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Old 03-10-2019, 10:21 AM #1
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Default How to live with an addict? (Partner)

I hope it’s alright I post about my partner here. He has an incredibly addictive personality. He has a disability which causes him to be in pain a lot. He used to take harder rx painkillers but decided he didn’t want to do that anymore. Instead, he has started to self medicate which I’m not sure is any better. He takes an herbal supplement which is legal, Kratom, but is highly addictive. He went from taking it once a day to twice to now three time over the course of a year. He also started smoking again (something he never told me he did before we met) saying the kratom made him crave nicotine. I finally told him he can’t smoke in my house (but can smoke anywhere else, just not around me because cigarette smoke gives me migraines) and so he started vaping. I started getting a lot of sinus infections and finally convinced him to vape outside. He eventually stopped nicotine altogether, since nicotine actually aggravated his disability. But within a month or two, he was chewing nicotine gum. He hid that from me and when I found a pack of it and asked he lied and said it was someone else’s. Then he blew up and said I have no right to judge him for anything and it’s his life. I was upset he lied, I honestly think the gum was better than the smoking or vaping. This didn’t have a byproduct affecting me. So.... Now he chews 24/7. He always has nicotine gum in his mouth. He’s upped to the max nicotine gm. If he is close to running out, he flips out and can’t focus on anything else until he gets more nicotine. But he always runs out. Which boggles my mind. Don’t wait until you’re out? But I realize I’m not an authority on this one.

His kratom is also expensive and he doesn’t prioritize spending so some months he runs out before he gets paid. His withdrawals are awful. He gets violently ill and can’t function. Two months ago, I drove 3 hours to the supplier and I got him several bags. Which I paid for. I told him now he had a surplus and if he just bought a new bag even every other month, he’d be ok. But no. He just used all those bags up and he now is almost out again. And doesn’t seem to care. He told me he’ll just wait until next month. Y’all— it’s only the 10th.

I know he is hurting, but it pains me that he is hurting himself by running out. It hurts me that he has had to cut a date or an outing short because his needs gum. It frustrates me when no matter what we’re doing, we’re making pit stops for his gum. It frustrates me he leaves his gum wrappers everywhere and spits him gum out and never throws it away. One day, I got so frustrated I grabbed the wrapper (they’re like individual pill wrappers) and cut my arm with it. Because... I couldn’t stand it anymore. I have since upped my antidepressants and seen a therapist more regularly. But this is taking a toll.

He tells me I’m running his life and telling him what he can’t do. I’ve never told him what he can or can’t do. But I have taken a stand for how it impacts me. If he chooses to do this, I respect his decision. It is his life. But when it hurts my health or starts affecting my life, I am just tired of it. And I just.... can’t.

I am really trying to be understanding. I am trying not to be a “nag” as he calls me. I don’t want to even be involved in any of this. He can do what he wants. But when it affects his health, it bothers me. And his obsession with these substances is running his life and ultimately, running ours.

I realize I’m supremely lucky he isn’t doing anything harder. But I worry when that might start. He used to be an alcoholic. He has taken drugs. I worry with how much he increases his dependency on these things, he will turn to something else. We’ve talked about having kids but I’m terrified if he starts doing anything else, he’ll use the same justification— it’s his body. He can do what he wants.

I guess this is more me having to make a decision for me. I realize I can’t change him. I can’t expect him to not be this way. Right? So.... can I live with this? I don’t know.... I feel petty even thinking about leaving over nicotine gum and kratom.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:39 PM #2
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Default Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoq View Post
Instead, he has started to self medicate which I’m not sure is any better. He takes an herbal supplement which is legal, Kratom, but is highly addictive. He went from taking it once a day to twice to now three time over the course of a year. He also started smoking again (something he never told me he did before we met) saying the kratom made him crave nicotine.
Kratom can actually be dangerous when you overdose on it. Its not like a regular overdose where you nod off or get dopey. Many times you will have no symptoms until its really bad. Then it affects your liver and kidneys- they can shut down and it can also cause bile duct blockages. I can respect its value when it comes to helping addicts get off opiates but kratom is tricky to dose since there are no guidelines, no inspection of the facility its grown in, no real safety warnings or studies supporting or even not supporting its safety. The US government is on the verge of making it a schedule I drug which IMO is very lazy of the government. Most people have no regard for safe dosing of this. It comes from overseas-I forget if its China or Thailand.

Quote:
I finally told him he can’t smoke in my house (but can smoke anywhere else, just not around me because cigarette smoke gives me migraines) and so he started vaping. I started getting a lot of sinus infections and finally convinced him to vape outside. He eventually stopped nicotine altogether, since nicotine actually aggravated his disability. But within a month or two, he was chewing nicotine gum. He hid that from me and when I found a pack of it and asked he lied and said it was someone else’s.
Why would he lie about the gum and were you upset? Considering his addiction issues you should let him chew all the gum he wants- if he can stay off illegal substances, kratom, alcohol, smoking and vaping.
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Then he blew up and said I have no right to judge him for anything and it’s his life.
Were you judging him?
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Now he chews 24/7. He always has nicotine gum in his mouth. He’s upped to the max nicotine gm. If he is close to running out, he flips out and can’t focus on anything else until he gets more nicotine. But he always runs out. Which boggles my mind. Don’t wait until you’re out? But I realize I’m not an authority on this one.
Again, the gum is relatively safe. The harmful stuff in cigs( tar, fiber glass, the actual smoke in your lungs is the bad stuff. Not nicotine.
Quote:
His kratom is also expensive and he doesn’t prioritize spending so some months he runs out before he gets paid. His withdrawals are awful. He gets violently ill and can’t function. Two months ago, I drove 3 hours to the supplier and I got him several bags. Which I paid for. I told him now he had a surplus and if he just bought a new bag even every other month, he’d be ok. But no. He just used all those bags up and he now is almost out again. And doesn’t seem to care. He told me he’ll just wait until next month. Y’all— it’s only the 10th.
This dynamic is not good and you enabled him with the kratom going so far away to get it and paying for it and trusting him to responsible with all of it. Addicts have the disease of 'more' and its never enough.
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I know he is hurting, but it pains me that he is hurting himself by running out.
Do you mean running out of kratom or gum? If its kratom w/d is painful but he will not die from it.

Quote:
It hurts me that he has had to cut a date or an outing short because his needs gum. It frustrates me when no matter what we’re doing, we’re making pit stops for his gum.
I am confused as to why you are so upset about the gum. Isnt is a quick stop to buy it? Why would he cancel a date for a 5 minute stop?
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I am really trying to be understanding. I am trying not to be a “nag” as he calls me. I don’t want to even be involved in any of this. He can do what he wants. But when it affects his health, it bothers me. And his obsession with these substances is running his life and ultimately, running ours.
He is an addict- I would say polysubstance abuse. The only one who can stop is him. But you can help him stop by- not giving him any money, not spending time with him when he uses the kratom, not going to buy it for him etc. If he gets to do what he wants and you are still there and helping him out then he will never hit bottom and change. You must raise the bottom for him.

Forget about the gum. Its so small of an issue and he has so many other addictions- let him have that win.
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I realize I’m supremely lucky he isn’t doing anything harder.
No you are not lucky- lucky isnt relief that your loved on does one kind of drug but not another kind. He is playing with fire. He has no motivation to change because you are still tolerating it.
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We’ve talked about having kids but I’m terrified if he starts doing anything else, he’ll use the same justification— it’s his body. He can do what he wants.
Do not bring children into that mess.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:43 PM #3
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Default Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

I would agree that he doesn't sound like a good father at this point, not until he gets help for his addictions.

Ultimately, what you have to decide is if you are willing to live like this. You can't force him to stop, but you do have the choice to leave and let him take care of himself. You don't need to put up with this.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:01 AM #4
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Default Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

I'm so sorry you're hurting so much, jaymoq Please don't give up. I completely agree with what all the others have already wisely said better than I ever could. He's definitely an addict, and it's hard to change that. I'd suggest to have seriously talk to him about this. Ask him if he's willing to work on his addiction. Make him understand that this is a problem. Hopefully he'll listen to you and understand you. If he doesn't, and he refuses to get any help for all of this, then I'm sorry to say it, but you may want to reconsider your relationship with him. You can't force him to change him, but you can decide to get away from him if this is not the life you want for you and your future children. It's your decision. Please don't feel guilty about it. It's not petty at all. Addiction is a serious problem. It can be solved, but only if you want to get better. Does your husband want to get better? Please ask yourself that. You have every right to live an happy, healthy life. I'd suggest to talk to him about this and see how it goes from there. After that you'll be able to make your own decision. Either way, we'll be here for you to listen to you and to support you. You're a wonderful person and you deserve to be happy. Remember that we're here foryou if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:38 PM #5
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Default Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

Thanks everyone. I appreciate it. You have all helped me really gain perspective on the situation. I realize that the nicotine gum is honestly vanilla in comparison to all the host of other things that I could be dealing with. And honestly, the gum itself doesn't bother me. It did bother me that he lied to me. And has treated me like an outsider. And I think that hurt my feelings.

I truly understand and respect he has a right to make his own decisions for himself. And at the end of the day, like has been said --- I can't change him. I can't make him stop. I won't be enough of a reason for him to stop. And at the rate this escalates, in a year from now, I don't know how bad this could get. He went from smoking several packs a day to weaning himself down to 0 nicotine to chewing a piece or two of 2mg gum to 4mg gum to 24/7 nicotine gum in his system. He falls asleep with it in his mouth sometimes. But-- I have to decide what I want for my body. And my life. Do I want someone that freaks out when they run out of gum and makes us drop everything to get more? I honestly think if he didn't become so darn crazed about it, it wouldn't bother me. But he just-- flips. He'll be happy and fun and then realize he's out of gum....then he's angry and irritable and snapping at me and then he'll grab his keys and say he can't live like this, he's going to get some gum. And peels out of the driveway. And I'm just like...what?

I know its his right to do what he wants. Just like I wouldn't want anyone to tell me what to do with my body. But I also would be up front. When we met, he kept saying "I gotta quit, I gotta quit, its so bad for me. I want to quit". And I was like "Grand! I'll support you". But now that he has decided he doesn't want to quit, I feel conflicted. Because I don't know how far my support goes with this addiction. I came home and he had downed a 6 pack in an hour and it sort of surprised me. Like--where did this come from? He won't talk to me about it. And that worries me. What if he starts drinking again? What if he starts smoking again? What if those aren't strong enough and he goes back down the dark road of pills?

I realize I am playing a dangerous game with what-ifs. I have to accept him as he is. But I also have to be VERY real about my own limitations. I will not have smoke in my house. I will not be in a car or put my own life at risk if he is impaired. I will not use my own money to fund his habits. I will not care for him more than he cares for himself.

He ran out of Kratom again this weekend and was sweating and shivering and moaning in his sleep. All night. I just lay there and grit my teeth. Because-- this is his own doing. Part of me wants to send him to sleep somewhere else. He is doing this to himself. He has 100% ability to NOT go through this. But he does anyways. Like-- I've gotten past the Kratom. I don't care if he is doing it but please don't keep yo-yo-ing through withdrawals. i know they won't kill him but his being sick from it gets old. Its avoidable. And as petty as it does sound, I don't want to go through that. I am tired. I'm dealing with my own mental health stuff. I have to hide self-harm on my arms because of how darn exhausted I am. Yet I am working all day. And he is sitting at home...watching tv...going through withdrawals, waiting for me to come home and make dinner.

I feel like a parent...and I need a partner. Not a child.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:34 AM #6
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Default Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

You are not petty at all for feeling this way! This is pretty stressful behavior to deal with and props to you for sticking it out for this long. I believe having a serious talk is very much needed and if need be, see a therapist that could mediate that discussion. Also, there are many resources online as well that pertain to your position. I believe there are programs like Al Anon for loved ones of those addicted to other substances.
Also, instead of gum, he could always try patches. The nicotine can greatly influence moods and outbursts. I know this from personal experience. It is scary to see how much of a rage lack of nicotine can cause.
Above all, please take care of yourself and if things go too far or continue to go downhill, put yourself first.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:00 PM #7
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Originally Posted by EuphoricallyContent View Post
You are not petty at all for feeling this way! This is pretty stressful behavior to deal with and props to you for sticking it out for this long. I believe having a serious talk is very much needed and if need be, see a therapist that could mediate that discussion. Also, there are many resources online as well that pertain to your position. I believe there are programs like Al Anon for loved ones of those addicted to other substances.
Also, instead of gum, he could always try patches. The nicotine can greatly influence moods and outbursts. I know this from personal experience. It is scary to see how much of a rage lack of nicotine can cause.
Above all, please take care of yourself and if things go too far or continue to go downhill, put yourself first.
Thank you. Truly. Your response really helps. I really feel like his mood has dramatically deteriorated since he started chewing gum in November. Like I've become his enemy. And that really really hurts.

Again, I feel almost silly because it could be so much worse. But also, it could be better. And more than anything, the hold these addictions have on him scares me. I don't trust him not to go too far.

Yesterday was a bad day. He gets so upset with me over nothing. And then he just shuts himself away from me. For hours. I worry what he'll do when he is shut away. He is entirely dependent on substances. He wakes up and takes a 5 hour energy. Then he drinks a pot of coffee. Chewing that gum. He takes his kratom. If I try to talk to him before he's done all this, he yells at me. Then he is riding on that for awhile and he will be really happy and friendly. Around midday, he takes more kratom. He starts to get grouchy. He usually drinks more coffee. Still chewing gum. By the evening, he is really cranky and just wants to 'relax'. He takes sleep aids to knock him out. And-- that's how it goes. Every day. He needs something to wake up. something to get him going. Something to keep him going. And then something to knock him out for the next day.

Its hard for me because-- I'm very much a natural gal. I hesitate to even take ibuprofen. I rarely take medication unless I need to (even agreeing to take my anti depressant and bipolar medication took years). Maybe its because my family has a problem with addiction and I know that I am prone to becoming an addict myself.

Anyhow, thank you for the reply. I have really felt alone lately. I feel like this man who told me he'd never hurt me and would do anything for-- that he's a stranger now. And I know how quickly this can nosedive. And I'm so terrified about that happening.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:31 PM #8
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Unhappy Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

please don't minimize his addiction. Kratom is a very serious addiction.
You deserve better than this.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:05 PM #9
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Default Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

Thanks y'all. It is a struggle. I've more or less just...given in and accepted he's going to do what he wants. I'm not going to let his addictions impact me. I won't spend any more of my money to support this habit, directly or indirectly. If he runs out of $ because he's spending it on these things...then he's out of luck. I used to feel....jealous? Because the addiction was more important than me. I felt hurt. But he isn't doing it for that. He isn't even thinking about me. This has nothing to do with me. So I shouldn't let my own personal emotions come in to play. I am going to do what is best for me-- and that's not just accept he's an adult and making his own decisions and if he does anything to jeopardize my safety, I won't tolerate it.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:35 PM #10
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Default Re: How to live with an addict? (Partner)

You are not living in a vacuum. You are living with an addict who at this point is doing what he wants. You are allowed to be angry/upset with the impact he is having on you and you are allowed to have your own space. Maybe having some time apart might be useful to see which way the wind will blow.
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