I am not only an addict, I have been in relationships with many addicts. All addicts, in fact. When I think about it I have to assume I was looking for enablers. I don't want to say misery loves company because let's face it, it wasn't always miserable. Straight up my top ten experiences and best times ever were in these relationships during times we were using and drinking. Now I settle for having good experiences more often instead of raging experiences few and far between, but I do not wish to shut the door on those! Hell no. Anyway, my kid's dad is still using meth and still on the streets. I'm having to deal with yo-yo rehabs and chronic relapses and also his mother who puts pressure on me to bend to his requests.
Once upon a time in the early days of his recovery I thought I could manupulate or control the outcome. What if I let him see the kids? What if I don't? What if I fly him out to where I am at? What if he lived with us? Should I talk to him? Should the kids talk to him? Should we turn our backs on him? It took me a long time to figure out that nothing I do matters in the scope of his treatment. This is why they say that when one person in the family is sick, everyone is. There is a ripple effect when your efforts or lack thereof don't have the desired effect. Resentment rises up and ego's get destroyed. Blame gets thrown around because everyone is frustrated. The addict now has ammo to run off of, the shame from family, the fact that they didn't let them see the kids or didn't let them see the kids enough, the feeling like they can't ever please anyone. The family in turn gets frustrated once again by the addicts reaction and turns on eachother because the addict is out running again. I've come to understand the codependent cycle as very similar to the cycle of the alcoholic/addict. The beginning of that cycle is the rescue/savior complex. Feeling gung ho about swooping in and helping the addict. Then the letdown when, despit all of our efforts, the addict fails. Finally, the swearing off thinking "I'm never doing that again". Sometimes this drive can be just as powerful as having a drink. I NEED to help, if I don't help they will die. It can be very hard to surrender.
I've now taken the advice of support groups and al-anon, I've let go. There are endless avenues of support for addicts that want to get better, all they have to do is walk in most of the time. I've realized that my help is nt really helping him. When you do the work for an addict many times they feel they are in the waiting room to get back to their regularly scheduled bender (I know this from experience). That initial drive to get help is something that is very important to their recovery so if they miss that step, the initiative, they just don't want it. The next best advice I received..you can't help someone that doesn't want it.