Addiction Recovery: The Relationship Aftermath

May 11, 2010 — 7 Comments

I had written a post about dealing with the consequences of addiction and it occurred to me that I never wrote about what consequences addiction recovery has on relationships. We know first hand what consequences substance abuse has on our relationships but what about addiction recovery?

I Was Unable To Communicate

The day that I got picked up from rehab by my husband was one of the scariest days of my life. I was so afraid of not having the structure and support that I did when I was in the hospital. What was my first mistake? I didn’t express this fear to my husband.

My husband wanted to stop on the way home and get something to eat. Did I speak up and say that I couldn’t handle that just yet? No. I agreed and we went to a restaurant. I felt so guilty about all that I had put him through that I didn’t want to cause any waves, I wanted to make him happy and show him that I was still the same me.

What I should have explained is that I felt that just by someone in public looking at me, they could tell that I was a drug addict and that I had just gotten out of rehab. This is ridiculous of course but that is really how I felt. I was so beaten as a person that I was sure you could tell just by looking at me. That irrational feeling clung to me for over a week.

My first week home from rehab was stressful. I had trouble sleeping which of course made me edgy, I couldn’t find it within myself to take care of any of the household duties that I was supposed to. The only thing I was able to do was read, write in my journal, draw and go to my outpatient rehabilitation program. This caused a little tension between my husband and I.

Not through any fault of his own, my husband assumed that it would be business as usual with me. He couldn’t understand why I was acting the way I was. I was kind of a stranger to him and he let me know it. He had gotten used to someone on drugs all the time, not someone that was trying to figure out at the age of 29 who they really are. I tried to put myself in his position but just as he was unable to truly know where I was coming from, I was unable to understand what he was going through.

Trust Was Non Existent

On top of the fact that I wasn’t the person he was used to having around the house, there were major trust issues. Again, there is no blaming him for not having trust in me. I had lied to him for almost a year about drug use and all the bad behaviors that go hand in hand with that and I had spent tons of our money. It was still hurtful and aggravating none the less.

Anytime I would go into the same bathroom that I used to use to get high in, I had him standing there questioning me when I came out. Anytime I would feel the need to lay down because of a headache or just being tired, I would have him asking what the problem was and if he should be concerned. Then there were the random pupil checks (which now I get a chuckle out of), where he would get close to me and shine a light in my eyes to make sure my pupils dilate correctly.

My response during these times was “I’m trying to be a better person, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing”. That was all I could come up with to defend my actions. I was uneducated about addiction recovery at the time. I didn’t know why I felt the way I did or if it was truly normal or not. It’s just where I was at.

Little By Little It’s Gets Easier

As time goes on, we still have our share of problems but things are always improving. We have stayed together because we love one another and we hope to have better times with one another. I slowly (very slowly) have become closer to my regular self and he has began putting trust in me again.

Of course my experiences are going to be exactly the same as anyone else’s in addiction recovery but I hope you can see some similarities there. If you can, you will know that you are not alone, this is really how it goes. Things aren’t automatically better just because you stopped using. The sooner you realize that the happier you will be in life.

7 responses to Addiction Recovery: The Relationship Aftermath

  1. great post and a great blog/website overall, I think I have covered about 1/4th of the material so far and everything has been very nice, thanx for sharing… 🙂

  2. oh and also, the “consequences of addiction” link at the begining of this post is broken, just thouht I might tell you

  3. I don’t know Raj, the link works for me. Strange right? But thanks for the heads up anyway.

  4. sorry for the error 🙂 it was another post I had simultaneously open in another tab and I wrote the comment in this one by mistake.
    The “accept the things I cannot change” link in the post is broken. And do keep the good posts coming…

  5. Oh thank you so much. I just fixed it.

  6. Good post, very helpful as I am going through withdrawal and need to know I am not alone!

  7. hey chica,
    just joined the site. i have 3 years 9 months, but I feel like a newcomer. My drug of choice ( this last time) was alcohol and food. I used to be a meth head over 20 years ago…. but I stayed on the marijuana and alcohol maintenance program. 😉
    Anyway I joined because for some reason I have been feeling more alone than ever lately. I go to three meetings a week, I do service, I pray, I meditate, I read the 24 hour book, the big book, I co-lead a 12 step study… I don’t know what more to do short of quitting my life and making 12 step recovery my full time job!!!
    I desire and fear closeness with others at exactly the same velocity!!! i was wondering if you had any hope around this???

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