriends before him 1 of them became a drug addict 4 years into our relationship. The other 2 physically abused me and cheated on me. I swore off guys for a while then I met the love of my life. I can still say he is the best boyfriend I have ever had I have never been with anyone Ive been so attracted too, he made me laugh EVERY day he adored me so much. I knew I deserved this after all the hell I went through in the past. Few months into the relationship my bf had to leave for rehab he told me he had not started using again he just felt like he was on the verge of relapse(LIE he had been using since the day he met me) He left to Florida for 6 months. I didn’t leave him even though i knew it was best to let him go since I had already been through the tortured life of dating a drug addict. He finally moved back he moved in with me. We were finally back together. 2 weeks being back he started using Heroin again. He stole my roommates rent and sold hisps3 for $40. It’s been a week since i kicked him out. How do i let go even though I’m watching his life deteriorate all over again.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:38 pm August 3rd, 2014


I see a pattern here…Loving men that are not capable of loving you back the way you deserve. Sometimes we have to look inside ourselves and fix what is broken. Why do we keep going back to relationships that are unhealthy and make us sick? Why are we attracted to troubled men? This patterned has more to do with you, your upbringing, insecurities, and other issues than you may realize.
I have been exactly where you are, married to the love of my life, with a child and he was an addict.
What I realized, 12 years too late, was that I was attracted to his sickness. We were best friends and I really felt it was my job to fix him. I learned the hard way it was not.
It is a good thing you were able to kick him out. That is a great first step. You will go through pain, unavoidable pain, but you are headed in the right direction. Now is the time to grieve, heal and work on you.
How to do it…reread this article, and the many others I have written and put them into practice. Educate yourself on addiction and co-addiction. I wrote a memoir, Hope Street, to help people like you, who were just like me. The most important thing to take from this is that this is about you, not him, and that is what you need to focus on. Once you become strong and healthy, you will not allow relationships like this in your life.
I am here if you need anything.
Amanda Andruzzi

8:30 pm August 3rd, 2014

Hi Sylvia

you did the right thing. Kick him out, that is a very brave step of you. I feel the same like Amanda, you had shitty relationships before and your addict boyfriend treated you nice adorable and with love and kind. And you think that is the love of your live. To live with an addict is not easy. I live with an addict aswell. Since 9 years i am goin through the same thing over and over again. I wish i could be strong, kick him out, or leave him. You did the the right thing brave. Be Strong and keep beeing strong you will get stronger. Make sure now that you are okay and that you think first at yourself now. If your boyfreand really loves you soo much, he will do anything to get cand look for support and help, to get clean and hopefully live a normal live. Dont give up, I will defenetly read Amandas Memoir, thank you and sylvia be surroundet by lovley people and do that what is good for you.

11:00 pm August 8th, 2014

I have a 24 year old son who went to treatment several times and since he is gay, I found a gay sober living home in Florida. He has since moved out, done well but now quit his job, is dancing at a gay club, doing drugs and some prostitution. He is out of control and is going to die by drugs or by going with a stranger. He makes no money and had totaled two cars in two months. I cannot believe he has sunk so low so fast. My only communication is by phone. I am scared I will loose my only child. I cannot get him to see he is in bad shape. I need help. I need advice. He is killing me. He is my life. I just don’t know what to do to get him to accept help or see he has a bad problem. He is very close to being kicked out of his apartment and being homeless. I am scared. Scared beyond words.

6:16 pm August 9th, 2014

Hi Kim,
There are no words to describe what it is like watching a child self destruct. Loving a child is unconditional and it is not the same with a spouse or partner. The only thing I can tell you is that unfortunately you cannot stop him or end his addiction. Trying to help and enabling him may only support his habit and lifestyle. How do you love him and let him destroy himself? There is no easy answer. You are not responsible for what he is doing but there are ways you can help him.
Please read my article Zero tolerance for drug abuse: Lessons for Families

There are some constructive ways in this article that might help you. I would recommend that you get some support right away to help you deal with this; a therapist, al-anon, community programs and/or other support groups. You need to stay strong and learn the best way to help your son, which very well may be not doing anything at all.
When someone is under the influence, trying to make them see that they are ruining their life is a difficult and somewhat impossible task. Interventions may be helpful but it still has to be a decision made by the addict. They must come to a point where they are sick and tired of what they are doing. Half-hearted attempts usually end up in failure and relapse.
What you are experiencing must be the scariest feeling that I hope I will never have to have. I think the key is to try and understand the nature of addiction, the reality of how it runs its course and work on getting stronger for you and for your son.
There is a great book, Healing the Addicted Brain, I would recommend reading. It explains addiction in a very different light and may help explain that there may be more than just addiction you are dealing with. It may help you direct him to more appropriate help when he is ready. Please stay strong.
Amanda Andruzzi
Author of Hope Street Memoir

10:58 pm August 15th, 2014

I have tried to let my husband go to I end up letting him back in my life & for four years it’s been the same thing over & over going without it for two months or couple of weeks then right back out there. Be in church stayn home every weekend spending time with me EVERYDAY not hanging out then get another job do good for couple weeks then back out there again. I never put him down when he comes back or fuss & bring it back up I just show him love. He says he sorry & cry every time & say he wants to stop & want help & he has & still goes back now we no longer have our own home I live with my Grandparents & he was stay with his mom but got back out there & she put him out now he’s back in the streets. WHAT DO I DO I’M SO TIED OF THE YO YO LIFE BUT I LOVE HIM & FEEL LIKE I’M WRONG IF I LET HIM GO BUT I DON’T WANT TO LIVE THIS LIFE ANYMORE. SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME PLEASE LORD PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME

4:28 am August 16th, 2014

I’m 23 years old been living with a drug addict boyfriend for 3 years. We have a two year old son together. My “boyfriend” has been in and out of jail at least 6 times in the past 7 months. I’m devastated he’s tried to kill himself in front of me and our son a month before Christmas but I managed to take the knife away from him and left him for a couple of weeks while he was taken to a psych ward. All he does is lie, steal money from me and other people, he’s been charged with burglary (2counts) and battery. He usually won’t call me for about a week or whenever he wants. He never asks about our son all he cares about is getting high or trying to sell his drugs. He’s been addicted to crack cocaine and heroine. His forearms are severely infected (it looks like) from shooting up almost everyday.. I tried my best to get him off the drugs I’ve prayed everyday for him but he doesn’t want to change.. He’s overdoes at least 3 times and is still continuing to use.. I sometimes wait for a phone call to let me know he passed away that sounds horrible and it makes me sick to my stomach but, it’s the truth. I feel like I really can’t help him I can’t get through to him. I don’t know where he’s at or where he sleeps. He told me a while again when he was in jail that he was in a gang. He’s shared needles with a couple of people and I hope I didn’t catch anything from him (not that we are physically active anymore) I need help to let go and detach my self I need to focus on my son and myself. He doesn’t give me money for our son for anything. I work 6 days a week to support him and my bills. Any recommendations I would highly appreciate..

Amanda Andruzzi
11:11 am August 19th, 2014

Who wouldn’t be sick of what is happening in your life? Your husband is on the streets, using, and you are living with your grandparents.
You have tried unconditional love and probably everything else you could think of but this is not your problem, nor your addiction, so as much as you want to, you cannot fix it. As frustrating as that is to hear it is the truth. Your husband will do this to you as long as you let him and then he will manipulate someone else until he hits his absolute bottom. As co-addicts we are always there to cushion the fall but after a while we end up in the position you are in now; miserable, sad, angry, lonely, unhappy and unable to move on.
Co- addicts must hit their own “rock bottom” and regardless of where the addict is at, move on. You have to reach a point where you actually cannot go on this way and then and only then will you change your life. Try the steps in this article, when and only when, you realize there is no going back. The key to moving on is recovery for you and letting go of the addict.
Just keep remembering, actions speak louder than words, pleas and cries. How much more time will you allow your husband to make you feel the way you just expressed? It is up to you to get out of an unhealthy situation. This, coming from a single mom, who was left in debt while her husband cheated, abused drugs and stole money fromy family and friends, is not advice I am making up but something I have gone through personally. Keep me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi

Amanda Andruzzi
11:34 am August 19th, 2014

It sounds like your boyfriend is already out of your life, you just need to make it final. He may expose you and your child to not only heartache, pain, and financial loss but also expose you to serious diseases. This is going to sound tough but you need to let go completely, for the sake of your child. He does not contribute to your life in any way and in reality only makes it worse. You do not need to wait for that phone call, choose not to even answer that phone. You know you cannot fix him and helping him only hurts you.
The faster you move on and find happiness the better you will feel and be a positive role model for your son. You can do this on your own but you do not need to do it alone. From one mother to another, exposing your child to an addicted father and a mother who is living in pain and sadness is not good for him. Your son is lucky enough to have one parent who is loving, responsible, hard working and sober. You need to focus on him and yourself and healing so you can move on to a happy life for both of you.
Please read more of my articles for more support and get help for yourself. Al-anon is free and it is everywhere. Find support from friends, from a therapist and google community programs in your area for you and your son. Once you start your recovery and the process of moving on then those feelings you are expressing will be replaced with strength, independence, and a new freedom and peace I wish I could convey to you. Hope Street, my memoir, is my story. I have been right where you are emotionally and physically so I understand what you are feeling and how hard it really is, firsthand. Keep in touch.
Amanda Andruzzi
Hope Street Memoir

11:27 pm August 19th, 2014

Hi Amanda the is Kharmayme I’M TRYN EVERYDAY to let go but it is so hard cuz I hve this passion in my heart for ppl & I no Hw it is to feel like no one cares. Hold up wait a moment in just read wht I said my own self I realize that he could never feel that Why from me his wife cuz I have shown so much love dat What b more than enough for ten men. I just have to let go & go through the “letn go process ” wth the help frm GOD. Are there online Support groups that if I want to talk to someone EVERYDAY to get through this I can? I just want to start back truly being happy & loving myself & not hve to fake being happy or needing to stay busy, or stay around alot of ppl or sleep to keep frm bn sad feeln lonely or that I’M now the one that’s wrong.

11:33 pm August 19th, 2014

Srry Amanda I am so Srry I forgot to say thank u so much u hve bn such a gr8 help to me deeply frm my heart thank u if we all just mustard up the strength to just say I’M goin to do this cuz I deserve to b happy & love even if it has to come frm our own self. One day this too could b us telln our happy endings

Amanda Andruzzi
12:15 pm August 20th, 2014

You are very welcome. I write for people like you because I know what you are going through. You can always comment here or email me at hopestreetmemoir@gmail.com. As for online support, there are many, just google online support for addiction and co addiction and pick what resonates for you. Al-anon has online support as well. But I would recommend a more human connection to compliment the online support, a therapist and/or a community group which you can google in your area or contact local organizations like the YMCA. There are usually free programs available for you and your son.
You will be happy and you will be strong when you realize you are not abandoning your boyfriend. He has abandoned you for addiction and now you must take care of yourself and your son. I know the love you feel for him seems impossible to turn your back on but if I could show you what is on the other side of the door you would be amazed at the possibilities for you and your child. Security, peace, calm, happiness, joy, appreciation for life, and the opportunity for a new and healthy relationship. How do I try and explain what you could have if you have never had it? It’s difficult, but this is where trust comes in. You need to put faith and belief in people who have been where you are and have successfully moved on. Those are the people you need to surround yourself with.
Keep reading, please read all my articles because I really think they will help you. Take small steps at first and do not beat yourself up when you take a step back. Just take care of yourself and more importantly your son. The love you have for your child will make you want to be the best person you can be so he has the opportunity to flourish and thrive. Please keep me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi

12:09 am August 21st, 2014

I am now divorced (as of 7/28/14) from my meth addict husband and father of my 20 month old daughter. I used to use his head injury and shitty parents and his lack of love in his life as an excuse for why he used. We were only married three and a half years and it married him six weeks after meeting him so maybe it was doomed for failure. He used our first year of marriage and then not again until after his mother died Dec 2013. I have only been able to partially let go which is more like not letting go. He moved out but I would help him because I’m afraid to let him go because I know he’ll spiral out of control. So I bring him to my home to stay and spend time with my daughter and the other day during one of his visits home I found his meth pipe and talked to his demon the night I found and took the pipe. The demon threatened me and wanted me to climb into the dumpster to find the pipe. After a hours of this I broke down and gave him back his pipe because I was beginning to fear for my safety. I drove him back to where he was staying at first light the next morning. Within two days he spent over $1000 of his money on drugs and phone hot chat lines. My question is more of a plea because I feel such sorrow and sadness and guilt over all of this. I truly feel like I’m turning my back on him especially after I turned off his phone that I was paying for. I just need to hear some advice or comments or someone’s point of view that will help me to cope with all of this. Thank you! Jen

Amanda Andruzzi
11:18 am August 21st, 2014

I do not like to sound so negative but I would like you to read my book, Hope Street, to get a glimpse of what staying with him and keeping him in your life like this will be like years down the road. Also it might help you see when you do let go that there are so many wonderful possibilities out there for you and your child.
You are kind, caring and want to take care of your husband and this does not make you a bad person. However, it does make you easier to manipulate and therefore your husband will use you whenever he can.
Please read my article here in this blog, Co-addiction: Get Angry! Do you think your husband is loving and caring for you when he is spending thousands of dollars to get high? I am sure it is not easy to raise your child alone with no financial support. That money would benefit your child but instead it is being used to get him high and call women. It sounds like he is not helping your child but some how, some way, he has the ability to find money for drugs.
Jen, if you let him into your life doing what he is doing, you will not be able to truly heal and recover. You deserve to, for you and for your child so that you can both have a happy and healthy life. Your husband is holding you back and keeping you in a world of heartache and pain.
You have obviously tried and done all that you can for him and the truth is you can’t be the one to save him. If he gets sober it will come from him and only when and if he is ready.
If you look at it from another angle maybe this will help you as it helped me. I always blamed my husband’s addiction on his father leaving him as a child for his heroin addiction and lack of love in his family. I told myself he used because of that. I grew up in a dysfunctional household, became a single parent and lived with his addiction for 12 years, why was I able to be sober? Why was I not allowed to fall apart? You can only make excuses for him so long before you have to realize this disease and his choices are going to hurt you and your child if they have not done too much damage already.
Find help for yourself, read more about co-addiction and addiction, read the other articles I have written here. Focus on you, your child, and not him and his addiction and soon, when you can actually let go, your feelings of sadness will be replaced with a new independence and a life that makes you happy.
Keep me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi

5:33 pm August 24th, 2014

I am a twice divorced single mom who is ending a five year relationship with a man who has made me learn more about myself than I ever could see. Not him necessarily , the relationship. He is the most caring, compassionate, loving man I ever knew. Kind, giving….alcoholic. He is also bipolar.. A huge reason or excuse for his addiction. I see how alcohol affects his moods as it causes his medication to not work. Broken hearted I choose to leave the relationship. Ironically my first husband was a compulsive gambler yet a totally different person than the man I love but am leaving now. Whew talk about who really has the problem here!

Amanda Andruzzi
12:39 pm September 1st, 2014

You are not alone in how you feel about relationships with addicts. They are usually very passionate people and relationships can be very intense, dramatic, and desireable. Just because they “use” does not mean they don’t show you a good side. These things are what makes it so hard to leave and so easy to fall in love.
But they are in most cases individuals with a psychological, physical and/or chemical disorder so relationships with them are rarely healthy. There are a lot of cases where they abuse substances to deal with their conditions and the fact that you recognize that does give you a good insight on why these relationships do not work.
Then, we have to turn the light on ourselves and realize that we have our part in it as well. What makes us attracted to people with addictions? What void does it fill? Why are we attracted to it? Why do we feel the need to fix others?
There are many questions and so many different life experiences that lead us to these relationships. It is a good idea to look within ourselves, our history and our childhood to find out why we engage in these relationships and work on changing, correcting and healing ourselves so we may find healthy and loving relationships.
It was my first husband and our relationship that allowed me to understand what my issues were and when I was able to finally let go I did not make the same mistake again. I was no longer intrigued by men with problems but secure enough with myself to form a relationship with a man that was secure with himself and did not need drugs to live his life. And that was a great accomplishment for me. And because I am not so distracted with his issues, I still have room to grow. Best of Luck.

3:50 am September 5th, 2014

I don’t even know where to begin….I need help badly! I have been with my boyfriend for over nine months now and we have probably actually seen each other a total of three…maybe. He goes out and steals all day and he doesn;t come home until ten or eleven, sometimes even later. We have never been on a date, he has never paid for anything and he has stolen so much from me. I have also given him money when he didn’t have it which is every day. He has never paid a bill or kep a promise…NEVER ONCE! He says he loves me but never looks at me, we haven’t had sex in over two months and it was maybe once a month before that. He will tell me that he promises to be home at a certain time yet has never ever kept that promise. He never has me go with him anywhere and he lies to me every day all day long about everything. He manipulates everyone around him and to everyone else he appears as such a great guy. He always has an excuse and always has some hard luck story as to why he didn’t do what he said he would do for me or even for himself. I love him so much and I feel so stuck. He is incredibly intelligent, and not just the usual “og he’s so smart and could be so great bs”…this guy is truly one of the great minds on this planet. He could make history if he really put his mind to it. But, he has been the worst person I have ever known to me. He never says nasty things to me or gets violent or demeans me with words, but I feel so demeaned and rejected every day and every second that I am with him…when ever that may be after midnight for a few minutes until he goes up into the bathroom and spends two hours in there, then passes out or I have to go to sleep to go to work in the morning. I have bailed him out of jail three or four times now. I stopped hanging out with my friends and family because I am embarassed to always be alone. People will as “where’s Chris” and I wouldn’t know what to say. Most of the time I tell them he’s at work but he doesn’t have a job. He is 31 and dropped out of his engineering program and does nothing all day but steal and lie and go do dope. All the utilities are about to get shut off and he promises to come home with money every day, but every night it’s always some hard luck story as to why he doesn’t have it and then he tell me “tomorrow” everything will be better but tomorrow NEVER comes. Please help! I am loosing myself completely!

Amanda Andruzzi
5:29 pm September 5th, 2014


If it was not you writing what you did and you read it as an outside party what would you think?
What is it you like or love about him? There does not seem like he has one good quality towards you in your relationship. It is clear he needs help for his issues but it is even more clear that you need help for you. No one deserves to be treated the way you describe so this is far more about you than him. He is a symptom of a deeper issue for you.
Does this relationship recreate feelings for you that are familiar? Is there a self-esteem or confidence issue that allows you to stay with him even though things are so awful?
You first need to look at these questions and look inside yourself and find out why you would allow anyone in your life like this, especially when there was no goodness from the beginning.
This is not healthy for you and it sounds like he is only using you to help with his addiction. That being the case, it would be the best thing for you to get support right away, a therapist, support group, al-anon, and let him go completely.
Unfortunately you will only do this when you are ready and no sooner. Please take the time to evaluate the situation and figure out exactly what it is that you are gaining from allowing him to use you and then hopefully you will be able to be objective.
I would recommend not hiding from friends and family because you are only protecting him. They might be able to help you and realize this is not the person you should be with. You need them because they might be just the voice of reason you need. If you are embarrassed to tell them about your relationship then you know deep down it should not go on.
Please keep reading the article I have written here , especially the ones on co-addiction and educate yourself as to your part in this dysfunctional relationship. You deserve a real relationship and to be happy but first you must be healthy and take care of you.
Hope Street Memoir

Jennifer A
3:48 pm September 23rd, 2014

Hi, I am 31 years old and have recently broken things off with my addict boyfriend, actually he is he one that ended things with me. Other then what I thought were small signs in the past this was the biggest sign of his addiction, within a matter of 4 hours it went from him telling me how much he loves and adores me to me waking up to a text message saying he was leaving me b/c he isn’t feeling well. He was coming off of a cocaine binge and getting severe headaches. The week prior he was very moody and closed off but I looked past it and just told myself it was his pain making him cranky. It took him about 5 days to respond to any type of communication and still would not agree to meet with me. My heart is/was completely shattered. I can’t understand why the man I love and was planning a future with wont even sit across from me and look me in the eyes. About a week at ago I knew he had been traveling for work and out with a coworker drinking. I received a very odd text that he wanted to come over and bring me my things, when I told him I would not be there I saw I side of him I never in a million years thought I would see, he called me awful names, accused me of going away to be with someone else- it was just awful. He claimed that he as “testing” me to see if I would be home because he was coming back to me to work things out, mind you prior to everything we never fought. I am embarrassed to say that I played right into,I didn’t fire back with nastiness, instead I sat there and cried begged him not to do this, that I would cancel my trip because I loved him and wanted this to work. I let him manipulate me into thinking this is now my fault that we aren’t together. If there was ever a point I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown its now. Since that he has blocked me from social media, won’t answer my calls or text messages. I know I deserve better then this, I can not throw away my future for someone that will never be able to put me or a family first but not having closure is killing me. Last time I saw him was 3 weeks ago, he was cold and distant because of his headache, in my mind I just cant accept that we leave it that way. How do I just walk away? I feel like a fool and humiliated but I still love him. When he is sober he is wonderful but the drugs make him a cold jerk that only cares about himself.

Amanda Andruzzi
10:34 am September 25th, 2014

Jennifer A,
That is what drugs do, turn the person you love into what seems like another person–a monster. However, the person you live is not real either , if that wonderful man were so wonderful he would not need drugs and he would not treat you the way he has. The truth is the drugs are masking serious issues.
He has a long road ahead of him and it seems like this is not over for you. You are hurt and devastated and rightfully so, but you really need to educate yourself on addiction because this is not personal. All addicts manipulate, lie, hide, have an alternate personality, and destroy their own lives. They lie to everyone including themselves. This has little to do with you. However, I took everything my addicted husband said and did to heart and I suffered for 12 years before he destroyed our lives.
It is hard to tell people not to make the same mistakes I made but hopefully you can learn something from what I went through. Keep reading my articles here and try to understand that you need to get strong and move in. Allowing this in your life will only bring you down. Please check out my memoir, Hope Street. To get a bigger picture on what addicts are really like , how I know all the insanity you are going through, but also how when I realized the truth about addiction I was finally able to take steps in the right direction. This is hard, very hard but staying away from him is the best thing and it does get easier, your pain roll heal. There is happiness beyond your wildest dreams waiting for you if you want it, but you have to want it, do the work and get yourself in a good place .
Amanda Andruuzi

Jennifer A
5:28 pm September 25th, 2014

Thank you so much for getting back to me. I am about half way through your memoir and your strength is amazing, I know that if I stayed with him my future would be a mirror of your past. Logically I know I need to let go but its taking an emotional toll on my that I never thought was possible. I am not an overly religious person but I have a strong faith in God and just keep praying that he give me the strength and patience to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My mother said something to me the other day that has really resonated, I asked her why God would do this, she said “instead of asking God why he did this be grateful that he was there to save you early on before you got married and had children, instead of letting you be dragged down by the devil. You could have easily got sucked into a life of misery and manipulation” I’ve started therapy to try and find out why I feel the need to put myself on the back burner and care for someone instead of putting myself first. This site has been so resourceful and inspiring, I know the road ahead is long but I have to just trust that I will get to the light, eventually.

Amanda Andruzzi
11:51 am September 26th, 2014

Your mother is right. You are gaining insight and soon you will gain perspective as you get the help you need. A therapist is an excellent start. I got married and had a child and it made everything harder. He is giving you the chance to be happy and find health for yourself and in a new relationship. Be grateful for that and know that this pain shall pass. You just need to keep him out of your life because he may reappear apologetic and with promises of sobriety.
My mother told me, at a point where I was sick inside and out from my situation. She said that the best revenge is happiness. I have lived by that advice and won’t let another day go by wasting one moment of my life. Once you truly understand what happiness is for you, you will never go back. Please keep me posted and I welcome feedback on my book so keep in touch. I hope it helps.

9:31 pm September 27th, 2014

Hi, I’m glad to see there is a blog where I can come to, to read about this kind of things. My situation is my boyfriend who is quite older then me has a really bad alcoholic problem and also pops pills. We have been together for almost 2 years, our relationship is great. He has never been mean, we get along great, my kids love him but alchohol takes over his life. He usues it to medicate his PTSD from the war, he can hardly keep a job. He has to live with his mom because I refer to pay for his way through life. I work very hard, take care of my kids, home, and everything else by myself. But, I get upset because when I need him he is never available because he’s drunk or has been drinking. I have a very hard time trying to let this all go because of how well we connect when he isn’t drinking. We’ve talked a million times about everything, he’s gone to a 24 day program through the VA and got on medication. But, then just right back to it all the second he’s stressed. I’m at a loss, I love him but my heart tells me to let this go because I deserve better but its so hard.

Amanda Andruzzi
10:59 am September 29th, 2014

When we love someone, we tend to look the other way on a lot of things. Although you have a connection and you say he has never been mean, what you describe does sound mean and selfish from an outside view. It is not fair to you for you to have to be the responsible one in the relationship and never have him there for you when you need him. It is not fair or good for you to be with someone who is drunk all the time and cannot keep a job. Being so responsible yourself, this is also not the example you want to set for your children. Someone with an addiction who is actively using cannot be a viable partner in life. So ask yourself if you deserve better, someone who will be a positive force in your life, a shoulder to lean on and emotionally stable.
It is amazing what we learn to accept when we love someone, however, you need to look at yourself here. What are you getting out of this? What does his drinking do to you? How does it affect you, your children? If you see he cannot stay sober, why do you stay? You need to understand what is unhealthy about this situation and what you can do to make it better. That may mean giving him one last chance to get clean and not backing down on what you need from him or most likely it might mean leaving.
I know firsthand the different personalities of a sober person and a person using. The sober person can be so amazing we try to accept, ignore or change the other person. However, the alcoholic and pill popper is a very real part of who this person is and that may never go away and you cannot him change. An addict will change when and only when they are ready and you will know when it is for real. Think about this. click on Amanda Andruzzi in this site to read my other articles on addiction and coaddiction that will be really helpfulp to you. Educate yoursel on addiction and relationships with addicts. ‘Zero tolerance for addiction’ and other articles here may really help you gain more insight. Please feel free to post here any time.
Amanda Andruzzi

Jennifer A
2:21 am October 2nd, 2014

Amanda, I think I have finally reached my point of letting go. I went away this weekend and had time to really think. It was the first time in weeks I was able to think and get my thoughts together. I cried so much I could barely see straight, while doing so I broke down and sent him a message, literally begging to see him b/c I needed to physically say goodbye, he did not respond. I begged him and told him I was hurting. I immediately thought about the last email you sent your husband asking him why not once did he fight for his family and you being unable to make pancakes. I like you wanted answers, I’ve been unable to sleep in my own bed bc of the way he left the pillows would remind me of him. After a few hours of not getting a response it was as if a light went off, I have strangers in my life that are more concerned with my well being than the man that supposedly loves me. That is not love, if you can not even respond when that person is pleading with you on the verge of a breakdown and you don’t so much as just say no, I’m sorry, that is cruel selfish behavior. I feel like such a fool for falling so deeply in love with a person that could do this to me. In hindsight he has probably done me a favor but as of right now he mine as well be dead to me. The pain of my shattered heart is still real and apparent as ever but tonight I got the exact sign I needed to move forward and put him behind me forever. I pray that one day I meet someone that will offer the same real, committed and respectful love that I have to offer. Until then I will continue my path of self healing and awareness.
I have a copy of your book with me at all times, if there is a point I feel weak I will retread that last letter and move on. Thank you so much for sharing your story, reading it was my first step to moving on.

Amanda Andruzzi
10:42 am October 2nd, 2014

I am so happy to hear that you have come to that first step, which is realizing that you cannot go back. That step took me 12 years and 1 child, so although you are in pain, give yourself some real credit. You were able to realize that and that is huge. I am glad my book is helpful for you. I know the pain you are going through and leaving, letting go, and moving on is the hardest thing to do. The pain is sometimes overwhelming and suffocating, I know. But later, when it lessens, you will see things differently. He cannot love you and he doesn’t know how. When you start to feel normal again and ready for a real relationship you will understand that the reason you even loved him so much was because you were not in a good place. My ex, 5 years later, has made no effort to contact me or see his child and I am grateful for that everyday. What addicts have to offer, you will soon want no part of because you will be living a healthy life. Addiction is toxic to everyone it affects and the more time you are around healthy people you will want less and less to do with your ex. Just be kind to yourself right now and find some support that really helps you work on you and get down to the bottom of things. The person in that book you have was at her worst and I am proof today that you can come out of that place. It is not forever, what you feel is temporary, remember that. Now is the time to get strong and do the work to help yourself.
Keep in touch.

8:52 pm October 9th, 2014

I have been with my boyfriend for two and a half years now, he is a recovering heroin addict and i myself used to smoke a lot of pot. We were basically addicts together except i have never done anything as hard as heroin. We are 20 years old. I know i love this guy very much, i have been going to meetings with him and putting him before myself so we can ensure he gets better. I have been sober 6 months and he has been sober 5. I know it will not be an issue for me to stay clean but i am afraid it could be with him. He just broke up with me saying that we need to focus on ourselves and that he is not ready for a romantic relationship.. i took a step back and realized my extreme codependancy for this man and how i had put myself on pause to be with him and agreed that we should fox ourselves. But now i find myself with all these questions, like is he going to come back to me when he loves himself again? Is our relationship just paused or are we done for good? I dont want to leave him but i am afraid that ill be waiting around for nothing. He has gotten rid of me on social networking and that has really upset me as well. It makes me feel like he is hiding something. I dont know what to do at this point. I know we need to love ourselves before being able to love each other but i am afraid i have lost him completely. He told me he was going to disappear from me for a while… i still have some of his stuff and want to return it to him. But i am unsure because he doesnt want me to speak to him and he says that if things are truly different this time like i had said they would be then he wants me to give him the time he needs. Part of me wants to just have his friend give him his stuff but the other part wants to hold on to it so he has a reason to see me one more time. I dont know what to do. I want answers but i dont want to jeopardize losing him completely, but theres a posibility i did lose him already. I have the chance to see hin oFriday becuse thats the one meeting we both always go to without fail. I am torn and do not know what to do.

8:57 pm October 9th, 2014

I would also like to add that he has not deleted any of my family from social networking, just me. Sorry for any spelling errors…. sending this from a phone lol

2:57 pm October 10th, 2014

Hi Kaitlyn,
Thank you for sharing your story. I know it is not easy for you right now but you may not like what I am going to say. Your ex boyfriend may or may not be using again, you may or may not get back together with him and you may or may not have lost him forever. But all of that do not matter, what does matter is you. You are not a co-addict or codependent just because you love someone, what makes you those things are when you put that person above yourself. It is evident that this may be the case.
When you are okay despite the condition, position, or state of your boyfriend then you will be in a good place. If you were both using substances in your relationship at any point then it may be very well that your connection may not be the most healthy. Your ex may not be contacting you because he is really doing so well or because he is not clean and does not want you to see but regardless of the reason, you need to worry about you and not him.
Whether or not he chooses to come back to you should not matter at this point. What you need to look at is if this is even a healthy situation for you. Perhaps the feelings you have for him are just something that are hard to let go of because of the nature of your relationship. When a relationship is formed by one or two unhealthy individuals, what we miss and long for is the instability of that relationship and the dramatic effect more than we do the actual person.
Is it healthy for you to long for someone who has written you off and will not contact you and may be doing using? In that question lies an answer that will hopefully help you understand that you still need to work on you. The term, if you love them, let them go, truly applies here. But when you let them go, you need to get healthy and move on with your life. A grieving process is inevitable, but do not let it cripple you, keep on moving forward.
You are sober and that is a huge accomplishment.
Everything I am telling you is from personal experience with both co-addiction and codependency. It took me 12 years and one child before I had the strength and courage to leave my addicted spouse and move on. My book, Hope Street, is a memoir of my frightening journey with addiction. It was not easy but the answer for me ended up being very simple. I had a choice, just like you do, and even though I had lost everything I owned, I chose to leave.
I was able to help myself get down to the bottom of why I was addicted to an unhealthy person and it opened up a new world for me. But the pain you are going through is documented in my book to help other people, like myself, truly feel understood. You are not alone, but only you can make the decision to let him go and move forward.
I would recommend packing his box and having your friend return it to your ex and finding a different meeting to go to on Fridays. Keep reading, click on my name in this blog, Amanda Andruzzi, and you will find a great deal of other articles I have written to help you in this exact situation. The best thing to do when you are unsure or scared of something is to educate yourself about it. There is always fear of the unknown but you need to keep getting stronger and conquer that fear. Learn more about why you are feeling the way you do. I hope my experience and expertise can help. Keep me posted Kaitlyn, I really value comments, posts, and feedback. I would love to hear your progress.
Amanda Andruzzzi, CHC, AADP

11:13 am October 15th, 2014

My drug addict is my 27 year old youngest daughter. She has two children 1 and 8, who are safe and not with her anymore. We have always been extremely close and I have never given up on her getting away from ice. I’ve made-myself miserable by never letting her out of my mind for one second. Making my self sick and depressed.
I let her go about half an hour ago by text. She said thanks and now she’s free…I then thought, ok now what do I do. What is letting her go? What does it do for her that has made her Free? And what the hell do I do now? Does it mean I haveto pretend she isn’t a part of me anymore, that she isn’t a a part of my life?

Amanda Andruzzi
4:06 pm October 17th, 2014

Losing a child to addiction is a very different situation than a spouse. You will never be able to let go to the same extent that you can someone who is not your child.
But much like every addictive relationship there comes a point where you see your efforts are not helping them. The only chance you have for her to get clean may be by letting her go. I am sure you have tried everything possible to help her and when nothing works, that is a good time to let go. You cannot save her even though denying a child help goes against the nature of motherhood, but sometimes our help may be enabling their addiction. She needs to hit a bottom that may never come if you are there to protect her.
You will never stop loving or living for your children but you have to start taking care of yourself. You deserve to have a life not filled with the daily horrors that addiction brings. You can love her but if you can let her go, physically, it may help you and her. My article, Zero Tolerance forAddiction: Help for Families, may be useful for you. I can not take away the pain or the worry but I can tell you that you should not have guilt. She will always be a part of your life but she cannot be in your life while she is using. She is free from having to pretend and lie to you, that is all you freed her from. But you may have given her the chance now to be alone with her addiction and hit bottom. Take care of yourself, love her from a distance. I am here so please post any time you need to talk. Al-anon may be helpful for you or any support group with parents of addicted children. You need a lot of support right now and it will help you.
Amanda Andruzzi

Miss the hugs and kisses
6:29 am October 26th, 2014

My alcoholic husband left me a month ago. I am financially independent and have a comfortable life with great friends. I do well but then I find myself needing to cry for a bit on a weekend night when kids are asleep. I miss my husband … The one before the alcoholism took over. I miss being hugged and kissed…intimacy. This isn’t codependency this is a human need that is normally met in marriage and is now a void in mine. Any advice for this ? And chocolate and physical exercise won’t make the grade!lol!

Amanda Andruzzi
4:39 pm October 27th, 2014

Miss the Hugs and Kisses,
Losing a loved one, especially ending a marriage, regardless of addiction is a painful process for anyone. The addiction sometimes only makes it harder because we know that without it, we still love the person before the addiction started. It is hard to let go of someone we know is only behaving the way they are because of an addiction or a disease. We hold on to the hope that if they get better we can have the old relationship back. However, if you see the addiction is taking over and you are separated, then just like any divorce, you have to let go over time.
There is no amount of chocolate or exercise that will compare to human touch and love, agreed!
Moving on with your life and getting healthy enough to find a new relationship will. Unfortunately this does not happen overnight, so that is why the energy boost and endorphins from exercise and indulging in things like chocolate help in the interim.
It took me 12 years to leave my addicted spouse. I missed all of the good things about our relationship but I did not miss the lies, the deceit, the fear, pain, and everything that went along with his addiction. I wrote my memoir, Hope Street, about my experience with letting go of my husband and the father of my first child. It was not easy, but over time, it was the best life decision I ever made. I was not only lonely but felt extreme rejection and sadness.
Then I made the choice to get on with my life with my daughter and without him. I am now getting my hugs and kisses from my new husband and my 3 beautiful children.
Once you realize that you need to move on with your life, you will realize that you can have something a lot better with someone else!
Amanda Andruzzi

7:23 pm November 5th, 2014

Hi im 37 yrs old i have been with my heroin addict boyfriend for 19 yrs when i first met him i never new he had a drug problem intill one day i checked his pockets and found a needle i love him and so i stood by him he went 2 rehab but that never really worked so since then hes been on and off it he dont enject anymore just smokes it he has done crack in the past but i dont no if he is still doin that now but in the last couple of weeks he has gone from bad 2 really worse he stole money from my purse he pawned my laptop and the other day he pawned my 50inch tv so i had 2 call the police so when they find him they wil arrest him he has never been this bad b 4 i just dont understand how someone u love can change so quick hes not the person he used 2 b so lovely and carin but now hes dissapeard at a drug friends house he dont text or ring 2 let me no he is safe im just so stressed out how can he just throw away 19yrs of bein 2gether its like he just dont care about me anymore.

Amanda Andruzzi
3:46 pm November 6th, 2014

As long as you realize this has nothing to do with you and you cannot change your boyfriend, you will be in a better place. The more you help support his habit, maybe not with money, but with support and by staying with him, the harder it will be for you to be happy and for him to hit bottom. Hitting bottom is something that happens to an addict when they have an addiction and nowhere or no one to turn to and they realize that their habit and way of life is not sustainable.
You did the right thing by calling the police but you may want to be prepared that his descent may not be over, even if he gets arrested. Even when an addict gets help on their own, there is an 80% chance they will relapse. An addict has to make a complete life commitment to change and it sounds like he has done nothing but go back and forth between sobriety and using. It is more likely that he has never stopped using and the times you thought he was sober, he was using another crutch or substance. Remember, addicts lie and I learned that I was told 12 years of lies and even the brief times I thought things were good with my husband were because he was getting better at hiding his addiction at that point.
I know how hard this is for you, I do, but I would not be helping you if I told you that things can get better and you should wait for him to recover. The truth is, you spent 19 years worried about him, focusing on hi, and now it is time to let him go and focus on you. You cannot get help for him, you must see how that has never worked, so maybe you can get help for yourself. Until I found support groups, a therapist and read a ton about co-addiction, I was not able to realize that my husband’s addiction was not just paralyzing him but me as well. Imagine a life without addiction in it, without fear, anger, worry…and then do whatever it takes to leave him and obtain that for you! Read the book I wrote, read books about addiction, read all of my articles here and arm yourself with the knowledge you will need to move on from this chapter of your life and start a new one. You will need to find out what is going on with you that you would allow this type of person into your life and fix it. You have to get to the root of your part in this relationship and why it worked for you. You cannot save him, but the good news is, you can save yourself!
Amanda Andruzzi

9:18 am November 10th, 2014

I married my husband in 2008 I noticed a small drinking problem before but didn’t think it was that bad. Over the years it got worse and he went from loving to deceitful and hurtful with his words and once physical he went to jail that night at 4 am him drinking alone he blew a .25 he was hammered. I left him a little over a year ago it was the hardest thing I ever did. He said he wanted to make it all right but his actions was different. I ment a man over time and he treats me like a queen how ever over the last three months I think of my husband who I never finalized the marriage all the time. When I see him I smile and light up. He was been taking aa classes and counseling and all that but only cause it is court ordered. He tells me he wants our marriage back and our family he reminds me of all the things he has been doing and has been sending me positive messages. We even did some counseling and one moment I think I can go back I have extreme anxiety and back out of it. The guy I am with now is very patient through all this I knwo I wouldn’t. Why am I still thinking of him. Why do I have hope and dought when it comes time to commenting to him again. When i try to explain to him I am scared and confused he gets very upset. I know I am hurting is all but how do I love both these men and one who did me so bad over one who treats me like a queen. I grew up with a alcoholic and she was the devil. I swore I would never face that again and here I am today miserable cause I can’t get over him. I think I was fine till I seen him treat his ex girlfriend better then he did me and now he is trying hard to have me come home but I am terrified of a relapse that I was told he will always have a chance of.

3:05 pm November 11th, 2014

I started seeing a man 7 months ago. I let him move in 5 months ago. Something told me things were wrong from the beginning, but I was so lonely that I continued to let it happen. One month ago he started smoking crack. It all came to a head when a week ago, he brought it to my house and smoked it while I was asleep. I made him leave my home, I am a Christian woman and now I am struggling with, If I did the right thing? what if I could have helped? blah, blah, blah. I am getting some help for my fear of being alone. Can you help me in thinking straight. I am 54 years old and he is 52

9:47 am November 16th, 2014

I’m so scared of leaving my alcholic fiance.he tells me all the time that I won’t find anyone that will love and take care of me like he does. He drinks from the time he gets up to time for bed even at work and worse of all while driving I recently had a nervous breakdown and was put in a mental hospital for a week. I thought that event would have opened his eyes but all he does now is try and hide it from me. How do I get the guts to leave. I love him and don’t want anything to happen to him but he says he don’t need help.please give advice

Amanda Andruzzi
3:08 pm November 17th, 2014

Yoi have every right to be scared, but be scared of staying, not leaving. Of course you can find another man to love you even more because he will be present for you. Those are things addicts say to keep you. You must know that you are not alone and this cycle happens all the time; promises, lies, chaos, brief periods of calm and then right back to chaos. He drinks all day so you have to understand the person you think he is or was is not there anymore, only the addict.
I usually recommend reading my articles here on this site to help you get help for yourself because if you stay this is more about your insecurities and codependence but I really need you to read my book, Hope Street and get a real picture of what the rest of your life might be like if you don’t leave.
Hope Street is my memoir of my life with my addicted husband. I wrote it to help people like you who were just like me because I had no one to relate to when I was going through the same thing.
Amanda Andruzzi, CHC AADP IAHC

2:44 pm November 24th, 2014

I stumbled across this blog while searching for something, anything to give me guidance. I don’t consider my fiancee an addict–but I think he is teetering on the fence of alcoholism. We have been together for 5 1/2 years, through good and bad. Over the past 2 years, I feel as though our relationship has slowly been on a downward spiral. We used to have a few drinks together, but when I saw him drinking more and more (and encouraging me to do the same)–I stopped completely and brought it to his attention. He slowed down some and it seemed as though our relationship improved. Then he began smoking cigarettes–I told him that I wouldn’t be around him while he was doing it–it took almost 8 months, but he stopped. Over the past few years, there have been times when we have argued and he has said very hurtful things–and then wake up the next morning and not remember anything. A few months ago after a health scare and being given anxiety pills, I came very close to leaving him because, even though he wasn’t abusing them, he was spending most of his time walking around like a zombie. I told him that because I loved him, I was going to give him a chance to fix the problem rather than just leave him. Things have been going better until this weekend, when he got a DUI.

My boyfriend is a kind, gentle and loving man. He treats me like a queen and he is faithful like no other. I love him, but I am afraid that this is going to be a cycle that just repeats itself. After this most recent event, he says he realizes that he made a mistake. I want to give him another chance to change, but I feel like no matter how he changes, there is always going to be something. I thought I had found the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with–we’ve been planning a wedding, making plans for the rest of our life–but am I always going to have to worry like this? At the same time though, how do I tell the man who loves me and tells me that I am his world that I am going to leave him?

I have read many of your posts and I should say one last thing–I am the child of divorced parents. My father is a long time substance abuser and although I love him, I long ago learned that he is going to do what he wants to do–good or bad. In regards to my boyfriend, I always said that I would not date a man who (a) smoked and (b) had substance abuse issues–drugs, alcohol, whatever. BUT, even though my relationship with my boyfriend didn’t start this way, it has surely ended up being the type of relationship I said that I would never be in.

Amanda Andruzzi
6:20 pm November 24th, 2014

What does your gut tell you? I ignored mine and ended up in a 12 year relationship my my husband. It was 12 years of the same and I was left with incredible debt, pain and nothing to show for but one amazing child.
My memoir, Hope Street, is a book about my life with an addict. Maybe this can help you.
I had no idea about addiction but you have seen it firsthand with your father.
If you think he has a problem and you think you should leave you should listen to that voice. Click on Amanda Andruzzi and read all of the articles to help give you more guidance on how to make an informed decision.
But yes, you will always have to worry because life with addiction is not predictable. I am not saying it cannot work but there are no guarantees he will get help or even if he does that he will stay sober. If this life he is offering is not one you want to lead then you can get out now and avoid what I did not.
your life is not over after this, you can move on wiser and happier but that is a decision that you have to make. Please keep posting, let me know how you are doing. Please keep reading, I wrote Hope Street so that I could help other woman and men that love an addict because I felt so alone and frightened.
Amanda Andruzzi
www hopestreetmemoir.com.

7:27 am December 10th, 2014

Hi, I’m a 39 year old mother of 3 boys, ages 22,12, and 6. All from my long time Meth abuser husband, not to mention my mom has been a user since I was 5 and she’s 60 years old and a full blown addict in the Meth scene. My husband is a hard working Meth addict that makes good money and I stay at home but, its been nothing but chaos and he has the typical selfish and violent behavior when i complain that he is non existant and ignores us, its a constant cycle of of me nagging and crying and him reacting the same way every time. I realize I am the perfect example of a co-dependant enabler and I have let myself be isolated with my Inlaws who are all Co dependant enablers. Ive been wanting to go to a meeting for a year now because I know I need recovery from all this craziness, I’m so tired and depressed and I think I’m scared of loosing my love for him, He’s the only stability I’ve ever had which is crazy for me to think that my life is stable in any way shape or form. I need help just to get myself mentally prepared to go. I know what I have to do but I’m terrified, I’ve lived in chaos my whole life and I don’t enjoy it but I’m obviously staying in it. I need motivation, I’m ready for change. My boys need a calm loving mom who is able to focus on them fully. I love them so much

Amanda Andruzzi
2:17 pm December 12th, 2014


Your mother was addicted almost your entire life. Your husband and his behavior is familiar to you in more ways than you realize and what you know is comfortable. It is all you know so it is no surprise that you loved or love this man. I chose an addict because the chaos, instability and addiction were desirable to me at first because I wanted to fix him. He represented to me a childhood that was broken and I thought I could fix through him.
I was married to a con artist (unknowingly) and addict whose addiction worsened over the 12 years we were together. He ended up a crack adddict and left me and our only child with nothing. But that nothing was the best thing that ever happened to me. I feared losing him and a child for my daughter but in that nothing I rebuilt a life for myself, I life I feared I could never manage on my own. Enlist the support of friends, family, support groups or anyone you can to help give you the strength you need. It is obvious to me that you are sick of all of this. You will be calmer, happier and a better mother without a meth addict in your home.
Please read my other articles to gain more insight and help on how to move on. My article, Zero Tolerance for Addiction, is a great way to get started.
I was there, I was you and it was not until I helped myself was I able to end the cycle of co-addiction. I wrote my book, Hope Street, to help people like you in the same situation I was in. I felt alone, hopeless and scared and I wanted to help others have something to give them hope.
Nicci, you are on the right track. You want more for your life and for your children. You need to and will change your definition of stable over time, not overnight. It took me 12 years but I could not live with the addiction anymore but for a long time I thought I could not live without him. I was wrong, very wrong. Once I left, penniless, a world opened up to me that made me the happiest I had ever been. Once the fear of leaving is gone or even if it remains, you can leave any way.
If you need my help I am here to support you .
Amanda Andruzzi

2:08 am December 15th, 2014

My husband is 27 years old. When we married I have 2 kids from previous marriage and he had one year clean. He seemed to want good things for us and i supported his dreams. His heroin addict mom moved into town and reintroduced him to meth. I found out 10 months in. I gave him a chance to clean up with my support. He cried in desperation asking me to relocate us far away from his mother but I could not afford to. He tried methadone and seemed well but two months in I found needles in my home. He said they were his mothers and I believed him because she stayed a weekend with us. Now, another 6 months have past and I see meth in his eyes. I searched the home and found his drugs and needles. He is a functional addict. He cleans and helps with all the chores but the fact that he was using in the home where my kids live was too much. I kicked him out. His mother and father who keep him on drugs. Well They told him he could not stay with them…not even one night. Now, he is homeless. He says he needs my help. He says he does not want to be a drug addict. He says he cant kick this addiction. I contacted a rehab but there is a two month waiting list. Should I allow him to stay for two months?

Amanda Andruzzi
7:48 pm December 16th, 2014

I would love to give you the answer to your question but it is not that simple. If this was happening to a friend what would you tell them to do? Unfortunately no matter what anyone tells you, you will probably end up doing what you feel anyway. You have to be ready to let him go and only you know when you are ready for that.
But your boyfriend was clean and he made a choice to use again. You cannot blame this on anyone else but him. No one forced him to use drugs so this is not your fault, or his mother’s. He was clean and used again and no one forced this on him. Temptation and enabling are part of recovery and an addict that is clean and really wants to stay clean and is ready will have to deal with that. An addict will make excuses and try to blame everyone else but himself for his addiction and as co-addicts we try to sympathize and feel bad for them and their weakness.

What we do know is that he chose to use drugs again, in your home, with your children at home. You helped him all this time and he has lied to you and used drugs behind your back. Do you want to continue to enable this behavior and expose your children to meth, heroin and needles for two more months or two more minutes?

I lived with an addict for 12 years and forgave him too many times but when our daughter turned 5 and I realized she could understand what was going on I had no choice but to leave even if he was her father. I want to tell you to move on but you have to be ready. If I were you, I would read all of the articles I have written here to gain more insight on your situation. Click on my name Amanda Andruzzi and all articles on this subject will pop up. You can read my book, Hope Street. I wrote about my experience with an addict and I wrote it to help people in your situation because I was there. I felt alone, scared and did not know what to do. People told me every day to leave and I did not, I had to leave when I was ready or it would not last.
But if I had a choice and could go back I can tell you if I could do it all over again, I WOULDN’T!

Monica, I would get some support and listen to your gut. Ask yourself what is best for you and your children (even if it hurts). Keep me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author

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About Amanda Andruzzi

Amanda Andruzzi is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness and Hamptons SUP, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and 1 year old son on the North Fork of Long Island.