Aibu to befriend a recovering heroin addict.(30 Posts)
I lost contact with my cpusin for a few years due to her being a heroin addict. Well now she is doing really well her tests are coming back clean and she is dropping her methadone down slowly.
The thing is she lost all her friends when she gave up heroin and now she is fighting very hard to get her little girl back from her mum.
So we have become very close I should probAbly mention I am a cannabis addict. So close that even though we live thirtyinute drive away she called the other day to say she had argued with her mam and her mam had stopped her seeing her little girl (all sorted now) well anyway sadly I was too late by the time I got to her she had had a hit, the first one in months.
Well there is a bit of back story the problem is we really get on and she only ended up a heroin addict because of bad luck and there wAs a time I could have ended up where she wAs. Now I have bipolar and borderline and am in the middle off a full blown depression. But me and my cousin help each other out.
The problem isy friends and family don't really like us spending time together with the exception of dh. They are concerned as I am in a bad place if she goes back to heroin she may take me with her or that I won't be able to handle it right now if we lose her again. They also keep saying horrid things like watch her in the house in case she steals anything.
Now the thing is they are being pretty judgmental if you ask me most stopped seeing her when she was a heroin addict and had no idea what she was like sure she stole but not from family and we are getting very close we have had similarly fucked up childhoods and I enjoy the time we spend together. Am I being foolish? Like my family and friends say? Or are they being a bit judgemental and saying that just cus she was a heroin addict doesn't mean she fits the stereotype.
Also we were discussing heroin the other day just out of curiosity she brought it up after she had taken a hit and I was asking a few questions and she became suspicious and made it very clear she would never get hold of some for anyone as she really regrets taking it and wouldn't do that to anyone. Basically we have become very close but my family and friends don't like it what do you think?
Are you a current cannabis addict? It might cause issues for your cousin if you are still on drugs/involved in the drug community. Otherwise if you want to support her that is lovely but possibly your family are also trying to protect her mother and child if she is having problems and relapsing. They might also resent things she has done while under the influence of drugs, even if some of the family cut her off I'm assuming her mother still saw her if she now has custody of her daughter? Xx
I am trying to give up but have slipped a few times my cousin has not given up cannabis. Yes she did a lot of hurtful things while she was a addict and if I'm honest a lot of the family don't like her because of the things she did.
Yes her mother still saw her she had a period of living on the streets though until her nan took her in.
I think it is admirable - if naive - of you to want to help your cousin. Honestly I think you need to help yourself more. Bipolar meds and cannabis are a terrible combination as the effects of the cannabis on your brain chemistry will screw up the effectiveness of the prescribed medications. You need to break the psychological addiction of the cannabis and have therapy to help you thru the downs of the bipolar cycle and to come to terms with your past.
Sadly you cannot save your cousin from herself. If she wants to be clean and regain visitations and possible custody of her child she needs to take the steps; you know you cannot do it for her. She sounds very fragile and needs professional help. I think the fact that you care and want to help and support your cousin is really admirable but I would share your family's concern about the danger of two addicts being together, especially when your own bipolar is not well controlled at the moment. You are equally vulnerable and I suspect your family are very concerned about your welfare too if you get deeply involved with your cousins problems.
Your family are (rightly) looking out for you.
I was really close to a family relative who was an heroin addict. He could look you in the eye and convince you of something that was not true. He stole my wages I'd pick up from work, he stole my makeup (to sell) he stole unopened shower gel and shampoo from our bathroom). This was just before he faked a burglary of our house.
I would be cautious, very cautious. Relative is clean now but it has taken years to build trust again.
What professional help is she getting?
Does she regret her actions?
How does she plan to make amends with people she's hurt?
YANBU to want to help her / steer her in the right direction
YABU to smoke cannibis with her. Especially given the history of addiction you both have. And the evidence it affects mental health.
Bipolar meds and cannabis are a terrible combination as the effects of the cannabis on your brain chemistry will screw up the effectiveness of the prescribed medications
And this that adopmama said
I don't smoke cannabis anywhere near her or do any drugs near her I only smoke cannabis in my own house when I'm alone.
She is getting lots of professional help she is going on every single course available to her she has support workers she is on anti depressants and is on a waiting lost for therapy and she now can pop in and see her daughter when she likes and can sleep over she just not allowed unsupervised visits.
I try not to talk about the things she did while addicted because every one else brings them up to her enough so I don't want to make her feel judged by me to.
I know bipolar meds and cannabis are a bad idea that's why I'm trying to give up.
Oh and I know I can't save her I just want to help.
She is not in recovery and neither are you. This sounds like a really unhealthy idea. She is still using when life is tough and still taking methadone. You are still actively using your drug of choice. I feel for both of you and in a couple of years, both clean, you might be a great support for each other. Not now.
You need to focus on sorting yourself out, not trying to rescue her. She had a hit because she hadn't been able to see her child? That helped didn't it. Steer clear. I am glad someone else is caring for her child.
I know it will be hard but in the end you must make a decision to clean yourself up, no wonder you can't think straight.
Totally agree with MrsTerry, you can only be bad for each other right now. Work on getting clean yourself and let her do the same. If she succumbs to a hit every time life throws her a curveball, she's not clean.
Thanks for all the replies I'll have a very good think about all that you have said.
Last thing she needs to be doing at the moment is cannabis or drinking and whilst both taking drugs neither of you are strong enough in resisting your own compulsions to support the other without risking weakening your individual resolves. It's good you care and that she cares about you, but ask yourself if you really think you are strong enough to deal with your own burdens and cope with hers too? Is she? What about when she rows with her Mum again? Or when the local dealer offers her a freeby or calls in a. Drug debt? Or when the drugs agency let's her down and she's no methadone?
Yeah. You need to be focusing on yourself and not trying to save the rest of the world when your posts on here make it clear you are struggling immensely. Your energy would be best invested in helping yourself out.
I guess I believe in her and sometimes seeing to someone else's problems takes your mind off your own. I know she slipped but it was the only time and she been on methadone for months. We don't drink together and we don't go near any drug environments together we don't smoke cannabis together. What we do is I have a daughter the same age as she is allowed to see her daughter as much as she likes as long as it's supervised I go over the girls play together while we have a chat and a cup of tea. That is the only time she has ring me up panicked and upset enough that I went over without the baby. But we do not engage in any drug activities together and i always check her condition by ringing before taking my child over if she is upset I leave the baby. If I were to arrive there with my baby and she had taken heroin if walk straight out.
Whilst in recovery it is common for addicts to slip up and use when something difficult happens, it can be 'just' a slip and doesn't mean they are back to using again. It has taken me years to accept this as the mother of a heroin addict who is now coming out the other side and picking up her life again. I think for her to be able to have relationships with 'normal' people is very important although your own addiction would worry me as you may lead each other astray. If you are sure you can keep your addiction away from her then it may help her to have a relationship with a member of her family who is not judging BUT the warnings you have been given should be heeded. Having had money, jewellery, and anything else that can be sold easily, stolen over the years I have just begun to be able to relax about that sort of stuff. My daughter and her partner have been clean for around 9 months now and she is doing brilliantly. I was prescribed diazepam last week for my sciatic pain, on a visit to see the children at the weekend the partner had stolen and taken 4 of the tablets within an hour of being in the house - the temptation was just too much for him, he had been left downstairs alone for about 10 minutes and in that time had searched them out because he knew I had been given them. Trying to help her is kind of you but protect yourself as well and don't ever forget how vulnerable she will be to temptation.
I don't think you are wrong to be there as a friend, god knows she probably needs some normality.
But do take not of the warnings about theft, do keep your drug use totally separate and don't get too involved.
Thank you so much for sharing your insight and I'm so sorry that you had to go through what must of been a very difficult time. Yes I am 100% positive I can keep my own habit away you see even if I wanted to use over there I couldn't because she lives half hour away I have to drive over which means that I couldn't smoke with her as I'll be driving. Secondly I have always preferred to smoke in private so there really is no danger of me smoking cannabis in front of her. Her close family are very pleased with our friendship. It's just mine that are not they fear as I'm on a episode that she is gonna slip and I'm gonna take heroin with her. Or that if we lose her again to heroin that I won't be able to cope with the upset while very depressed and it may trigger me into doing something stupid. There biggest fear is that I'll get too close and may follow or not cope if she fails. But I have faith in her and we were good friends before she started on heroin but lost contact when she started using.
That last post was too tiredoutgran thanks Whois I will do that.
To be brutally honest, while I believe your heart is in the right place, you are both addicts and you are neither of you in recovery, I suspect you are enabling each other - not in a practical sense of doing drugs together, but you are I fear both normalising your addictions. If your honest with yourself, you know where that road will lead.
My two cents:
If you were both longer into your recoveries and more stable, then I wouldn't think there was a problem. But you still use - and I fully appreciate what you're saying about how and when you use, and that you could keep it away from her - but if addicts could really reliably control their substance use, then they wouldn't be addicts would they? It seems risky, especially since she seems fragile, and set backs are sending her backwards. (How many months is 'months', by the way? There's a big difference between 3 and 10 under these circumstances!)
Could you feasibly offer each other some more detached, long-distance support? Check in for a twice weekly call/email, and use each other to vent and rant if you're having a really bad time, but otherwise keep out of each other's way? That let's you talk, support each other, but kind of protects you both a bit at the same time.
Having 'faith in her' is silly. Sorry, but it is. Recovery is not about hope and trying and promises and faith. It is about hard work, honesty and time. It doesn't matter if you are keeping the actual drugs away from her and she is taking methadone rather than street drugs. Both of you need to do some work and actually be in recovery. Otherwise you are just enabling and normalizing.
After a year of two of actual recovery; healthy, clean, honest recovery, see if this friendship is still what you want. Otherwise, find some friends who are healthy to support you. You have a hard road as well.
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