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You Asked: Can I Stay Clean this Way?

Dear Sugar--
I dated a guy for a very long time and we met through extremely unrepeatable ways. Both of us had very serious drug addictions, his more so than mine, but we encouraged each other to get clean. We had an unfortunate falling out and took a break when he suddenly moved away clear across the country -- I had no contact with him whatsoever. I was devastated, but still, after our little "break" I didn't really care about him the way I used to. I no longer had a wild desire that I MUST be a part of his life, I felt more like very close friends with him.

Needless to say, we had been out of contact for such a long time that I was worried about him and his well being. I had talked to him only briefly in the past two years until recently, out of the blue, he called me and tells me he's back in town and he wants to catch up. When I saw him, I came to find that, unsurprisingly, he continues to struggle with his addiction, but he's certainly better off than he was before. We go out some more and soon enough I realize that he's basically living with me and we're spending every moment together. I really couldn't love him more, but I'm afraid that if I continue with this relationship I'll find myself more and more caught up int he torrent of drug life. Since being around him, I've almost relapsed 3 times. What's more is that he'll probably get up and move again when he finds out I'm fearful of his influence. Is he bad for my health? I know we love each other but there's always the lingering feeling that I don't care about him that way. Am I unintentionally leading him on? And if I stay, will i end up back at square one? -- Sober Sophie

To see DEARSUGAR' answer

Dear Sober Sophie --

Let me first start out my telling you how happy I am to hear you are staying clean and sober -- that is no small feat so you should be very proud of yourself. I also understand the connection you must feel with this man since you have clearly been through many ups and downs together, but your doubts about him are extremely valid and you should be wary of his influence on you. One major part of being sober is removing yourself from old habits and disruptive behavior. There is a reason why it is recommended that once people are sober, they change their friends and lifestyle completely -- the temptation is sometimes too much to handle.

Going from 0-60 after not speaking to this man in years just doesn't sound like a good idea. Your gut instincts are making you think twice so take a good hard listen to yourself and break away from this man before it's too late. Since he is still struggling with addiction, he is incapable of seeing how his behavior is potentially poisoning you and you have worked too hard on your sobriety to let him bring you down. I understand you care about him, but you need to care about yourself more right now. Until he can get a grasp on his life, I think you and I both know that the right thing to do is to sever your ties. Good luck to you and I wish you continued good health.


Join The Conversation
valepere valepere 9 years
You seem to already know the answer... I say stay away and stay clean. Good luck with your decision!
paulinhadrp paulinhadrp 9 years
I completely agree with DearSugar! RUN AWAY FROM HIM!
sass317 sass317 9 years
You shouldnt do anything that could threaten your sobriety. Iy doesnt sound like hes ready to clean up. I get that you care for him, but this is your life.
Lovaajn Lovaajn 9 years
You need to get away from him. If he's already influenced you to relapse three times, clearly he cannot be a good part of your life. You both clearly don't care about each other enough to stay clean and sober. If he truly cared about you, he wouldn't bring that filth into your life, and if you truly cared about him, you wouldn't allow him to. You need to separate yourself from this individual immediately, to ensure that you stay on the correct path. The right person for you will accept that you were once heavily into narcotics, not judge you for it, and, more importantly, never subject you to having to be around those who do use drugs. Make a good decision, and quickly, or else you'll just fall right back into the hole of addiction. Good luck.
SoftRockStar SoftRockStar 9 years
Oh, and it isn't love. It seems like another form of an addiction--unless you completely sever yourself from past patterns, your personality will incline you to become addicted to anything(ie: you overcome a drug addiction only to become addicted to food, then overcome that and get addicted to TV,etc). Like I said, you should probably seek counselling because "love" and/or staying away from him isn't going to cure you.
SoftRockStar SoftRockStar 9 years
Having been touched by folks in rehab, I was under the assumption that getting into a relationship--especially a fellow addict--was the ticket to a relapse. You should probably go to counseling so you can discern why you are still drawn to this type of man and the patterns in your life that could pull you back into your addictions.
br0wneyed9irl00 br0wneyed9irl00 9 years
i don't think you need to sever ties with this guy. if you care about him, you should give him support as he fights his addiction. putting yourself in a situation where you can use again is the danger--so don't. meet him in public places where drug use isn't a possibility. a coffee shop, movie theatre, ski slopes--whatever you can do to avoid the temptation all together. obviously this doesn't work if you live together. however, if he doesn't understand/respect your need to stay clean, then you shouldn't risk it. and congratulations on being and staying clean!
junebrug junebrug 9 years
Drop whatever you're doing and get to a meeting, NOW. If he's using, you just cannot be around him, and you know that. Talk to others you can trust about this and they'll tell you the same. If you're both sober and helping each other that's one thing, but if he's still using, that's another story. You have to put your sobriety first. It's not worth your life to worry about being rude and asking him to leave. You have to take care of yourself.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 9 years
I agree with Sugar. Good for you for staying clean, but this not at the same place you are. SIMPLE AS THAT. He is mooching off of you! Suddenly he is back in town, wanting to catch up and basically living with you. Out of everyone he knows, why doi you think he contacted you? Cause you share the same addiction! Before long you are going to be sucked into your old ways. Do you really want to go down that path? You must have worked long and hard to get clean and the fact this guy just off and moved away must have been a huge factor in you becoming clean. You need to get rid of this guy. He either needs to go to rehab or come back into your life when he is clean and sober. You CANNOT be in a co-dependant relationship.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
What sort of drug are we talking about? If he's hanging around and smoking weed every day, well, yeah, that's unhealthy behavior, but it's not on the level of shooting heroin or doing meth. I think that it's likely you'll relapse if you stay with him, and you need to decide right now if you want to a) make him seek treatment; b) relapse, because that's what will happen to you eventually; or c) get out of there.
NdHebert NdHebert 9 years
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
I agree with Dear and PinkParadise. People who are still not clean are not good for you. For you to succeed you need to have clean influences. Also people doing drugs are selfish, he will at every turn want you to join him and will try to make you fail. Trust.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
please STAY STRONG and continue staying sober. i know it's a heck of a lot easier said than done, but this guy cares more about himself than he does you and you need to get him out of your life. unfortunately when someone is addicted to a substance (be it drugs, alcohol, etc), they become completely selfish and don't think of others. please tap into your support network and ask your boyfriend to move out for your own good. you have to look out for yourself because no one can completely do that except for yourself. i wish you the best and continued sobriety.
pinkparadise42 pinkparadise42 9 years
Only you know what's really right for you. Personally speaking, I have also dealt with issues of drug addiction and other unhealthy habits. I entered rehab and then the sober life. When I came out of rehab, I cut out all the bad influences in my life. For a few years I remained clean and sober. I started to hang out with some new groups of people and got heavy back into the partying scene, thinking there would be no temptation for me. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Being around people that I saw using was too tempting and I ended my clean and sober run that I had kept for years and entered back into the life I so desperately tried to escape years before and worse now then ever. Thankfully, I was able to overcome the demons and enter back into a clean and sober life. Sure, there are still many temptations and many times where I want to use again. But, I re-enforce my sobriety by surrounding myself with clean, positive people. You sound like a very strong individual that has her head on her shoulders. Congratulations for your sobriety and getting clean. You're the only one that really knows what is right for you and what is best for you. I wish you the best!
barjar1122 barjar1122 9 years
You need to keep a distance for your own sobriety. There are lots of ways to have a relationship but not be a crutch for him. It doesnt sound as if he cares about your sobriety as much as you care about his. You need to find a man who cares as equally about that as you care, then you will understand a true partnership. Stay clean, it brings only good things!
maggieNZ maggieNZ 9 years
Completely agree with DearSugar. You sound really strong and smart, you know the right answer. Your own sobriety has to take precedence over his. And don't feel guilty, you're not responsible for him getting clean, you know noone else is responsible for your own sobriety. You can still help him and love him (as a good friend) while he is not living in your house.
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