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How can I be a good dad/husband

by Aaron
(Missouri)

I'm addicted to meth. I haven't used in almost 2 years but still there's not a day that goes by that I don't want to jump off the wagon. Even on good days with no stress, it seems almost worth it to throw everything away again.

I was there for the birth of both of my kids (both from my ex wife) but before and after birth I was so caught up in getting high that I would be gone for weeks at a time and not even notice I spent more than one night away from home. And when I was home I was passed out on the couch or hiding in my bedroom because I had no motivation to do anything but go to work so I had money to feed the kids and go get high again.

The last time I used was about a week before me and my current fiance started dating. I didn't have anything but a Walmart bag half full of clothes and no idea what I was gonna do next. She picked me up dusted me off, and started building me back up. She got me to fight to see my kids, which was really good since my ex-wife was getting deeper into drug abuse as well.

I have full custody now and I'm working on bonding with my kids like I should have done from the start. About a week and a half ago I let loose a little of what I've kept bottled up my whole life, including how hard it is to stay clean even 2 years later. A couple days later we found out she is pregnant.

You would think that would be a great reason to stay clean but it's actually gotten a lot harder. I'm not sure if 2 days was enough to process everything I laid out before a pregnancy. I'm going to stay sober, but the one person I had to vent to doesn't need the added stress.

I guess my questions are, how can I reassure her that I'm strong enough to have her back through all of this, really how do I help her at all? Should I be honest and tell her my cravings have increased drastically? I love this woman, the baby she's carrying, and the kids I already have and I don't know if I could handle losing any of them in any form.

Has anyone else been in this spot and made it or know anyone who has?

Comments for How can I be a good dad/husband

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No easy answer
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Aaron,

Sounds like you're in a difficult and stressful situation regardless of your cravings and trying to continue your sobriety.

Sadly, there is no easy answer to your question. You want to be completely honest and open with your finance, but your afraid telling her will make the situation worse. Going to meetings and working the 12-steps will help to give you clarity about what is the best choice for you but also what is the best choice for her.

The 12-steps help us to understand our past and to deal with it. They also help us to chart a path of sobriety, which is as healthy as possible for ourselves and our families.

There may be something in the current situation that is emotionally triggering you? Working the steps should help you to understand why your current situation is causing so much emotional turmoil and how you can move forward positively from it.

Once you've worked the steps it should point you to how much is appropriate to share with your finance without harming her further. None of us can share all of ourselves all of the time, and setting appropriate and compassionate boundaries with our loved ones is a very critical part of our recovery. The 12-steps are a wonderful guide as we strive to do that.

Good Luck,

Debbie

Your Thoughts.
by: Anonymous

Cravings for drugs are just a bad thought. When I think bad thoughts and don't execute them that gives me strength and control. my opinion is, if you manage abstinent for 2 years you have that desire to use under control.

Now whether you use now is entirely up to you. It's hard for some one who has lived that lifestyle of substance use to verbally try and convince some one that they're done with drugs:

"Words are magnificent. Actions are divine".

Let your words manifest through your actions. If you truly have learned from your experiences, and didn't like the results then you'll continue the way your are.

Working on it
by: Anonymous

I'm working on getting into some kind of support system. I know that even though it will be embarrassing or awkward at first, it has to be done. I also know that you should always be honest with your partner. But I'm not sure if that's the case here.

The way I see it I have two options. Tell her now and add more stress to an already complicated pregnancy (I didn't mention before that she's dealing with problems of her own) where the odds of a successful pregnancy are sitting at 25%. Or I wait till baby is here, tell her then, and hope that keeping something of this magnitude from her for a full year won't break the relationship or damage it to the point that we split up because of a fight over who should wash dishes that night.

We always tell her everything, and just the fact that I'm searching the Internet for help instead of going to her first feels like a huge betrayal of her trust. Will keeping this a secret help in the long run or should I tell her now and hope for the best?

A ton of sudden morality coming from a nearly decade old addict I know, but she's beyond important to me and I don't know if it's better to "protect" her or if it's better to heap on more complications to the pile. Maybe a little of both?

I think we've all told a lie or withheld the truth for the sake of someone else's well being and probably with a fairly high success rate, but to hold something like this back from the one person I know for a fact has my back is like throwing away away your last plate of food even though you know it's good and that's the only thing you have that will keep you going.

Even if it's just a temporary omission of the truth it feels wrong.

Drug cravings are very difficult, but can be dealt with.
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Aaron,

Dealing with cravings is one of the most difficult and important aspects of staying clean. Some of us go to the gym and work out to manage our cravings. While others might play video games or learn how to meditate as a way to calm anxiety, manage stress and move away from the cravings.

Drug addiction is a disease of the brain which is characterized by cravings and then relapse. Going to AA or NA can really help us because we find like-minded people who are also struggling to stay clean and give us someone to go to when we are concerned about relapse.

I HIGHLY recommend that you go to AA or NA meetings three times a week in your area. Find a male sponsor who will help you to get through your cravings allowing you to keep being the dad and the future husband that you so desperately want to be.

Good luck,

Debbie

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