An addict boyfriend; the girlfriend's story....

by CA
(UK)

I feel I should start off by saying that before I met my now ex boyfriend, I was extremely ignorant to addiction and any form of mental illness, partly due to the way I was brought up and also partly due to the fact neither had entered my life yet!


I met him in The Priory, I was there for my own reasons.Iin a place that was depressing at times he provided humour and silliness. Everyone warned me away from him, but I kept thinking to myself, he's not like the other addicts in here, I'm sure his problem isn't too bad.. how wrong was I?!! He was being treated for cocaine addiction and alcoholism.

Unfortunately he didn't take it seriously at all and was thrown out and was put in a clinic in South Africa. He took everything as a joke so at first I didn't see how big the problem was. By the time I realized, I had fallen for him and it was too late.

Then came the many nights he didn't come home. I often found him in his car the next morning, sometimes in a bush. His violence was out of control, mainly towards his family, but I was on the end of it a few times. The police were called on a number of occasions. I used to get so upset seeing how much his family, especially his dad, were suffering.

He of course didn't care, it was all about getting his next fix no matter what. I tried talking to him all the time but it was as if he was never in the room with me, always preoccupied. Whenever we did talk about his demons he would close up and act as if there wasn't a problem. He finally admitted he had a problem after about a year and sought help.

For a good few months everything seemed great but slowly the bad habits crept back in. I became very close to his dad at this point as I couldn't really talk to anyone else about it. I knew people would not understand.

We split up after 2 years.. he has relapsed many times but has been clean for 3 months now. I really feel he has gotten his head together this time round but we've been in this place too many times before....only time will tell! I'm still there supporting him, going to his meetings when I can.

The main thing I finally realized, which took me a long time, is there is only so much you can do. An addict must be willing to help themselves otherwise you're not going to get anywhere. It is an obvious statement to make but can easily be forgotten. I really hope one day society will see addiction as an illness and not be ignorant to it like I once was.

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Feb 14, 2013
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Reaching Out
by: Anonymous

Good to see some coming to an understanding of addiction with compassion.I was sober 13yrs during which time I became an addiction counsellor. But this disease is always just an arms length away & somehow found myself drinking again.Relapse can frequently be part of of the recovery process but it is only with the support & love from others that the loneliness & disconnection framed with fears & judgements which lie at the heart of any addiction can truly be tackled

Jul 26, 2011
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a girlfriend's story
by: Rae

Hi,
thanks so much for sharing your story! I like hearing the perspective of someone close to an addict because sometimes I forget exactly what I put my friends and family through. It's a good reminder that when I use drugs and alcohol, I hurt the people around me just as much as I hurt myself.

I do know what its like to stand by and watch someone destroy themselves, not knowing what to do and not being able to help. It is one of the most frustrating and defeating things in the entire world.

I can relate to so much of what your boyfriend went through, not caring about anyone or anything around me except the next fix. I think it's great that you created some boundaries between the two of you so you don't get hurt any more than you already have. I also think it's great hat you are still in his life, willing to be there for him ad support him as long as he is staying healthy.

You're absolutely right that time will tell if he's really serious about his program or not, but also remember that relapses can and do happen to many many people. I know that you obviously already know this - I just am always surprised when I hear that people who had multiple years clear - 5, 10, 20 years - end up relapsing.

I can't imagine how someone who was sober for that long could ever relapse again, but life happens and people make mistakes.

I think more than anything it scares me that someone with this much time clean could relapse. it makes me realize that there's never going to be some line I cross where I will no longer be vulnerable to relapse. It's a life long struggle, as you are experiencing with this person in your life.

I'm glad you mentioned that no one can make an addict get help, they have to do it themselves. it is a very obvious and simple statement, but people get caught up in the situation and in the moment and forget this a lot. I find myself trying to somehow convince people to get help, but I know it doesn't always work this way.

Thanks so much for sharing and I wish you and this man in your life nothing but the best.

If you ever want to write in again (or maybe he would!) feel free! Take care :)

Rae

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