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Family members in addiction- how to cope

Community Member
Hi everyone, Im so new to this so not sure if im in the right forum (please direct me if im not!).
My partner is a recovering drug addict and has had a recent slip (relapse? one time use, not sure the correct terminology). Im really struggling to process this, work through it, the trust thats been lost, how to support him while maintaining my own strength and not become absorbed in the situation.
Its only very very recent so Im still up and down with emotions. Has anyone else had a partner go through drug addiction and recovery? I really need advice, to hear positive long term recovery stories and support- not looking for negative opinions, or advice to walk away, as at this point, its not something i want to consider but my heart is breaking....
1 Reply 1

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Tigerlily,

Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.

I want to start by saying that recovering from an addiction is a bit like learning to write with your other hand. It's VERY difficult and there's a STRONG desire to go back to writing with the original hand because that's what always been done. But the original hand is damaged and in reality is beyond normal use ...... "but it's there, so why can't I use it?" Because it's broken as such, and riddled with arthritis and won't ever return to being a healthy hand again.

And learning to write with the other hand is messy, frustrating and seems to take too long. "After all, I've been writing with THAT hand forever, so it's not as if I don't know how to write, yeah?"

Or maybe recovery is a bit like when a kid learns to ride a bike; some get it straight away (get recovery after their very first rehab or first 12-step meeting) and others fall off multiple times and in the process need all the help they can get - training wheels, elbow and knee pads (or, if you like many rehabs and many attempts at getting and staying clean.

I don't know if that makes sense or not, but hopefully you get the analogy.

The other thing I would like to suggest is to perhaps get some support for yourself. There's an organisation called Nar-anon - [02] 8004 1214 - and another one called Al-anon - (1300 252 666). Nar-anon is for friends and family who are affected by someone else's addiction, and Al-anon is for those affected by someone else's drinking. They are peer support organisations.

Nar-anon website is: http://www.naranon.com.au/

Al-anon website is: https://www.al-anon.org.au/

I too am a recovered addict/alcoholic, and have been clean and sober for 23 years now. but I started in Al-anon ..... drunk at every meeting, wondering why people were suggesting that I have a look at AA!

I do hope that helps at least a little. And remember, you can come back here as much as you like.

Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo