I apologize for the fact that this post is all over the place. I’m having trouble really getting my thoughts down in any kind of eloquently coherent manner. I also want to preface this by saying that any mean, rude, or generally unsupportive comments will be immediately deleted and not tolerated.

I don’t know why everyone I date has to have an asterisk next to their name. Everyone comes with their own baggage and issues, but I seem to find the ones with the oversize luggage and Major Issues. They’re totally awesome… but emotionally unavailable. They’re the man of my dreams… but they’re married. They make me really happy… but they’re a convicted felon that is going back to jail for a bit. And I’ve found myself yet another one with the dreaded asterisk next to their name. Jesus is everything I have ever wanted. I could easily see myself spending my life with this man, but his asterisk is a big one. He struggles with a heroin addiction.

He’s fighting this one tooth and nail, and has for a long time. I can’t fight this battle for him. It’s one he has to win on his own. I’m on the sidelines, cheering him on from afar. I’ve taken some space while he tries to get this back under control. I’m doing something that I’ve never been able to do before: I’m putting myself first. I’m walking away from something that I can’t fix. I set boundaries and stuck to them. I refused to be around him when he was impaired (and I can tell within 10 seconds of setting eyes on him), and I stuck to it. I told him that I would not date an active user, and there would be an expiration date on my tolerance for it.

And now, I’ve given him an ultimatum. No matter what happens, I’ll always be here to support him. I love this man more than I’ve ever loved anyone. I believe in him and in us more than I’ve ever believed in anything. I made some calls and will hopefully be able to help him bypass the waiting list at a program. But now I’m washing my hands of it. The rest is up to him. If he can get himself to a better place, then ultimately we can be in a better place. But the only person that can fix Jesus is Jesus. And if he’s not healthy, then there’s no chance for us to be healthy.

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. No, we have not broken up. No, we have not taken a break. We’re just taking some space, so that we’ll have a sturdier foundation to stand on, one built from two healthy people that can support each other. I know it’s a long, hard road. I work with addicts; I’m very aware of what’s ahead. But he’s had 8 years of sobriety in the past, and I know that he can do it again. And I’ll be here cheering him on– from the sidelines– the whole time.

Of course, for the time being, I feel empty and sad and lonely and lost and angry and all of those other things that come along with loving an addict. But I’m not willing to lose this man to his addiction– at least not yet.

“Give me space so I can breathe
Give me space so I can sleep
Give me space so you can drown in this with me.”

-Something Corporate, Space

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  1. NancyNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    It seems I can never seem to find the appropriate words in difficult situations like these. I can say that if I could I’d give you the biggest hug ever right now.

  2. clNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    They say “tough love” is the hardest kind to show. You are doing what is best for you, and may ultimately be best for him. You are so right when you say only he can heal himself. You can (and obviously are trying to) help him. But you can only do so much.
    Congratulations on even trying. A very great many people wouldn’t. But he has a very tough climb out of his ‘asterisk’ and only he can do it.
    Good, and loving, move on your part. It’s one thing to love another, but no matter what, you have to love and protect yourself first.

  3. JoNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh honey…I’m so sorry. I am married to an alcoholic who has been in recovery for 8 years. I know it is possible. I hope so much that he can do it for himself, knowing that you are there cheering him on. His knowing how much you believe in him can only be good right?

    Sorry, normally I’d give way better comment but today was the day from hell and I’m emotionally done. <3 to you though.

  4. TitsMcScandalNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    It takes a lot of courage and strength to stand by someone who is going through something like this. You truly are an amazing person. Just know that even though you are there for him, that there are people there for YOU too. There are people on the internet (ehem ;) ) who would be there for you to lean on, cry on, vent to, and rave to without ever judging you and just being there for you.


  5. Bass ManNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    You’re doing the right thing, and you know it. But it is not an easy path when you see someone you love hurting. Remember it is seeing your strength that will give him strength, but your strength is not a substitute for his.

    Good luck to you. And to Jesus.

  6. ElitzaNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    You’re doing the right thing.

    And if you ever need anything, you can ALWAYS call me. Love you, girl.

  7. quizzical pussyNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    You’re doing the supportive, loving thing. You’re also doing the hard thing. Massive long-distance cyberhugs to you. I really, really hope he’s willing to fight for the beautiful thing you guys have, although I know that he’s facing an incredibly difficult battle.

  8. NelfyNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I am really glad that you can do what is good for YOU, even if it is hard and I can imagine it hurts. But you are right, ultimately, he is the only one who can help himself, only he himself can overcome this (obviously with some help from professionals, but you know what I mean). I hope this works out for you and him or at least that you don’t get hurt too much in the process, whatever the outcome!


  9. ECSNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    You are doing the best possible thing for both of you, even if its the hardest thing you will ever do, be strong for him, but be stronger for you. Hang in there. It’s never easy loving imperfect people, but you are loving him perfectly.

  10. EveNo Gravatar
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Hugs to both of you. I can’t even begin to imagine what this struggle must be like for either of you, though I know it must be really hard. But like everyone else is saying, I think you’re doing the right thing. Good for you for putting yourself first. Best wishes for his successful return to sobriety and a happy future for the both of you.

  11. LucyLemonadeNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    It sounds like you have a good grasp on your own needs and enough love to give support without being dragged down by it. I hope it gets better.

  12. SaNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    As the daughter of addicts, I can only echo previous comments and tell you that not only are you doing what is best for you, you are also doing what is best for Jesus. It must be amazingly difficult. I tip my hat off to you, lady.

  13. JesusNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    dear all commenters,

    Thank you for your kind words of support to Brit (and to me too! Was not expecting that). This girl is amazing and I want shed my baggage and become the man she deserves. She is making the right decision. As much as I’d love to think that if she stayed by my side all the time and continued to indulge me with amazing sex, love, and cuddling that I would be able to conjur up the inner strength to do right by her, that is simply not a reality. She has stood by me longer than I ever expected, but she is also doing what she always said she would.

    I have so much love and respect for her, among the reasons is her complete lack of judgement (we never would have even hung out a second time were it not for this trait) and her straightforward honesty. She was clear with me from the beginning that she would never stay with someone long term who was using and she remained true to her word. I am not upset with her nor can I be. I am upset. I am a mess. But not because of her; she’s done everything correct.

    I hope like nothing else that I’m able to tackle this bitch (uhh…by bitch I mean addiction; yes, I still plan on tackling Brit but in a different way entirely) before she moves on…(sadness, but understood).

    Well, the reason that I wanted to post is that you all know that there are 2 sides to every story. This one however is pretty damn similar. Probably the only things that differ between our stories are the hairstyles, outfits and jewelry (I’m not too good at remembering that shit.)

    Please give my girl a ton of love as we distance ourselves a bit so that I can get my shit together.

    Love all you bitches,

  14. AnneNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    I really hope this works out well for the both of you :)

  15. DamianNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    The love of a good woman is a powerful force for change in a man.

    Good luck to you both and make sure you stick to your principles and keep communicating.

  16. Nadia WestNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    My best friend has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. I’ve had to distance myself from her many times for my own well-being (We’re currently not in touch.) and I know how difficult that is. You’re right that he has to fight this himself and you can only offer support. I hope this works out and he finds the strength to beat this addiction.

  17. DymionNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Best of luck and much courage to both of you. As others have mentioned, it is a difficult path you are on. But for one of you, it is the only path to survival, and for the other, it is a path that may or may not lead to finding the kind of fit in a person that we find only once in a lifetime.

    It can be done. Through unconditional support and tough love, through firm rules and unjudgemental understanding, it can be done. I know, I’ve been part of that process before. And success in this endeavour will be life-changing for both.

    May you BOTH track down the resources that you need to make it though his, and through the challenges ahead, keep focused on everything you have to gain.

    All the best.


  18. namelesschoasNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I wish you both luck and strength may this work out well for both of you. *Sends hugs and other well wish*

  19. twgNo Gravatar
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Hugs to both of you. That’s all I got.

  20. GhouldilocksNo Gravatar
    Posted December 5, 2010 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    *Hugs to both of you*

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