The only way to live with an addict in active addiction is to live in two different places. They can’t live with you, even if you strike an agreement with them. No, it does not matter if they sign it, it doesn’t matter if they promise to follow it, it doesn’t matter if they offer to clean your house every day if they can live with you. The reasons are plenty:
If they are in active addiction, they lie. Yes, even your loved one, it’s a pattern that doesn’t vary. They say what you want to hear, but they lie. It’s called manipulation, and it’s a benchmark feature of addicts.
They will steal from you. No, it’s not because they hate you; in fact, it has nothing to do with you. They might even feel guilty because you love them and you’re letting them live with you. But the call of the drug is stronger than their love for you or anyone else, including themselves. And money feeds the addict with drugs, “things” are exchangeable for money, so loving or not, say goodbye to your things.\You will not sleep. Sure, you’ll set curfews, but they won’t be kept, and you’ll sit up worrying about whether they got arrested, overdosed, or beaten up. And when they do come home, you won’t sleep because you’ll be trying to figure out whether they are sober or not.
You’ll micromanage their lives. You won’t mean to do it, but you will. You’ll watch everything they do, you’ll want to know their itinerary every day, and you’ll want to be sure they have enough food in the house to eat. You’ll question every move and think that will keep them sober. It won’t.
Most of us work, and when we leave to go to work, they don’t. Yes, I know, they promise to get a job and have one hundred reasons why they can’t find one, but the bottom line is that they will be home, and you won’t. Consequently, you’ll spend your workday worrying about them, whether they are doing drugs in your house, whether they are stealing from you while you are working, if they have friends over, and so on. Your work will suffer, and you will place your job in jeopardy.
The chances of them recovering while living with you are remote. The chances of you being in danger while they live there is high. The more you help them, the more you actually harm them. And you increase the risk that they will die, not reduce it.
That should be sufficient. We all love our addicts and hate the illness called addiction, but so long as you believe you can heal your loved one, they will continue to suffer and mistreat you.
In 12 Step programs, a common saying is, “Let Go and Let God.” It means to trust in a higher power, accept your own powerlessness, and get out of the way of the addict’s recovery. Everyone thinks their story is unique. It’s not.
Today, find a support group like Al-Anon. Talk to others who have walked in your shoes. Hear what others who have done this for years have found to be successful and what’s failed. Then decide. Do you want to help your loved one live or die? The choice is yours.