Serenity During the In Between Times
Jeff Curran Asks ...
My girlfriend relapsed on heroin back in May and we recently moved in with her mom to get away from high risk places. I work during the day, and she stays home with her mom in between going to the methadone clinic and going to meetings. I've been very concerned lately because her mom is severely depressed (2 suicide attempts) and has a tendency to project her moods and narcissistic outlook onto my girlfriend (who appears to be doing everything she can to do the right thing for her recovery). It's almost like her mom is happy now that my girlfriend is home to take care of her even though my girlfriend needs to focus on herself and is in no position to play the adult figure. I know in my heart that my girlfriend's disease stems from some very troubling things that happened with her mother in the past, but I don't know what to do. And to make things more complicated for my girlfriend and I is that some days her mother is fine, but others she is completely self absorbed and consumed by her depression. I don't think I'd be able to afford finding a new place for us to live at the moment. Help!
Jim LaPierre Says ...
Wow! You're really in a tough place - thank you for writing. I find that when I'm doing a lot/up against huge challenges I need to constantly separate what I have control over from what I do not. Changing your girlfriend's mother is not an option - sharing your concerns regarding the here and now with your girlfriend is.
Struggling and facing fear alone is debilitating. As long as you and she are on the same page you can persevere. Make short term plans and look at incremental steps to get from where you are to where you want to be. Getting out of that living arrangement makes perfect sense but i get it - money is tight and there's only so much you can do without putting everything at risk.
Do a budget. It's not sexy but it's a responsible form of planning. Get support for yourself. It's beautiful how aware and sensitive you are to your girlfriend's needs - I'm wondering if you're taking good care of you and getting your needs met?
Sometimes we just have to put our heads down and work hard to get from where we are to where we need to be. Share your concerns and don't bear them alone. Good luck and blessed be!