Category Archives: True stories from Carers of Addicts

I am Muslim my husband is a drug addict

This is the story of Sister Rasheeda, please raise your hands and make dua for her:

When you are a wife and your husband is a drug addict life passes you by in cycles and circles.We think back to every time when just before Ramadan we are ready to kick them our or leave ourselves. But then we hope this Ramadan will be the year that they give up once and for all. We sit there on the day of Eid, looking at every ones Facebook uploads of happy family times and our mind goes back to 11 months and 355 days before when we remember the last Eid when we shed tears and we wish we had left him afterall. You remember every Eid day that was spoiled and every dark cloud that was caste over that day because he relapsed. We think back to every parents evening when last year we toyed with the idea of not telling our husbands about it because we were afraid they would turn up looking a mess, saying something strange or the teachers expression would falter for that brief moment. We think about the anniversary of when we found out they were using drugs, when our world fell apart and we say “another year”. Every birthday, every school holiday, even every non Muslim festival like Halloween and Christmas. We remember this time last year things were the same.

We find letters that we wrote to our addict 8 years ago telling him how his drug use makes us feel. We tell them we love them but they need to stop, that we cannot take it much longer. Then we look at the date and we say to ourselves “I could have written that today”.

We kick them out in a moments burst of energy and confidence in ourselves and Allah’s permission and we remember ‘hang on a minute this time last year I did the same’. And then I let him back in, only for him to start using again. We gave them the benefit of the date. “Relapses can be helpful if the addict learns from what went wrong” say the experts. Shame the addict does not read the book.

We think about all the times they went and got help, rehab, raqi’s, day programmes, counselling, fellowship meetings and they were clean for a while and our hopes went high and our relationships with our husbands improved. Our defenses went down and we even risked a smile or two. And then they relapsed. And the cycle begun again and these cycles of help seeking, abstience and then falling became cycles in themselves, usually prompted by an ultimatum by the wife of the addict – you and me – when we just could not take it any more.

So what does it feel like when you can’t take his addiction anymore? This is what it is like for me. This is my rock bottom.

Driving my car, in a daze, I saw a tree. ‘What if I was just to drive into that tree. Not too fast maybe 30 miles per hour. That’s all. No I don’t want to die. I just want to be knocked out for a while. Just maybe in a little light coma for a few days. Just enough to take me out of this world for a while and maybe even scare my addict enough to know what it could be like to lose me.’ What is this mad thinking? This is the mad thinking of the wife of an addict. This is my rock bottom.

Stupid stupid me. ‘You let him back. You don’t deserve any better.’ I lie in bed at night fighting the shaitan who shows me pictures in my mind of just snipping my skin with scissors. I see myself squeezing out some of my own blood, just to relieve the pressure. I say “authoo billahi min ashaytaanir rajeem” (I seek refuge in Allah from the Devil, the outcast). I try to knock the thoughts away by shaking my head, spitting over my left shoulder and trying to breathe deeply. I do my ayat al kursi (verse from the Quran known to help ward of the evil from the unseen world). The urge to rip my skin comes again. I scratch it a little with my finger nails. It isn’t enough to fight the urge. I stop and pray again. I feel so low and desperate. Is this how my addict feels when he fights the urge to use drugs? I make it through the night without hurting myself but the feelings of lowliness and depression sink in.

Another reason I know I have sank to my lowest point is when I shouted upwards to Allah “Why? Why Allah have you done this to me. I don’t want this test. Haven’t I suffered enough?” Never in my 36 years of my life have I ever questioned Allah, shouted at Him, worse of all been angry at Him. I have bore every single test with trust in Him, patiently awaiting the ease, praying and crying to Him for help and support. The day I looked up and had anger in my heart towards my Creator was the day I knew I had reached my rock bottom.

I don’t want to die but I don’t want to live. This is the dark thinking living with an addict has caused. I just need to add two words to that sentence to make things a little more bearable. I don’t want to live like this. My kids need me. I need me. Allah has a purpose for me.

So I can’t change my addict – never will control something he cannot control himself. But I can change my ‘like this’. Who says ‘this’ has to be ‘like this’. I know what this needs to look like and I know what I want and that has what has kept me stuck in this situation for all these years. 12 years to be exact. 12 years of cycles and circles. And when you go round in circles it only creates dizziness, disorientation, nausea and feet that can no longer stand firm. So here is my vision that has kept me stuck.

Me, my kids, my husband all sitting smiling around the dinner table. He doesnt have ‘an errand to run’ or a reason to go out. He stays, we laugh, we enjoy eachother. And there is no drugs. No using. No smelling of smoke. No bits of foil. No money going missing. No crack pipes. No slurred speech, no half open eyes. No stupid comments that make no sense. No erratic behaviours. No bailiffs. No dealers texts. No police cautions. No paraphernalia. No arguments besides the usual ones like who’s turn it is to empty the dishwasher. I tell myself. that if the drugs were not in our life then life would be close to perfection. And those weeks here or there when he hasn’t used, its pretty close.

But only my husband can make that vision come true. Only he can choose to stop using drugs once and for all. Meanwhile, why should I be the passenger on his ride of self destruction. Why should he take me down with him. I choose to get off the ride and stop being a passenger on this never ending loop the loop, going round in circles, just waiting to fall and hit the ground hard.

I choose another life. I do not know what that is today but Allah Knows. And with a good pure intention only His Mercy and Help can rain upon me. So today I make istikara (seeking Allah’s counsel and direction)

(Please also consider reading Breaking Free and Fighting The Ten Headed Monster, both about detaching from the addict, from our carers articles from Editor)

 O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”

(Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; similar reports are also recorded by al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad).

dua istikhara

Fighting The Ten Headed Monster

HydraI stood beneath my husband as he felt larger than life, towering over me like a mythical monster with several heads. Here is what those heads were saying to me;

The loudest head of all shouted out with so much conviction “I won’t do it again” and I thought “You say that all the time but you do”

The ugliest head of all shouted “I hate you, you b@t*# you never helped me, you want to see me fall” and my inner voice cried “I helped you more than I helped myself”.

The most crooked head of all spoke collectively and calmly in a sing song tone that went up and down, “It was only once, I haven’t used for ages” and my knowing self told me “but I found all the evidence to say otherwise”.

The most lost head of all, facing the wrong way with its head back to front, is looking up at the sky, even though its eyes are diseased and it cannot see, and shouting in anger “You Allah! You did this to me. You wrote me off in that Book of Yours! This is my destiny! And then you will throw me in Your Hell Fire. It’s your fault Allah! I hate your religion!” and my frightened voice says “But Allah gave us free will and He gave you so many signs and chances to change”.

The most manipulative head of all, the one with the narrow eyes said through its gritted teeth, “I will take away everything from you, no one else will love you, I will make your life so hard if you leave me, in fact I might even kill myself if you try to go” and my self that trusts Allah says “My Lord will take care of me”. 

The weakest head of all, the one that occasionally gets stomped on by those huge monster feet; the feet that have several brains from its several heads telling them to go, back and forth, left and right, directionless and lost, that weakest head, the one with no ears said “I can’t do it, I can’t change, I see no way out!” and my frustrated self said “The solution is in The Quran and Sunnah – have you not heard me all of these years?”

The hungry, thirsty head, the one drooling with its putrid saliva, the one that causes the heart to beat faster, the one that makes the feet dash from the Straight Path, said “I do not care about you or any one else but me! Give me those drugs and I do not care about anything but those drugs! Give me MORE!” and my sad self said “You never put me first, you love drugs more than you love me.”

The exhausted head said “I’m so tired, I cannot do this any more, I cannot think, I cannot sleep, I cannot rest, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired” and my confused self looked on and wondered how he had the strength to carry on and my confused self told my worried self that it might one day have to find a way to explain the death of him in a way that would protect his honour. “No one wants to die a junky, no one wants to enter the grave on drugs and no one wants to be raised in the state of intoxication on the Last Day”.

The blaming head, the one that stands high above the rest, the one with the biggest nose so it cannot see what is below said in a snarling voice “You did this! If you were more supportive, if you were around more, if you did not start that fight, if you didn’t say those words to me, if you were a better wife, if you did not go out that day, if my parents were better parents, if I had not met that guy, if I did not bump into that dealer, if I didn’t have a headache that day, if I didn’t have everyone on my back, if I didn’t have stress, if my family didn’t let me down……. then I would never have used” and my broken self said “If only you would take responsibility for yourself, repent and turn back to Allah so He can forgive you, grant you a good life and enter you into Jannah”

But hang on whats that there hanging down at the bottom. It is hard to see but there it is, peeping through the legs of this multi-headed monster like a shy, anxious, child peering round the legs of its mother…

The truthful head, the one with the sad eyes and the tiny mouth that speaks in a mere whisper. What are you saying little head? What are you trying to say beneath all those frightening voices? We can barely hear you over all that noise, what do you want to say? “It is my fault. I made those choices. I hurt you badly and I hurt myself. I am sorry. I want to change and I need help. Oh Allah help me, only You, My Lord, Allah, can save me now” and I said “Hey little head, here is a sword, take this sword of truth and chop off all those other heads, but only you can do it. No one else can reach those other voices but you, because they are growing out of you.”

And so as the monster continues to rage and try to reach out and grab me, trap me, break me and I realise I can no longer fight this frightening being. I realise that the time has come to run. Now that my hand is emptied of my sword I say “The sword is in your hands now. It is time for you to fight yourself. My battle is over. I know now, I cannot fight your addiction, only YOU can” and now my hands no longer carry the heavy weight, my hands are free to hold something far more special. I embrace freedom, I grab it with my two hands. Freedom from the fight. 

 Anon

Naltrexone and relapse: Shahnaz’s Story

My name is Shahnaz. I have been married to my husband for 10 years. He has been addicted to heroin and crack for the majority of that time. He recently managed six months of clean time. Prior to that we were on the brink of separation, perhaps even divorce. But Allah is The Best of Planners and I guess the consequence of losing me causedimages (1) him to rethink where his life was heading. He got some help for himself and had a Naltrexone implant put in (an opiate blocker that means he cannot feel the effects of heroin). But the trouble is, the implant only lasts for three months and when the first implant began to wear off he relapsed. He quickly picked himself up again and a week later got a second implant put in. But again, as it began to wear off, he relapsed again. That was a few days ago.

662438_5743525_lzI have been ignoring him since then. I guess if you opened this post in the hope of learning a way to cope with relapse then you are disappointed. I do not know if I will ever be able to cope well when my partner relapses and I need some advise myself. It really knocks me down. I feel so depressed and angry. All kinds of thoughts go through my mind. I get images in my mind like a movie where I see myself punching him and hitting him, sometimes baseball bats appear. I guess when I have these angry feelings and realise Shaitan is getting me more worked up so what I do when this happens is seek refuge in Allah  through duah.

It’s amazing how I could feel in love with him before the relapse. Things are going well, our relationship is good, we communicate and I laugh and feel relaxed around him. But the moment I realise he has used, or I become suspicious that he has, all that love seems to evaporate. I get feelings of hatred towards him. I hear myself saying “I hate you, I hate you” and call him names in my mind. Sometimes, it’s sad to admit that I will text him horrible things and call him names in anger. Again there is Shaitan spurring me on and I fully understand what Allah is telling us in The Qur’an when He says;

“Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will you not then abstain?” (05:91)

I really get that. It’s like love turns to hate in a split second. I despise him sometimes when only an hour before I was in love with him. download (1)

I hate the fact that I change as a person. My aim is that I can still be the real me whether or not my husband us using drugs or not. Why do I allow my mood to change just because someone else is sinning? Why do I feel like slipping in my own worship? I just end up doing my obligatory prayers, I fall into a state of depression, go to bed ultra early because I just want to shut out the world, swear my head off and use really bad language. Then I just end up feeling guilty! Which makes me feel like burying my head under my pillow even more.

Then the worst part of a relapse is the way I am angry with myself. Why am I still here? Why am I sticking by him? Why did I give him another chance? Why oh why oh why?! I begin to really beat myself up. “Stupid me. Stupid!” I begin to hate myself, I think about self-harming, and in the past when he was really bad in his addiction there were moments in time when I could have joined him in his drug use. Shaitan really worked hard on me and
download (2)the more stressed I got the more I would think of taking all that pain away just like my husband does. I would feel so angry and ask myself “why does he get to numb himself out while I live this life and put up with all this stress?” but alhamdulillah my faith in Allah stopped me, but I know of other wives who were not so strong. I feel said when I think of those women who joined their husband in the drug use, or would go out clubbing with him just because they could not fight any more. Alhamdullillah I thank Allah that I never went that far – but Shaitan didn’t half try to get me to.

I’m scared. When there is a period of clean time and things start to go well, I see a glimpse of what life is like without drugs in our world. When relapse happens I get afraid that it will all be gone. Its like seeing your helium balloon disappearing into the sky and you watch it slowly fade away into the distance. It’s like everything in my world becomes all about drugs and addiction again. For a while I got to forget about it all. I let me defenses down. I allowed my heart to soften and the brick walls around it fell away and I allowed my husband in. There was romance. There was good times. But drugs destroy all that. So now I am scared that a little relapse, a ‘one off’ as addicts like to kid themselves into believing, can so easily turn into a full scale rock bottom. And that is scary. what shall i do-

So here I am today. What shall I do? Will this be the way things are every time his implant wears off? Am I willing to keep on with this new cycle? Am I willing to live three months of happiness and then suffer a relapse in between? Is this going to be my new routine? Is this what I must accept? Is this all just a temporary fix to our marriage? Naltrexone – the temporary fix. What comes next? I do not know. I just have to turn to Allah and ask for guidance, just like I did with every other relapse during the last ten years. Every step of the way I need to try and keep my faith firmly fixed inshaAllah and pray to Allah that He shows me the way.

The Post Ramadan Blues – A carers thoughts

Dear Fellow Carers,

Assalamu alaikum. Hows it all going after Ramadan? I remember some of the most hardest times for me, as a carer of an addict, was just after Ramadan. Things were really good during the fasting month. I was happy, my loved-one was clean and embracing the dean. But there were many Eids when my loved-one relapsed. And shortly after Ramadan everything went back to ‘normal’. I had the post-Ramadan blues. Depression would set in and I would be very anxious and stressed. But we must remember, our own recovery does not end as soon as our loved-one relapses. If THEY choose to undo all their hard work it does not mean we should too. By keeping up our prayers, duas, reading the Quran, and all the good deeds we did in Ramadan we will stop ourselves from slipping and falling into depression and other self-deprecating behaviours. We must be responsible for keeping our own selves strong, no matter what condition our loved-one is in. After all, it was by doing all those good deeds that lifted our spirits, and even helped our loved-ones to abstain from their addiction or at least cut down on their sins.

During Ramadan we built something beautiful. With every good action that we did for Allah we started preparing our homes in Paradise. Brick by brick we built a palace, tree by tree we planted a garden. May Allah accept all our good deeds. But we must not destroy all of this by undoing all our hard work and returning back to how we were.

Most of us carers of addicts suffer from high anxiety, stress, depression, anger, sadness, to name a few. We go through some really tough times and life is really hard. We are often in turmoil and don’t see clearly. Allah shows us the signs but our judgments are clouded with confusion. In Ramadan, we get a sense of clarity. We even dare to make promises to ourselves to make changes if our loved-ones relapse after Eid. But do we follow them through?

We need to be kind to ourselves. The first step to self caring is to concentrate on our spirituality and our relationship with Allah. We got close to Him in Ramadan and we felt His Response to our prayers. Is not the Lord of Ramadan, not also the Lord of all the other eleven months of the year?

No matter what choices the addict in our lives make, we must always make the right choices for ourselves. Do not let their downfall be our own destruction. Let not the actions of others drag us down. We will return back to Allah, and they will return back to Allah – as individuals! They have their book of deeds and we have ours. Its time we concentrated on our own for a while. If we get sick again, how can we help someone else, if we ourselves, are full of sickness. We cannot help anyone until we first help ourselves.

So lets not abandon all our good deeds. Be not like the one that Allah described so beautifully in the Qur’an;

“And do not be like her who destroys her yarn that she herself made strong” (16:92)

Abandonment

Malaika is the wife of an addict, daughter of an alcoholic and tells us in her true account of how that experience led her to bringing a knife to her own skin. Malaika is one among many with this story. She explains it was counselling that helped her move forward;

I have always felt a sense of abandonment since I was a little girl. Even when Dad was around, I would look out of the window and watch the other Dads kicking a ball around or taking their kids to the park. My Dad would be lying on the sofa with a can next to him, watching the news and shushing us all up until he would drift off to sleep. Eventually, my mum decided enough was enough and they agreed to split up. I was nine when Dad walked out that day with a bag over his shoulder. Watching kids Christmas TV he nudged me with his foot. “Bye then” he said. I didn’t realise “Bye” was actually “Goodbye forever”. Watching him from the window as he took off down the hill I had a sense that something was different about that goodbye but I would never have imagined that he was walking out on me and my brothers forever.

As weeks turned into months and the court case for the divorce occurred, the Judge asked my Dad “Do you want access to see your children?” to which he said no. Why? Why, didn’t he want to see me? Nine years old and looking myself in the mirror, ‘maybe I’m not pretty enough, or maybe I wasn’t good enough, or maybe there is something wrong with me! Why doesn’t he want me?’ I asked myself. Apparently, he was shaking like crazy at court and stinking of booze already by 10am. All I can conclude is, he needed a drink more than he needed me.

So I got through primary school with resilience telling myself that I didn’t need a dad but deep down something big was missing from my life. I would say “no Dad is better than a rubbish Dad” but having no Dad really sucked. I wanted a hero in my life. Strong muscular arms to throw me in the air. My Dad used to call me his princess. But it just felt like a lie when the princess was lying in bed most nights wondering if her King was dead or alive.

And so I hit my teens. And that’s where the abandonment really started to sink in. Every time I fell out with a mate I would feel that stabbing pain of rejection all over again. Every time a boy dumped me, I felt unwanted and unloved. I took those painful feelings with me to uni. That’s where all that damage really messed me up. All I wanted was someone to value me but I was looking in all the wrong places. I sold myself short and got burnt several times.

It was in my second year of uni that I met my husband-to-be. It makes sense now looking back that I would pick an addict to fall in love with. People do say girls marry someone just like their father after-all, right? So when the honey moon period wore off and he was out most nights on drugs I felt like that little girl all over again. I would cry into my pillow, wondering what was wrong with me. I was angry at myself because I had let my little girl inside me down. I would lie there with an urge to scratch my legs in frustration.

So I started using my nails to scratch at my legs, and then my arms. It felt good at first and would take the emotional pain away for a while. But then I would feel guilty yet at the same time I wanted to do something worse than just scratching my legs. Every time my husband would go out using drugs I would get the strongest of urges to cut myself.

One day a glass fell out of the cupboard and smashed on the floor. As I went to clean it up I saw a large chunk with sharp edges. Without thinking, I grabbed the glass and put it to my arm. I was so close to cutting myself but I stopped knowing that Allah was watching me. That’s all it took to stop me. I realised I felt out of control. I could not control my husbands addiction and I was looking for something I could control.

Only a couple of weeks later and after an argument about my husbands drug use, in tears I reached for the kitchen knife. Frantically, I was about to cut my arm, then thought, ‘no, someone will see that’, then I looked all over my body trying to find somewhere to cut that no one would see. I found a place, the least likeliest place someone could spot; my inner thigh. I put the knife to my skin and started to scratch at the skin with it. It was not very sharp and I wanted to draw blood. I was about to cut deeper when suddenly I stopped. “Allah can see! Allah can see!” I sobbed and dropped the knife.

There were two reasons why I wanted to cut myself. Firstly, because I wanted something I could try to control and secondly because I was so angry at myself for letting myself down, for feeling abandoned all over again.  I knew as a child I had no choice in what I went through. But I was sticking by a man who had no value for me and I was choosing to stay in that relationship. I hated myself for it. But I realised the state I had got into and I knew I needed professional help. The next day I found a counselling service for carers of addicts in my area. I started a course of sessions and through that help I was able to see the value of myself. I realised I was worth so much more than how my husband was treating me. I realised that my own mental health was at risk by staying with him.

We are now seperated and I am much happier now. I know who I am and what I want from life. I was blessed by Allah not to get stuck into a cycle of self-harming. It was purely my fear of Allah that prevented me from doing that to myself. I was so close. I knew Allah would be angry with me if I did it and I was afraid of His punishment. I was also afraid that this would take me away from His Mercy and I knew that self-harm could be addictive. It was out of pure desperation and anguish that took me to that path. I am grateful to Allah that He helped me before things got out of hand. I urge carers of addicts to get help for themeselves for their own sanity. I know its really hard to cope with being married to an addict. He was destroying himself but I nearly destroyed myself too. I am better than that.

A carers Ramadan

My name is Umm Saeed. My husband is a heroin and crack addict. I have been stuck in a cycle for 8 years now. My family has been through many twists and turns as my husbands addiction has escalated at times, wound down at others and stopped altogether on some fleeting moments. Oh how I live for those moments! I get those times in Ramadan, mostly.

Every year it is the same. Before Ramadan, I am at my wits end. My husband’s, lets call him Fiaz, addiction is usually way off the scale. For some reason it seems every year before Ramadan I want to end the marriage. Things have usually got really bad. I threaten to kick him out of the house. But every year he says “Give me a chance! Ramadan is round the corner. I will get clean in Ramadan and I will change, you’ll see!”. So I do wait and see. On the eve of Ramadan Fiaz makes lots of duah to Allah. He says, this is the year I will do it, and he believes it, even though he said that every year for the past 8 years of our marriage. And the sad thing is, I believe it too.

There is a mixture of true and sincere belief in Allah that anything is possible when you turn to Him for help and submit yourselves. And then there is a mixture of doubt. After years of Ramadans passing me by I feel deep down that this year will just be like the others. I recall each and every Ramadan of the past. It was a beautiful time. It was a break from the chaos of the rest of the year. Where there was hatred between us, resentments and anger, the Mercy of Allah pours down and enters my heart. I start serving him again, like a dutiful wife. I accept his arms slipping around my waist while I prepare the iftah. I enjoy the closeness of his chest as we hug and a tear falls as I wish it could be like this all year around. All my defense barriers crumble down and I let my heart reach out to him. It’s almost like I am addicted to these moments. Its these beautiful times, where I see what our marriage could be like, that keeps me stuck here. I know its possible then you see. People don’t know why I stick by him. But I see that when there are no drugs in our life, its actually almost perfect. In the same way he craves crack, I crave to get these moments back.

Some years he relapses in Ramadan and we are both devastated. But we both feel so close to Allah’s Mercy that we both cry to Him for Forgiveness, and I forgive Fiaz too. We then get back on that horse and get through the rest of the month. I’ve met other women in my position who have said they can’t fast because they are too stressed. But I need this month to bring up my own eeman (faith) and strengthen my own self. Just like my husband is trying to get clean I am trying to be a better Muslim too. I have spent so much of the year angry, shouting, swearing and backbiting him that I feel burdened down by my own sins. I need Ramadan to ‘get clean’ in my own way.

Then Eid day comes and all that love and closeness and happiness leaves with Ramadan. He usually relapses on Eid day, or soon after. And with that, my heart is broken again. With all my defense mechanisms broken down it hurts more than it did before Ramadan. The pain of the heart being broken again, in places where there existed deep scars is hard to bear. And the yearly cycle starts all over again. This has been my eight year wheel.

So what about now? How am I going to make this Ramadan different. Fiaz is clean again, absorbing himself in Ramadan. And I am aware of keeping myself safe. I have not dropped all my defenses this year because I feel the heart ache of disappointment if he relapses on Eid. I am sick of this cycle and I want this to be the year that it all stops. I do not choose to live this life anymore. I want to be brave and say if he relapses after Eid I will kick him out. But at the same time part of me wonders if I have the strength to do it. So I will use this Ramadan to make myself strong so that whatever the outcome I am ready to face anything.

I realise, looking back, that I have spent most of the last 8 years thinking about Fiaz and his addiction. What is he doing? Who is he with? Where is he going? I have monitored him, checked his emails, his texts, his phone bills. I could get a job in the FBI with my skills. I have spent so much time worrying about him that I have suffered from anxiety and feelings of depression. There have been times when I have felt like harming myself, or just wishing Allah would take my soul so that I would not have to bear the pain of living with an addict any longer. I realise now, that I wanted the easy way out. All that head space I have given to Fiaz, trying to get him to come back to the Straight Path of Allah, while all the time I was slipping myself without even realising. I held onto my prayers, just about but my Islam was far from where I wanted it to be. All because I paid so much attention to Fiaz and his actions.

This Ramadan I want to focus on myself and my relationship with Allah. I realise, how can I offer myself to anyone else if I am already feeling incomplete? The only way for me to complete myself and feel whole is to attach myself to Allah. To do the very thing that I encourage Fiaz to do. If I have Allah then it does not matter what happens with Fiaz. I will have the strength to bear whatever test Allah presents me with. I encourage all other carers of addicts to do the same this Ramadan. We worry about our addicts 11 months of the year, at the very least we must worry about ourselves for this month, we owe ourselves that at least.