WHDD Radio, With Janina Kean, July 14, 2015
I’m very early in recovery. My fiancé and I have been together for 6 years. I used the entire time, but for about 2 years we used together. In May, we both went to rehab separately. I worked the program. I still continue to do my 12 steps, and he doesn’t. We have 2 children together. We started to build a life together, but I feel like I’m changing and he’s still very stagnant. I just didn’t know if there is any chance that we would be able to like rebuild or mend the relationship.
Marshall: It is time to bring in Janina Kean, and of course Sober Spotlight from High Watch Recover Center. We open up the telephone lines every, of course what is today?
Jill: Every Tuesday.
Marshall: Every Tuesday, it’s not even Wednesday. Every Tuesday at this time at 1-855-747-9433, or 860-364-5141. Good morning, Janina.
Janina: Good morning, Marshall. Good morning, Jill. How are you both?
Jill: Both fantastic.
Marshall: We’re doing fine. We have to say we have one of the most patient and cooperative of people who called in ever on the line right now, so we do have somebody on the line. Hi. Do you have a question for Janina?
Danielle: Hi. Yes I do. My name is Danielle. Good morning, guys. How are you?
Janina: Hi, Danielle. How are you dear?
Danielle: Very good. Thank you. Okay, so I’m very early in recovery. My fiance and I have been together for 6 years. I used the entire time, but for about 2 years we used together. In May, we both went to rehab separately. I worked the program. I still continue to do my 12 steps, and he doesn’t. We have 2 children together. We started to build a life together, but I feel like I’m changing and he’s still very stagnant.
Janina: Are these biologically your children together?
Danielle: I just didn’t know if there is any chance that we would be able to like rebuild or mend the relationship.
Janina: Well, there’s a few red flags here. What was going on … So, he’s in recovery and you’re using for 4 years?
Janina: How old are your children?
Danielle: My oldest is 3 years in August, and my youngest is 3 months old.
Janina: During your actual using time you had children, right?
Janina: Okay. What was going on in him that that was acceptable to him, if he was in recovery, that he was with a woman who is active?
Danielle: He wasn’t in recovery previously. We started using about 2 years ago. That was the first time that he was [crosstalk 00:02:04]
Janina: Oh, he’s never used substance prior?
Janina: Oh, so you were using and then he joined you?
Janina: I get it, okay. Were you ever in treatment prior, or is this your first time getting …
Danielle: That was my first time in May.
Janina: Okay. Getting sober is a process, and sometimes people don’t understand that it requires a tremendous amount of support, and services, that are wrapped around you to be able to sustain recovery. For example, people go to treatment centers so that they can remove themselves from the substance for a while. When they get out of the treatment centers, they’ll go to 12 step programs, they’ll go to therapists, they’ll go to prescribers for any medication, they’ll treat any co-occurring disorders. Did you go to a treatment facility?
Danielle: Yes, I did.
Janina: Okay. Did he go to one?
Danielle: Yes, he did as well.
Janina: All right, so when he went to the treatment facility, did they give him an aftercare plan?
Danielle: Not really.
Danielle: Yes, which I thought was very odd, as well. He told me that he didn’t have any form of sponsor or step coach to help him work through the steps. I’m currently on my 4th step, and when I try to talk to him about it, he has absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.
Janina: Okay. Does he go to a 12 step group at all?
Danielle: No. He refuses to.
Janina: What is his refusal to go to a 12 step group?
Danielle: He doesn’t think that he’s an addict. He thinks that it was just the drug that got a hold of him.
Janina: Okay, so he’s still more in the evolu … Do you think you’re an addict?
Janina: Okay, good. There’s got to be a parent here with the 3 year old, and a 3 month old, that’s available and well, which I’m concerned about that. Okay, so he may go through still, honey, a series of relapses before he understands what he really needs to do, and maybe he needs to relapse to understand that he really is an addict. People don’t end up in treatment centers by accident because they’re not addicts.
Janina: You know, so be prepared for that.
Janina: But meanwhile, it’s imperative that you stay well, and continue to do the aftercare program that was written for you, because number one, the responsibility you have towards your own life. Number 2, the responsibility you have to 2 babies.
Danielle: Is it healthy to stay with him currently?
Janina: If he’s free from substance, you know, that’s up to you, but if he’s not, without a doubt, no. Not with 2 babies.
Danielle: Currently he’s free from substance, but I feel like his thinking is still very unhealthy.
Janina: Right, so you’re going to have to sort of work your way through that, but if he’s an active substance abuser, you’ll need to remove yourself for the sake of your own recovery, because otherwise there’s a very high probability you’re going to join him.
Janina: You don’t want that to happen.
Danielle: No, not at all.
Janina: Again, I can’t evaluate what life should be like for you right at this moment, in terms of him not using. You’re going to have to play that out for yourself, but I can tell you that if he does use, you have a high probability of joining him, so I would definitely remove yourself under those circumstance, if he starts to use.
Janina: Okay, sweetheart?
Danielle: Yes, thank you so much.
Janina: I’m sorry I didn’t have better news for you about that.
Danielle: No, that’s okay. I appreciate it.
Janina: It’s a very very serious matter because of those children.
Janina: I mean, it’s a very serious matter for, don’t get me wrong, for anyone with substance use disorder. It’s a lethal disease. People die from this, but it’s a very serious matter when you have 2 babies.
Danielle: Yes, it is, and I would like to give my kids a better life [than I have 00:06:16]
Janina: Oh, yes. Of course you do, of course you do. All right, my friend. I’m glad you called me.
Danielle: Thank you so much, Janina.
Janina: If you ever need to talk some more, just call me at High Watch, okay?
Danielle: All right. Sounds good. Thank you so much.
Janina: You’re welcome.
Danielle: Have a great day, guys.
Danielle: Thank you.
Marshall: I was just sitting there listening to that, and being the novice that I am, and the public member that I am, I just kept feeling worse, and worse, and worse, and worse, and worse for her. I mean, there are no answers she wants to hear.
Janina: Well, she may have wanted to hear she should leave. I’m not convinced that that wasn’t what she needed to hear, because I said if he uses she should leave, and she’s questioning whether she should leave now. There may be something going on now for her that’s just not bearable. This woman has a plateful. She’s got a 3 month old, a 3 year old, and new sobriety. Holy God. That’s a lot of stuff to have to cope with.
Marshall: Like I said, my heart went out to her the instant that she started speaking.
Janina: Well, you know what. It speaks volumes that she was willing to call us here. It speaks volumes that she’s looking for further help, besides what she received obviously, from a treatment facility, so those are good signs.
Marshall: And also she was calm.
Marshall: All right, Janina. We’ll speak to you next week.
Janina: Yes, I will be here.
Marshall: All right.
Jill: Thank you.
Marshall: Janina Kean, High Watch Recovery Center. Of course HighWatchRecovery.com on the Web. Janina joins us every Tuesday morning, and our phone line opens up at 855-747-9433, or 860-364-5141.