Thursday December 8th 2016

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When leaving an addict is too hard

How many times have you tried leaving your addicted partner only to let them right back in?  Do you feel like you cannot live with or without this person and want to know how you can move on?  When leaving an addict seems like an impossible decision and an even more impossible action, there are things you need to know that can help you get through.

Here, we explore the emotional pain behind the decision to leave an addict. Then, we invite your feedback, questions, or personal stories at the end. In fact, we try to respond to every comment with a personal response.

How can you make the pain stop?

The majority of comments people post on my blog end with statements like, “I keep going back and I am dying inside.  How can I make this stop?”  It is scary to make a change and leave someone you are in love with.  It can be the most painful experience.  It feels like a black cloud is looming over you.  You feel as if no one person can understand how you feel.  You do not know how to make it stop.

But here are a few things to keep in mind as you start to consider your partner’s addiction and how it impacts you:

1.    Loss is normal.

When you lose someone you love to their addiction, you are experiencing loss.  It is very natural to have feelings of despair, hopelessness, sadness, depression, anxiety, and fear.  When you are having these emotions, you are experiencing a normal response to this type of situation.  It would be abnormal to feel happiness, joy, and gratitude when you are watching the person you love destroy themselves.

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2.    Your position is situational.

Nothing lasts forever and all things either change or come to an end.  Knowing that you are in a situation where your emotions are responding in the appropriate manner, you can also understand that these feelings are situational, meaning they will not last forever.

When you leave an addict you may experience pain, loss, heartache, depression, and an array of negative emotions.  These emotions are not static, they are transient.  You will never be completely depressed or sad over something situational for the rest of your life.  The hard part is getting through and sorting out those feelings, but if you believe it will get better, it will.

If you let your emotions determine how you are, then you can allow yourself to wallow in the sadness.  If you experience the emotions, go through them, do not avoid them, eventually they will lessen and then go away.

3.    The hardest part is the leaving: It gets worse and then it gets better.

Knowing that the hard part really is leaving but there will come a point when it will be the best decision you ever made is the hope and inspiration you can channel to get you through the hard part.

The following is an addictionblog.org post from the wife of an addict.

“I realize now that all my fears of how difficult things would be were justified, it is difficult and painful, but making the decision to let go was the best and what took the most courage. Alongside the sadness, shock, numbness, anger, fear, and loss has also sprouted hope, clarity, joy, courage, and a greater sense of empowerment and self-love. I laugh more and cry less each day that goes by. Each bad day I take it as just a part of the journey and not as an indication that life will always be this difficult and overwhelming.”

Leaving an addict pays off in the end

If you have faith that change and an end to the pain and sadness is inevitable then you can change your perspective on what leaving actually represents.  Leaving an addict is a hard choice that will pay off in the end.  You may have to struggle, but you are guaranteed a new chance at life.

Being awake in your life and embracing happiness is usually preceded by a courageous journey.  A renewed sense of gratitude is your reward.

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11 Responses to “When leaving an addict is too hard
Simo
4:40 pm October 31st, 2015

An addict is a person. Forgot it amanda?

Leslie
4:24 pm November 5th, 2015

Thank you Amanda for your articles. These are getting me through this tough time. I left my husband once before, but went back within a few days. He promised to get help. He was even looking for rehab places. But thing went back to the same routine. But got even worse. I left him again and haven gone for over a month. It may not seem that long, but it has been the longest month of my life it seems. And this the longest we have been apart in 10 years. It’s has been painful. Slot of tears and self doubt. I worry about him. I m in love with him, but realize I can’t be with him. We have two children I’m thinking of and they were the main reason I left. I’m trying to be strong and patient. Thanks Amanda I plan buying your book.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:51 am November 8th, 2015

Simo,
Yes an addict is a person but unfortunately addiction is a very selfish thing. If an addict is using and a loved one has done all they can to help and it is affecting their health and happiness in a negative way, why should they suffer? Why should they have to live in misery if they feel like they cannot go on living with an addict? The answer is an addict is a person but so is the loved one of an addict.
Good Luck

Amanda Andruzzi
2:54 am November 8th, 2015

Leslie,
Cut yourself some slack right now and know this will be painful and that you are aloud to fall apart and cry. You are doing the best thing for you and for your children and although you love him, he is hurting himself and indirectly and sometimes directly his family. You need to heal and that takes time. I really hope you enjoy the book and that it helps you find hope, the hope you deserve.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

April
10:34 am November 16th, 2015

So as of Thursday I had to get a protection order against my husband. I have spend over 2 years with him getting drunk but this past year has been the worst. He was caught with Cocaine and placed on probation. He was not allowed to drink well guess what he is a great game player with his PO therapist because he had his son taken away. My daughter and I have been threaten to be killed. Not allowed to answer the door or else. Keeping us up yelling screaming belittling us. You name it he did it. He even got off on making us relive a tragic event in our lives and enjoyed it. I know addition but I never thaught I would be a enabler but I was and now he is gone. His whole family is making our lives he’ll. I am about to lose my job and again he wins we Wil be homeless and he will be living with family to continue with his habbit. I am giving to God which is new never been big on praying but I am dying inside. I miss him love him so much but I know I can never put us through this again. He refuses to get help lies to all the people in a authority, he has the game down so well he stops drinking 24 hours before he has to be tested. I just don’t know at times I ask why at least you would of still had your home and job. Now I am losing everything including my personal that was suppose to be growing old with. At least I have my wonderful daughter and our dogs. Even if we had to live in a cardboard box on side of the street we wouldn’t be wondering if this was the day he would take it to far

Amanda Andruzzi
2:14 pm November 18th, 2015

April,
You made the right decision, just be aware of that. The road of healing for you and your child might be hard and it may be long but there is an end. You will persevere and you will be better for it. Please, release all that negativity here but in your life I want you to stop the cycle of thinking everything is going to go wrong because that is what you lived with for so long. With addiction everything goes wrong and there is constant disappointment and sadness. Without it, you are free but you have to do the work to help you recover from the trauma you have endured with your daughter. Don’t give up, get help, support and reach out to anyone who will help you move on and let go. If you lose your job, you will find another one because you will be in a better place and more stable.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Michelle
3:15 am February 2nd, 2016

I just left my boyfriend of 12 years. In the last 7-10 years he has lied, hide alcohol, lost his job, been sent home from his current job bc he was intoxicated, slept his days away, not dealing with life issues, and fell into a depression. Just 1.5 months ago he got so drunk I had to call the ambulance bc he fell and hit his head. He had a bac of 5 times the legal limit. He confessed he had a problem. I forgot to mention he got a DUI 3-4 hrs ago, he is working towards getting accepted into the ard program. I don’t know how he will get to work or pay it off. I’m pretty sure he owes the gov’t money and medical bills. Oh he doesn’t have health insurance. After about 2 wks of going in the right direction he relapsed, started going back into the same old routine. This past week, he left a Bottle of vodka on the stairs and said it was an old bottle he found. We talked and he said he will go to AA, the next day, I felt something was off. I came home from work and he was intoixated, I found vodka in a water bottle and coffee cup. I told him I can’t do it anymore. The next day I stayed at my parents house and contacted our landlord. I know I’m doing the right thing but I can’t help but wonder if I’m not given him more time for get help, I feel bad that I contacted the landlord without talking with him first but then I think if I waited he will say the right things and I will accept it and give it anther chance meanwhile I know I would be disappointed in myself. All I want for him to do is get serious help and have a happy life. It makes me said that he is choosing alcohol over life. How badly I wish things were different, I could right so much more about all the stuff that happened but I’m so mentally tired…

Dana
10:51 pm February 2nd, 2016

I am leaving my boyfriend of 8 years now. He is addicted to cocaine and pain pills and since he has supposedly been clean from that he is drinking alcohol. Twice this pass week he has been drunk and wrecked his truck both nights. I was pushed over the edge when he came home drunk this pass Friday and woke me up out of a dead sleep just to start a fight. I left and went to stay at my sisters, I heard something outside a few hours after I was there and come to find out he slashed my tires. Two weeks age he stole my credit card. He has been jobless most of the time we were together due to his drug and alcohol problems. After our first year of living together he has not paid a single bill. It has been me to keep us a float. I have a 13 year old son, that is not for him. My fear is losing my son behind his foolishness. My life with him has been a anxiety ridden stressful emotional Rollercoaster. MY HOUSE that I worked hard for has holes all over the walls because he damages my property every time we fight because he is loaded. I left this pass weekend and I’m staying with my parents until I can get him out of m house. I feel relieved to have made this step, but deep down I need some reassurance this is the right thing so I can keep moving forward.

Amanda Andruzzi
1:22 am February 3rd, 2016

Michelle and Dana,

You are both doing the right thing. How can you be doing something wrong when you are saving yourself from further misery, sadness, unhappiness, and toxicity. You have tried to help but in helping Nick created a situation of co- addiction. You you know longer know how to stop helping him and start helping yourself because you have been so focused on his problems that it is consumed your entire life and relationship. There is nothing left but this vicious cycle and the hopes that you will see a glimpse of the man you love. An addict only has the capability to lie and manipulate in order to get what they want and continue to use drugs and unfortunately your unhappiness is not on the top of their list, how to maintain their addiction is. You need to figure out how to make your happiness the top of your lift and move on with your life so that you can have a healthy relationship with someone. You are both doing the best thing for yourself by leaving. There is so much waiting for you and I am living proof that there is life after this Missouri. Please keep reading my article here and pick up my book, hope street, because the more you know about addiction and the more you know your role in the cycle that you were both in the better are you will be to Move on. I have been through all of this same agony and I was afraid to leave for fear of what he might do to himself or fear that he would get better without me that’s codependency. I needed to learn that my happiness shouldn’t depend on the state of another person. Trust me you are both moving in the right direction.

Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Carrie
3:14 am March 6th, 2016

Amanda,
It’s killing me to be in love with him. I have escaped harm many times, but keep going back. The other day while not accusing him of anything he called his dealer and bought dope. Then he pretended to have bathroom issues and shot up right there. I caught him and he said it was my fault because I always accuse him anyways. It would be easier if he did die, I could stop holding my breath. His behavior is so erratic, his lies make me feel insane. I think he is trading sex for drugs and I am at risk, yet cannot stop wanting to sleep with him. This week alone, he has been arrested, had his car impounded, been attacked by his dog, had an ER visit, stole money from my debit card, used my car to buy drugs and/or cheat on me while I am work. He is dirty, and never keeps a job for more than a few days. My boss had him removed from the hotel I work at, and I had to ask the police to search him and my car for drugs and needles. Why do I want to sleep with him? Its like my self esteem hangs onto whether or not we have sex. WTF is wrong with me? I am living a secret extra life. I am so close to losing my job, like one more late or miss I am gone. I hope he goes to prison, because I do not think he will get clean otherwise. Two methadone treatments, a bunch of money, a felony for me, and now I smoke cigarettes and cannot stop. I am older much older, and have been trying to rebuild my life, but know I cannot with him. Am I sicker than him, why do I love him? He is abusive and dirty, did I say dirty. Everyone thinks I will actually not get out alive, so why do I run back every single time? My heart is broken, I feel defeated, and alone.

Amanda Andruzzi
7:40 pm April 5th, 2016

Carrie,
I am sorry your post slipped past me. I really want to address what you said, that you are sicker than him. Although I doubt that is true, I must say that you are addicted to him. You are by definition a co-addict and define your self-worth and happiness from someone else and where they are at. If he is cheating and using needles, then aside from losing your job, you can also lose your life. Have you thought about contracting AIDS and many other life-threatening diseases from him? You have lost your self-esteem somewhere in all of this and this is about your problems and not so much his. He represents something or someone to you that you are cannot let go of and you need to figure out why you keep repeating the same pattern. You need to figure out why he represents something from your past that you cannot let go of. I would cut all communication and get into therapy and a support group but you have to be ready to do that. When you are ready, I will still be here.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

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About Amanda Andruzzi

Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, 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 two sons in Florida.

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