Howard was awesome when he was awesome. He has a goofy sense of humor. He can be so charming and sweet. He had a thousand wonderful nicknames for me. Sweetheart, dear, honey. I loved being married to him, until I didn't. At some point in our lives nothing he did made sense to me: selling expensive tools at a loss so soon after he had bought them. Why? Some were still new in the package. I realized in retrospect he did that because it was easier than asking me for $50 bucks to buy drugs.

If your loved one is acting strange don't hesitate to ask the tough questions. If they are a drug addict they will get mad. They will get defensive. They will say things that do not make sense. Here is a good example: my husband said his back really hurt. He said he was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. Then he set about digging ditches in our front yard. Having suffered from a painful arthritis my self I can tell you, this is not the behavior of a person who actually suffers from a degenerative disease. This is addict behavior, a sick bid to get more medication.

Sometimes they injure themselves. The injuries are real. The accidents are real. The medication they get prescribed is real. The only difference is the height of manipulation they go through to get it, sometimes playing one doctor off of another, sometimes using multiple pharmacies. Sometimes they come over to visit right after you've had an accident, eager to use your bathroom and raid your medicine cabinet. If you think someone has rifled your stuff, they probably have. My husband looked like a middle class electrician. He didn't look like a homeless loser scumbag. In fact he is handsome, charming, and charismatic. He was on the board at the church we attended. He was part of a prayer circle. That was all part and parcel of why he can't get clean.

Well meaning people, some of the holy and religious people you know don't know much about addicts. So don't try and convince them. Do what you have to do with out discussing it with anyone. Most addicts like their warm cozy much as a straight person. Make it clear to your addict you will not enable them. Change the locks, change your phone number, get caller ID. Insulate yourself against their weeping and gnashing of teeth. Because unlike non-addicts, an addict will say what ever they need to say in order to get what they want.

Let me repeat that. An addict will say what ever they need to say in order to get what they want.

Even if it's not true? Yes

Even if it's hurtful? Yes

Even if it's designed to deceive? Yes

Here's another example: My ex-husband had nothing nice to say about his former wife. He claimed she took off without telling him where she was going. Took their kids. Sad Story. Very sad. He was such a victim. You can only imagine how that would drive a poor man to drink. To quell the pain. To forget.

Except - May Be she left because he was an addict? May Be she didn't want her kids around him driving loaded. What was the truth? I was never so sure until he left me. Told our church family what a mean person I was. How I tricked him out of our house. Ouch.

Why didn't he get clean? They felt so darn sorry for him. They bought him clothes he sold for drugs. They prayed over him. They brought him DVDs he sold for drugs. They collected charity funds, cash for him, he used for drugs. Honestly he, he was a wolf in the fold. To this day they don't see it. They brought him food. Drove him away from the secular VA hospital where he was in drug rehab. Took him to a Christian place, where people could pray with him.

How could they be so fooled? Well, let me repeat, an addict will say what ever he needs to say to get the result that he needs. Did it hurt Howard to trash my reputation? May be. But he was willing to go through that pain if if got him drugs. The drugs alleviated any sorrow he felt. I found Howard again recently on MySpace. He was gushing about his adult son, daughter in law and three grandchildren. People who do not know him personally. People so eager to help him, house him, clothe him. He wrote, "I hope God gives me a wife as beautiful as Jennifer!" (his daughter in law.)


I hope he doesn't drive loaded with those three grandkids in the car.