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