‘Before you can break out of your prison, you must realize you are locked up’
I dated someone some time back and it will always stick with me. We got along great. He was a little younger than me, but it didn’t seem to matter. We had a lot of fun together but most of our time was spent at home relaxing and watching tv and talking. Here’s what happened.
It had been a few weeks when we were out to dinner and we planned on grabbing an early breakfast and spending the next day together. So it was agreed that I was stay the night at his place. He was a complete gentleman. He offered to sleep on the couch while I took the bed. So we get to his place and turn the tv on. We chat a little and are getting tired so he takes a shower while I get ready for bed. His shower was about an hour long but hey! Some people like long showers to relax. I thought nothing of it.
Before we fall asleep we cuddle up and watch some tv. He passes out pretty quickly and it was sort of cute. I’m just listening to him breathe. He jerked a little in his sleep but nothing too alarming. Then I noticed that his breathing would stop every so often for a few seconds or more and hen that deep breath to catch up. Again, I was used to knowing people with sleep apnea so it wasn’t too alarming but I kept an eye on him.
Now it’s about 2am and I wake up having to pee. It’s dark and when I go to step out of bed I tripped over his gym bag. He went to the gym a lot, even though he was a smaller guy. It spilled out a little so I started to put everything back, trying not to wake him. What I find next was alarming. Needles. But they were diabetic needles and wrapped as if from the pharmacy. Ok. Give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know everything about him so maybe he is diabetic. But I’m not too stupid. I go to the bathroom and back to sleep.
The next day was great! I watched for signs but nothing was there. No needle marks, no weird behavior. Ok. Phew!
A few days go by and I stay the night again. But this particular day he had bruises on both his arms. But, his explanation made sense. While at work he was getting a box down and had to cart it in both arms and it was pretty heavy. Ok.
So, like before, he passes out early. Well, now I’m worried so I go to the bathroom and start to look for warning signs. He was a good person. Very good to me. Never over stepping the boundaries. I look in the medicine cabinet…nothing. I looking in the drawers…nothing. Ok good. No, not good. His toiletry bag was in a drawer. Now, I know it’s a privacy thing but I had reason…I open it. Damn!! A nasty spoon and tiny bags of white powder and a needle. You’ve got to be kidding me!!
I put everything back and just sit here watching him sleep. What the hell do I do now? His phone had been ringing but he wasn’t waking up. The morning comes and I wake him up. I hadn’t slept at all. He gets up and can tell something is wrong. He asks me what’s wrong and I simply said ‘why don’t you tell me!’
He knows I know. But he still doesn’t say. He asked me what was going on and I won’t play games. I told him what I found and wanted an explanation. He got upset but not mad upset. He said he was glad I found it. That he didn’t want to tell me but wanted me to know. He said he wanted to stop, for me. First mistake. I know about addiction and getting clean can’t be for another person.
Anyway, he said hat he had been having problems and didn’t have anything worth being clean for…until I came along. He said the fact that I didn’t leave when I found it made him realize that someone cares and he wanted to get better. But he wanted to do it on his own. No rehab. So we made an agreement.
Two weeks. Two weeks to get clean and if he couldn’t he would go into a center. Well, after that whenever I would come over I would see all the baggies out on the table. Just because I know now doesn’t mean I want to see it!!! He was cutting down but it wasn’t good.
Well, somehow his parents found out and brought him home. Now his parents are of a certain reputation. His dad in particular. You don’t mess with him. He was big in Chicago and feared but to me, was the nicest man. I had a talk with his parents and we all agreed to help him.
I picked him up one day and we decided to grab coffee and food. While at Starbucks he had to use the bathroom and gave me money, a $100 dollar bill, for coffee. Weird but ok. He was in and out and I got the coffee and turn around to him standing behind me. We go outside to sit down and hen I see it. He is bleeding. From his arm. I flipped. You brought that shit around me, in my car?! You gotta be shitting me.
I came over another morning while he was going through withdraws and it was bad. His parents put their foot down and he process of cutting down was over. It was time to quit.
I brought over groceries that are known to help with withdrawal symptoms. I sat with him while he slept, shaking and sweaty. I rubbed his head. I sat with his parents a while trying to make a plan. He woke up for a bit and I sat with him. It was quiet. He got on his phone and after wanted to shower to feel better. I had lunch with his parents in the kitchen while he showered. I went to check on him and he was dressed. Hmmm. He had called a dealer to come and get him. I talked to him about how he had already come this far and not to throw it away. I told him if he left the house I wouldn’t be there when he got back. He parents told him they wouldn’t accept him back if he left. Unfortunately addiction is more complicated than getting clean for others.
I left before he did because I couldn’t keep putting myself through it. I cared about him but knew enough that if he didn’t want to be clean, he wouldn’t be. His mom called me later and told me his ride never came but he did go for a walk. But it was ok. About 3 days later he called me. From the airport. He was going to a facility out of state. I was sad but super happy for him. We wrote to each other and one of his counselors would call me with updates. He and I even talked a few times when he had phone time.
He never came back but he is clean and doing great now! I’ve spoken with a couple of his friends from rehab and heard good stories. One thing I heard will always remind me that the person I am shouldn’t change. He told me that this guy I dated talked about how grateful he was to have me in his life.
We didn’t have a real relationship, I was there for a purpose. To hell him. To show him kindness and understanding. I will never change who I am simply because I haven’t met the person who will treat me right. I’ve been through some really shitty times, and I won’t let that change me. I will care. I will help. And maybe one day I’ll love again.
Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center –