Friday, November 30, 2007


I don't like watching him hurt. I want to fix it. Imagine that.

He's all over the place, mostly doing well, but occasionally being really consumed with guilt and shame and pain. It seems almost as if the bad moments are worse for him than they have been before. He's finally feeling like a person again, contributing to our livelihood, participating in the world...and it's hard to realize that he's missed a year of his life and hurt everyone he loves, everyone who loves him.

Last night was meeting night, and he fled the meeting in a hurry. I found him sitting on a bench by himself, looking upset. He used to like this meeting, but a few weeks ago, someone mentioned methadone, and the group largely trashed MMT as a valid tool for sobriety. He's afraid that folks know that he's on methadone maintenance because I've told the people in my meetings, and he's convinced that no one is talking to him anymore.

It might be true. I don't know if some of the people in my meetings might talk about their experiences with their spouses. I think, though, that he's likely paranoid and upset with himself for being dishonest. It might be better if he finds a meeting that isn't affiliated with my Nar-Anon.

It hurts me to see him hurting, though. It hurts to see him sitting alone and feeling rejected. It's hard watching him work through all the crap he's working through. I want to help him, and I can't. I want to take some of his pain off of him, feel it for him. I want it all to be easier for both of us.


Jeremiah Andrews said...

Once again, you have a [choice] to stay the opinions of others or do what you feel is right where recovery is concerned.

Everyone in sobriety has an opinion of what recovery is and what should or shouldn't be used in that recovery, I know I have aids and i take pills after pills and I have been scorned from more than one meeting where drugs are concerned in sobriety.

You can [choose] to listen to them, or you can help him find peace. Isn't that what this journey is all about finding peace?

Here in my home group [what people think of me is NONE of my business.]

Beating ones self up over recovery defeats the purpose of recovery, because we are to Let Go and Let God. And to Trust in the Process, but until you walk that road, can you say [I have experience].

Dishonesty for one might be truth for another. Everyone has an opinion. And I want you to know how I support you and pray for you really hard, I have thought about you for days now.

Every group has an opinion, and if you have to leave a group while you deal with HIS truth then so be it, find another, get a sponsor and work your steps through this and PRAY and Pray hard this doesn't last very long.

We each have a journey to walk and this is his and this is yours. Sometimes taking the road less traveled is better than one well trod. Because it is us who walk that small path find it is a true path to solid and honest recovery.

Sometime we don't need to walk with opinions and attitudes. Sometimes those opinions and attitudes conflicts with our personal recovery and we leave the path that every one else is on and we find someone walking the wee path who can tell you to keep walking that the light is there, follow it.

Don't let fear hamper your progress, fear in good doses reminds us that we are human, too much fear, and we are paralyzed into inaction. Do you want inaction to rule your recovery?


So make the wise CHOICE and help him walk free and clear of people who will judge him and ridicule him. BE his partner and make the path easier for him and as his mate it is YOUR job to support, love and administer to the needs he has as his wife.

Stand up and protect him and walk with him because you are not alone, I am here walking with you. You are never alone.

The Preacher Jeremiah

Polly Kahl said...

Whatever works for him is what works for him. He's not obligated to be compulsively honest at meetings and share his recovery methods if doing so would cause an argument, nor is he forbidden from sharing just because others might not understand. No one can tell another person what their best method should be. Does the MMT work for him, and for you, his partner who he is in a contracted relationship with and therefore partially responsible for? If so, it's nobody else's busineses, is it?

Anonymous said...

There are other meetings, some even held by the clinics. 12 step meetings that encourage the use of MMT as a treatment for opiate addiction. The ones here are called Keys to Recovery. I know this is a similar issue I had regarding going to meetings.

Rae said...

I'm sorry for the pain you both feel.

serenitynowdammit said...

Anonymity is VERY VERY important to our recovery as well as their recovery. When my man gets caught up in the politics of his NA group and worrying about what's been shared by ME and possibly repeated to others, I remind him that it's the journey that's important. And that it's none of our business what other people think of us. Whatever it takes to keep him off heroin is his business and no one else's. Those of us in recovery are NOT supposed to be taking other people's inventories. Hug him for me!

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Can I get an AMEN !!!

What people think of me is NONE of my business...


Wayward Son said...

Since the only requirement for membership is the desire to quit perhaps G should suggest to anyone who would care to manage his recovery for him that they re-read Step Nine. It's just a suggestion. Who am I to tell anyone what to do?

It's hard to quit so, in that way, it is good to hear that G is struggling and struggling successfully. To me, it lends his recovery authenticity and I find that the struggle... the really difficult part... gave me ownership of my own recovery. That was and is really important for me. It sucks but it's worth it. The two of you seem to really be doing so well despite it being a bit of a roller coaster ride. I know you both will find your way. I am even thinking you will do it together and I find much joy in believing that.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

One of the reasons I stopped going to S-Anon meetings was because others in the group would trash talk practices and beliefs they didn't agree with. I never felt like I could be open and honest in that group because I already knew how they would judge me. So I sympathize with G. It's hard to be there. It's hard to watch. Hugs to both of you.

Micum said...

Unfortunately, MMT patients aren't really welcomed by NA. It is official NA policy that patients recovering with MMT aren't considered 'clean'. They are considered to be addicts in active untreated addiction. As such, they are not welcome to share/speak/participate in meetings. They can't hold service positions. They can sit and listen quietly and talk with someone after the meeting. They can't even get a white keychain. Some meetings may not go to this extreme, but this is the official policy of NA as a whole. People say keep it to yourself, but it will often come out. And really, if you can't share about the struggles you have with your chosen path to recovery, you aren't going to get the support you need. If you have to lie all the time, just to be tolerated, you aren't going to feel good about yourself. Addicts have to deal with enough stigma and shame without having to deal with more because of how they get their act together. NA's near monopoly on 'recovery' kills addicts every day.

Micum said...

One last thing. I've been meaning to post about this for awhile. I can't help but feel as a recovering addict, with 4.5 years of clean time, which I only achieved once I ditched the 12 steps, that you aren't respecting boundaries, letting go, etc, when you see your husband, by your own posts, doing well, getting a job, helping out, being responsible, not using, but can't feel good about it because he won't go to meetings, or if he goes, he isn't participating enough. He is just respecting NA's policy :)
But really, it is like you are saying that you don't care how well he does, or how much he 'recovers' unless he does it your way. The more I think about it, the more scared I am for him. How is he supposed to get a MMT supportive sponsor? Ask around? then everyone will know he is on MMT and he will be an outcast. I know so many people who were heroin addicts for so much longer, who tried every way in the book to get clean, over and over, and yet, when the only thing that worked was MMT, NA meetings still wouldn't accept it, not even to the level of allowing these people to sit quietly without talking at meetings. They get attacked constantly. When you have that much time in addiction and that many failed rehabs, etc. YOu have some strength to fall back on when MMT works. FOr you husband, the most dangerous scenario is that he doesn't have all that experience (as far as I've read) so when he is confronted/attacked, etc, about his MMT, if he buys into the NA stuff about it, he may well do something stupid, like jump off the clinic, or do too quick a taper. While that isn't likely to kill him, he will be really sick for a long time, and *when* he goes out and uses, he will once again be risking his life, HIV (and yours?) overdose, bacterial endocarditis, HEP C. Jail. Wound Botchulism. 'Flesh eating' staph and strep infections. Not to scare you, but the risks are real. I understand your need (totally reasonable) to see that he is working on his recovery, not just staying clean, but addressing root causes of his drug use, and getting help dealing with the guilt and shame of addiction and of his failure to contribute to your household and relationship. Perhaps try making more open ended boundaries. Like, he needs to be going to meetings, he needs to get a sponsor, he needs to be in counseling, he needs to join some type of support group (a men's group, a group for people with depression, etc, it doesn't have to be totally addiction centered). What about methadone anonymous meetings? Are there any around? Suggest he find some combination of different supports, i.e. some sort of group, and some sort of one on one, but give him some options to find his own path.
I'm sorry that these last two messages have been so passionate, and that they have been kinda strong about my views that differ with a lot of the twelve step supporters who post here. I believe 12 step groups have a place, but I believe that a variety of approaches are needed if we want to be able to help everyone overcome their addictions.
I wish you and your husband all the best.