Let’s stop talking about clothing and wedding stuff for a hot second. I want to share a life experience not a lot of people will have in their life, but they need to respect and understand friends and family that go through this kind of situation.
One of the lowest points in my life was during my struggle to love an addict. He was your struggling-to-overcome-everything addict, the one who thought he could give up cocaine and then replace it with alcohol in moderation. I was incredibly naive at 18-19. The several months we dated the first time, I had no idea that he even was an addict. I had never been around him when he was doing drugs, he shielded it from me. I always thought he was eccentric but this was the age of ADD/ADHD so was I really going to be the girl who judged a guy for being hyper? He was restless? He talked really fast? He always seemed to have sinus issues?He was unafraid of actually showing emotion around me? Why would I have thought these were problems?
Where was my fault in loving you with my whole heart?
-Mumford & Sons
I had recently gotten out of a relationship and had been in a bad place socially. As a college freshman, you know your social life is your world so these problems piled up on top of me into a massive burden. This relationship with the addict came about a month after that bad night I wish I could forget. He was probably the first new/fresh face I had seen on campus so that piqued my interest.
My friends at the time knew of him, and I knew he was in a greek but not one I regularly associated with. I knew he had fun in college – underage drinking is normal – not a big deal to me. I did not know about the other problems. He was deep, reflective, loved to read. He was dark eyes and dark hair and very passionate. He wrote like I did and was unafraid to share his thoughts with me about politics, society, family and friends. I just somehow missed the things that may or may not have made me walk away from him – the cocaine and resulting change in his personality, the regularity in his choosing to make me jealous by going out with other people and going on and on about it like they changed his world. I always felt hurt over that – “they don’t know you – at all – like I do. They haven’t seen the ugly.”
He was never violent or angry towards me. He was often in a bitter feud with his father and his mother was a beautiful human being, inside and out. He often got into immature disputes with his frat brothers or threw tantrums over stupid things – not his best side but he often did well at hiding it from me. It really wasn’t until after he told me of his addiction, attending NA, leaving college the year after I did to transfer to another school closer to home that I had any clue.
He and I met during the See-Saw-A-Thon. Originally, if I remember correctly, his fraternity and another were hoping to do a tractor pull but the school (in their right mind) put a stop to that kind of thing. Let’s not possibly have a tragedy on the campus from drunk frat boys. So they got two see-saws and the guys did that… for hours… for like 48 hours. Of course at 3AM curious collegians went down there to see if they were still see-sawing and they were. We had some warm cups of beer (which we all called “soda”) and music to entertain us and it was actually a pretty good mellow time except for when the rude/sneering/wasted frat brothers came around to accost the girls who were hanging out with friends. Definitely had some unforgettably rude things said to me or about me, ugh.
But then there was that guy. Who I definitely was in love with for a couple years after that night until I guess he wanted to just close that door for good. Maybe I was in love with the idea of helping him get clean, or in love with his family. Still not sure. But I do know that I wanted to be with him and experience life with him. So I did. I was with him when he got a few different chips from NA, I was with him when his Dad took us to see Steely Dan, I was with him when his Mom asked me my feelings on marriage. He was in the picture when I was dating a few other people, and he was too, and we tried to do the whole ‘just friends’ thing. Which of course failed to make either of us really comfortable. He met one of my exes and I did the same, and it was stupid because both of us got really jealous and angry at one another. We did a lot of talking with our eyes. He loved my eyes. He had incredible hair. Gorgeous Mediterranean skin. He was one of few men I dated that complimented me without it being laid on so thick it sounded fake.
Signs of use and dependence can include:
-Depression as the drug wears off
-Nasal congestion and damage to the mucous membrane of the nose in users who snort drugs
-Increased heart rate, blood pressure and temperature
You look back and see things now you did not think of before. Small, minute things that should have been the smallest of warning flags about this person. Don’t let your friends or family make you feel stupid by asking if there were signs. Often the big warning flags aren’t there. Addicts can hide the obvious stuff from people – especially people they would do anything to not lose. If you ever have family say you’re stupid for not knowing better, ignore them. You just did not know. I did not know. And even if it was a low point for him before he became clean, there are no regrets on my end. I often try to leave a relationship on a good note… with no regrets.