What are your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions? I have never been a big fan but I have had one hell of a year and I don’t like how my life is going. I think it’s time to make some big changes. My boyfriend cheated on me so I cheated on him back and we subsequently broke up. After that I got involved in a nasty little crystal meth addiction that was out of control. I’ve tamed it down some but it’s still there. I’ve been having problems with my job and think I’m about to get canned which is okay since I hate it anyway. And I smoke….yuch! My question is should I start all of the changes right at the first of the year or space them out over time?
Signed, Corey in Boca
Dear Corey, It does seem like you have quite a few things going on in your life at the moment. And it doesn’t seem you are too happy about many of them. New year’s resolutions are great for what they are. I look at them like an impetus for change. The problem with resolutions is that they can set you up for a fall. People sometimes make them at the end of a bad year and try to do make all these changes before they have adequately prepared for such changes.
Smoking is a good example. People want to stop and so on January 1st they quit cold turkey. Sometimes this works. My mom successfully did it many years ago. Many times it doesn’t. Often times because the person is not ready to quit. You have to really want these changes in your life, Corey, or you won’t be able to make them. I say go with your gut on this one and space them out over time. I would really suggest going to a therapist and sort some of the problems out. I would suggest a cognitive behavioral approach in treatment that focuses on the action itself and how to eliminate it from your life.
I recently found out about the show, Issues over the rainbow on 93.1 and saw your name on the website. I was hoping you could give me some advice as to what to do or at least point me in the right direction. My name is Mike and I’m 28 years old fairly new to the gay world as I have only recently come out and only to some friends and family. I’m currently in a relationship with a guy and we’ve been together for 5 months. We discussed many issues of our past and he confided in me that he “used” to have an addiction problem. He said he had gotten past that awful time in his life. However, it doesn’t seem like the case. He has disappeared over the course of our relationship 3 times for a day or two at a time in which when he does he goes off and does Crystal Meth and E. Needless to say, I’m not attracted to that lifestyle and don’t want anyone around me who is. Also, it definitely puts doubts in my mind as to what he does when he’s on those drugs since I know they lower inhibitions. I often times don’t sleep or eat during those days thinking he’s either cheating having unprotected sex. However, I really love this guy and can’t help but want to help him and try to save our relationship. The last time he did this about 2 weeks ago, I told him we were over. He said he couldn’t live without me and promised to seek help. He still says he’s trying to find the appropriate channels through his insurance to get the help he needs but I’m starting to think he just said that to keep me around. I don’t know what to do anymore. If you could please offer some help, I would very much appreciate it. I really don’t think I have anyone else I can ask these types of questions to.
Thank you in advance for your time and patience in reading about my problems,
Hey Michael, My apologies for such a late response. I have heard stories like yours before. It really is a tough situation that you find yourself in. It seems as if you care for this guy but your faith in him is being tested by his behaviors. His Crystal addiction is a big thing and can be a deal breaker for a relationship.
Your first concern is to take care of yourself. If you are still having sex with him, make sure you protect yourself. Some guys fall into the habit of letting the condoms fall by the wayside after they have gotten to know each other. Make sure you insist on condoms and be clear with him as the reason. His addiction and subsequent behavior when he is high is putting you at risk.
The other word I have for you is….boundaries. Make sure you establish some firm and unwavering boundaries with him. This is easier said than done. If you two are not living together it makes things a bit easier. You can’t say something like “Don’t use drugs again or I won’t speak to you”. However you can insist that he jump through a few hoops for you. Things like “You must find a Therapist and be able to prove to me that you are going to therapy” or “You have to join AA, NA (or in your case CMA-crystal meth anonymous) or we can’t even think about dating”.
Of course, all of this is just surface mending. The real work is his and it has to be done internally. Your big decision is do you want to stick around for him to finish his work and “get better”. This depends on you. My suggestion is you think long and hard about what you want from this guy and what you expect from a relationship in general. Just as a skilled Therapist will be able to help him sort out his addiction, a Therapist will help you sort out your feelings about his behavior. I suggest you seek one out and have a few sessions. You can contact me if you need some referrals.
Love is a strong emotion and can overcome many addictions. But it is not the only factor to consider. Take a step back from him and your relationship so you can more clearly evaluate what your next move will be. I wish you the best. Take Care, Mark