My Husband's Struggle with Crack Cocaine. What Can I Do?
(MICHIGAN CITY, IN)
Please help me, I have been married for 19 years. My husband has struggled with Crack-Cocaine for as long as we have been married. He has gone on binges that have lasted 6 months, others overnight, off and on for the past 19 years.
What I am so confused about, he will be clean for say 2 years, and does great. But then out of the clear blue, he will go off on a binge. He is now 53 years old. And I would say he does this probably 4-5 times a years, at a couple days span.
How can he stay clean for years and then all of a sudden turn back to it? He was recently clean for about 2 years, and now in the past 6 months, he has gone on binges 3 times. I am to the point where I just feel helpless, and leave doubt in my mine all the time, when he is the least bit off schedule.
I know when he is on a binge, because he doesn't answer his cell, and money starts to withdraw for our checking and savings account, this past weekend, was another episode. And he also is a Truck Driver, which I believe he just so happens he will run into the the wrong people and go off path, but am I just kidding myself.
And what can I do? I feel helpless, and discouraged ... I do love my husband but at this time in my life, I do not want to keep living in this doubt. Just when I think he is all good, I get slapped in the face. Any ideas on why or what would make him still not leave it alone completely?
There was a time years ago, when it was almost a weekly habit. And for him to come so far, and then out of the clear blue go off on a binge. This time i said some very mean things to him, as JUST GO OUT THERE AND BLOW YOUR HEART UP AND GET IT THE F OVER WITH. I DON'T MEAN THIS, BUT I AM SO TIRED OF DEALING WITH THIS PROBLEM. I WANT HELP, AND DONT KNOW WHAT AND WHERE TO EVEN START.........
One of the reasons people say you are only ever in recovery from an addiction and can be never cured from it entirely, shows through perfectly in your husband's case.
Everything can seemingly be going well ... and then WHAM! ... out of nowhere, he suddenly starts using and goes on a binge again.
That's why principles used in 12 step programs
like NA and AA are so true ... it's all about just staying clean for today, and taking it one day at a time.
You don't say whether your husband is in fact working any kind of addiction recovery
program, but you'll find that most people who have been clean for any length of time have achieved that through vigilantly working at some kind of recovery program, whether it be the likes of NA and AA, or something different.
Because to get on top of those inner demons that lead us down the road of addiction, takes a lot of work and effort. We need to begin to change on the deepest of levels. Through sheer will power, which it sounds like your husband is using - you can only resist for so long. Eventually the desire to use becomes so overwhelming, that you simply end up picking up and going on a binge as your husband does intermittently.
So until your husband commits to a life of sobriety, and consistently works at maintaining that through working a recovery program like NA, this pattern of his is going to keep repeating himself.
The best thing you can do for yourself is surround yourself with people who can relate to your position, and offer advice and support because they've been there. So I suggest you look at checking out a group called Nar-Anon, which is for family members of drug addicts. I'm sure it will help you immensely.
Breaking the cycle of addiction is entirely in your husband's hands. And that's exactly what it is. Don't be fooled that because he isn't using as regularly as he used to, that he isn't an addict. It's not something that just leaves you. So until he gets help and commits to a life of recovery, the desire to use will always keep bubbling beneath the surface, no matter how hard he tries to suppress it.
You need to understand that you are powerless to control his drug using. Of course you can try persuade him that he needs help and that he needs to do something about his problem, but very rarely does that help. He needs to see and want that for himself. Only then is lasting change possible.
Where does that leave you?
You can only hope and pray that your husband will reach the point where he's ready to change, but if that doesn't happen, you need to give some serious though to the kind of future you want for yourself.
I can only wish you wisdom and strength to make the best decision for you.