Hi, Velvet. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I have 6 shih tzus and 1 mixed breed. I love them all like my own children and have been a huge comfort to me throughout this whole time.
I have consulted with my uncle who’s more than a decade (nearing 2 decades, I think) sober with drugs and very actively involved in our local Celebrate Recovery. I explained everything to him and gave valuable insight as to what my ex might be going through.
There’s still a lot of pride and isolation going on, which may point to not being in real recovery, only abstinence. He advised me the same thing you did, to take care of myself and if it helps me, to get the dog back despite possibly leaving my ex in a spiral because what he needs are people, and not use the dog as an excuse not to do the internal work. He could barely afford his own food, and is not in the position to take care of another life. I should also be ready to let go and let my ex come to me when he is okay and will consider to give him the dog back once I see that there are significant changes towards healing and true recovery. He told me not to worry about him reaching out– if he’s in real recovery, he will reach out because I am the one that was most affected by his gambling and it is part of the 12 steps. He has chosen not to tell his family, only 1 out of 2 brothers know. Right now, my uncle said, he’s showing me that he doesnt need me in his life and might be running to other people who barely know him or accept the facade he’s putting up which isn’t helpful to his recovery. He is turning to other people who will feel sorry for him and possibly enable him. He said its important to send a message that i know what im dealing with when it comes to recovery, and he will realize that one day. He also might be too focused on the financial problems involved and probably can’t work on real recovery which may come later when he sees that all of the financial solutions I brought up when we were together are the only options that he has. If he’s playing the victim, he hasn’t accepted that he is the problem. He hopefully will realize it one day, if he’s able to continuously and sincerely work out the 12 steps, that despite what it looks like now, it is the kind of help that he needs.
It’s hard to apply the tough love approach, but my uncle said that’s what my ex needs right now and would also love to get your thoughts on this? I’m scared he might spiral and possibly take his own life if I don’t return the dog on our scheduled date. I’m too scared to be the reason for his possible spiral and rock bottom. I plan to remove our connections on all social media if I get the dog and just retain my cellphone number for him to be able to reach me when he is ready to. Hoping to get your thoughts on this because I feel like it’s about to get really messy, depending on how well he’s able to take it.
Thank you for your offer of pointing him towards this group, but we live in a different country. It’s nice to have found this forum on my own since where we live, not a lot of support is readily available for F&F. It has been a huge help and I’m sure for countless other people too.