: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

2 replies

Alcoholic girlfriend

Hi all,

Well I am approaching a cross-roads and I hope the outcome is the road were my girlfriend becomes alcohol free leading to her, myself, her 3 children and my 2 children can look forward in life. However, if she does not become alcohol free it looks like I will have to not just break up with her but three amazing kids as well.

How long do you wait or support the process of help?(how long is a piece of string) At the moment we are waiting for the appointments from the NHS for my girlfriends therapy (psychotherapy). She has resorted to drink from years of abuse from her parents and being raped, beaten and psychologically effect my two previous partners. At the moment due to the trauma my girlfriend has she goes into alcohol fuelled episodes where she gets angry but never directly violent towards me or the children but in the last 4 weeks she has thrown things at me and hurt herself. I have had to call the police twice and an ambulance for potential overdose.

She attended her first meeting yesterday at a alcohol dependent group and she is in the severe category. There's more details but that's the overview. She drinks from 6pm to 12 pm, not saying this is OK but she does get through a large part of the day without drinking.

I work long hours and have to manage the episodes for the last 6 months waiting for appointments from the NHS mental health services team. I work in london, travel 2 hours in and 2 hours back, usually waking up at 4:45am and getting home at 6:30pm. I had to deal with a bad episode last week where I said to my ex-wife I cannot have the my kids at home in a 50:50 split arrangement. Her children call me Daddy (Dad) and the reasons I have not moved out of her house is -

- I want to give the therapies a try before concluding its over.

- My girlfriend has no support, so 3 children could be taken in care without me. Meaning I would not have any rights to see them or power if it gets to that point with Social Services.

- I love those children and I would have to move back 120 miles away. I will be limited to only seeing my children because due to the distance I can only do so much.

- I worry that me leaving would be detrimental to her children, because their previous Dad cannot go near them.

- When my girlfriend has no alcohol she is amazing women. Genius level of intelligence, caring, loving etc... So I guess I am hoping to see that version back.

I have no support or told my family, I have never experienced this before and I am trying to figure out my where I am draw my line. It will be good to get other peoples perspectives so I understand what I should do. It may help me to understand I may have to take the heart break of splitting with my girlfriend and her children but I will feel like I am failing the children even though they are not genetically my children I love them and protect them like my own.

replying to Talkietoaster


You sound like a really strong support for your girlfriend, who has obviously had such a very tough life, as well as her children. It's good that she is beginning to access therapy from the NHS but I'm sorry that you are in such a difficult situation and have no one who can support you.

I work for a charity called The Icarus Trust that provides support for families and friends of people with addictive behaviours. We know that this is very difficult so we provide a service called 'Family Friends'. These are a team of trained and experienced people that you could talk with if you make contact with us. They may help you to understand what is happening, to answer some of your questions, help and signpost you to what other help is available.

You can contact us on help@icarustrust.org or visit the website www.icarustrust.org

I hope that this helps and that you are able to get some support. Good luck.

replying to Talkietoaster

Hi there, I’m sorry you feel alone chic I do too sometimes it’s hard being with an addict you feel it’s 2 steps forward three steps back all the time however I would like to offer you some hope That it can get better, i’m living proof of that. I have been with an alcoholic and it’s soul destroying but he hit rock bottom and got better after that, in fortunately we didn’t work out but that was not because of the drink, he now has a family of his own and a v good job and we are still friends- The cold hard truth says someone will only do it when their as low as they can get and have no other option. That’s the truth. I’ll keep in touch and stay strong. Louise

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