Lizzie Edwards joins us on The SHAIR Podcast.  Lizzie wants to know; what do you do when your partner is getting out of rehab, has multiple years battling addiction, is resisting the process of recovery and relapse is imminent?

You ask yourself the tough questions:

  1. Am I willing to put my life on hold while I stand by my partner during the process?
  2. Am I willing to do the work on myself and go to support groups like CODA and ALANON?
  3. Am I willing to set clear limits and boundaries moving forward with my partner?
  4. Am I willing to draw a line in the sand about relapse and create a no tolerance policy should a relapse occur?
  5. Am I will willing to cut off all people, places, and things that would trigger a relapse for my partner?

There are so many questions we have to ask ourselves during this process because a using drug addict will destroy everyone and everything in their path in order to use.  It’s not personal and in moments of clarity they will feel shameful and remorseful but unless they are actively seeking recovery they will eventually go back to using and wreaking havoc.

Listen to this Podcast Episode as Lizzie and I discuss living in a co-dependent relationship with an addict who is not entirely ready to surrender.

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Below is the email Lizzie sent me in regards to her boyfriend and what she should do…

Hey O,

I hope you’re really well. 

I have just started listening to your podcast SHAIR and I’ve been really enjoying it.  I’ve found it both helpful and insightful and even amusing.  

In a nutshell; I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years although known him for 10 years (so since I was 16, now we’re 27).  He has always taken drugs but the last 12 months his using rapidly swung completely out of control (meth is his drug of choice although anything will do!).  In January of this year he went to rehab in Cape Town (we’re both from London, UK) and left rehab at the end of March although has stayed on in Cape Town and is due home in 2 weeks.  I find myself now in a really strange position.  At the height of his addiction I felt I knew exactly what I needed to do to support him and in the end, it worked; off he went to rehab.  With his return imminent, I have absolutely no idea what I should be doing to continue supporting him and it seems he doesn’t know either based on the few times I have tried to approach the subject with him.  

For the 3 months that he has been away, I have tried to equip myself with as much knowledge as I could.  I attend a meeting every week for partners of those with substance abuse issues, I’ve read countless autobiographies written by addicts in recovery, I’ve done hours of research online, any resource I can get my hands on (now including your podcast) but I still haven’t found anything really that is helpful to me as the partner.  

Is there an episode on your podcast that you think could be particularly helpful to me?  i.e. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR PARTNER COMES HOME FROM REHAB?  If there isn’t, can I suggest that for a future podcast (but can that happen in the next 2 weeks haha)? Or maybe that could be the podcast where I just call you and ask you every question I have and you answer them as best you can? haha 

Thank you so much for any help you can offer me O!  In the meantime, I’m going to continue to work my way through the podcasts.

Best wishes,

Lizzie Edwards

Resources:

CoDA.org – Co-Dependents Anonymous

Al-Anon and Alateen

 

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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step Anonymous program.