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I Married An Addict

Thirty years ago I was living in London. I got very close to my   gay neighbor and met his brother: Andrew was nine year older than me ( I was 26), a successful graphic artist, gorgeous, educated and smart and just out of rehab for heroin. Romance followed, we had a wonderful time and he told me he wasn't interested in "using" any longer. One night he took me out to dinner and asked me if 'I would have his babies, after marrying him, of course'. We got married, we were very happy for a while, then Andrew started to change, to disappear frequently, to get frequently sick and to get jealous for no reason. He wore long pajamas and wanted lights out during sex. One day he collapsed, went to the E.R. and I had to face the facts: the manipulations, the lies, the emotional blackmail. My husband was on heroin again. I tried to discuss it with him, but it would only lead to scenes and fights. One day I packed my clothes and went to stay with a friend, Andrew came over and begged me to come back. He went back to rehab and I went back to him. This happened two more times.
Three weeks later after his last rehab stint, Andrew woke up in the middle of the night, went to the bathroom and came back to bed. The next morning he was dead.

Thirty years have passed and I am still wondering if I could have saved him.    
vitabeata vitabeata 56-60, F 11 Responses Jan 4, 2012

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From reading your story I would say that you were the light in his life and his happiness.

His dark side was there before you met him and despite everything he was unable to extinguish it.

You could not have done more for him. Think on all the happy times you gave each other.

This is so true. I think he liked his dark side, actually. Thank you.

Yes, you have said it!

Some people do seem to like ( and feed) their dark side :(

He was an artist and he always said that heroin fed his creativity.

Yes, I can understand that but not sure how much truth in it

I had a boyfriend who was an amazingly creative original artist. He took plenty of mind altering drugs and ended up in hospital with a drug induced psychosis and never fully recovered.

But thinking about it now I dont think he took the drugs because of his art, he had a very messed up family that he longed to switch off from

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I just found out my sister has been addicted for six months. I am terrified. I want her to feel that she can talk to me but I really feel like I should tell my parents. I don't want to betray her trust and I know it will kill them and they are older but at least she would have support. She is 20 years old. My dads almost seventy now and I just don't know if he can take it. Should I trust her to get off of it on her own or just tell my parents and risk the heart break and pain? I thought you might have some insight. Thank you so much.

When it comes to their kids parents are a lot stronger than we think. Heroin it is not an easy habit to kick, especially on your own, and sooner or later, they are bound to realize that something is going on. Your sister needs all the help she can get, so maybe you should talk to her and convince her that your parents need to know, but take it one day at the time and see the progress she is making and be very gentle. I am very sorry that you are going through this. Write me anytime you feel like. A big hug.

Thank you for your advice. I wanted to give my sister a chance to tell my parents on her own but she has already talked me into helping her get drugs twice claiming she needs them for the withdrawal symptoms and that she wants to ween off before telling them. I decided I can't go on helping her like this. Even though she thinks she can get off, I think we are both in over our heads. So, I decided to tell her that she can either tell our parents or I will. She says she will resent me for the rest of her life for not giving her the chance to get off of it on her own. I really wanted to give her that chance but I feel that she will keep talking me into more and more time and drag me further into this. She is telling my parents tonight. I hope I am making the right choice. I feel ashamed for helping her get the drugs and awful for betraying her trust but I am just trying to do the best I can. Thank you so much for you kind words and advice.

I a situation like the one you're in, unfortunately, whatever you do is bound to hurt somebody. Your sister gets hurt, your parents gets hurt and you are hurting. Don't feel awful for betraying her trust, addicts in one way or the other always blackmail the people who love them. She is not getting off on her own, trust me on that. It is not like cutting on carbs, she need support. Your parents have a right to know, secrets usually do more harm than good. Stay strong.

Thank you. It is nice to have some confirmation that I did the right thing. Anyway, one more comment and then I will leave you alone. So my parents have set up a counseling meeting for my sister on Thursday of next week. I know the first five days are the worst and she has no counseling support or replacement drugs to help her during that time. Is there anything I can do to help her? She had told me earlier about a guy that got off heroin by renting a hotel room and using whiskey. Could I buy her whiskey to take the edge off or will that do more harm than good. I just don't want her to relapse before thursday. I fear it will be hard for her and she will feel like a failure. I have heard some horror stories about people having strokes and heart attacks during detox. I just want to give her the best chance. I feel like my parents are treating it like she is kicking a fast food habit or something. I just feel very frustrated and worried. Thank you.

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I can relate to your story, I started this group a year after my love died. I too was looking for answers to everything because I never got to say goodbye. I didn't see this coming. I'm glad I did, no one wants to hear my story anymore but the questions are still there. If I were the one that overdosed my heart would have been broken knowing that my family blamed themselves. I was the one that chased, bought, did whatever I had to do to get the drug. We just miss them so much. He must have been your Soulmate too' you never stop thinking about them. Does you still get excited thinking or talking about them? I do even when I look at pictures my heart still skips a beat. Thanks for sharing

Yes, he was my soulmate, that's why I was never able to leave him. Over 30 years have passed and I still think about him. Thanks for your comment: it touched me.

I pray that never happens to my son....but i do agree that the addict has to want to help themselves, as i am learning...

Until something clicks in them and they decide themselves, addicts are helpless. You can just sit there, watch, pray, threaten and whatever else. Sorry you're going through this. A big hug.

Im sorry about this. Im my opinion: No you couldnt

I think you were a real friend as well as wife to Andrew,and its obvious you loved him dearly.

Yes, you're right. The whole thing changed my life. Thanks for your nice message!

Terrible experience! my heart goes out to you! But I hope you can go on and start over! you are now blessed with a wisdom that very few will ever know!

Thank you! I did, that happened long time ago.

Sweet woman, you need to recite the codependent's healing mantra. You cannot fix someone else. You are not responsible for his death, and you could not have prevented it. Delayed it, perhaps. But it sounds like it was inevitable. Do not let yourself be sucked into that guilt thing.

I know that now. I never used heroin, so I wasn't aware of the dynamics of the drug: I felt like being hit by a truck and took me a long time to get over this. I don't feel guilty anymore, just sad, sometimes.

Sad as it is, addiction changes the addicted as well as those within their lives. Their are somethings<br />
we have no control.its one the most<br />
difficut concept to accept.<br />
Ppaci3

I know now that I did my very best, just by staying with him, because I loved him so much. I couldn't help feeling guilty after he died, although I had no control over his addiction. I never used heroin, so maybe I do not understand. Still, 30 years later and happily married, I get so sad if I think about him.<br />
Thanks for you message!