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Should I go back to Hawaii?

I love Hawaii but there’s just one catch – my drug-addicted ex.

You were brave to leave and there’s not going back, says our elder. Now it’s time to focus on your own needs.

Q. Dear EWC 

I left my boyfriend recently because I found out he had been abusing Fentanyl (a pill he would melt down and smoke – apparently, it’s a lot like heroin when used in that way). I’m leaving him I had to uproot my life in Hawaii and move back home to California. I’ve been devastated since I found out. My world was shattered. I really thought I would have a future with him. But then the drugs, the stealing money out of my wallet and to this day not remembering it or admitting to it. Somehow I love him and hate him all at once. He made me both happy and crazy. I’ve never felt so unhinged with anyone else. The highs were high and the lows were low. I still love him though. And I still wish I lived in Hawaii, every single day of my life. I didn’t have a sense of community there like I do here. I don’t think I gave it enough time to develop that and I wanted to stay much longer. I feel like I was robbed of my time there, in part, because I supported someone who betrayed my trust and abused my kindness.

So why do I want to move back and be with him again still? I’m tormented by the offer. He called me today and told me that he wants me to come back, he will pay all the rent, and ask nothing of me. Even if I didn’t want to be with him, even if I couldn’t or didn’t love him anymore, he said he would just support me and help me because that’s what I did for him. And I kind of want to accept the offer. I kind of believe it’s too good to be true. I feel like he won’t be able to keep up his end of the bargain because he’s made me many false promises before. And part of me also worries he’s more dangerous since I’ve left. When I say I left, I mean I packed three bags and took the next flight to the mainland that I could get. He had no clue. He thought I was going to the store.

I met someone else, amongst all this. I met him on my birthday. It was by chance, random. A full moon. I think I could fall for him. But he does not bring me closer to my home in Hawaii. He’s weird about money, which I think would have just been the fair kind of person I needed in my life before I felt like the world owes me something for giving me such an amazing love and then making me walk away from it because he’s a drug addict. I don’t know. I’m confused. I need help.

Should I take my ex-boyfriend’s offer? I really miss Hawaii. I love it there. But the toothpaste is out of the tube, so to speak. I don’t know if I could go back and try to rebuild the life that made me so happy before I knew everything that I know now. I worry that the only way is forward and forward for me means having to say goodbye. Or am I just sabotaging my own happiness? I do that a lot. I get what I want finally and I just can’t accept it. I run away from it. What do you think I should do? Times are tough. I have no job and rent to pay. I can get a job easy in Hawaii now compared to California. But the grass is always greener on the other side isn’t it? Please help me. I beg you. My heart says go to Hawaii. My head says that’s foolish.

 

A. Elder June Bug replies

I’m so glad you reached out. You are in a turbulent time and I can understand your confusion about all the mixed emotions you are experiencing. Bottom line: You were very brave to pack your bags and leave. I urge you to stay strong. I realize that letting go is difficult, but you did the right thing. 

The only chance for happiness with your ex, would be if he went through drug rehab, worked a 12-step program and got his life back on track. That has not happened. Drug addiction is a progressive disease and an addiction to Fentanyl can be deadly and difficult to kick. If left unchecked, it will only get worse. It is a disease that affects not only the addict, but everyone else around him. You know that from experience. You rode those highs and lows. Your life became unmanageable. No matter what he may say, if he is not in recovery, he is in his disease. Going back to him would be risking your own wellbeing. You can’t help him. He needs to make the decision to help himself. Even if he decides to get clean, it will take at least a year of sobriety and active work in a Narcotics Anonymous program, before he will be ready for a relationship with you or anyone. 

You are correct when you say the toothpaste is out of the tube. There really is no going back. You discovered that the life you thought you had with him was a lie. There is no unseeing that. I think your heart wants the relationship that you wish you had while your head knows the truth. Don’t be tempted by an offer of free rent and support. I doubt that he could sustain that. If he continues to use drugs, your life would only spiral downward. How long before he is stealing money from you again? Drug addicts lie. It’s just a fact. 

I know you don’t want to hear this, but you need to say goodbye to your ex. You need to stand on your own two feet. I don’t know if that will be in California or Hawaii or somewhere else. It might take time, but you can start now to develop a plan. Then all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and take steps to implement your plan. Hawaii is a big place. If you truly love Hawaii – and you won’t be tempted to reconnect with your ex, work toward getting yourself back there. Pick a different island. He doesn’t even have to know you’re there. But definitely don’t go back to Hawaii if it’s only to be near him. You might choose to build a new life in California or another state. Why limit yourself? Opportunities can be found in many different places especially if you are willing to relocate. Take an inventory of yourself – what are your skills and what do you want to do in life? Now is the time to focus on you. Discover who you are before you think about a relationship with someone else. Focus on your needs and your plan. 

I urge you to stay strong. You walked away from a bad situation. Don’t go back. I wish you the best of luck. May you find joy in your life.

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