I have a friend that has just recently stopped smoking pot. She has been addicted to marijuana and alcohol since she was a teenager and she will be 41 in a few days. She's a wonderful person and I have moved a very long way to be here with her. When I came here, I knew that she was an active alcoholic and that she smoked pot "occasionally" (what she told me before I came here). She wants to teach, is going to college, is an Army veteran and basically wants to be happy and have a good life. But... when I came here I immediately found out that there was a lot more to this whole situation than I had originally thought.
We had talked extensively before I came here, and I knew that she was well aware of the fact that she is addicted to marijuana and alcohol and needs help. I am a recovering alcoholic also and will be 10 years sober on 7/7. She has also told me about her "occasional" pot smoking. At the time, there was no mention of her being addicted to marijuana. I originally met her back in 2000 and we hit it off pretty quickly and really enjoyed drinking and hanging out with each other. Yes... we started out as drinking buddies.
When I came here I almost immediately felt that something was really "off". A lot of times she seemed unmotivated, dismissive, paranoid, and was constantly pushing me away. It was like she just had no desire to participate in life. We began to have arguments about the most insanely stupid stuff (and I am not one who likes to argue at all) and when I would try to explain that it need not be an argument and that we could just talk about it, she would have no part of that. She would say that I thought I "did no wrong" and she would call me "little miss perfect."
I began to realize that she sees the things I say to her as a direct personal attack and when I bring up past things she's done to explain why I feel a certain way or how it has played a part in our life she thinks I'm throwing things up in her face and gets very defensive.
I try to tell her that they are just "situations" and I am only referencing them because I feel that something can be learned from them. It doesn't matter because no matter what I say she still thinks I'm throwing them in her face and trying to hurt her. I ask her why she would even begin to think that I would want to do that. Why would I want to do anything to intentionally hurt her or cause conflict? I want her to be sober, to overcome addiction, and to really "feel" what it is to be sober instead of addicted to marijuana and alcohol, to feel happiness, peace, love, faith and all that that implies. To be comfortable in your skin and know that you being happy does not depend on something, like drugs, or someone else.
A lot of the things that I see in her I'm almost positive used to exist in me but have been gone for a long time. She worries about what people say or think about her and allows this to worry her and make her feel bad. She has attachments to things and people and is very possessive of them. She very much has the "mine" mentality. My sister, my nieces and nephews, my bed, my this, my that ...as in... "you have no right to talk to "my" sister about that".
She tends to not include me in family stuff and frequently will decide things and make plans without including me. I just find out at the last minute, usually from her sister, what "our" plans are. When I say something about it she says "So what? I have to "check" with you before I can tell "my" family that I'm going to do something with/for them???" I try to explain that we are a couple and when she wants to do something that involves "us" that it would be considerate if she would let me know what's going on instead of me having to find out about it at the last minute from someone else.
I have spent a lot of time feeling very alone. When I would try to talk to her about it she would just say "If you don't like your situation here, you know what you need to do." so nonchalantly that I would feel crushed.
The way it usually goes is that she gets upset about something I've said or something that has happened and we'll start talking and she always thinks at that point that anything I'm saying is a direct attack on her. That I'm either trying to throw something in her face, blame her or am just being a bitch and just want to hurt her.
Yes... That's why I, a recovering alcoholic myself, left my home and came 1000 miles to be with you, an active alcoholic and now formerly addicted to marijuana. Just so that I could bitch at you and hurt you. It's just so much fun for me. (If you look really close you can see me smirking behind all the tears.)
When I try to tell her that I'm just not like that and that the last thing I want to do is to hurt or upset her she just talks over me and says that "I do no wrong" and am "miss perfect." These arguments are almost 100% of the time followed by apologies the next day from her.
See, this is just one of many things that, to me, is just common sense but it's one of many things that I'm constantly having to remind her of. It's frustrating because it usually always involves an argument.
Anyway... I know I'm rambling, but there is just so much information and I'm having a tough time articulating it all. I'm feeling like this is "all over the place" and I apologize for that to anyone that is reading this.
It's so sad. As far as her family and the possessiveness goes, it's like this: It appears that she thinks that if her family likes me and they are showing love to me that it is "taking away" from her. It's like she thinks that there is a limit to love and if they are giving some of it to me then there will not be enough left for her. She is even possessive of the city she is from. She has actually said the if we break up that she would want me to go home because this is "her" city.
Well... We were talking about pot, weren't we?? Basically it seems to me that all, or almost all, of this behavior that she is exhibiting is directly related to her being addicted to marijuana and alcohol. As I have said, it seems like I remember thinking a lot of the same things or things just as twisted before I got into recovery and worked on overcoming addiction. I can say this about the change in her personality since she has quit smoking pot... She is a totally different person when she is not smoking.
I forgot to say anything about the lying. She lied to me from the moment I got here. She would tell me a little bit of truth because she knew how smart I was so she tried to tell me small truths to hide the big lies. I have been here a year and a half now and just found out about a month ago that she has been lying to me the whole time. She told me she smoked occasionally but she just fessed up to me that she has pretty much smoked every day since I've been here. Nice, huh? She threw in a couple of other hurtful things when she told me about that one that were pretty hard to swallow. I just have to work extra hard on maintaining myself when I take a hit like that and it's tough. I wish I could succeed at totally being rid of my ego, but I know I'm not there yet by the way that I respond to things like that. It frustrates me that I am still allowing things to get to me like that.
So, lying, selfishness, paranoia, pushing people away, isolating, defensiveness, etc, etc. These traits are the inside of my girlfriend’s mind while addicted to marijuana and alcohol. She is still drinking, so some of the bad behaviors still persist (lying, defensiveness) but I have found that many of the bad behaviors left when the pot was gone. She is much more motivated and engaged with life and is actually showing someinterest in me and our relationship. She just looks different/better. She does not push me away and isolate herself, sitting for hours on end in front of the TV madly changing stations from one to the other. She would just sit there and ignore me and I often times wondered why she even wanted me here.
She just said in a recent conversation that she "tests" me and she's not sure why she does that. All along she has told me that she loves me and wants our relationship to work. I am trying to get her to understand that all the negativity is just not necessary and that she is creating a lot of misery by not being able to understand that. There are always other positive ways to handle things.
She has also said that she doesn't understand why I'm still here. She said if it were her, she would have been gone long ago. I also feel strongly that it's very important for her to see that there are people in this world that really do love unconditionally and really do care and that these are the people that will stand beside you when things are bad…not just when things are going great. I want her to see that she is so important to me that I'm not going to let some really difficult times run me off. That I am willing to stay in it and work through the bad times with her…not gonna just turn and run away.
That's another thing with her. Her Dad left when she was young and the way she has talked about it, I can see that she is not over that. He is in her life now, although he has another family and lives in another state. I think because of that, she has abandonment issues and I almost tend to think that she had me gone before I ever even got here because she has no faith in herself and doesn't feel that she's good enough for anyone to want to stay with. She's said that she has forgiven him, but that's not what I hear when she talks about it.
I think what this all boils down to is this: You can be addicted to marijuana, just as any other drug or alcohol. Pot is just like any other drug, alcohol included, and anyone who has the disease of addiction has no business partaking of it or any other drug cause we just cannot handle it. It's not because we are weak or have no self-control or have questionable morals. It is because we have an allergy to chemicals/alcohol and when they get into our systems we have no defense against them and we can't stop. We drink or do drugs because we have an emptiness inside that we cannot explain and we do not feel "normal".
We want to feel like the normal people we see that are smiling and happy, so we reach for the things that society has repeatedly told us will make us happy and accepted. Booze and drugs will make you feel good. And, it's an instant fix, which is what we really need before we just can't take it anymore and have to leave this world. So we drink, we do drugs, and we are happy for a while (at least we think we are...aren't we??) until it starts to pull us under, like the famous shark scene in "Jaws". Addiction always makes me think of that. And just like in "Jaws," it is dark and we are all alone because we hide and are being savagely pulled under by the very thing that was supposed to save us.
Another thing about the pot is that there was so much lying going on and if you've ever been in a relationship where lying is involved, it's not a pretty thing. It's very hard to trust someone after you've found out that they've been constantly lying to you. She was also hanging out with some (especially one) very toxic people. The one girl she was friends with before I came here and she had told me about her. I thought that she and her husband would be people we could hang out with and do things with. I thought it would be a good thing. I very quickly found out differently. This was a pot smoking drinking buddy that she had met in college and was also her "connection". This friend quickly became a thorn in my side and the mention of her name would make me cringe. Although she said that she was basically a good person and definitely a good friend to her, I had a very bad feeling about her from the start. Long story short ...she was lying to me about her all along and I even caught her over there when she was supposed to be somewhere else.
I just found out recently that she was getting her stash from her and her friends. Apparently she was going over there a lot without my knowledge. This chick was no friend. She didn't care at all how trashed my girlfriend was when she would go to leave her house. Why would she? She had no problem getting in her car trashed. This "friend" was keeping her addicted to marijuana. It sucks just thinking about it because I am just one person here and I know of 2 people that will get trashed and drive. Just imagine if every person out there also knows 2 people that will do that! It kind of makes you not want to get out on the streets.
I did it when I was drinking and I even know for a fact that I drove during a blackout at least once during that time. Thank God someone/something was watching out for me, and everyone else whose path I crossed!
Back to her and the pot. She has told me that she smoked pretty much every day. This is what it looked/felt like to me: She couldn't care less about anything and was totally happy to delve herself into TV land and live vicariously through the people in the TV. If I would disturb her while she was watching TV, she would act totally disinterested in anything I had to say and many times would act like she didn't even hear me. When I was able to get her attention, I would get this "What is it?" in a very agitated tone. If I would persist she would just get more agitated and seem as if she was not paying attention anyway. If I would get irritated with her because she was ignoring me it would just cause an argument. It's funny because I really think that was what she ultimately wanted because she just wanted me to leave her alone and an argument would usually accomplish that.
If I tried to really have a conversation with her she would always turn it into an argument and if I persisted with wanting to talk she would just go in the other room. She would never want to go anywhere or do anything, even if it was just walking across the street or driving with me to the store.
When I came here, her sister really needed someone to watch her 2 youngest kids, so since I wasn't working and did have some money coming in, I said that I would watch them for a while. I used to ask my girlfriend to come over there and hang out with me when she got off work (at the time she was only working part time and got off around 2pm..I was there from 7:30 until at least 5:30) and she would never do it. I used to get so pissed because I couldn't believe she wouldn't come over here. After all, I had only been here a few months and really didn't know her sister or the kids that well and I was doing this for free and you'd think she would want to anything she could to help with this.
It never happened, so I pretty much just quit asking for the most part. I would go home and nothing would be done at the apartment and she would be passed out in the recliner or bed or just lying there flicking through the channels. In the beginning, I would go home and think that she would have the dishes done and dinner ready or something good. I really would try to think the best and I did this for a long time but it was extremely rare for me to come home to anything good going on. I always do dishes, clean up, grocery shop, pay bills, etc. And I really didn't mind, that's why I do it. But when she started to refuse to come to her sister's to give me a break or just hang out with me, the way I felt about things began to change really fast.
Going home every day to someone that got off work at 2pm and it is now 6pm and they have done nothing and are either passed out or just lying there with the remote in their hand is just a bit much. Of course there were the days that I would get home and she would either be drinking or tell me she really wanted to go across the street and get a beer. On these days, she would always be a lot nicer to me and very animated. I would have to hear the same stories over and over and over again, which was always lots of fun. She's a morning drinker and I'm sure she was a morning pot smoker. I’m sure she smoked on the way to work.
By the way, she has been driving my car since I've been here to save on gas and she has trashed it. I have asked her repeatedly not to drink and drive my car but I know that she does. I think that has been her safe haven a lot over the last year and a half.
As soon as she leaves the house she hits the pipe and probably would stop and get a "big" beer for breakfast. Not sure, but that's what I would imagine. She is addicted to marijuana and alcohol. She hides her beer and I have asked her not to do that because it's not like I don't know she's drinking. I know she's an alcoholic and I "get it" because I'm one too!
I never really hid mine like she does, so it's kind of funny to me. Right now she has the "bones" of a 12 pack in her dresser behind some clothes. There are several unopened beers, some empties, caps and, before that, I had found several empty "big beers" (they're called steel something ...basically beer on steroids) in the dresser. She doesn't know I know about all that yet.
She is upset because her family hasn't done anything about her situation yet. She thinks that they should do something to help her, like talk to her about it or something. I think she is upset because she thinks they don't care. Well, that is not true because I have talked to her sister about it and she cares, but has her own problems and is not really sure what to do about it anyway.
I was talking to her sister about it for a while but then she found out I was talking to her and put an end to that really quick. She said I had no right to talk about her to her sister behind her back and that I shouldn't be whining to her sister and worrying her about such things. It was not my place.
Damn... Ya know, there are just so many bad/negative aspects to all this. The answers to this and solutions seem so simple to me now, but how do you get it across to the other person? I think you do it by being an example. Seriously, an example of how to live, how to love, how to handle things, etc. This is extremely hard to do when you are watching someone you love not living right, not loving, not handling things and continuing to live addicted to marijuana and alcohol.
It breaks your heart, frustrates you, twists your intestines. But you have to keep yourself in a good place and try to be a good example so that they can see the way out. Being an alcoholic and living with one is like living in a house made of mirrors. You can't move without seeing yourself.
I can truly say that it has been the ultimate classroom for me, living with and loving someone addicted to marijuana and alcohol. I see myself in so many things that she does and I can't tell you how many times I have cringed and then thought "Please forgive me and bless you for what you had to suffer through because of me" about all the people that I put through hell before I overcame addiction.