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 caused 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.
I 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 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
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.
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.