: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

1 reply

Struggling to know what's right

Hi, I'm not too sure how to start this, or know what to say exactly...

I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years and hes got alcohol issues. It wasn't so bad at first but over the years it got worse, then better, now worse again.

I've always been there for him, celebrating the small steps hes taken and been a shoulder to cry on when hes had bad days. He struggles with sevear depression and anxiety which is made worse drinking every night and smoking weed. He says it's the only release he gets from his head and life.

Because of this, he doesn't have a job and gets pennies from benefits so we only rely on my wage which isn't a lot and it's made me go into debt, and makes my own depression worse.

We argue like cat and dog, things get said and we both end up upset. This last argument we had was over money (which isn't unusual) and he dragged me out of our bed and I flew on the floor because i told him I'm sick of being in debt because of his drinking. This has made me leave.

I'm no saint in all of this, I have an addiction to weed as I refuse to drink but smoke weed daily with him, and hes played on that to get what he wants at night despite me saying to him I dont want this life anymore, i want better for us. I also say nasty things towards him when he snaps at me and tells me it's because of me which is why he still drinks/cant stop drinking.

I often feel like he is only with me because of me being in work so he has somewhat of a wage to splash on the booze and knows how to get around me to get me to take out loans, something in which I have stopped doing as my debt has gone out of control. I should also point out that he cant take out loans because his credit history is ruined because of his drinking (and before me, gambling) way before we met.

The issue is, when things are good, we are good. We laugh, we joke, we are there for each other and are the perfect couple... But I feel like it's all tainted when it gets to 10pm and he goes out to the shop.

I feel so alone in all of this because I cant bring myself to tell anyone about his issues as its upto him who to tell. None of my friends or family know anything about his issues.

Last year we had about a week break from each other because of his drinking and arguing and i ended up leaving because i got stuck and tired of everything being blamed on me and being told what i can and cant do with my money. I very rarely see any of my friends anymore because I cant afford to go out and do things.

I really dont want to give up on him as I can see a future without alcohol, as he was sober for a while and was on a detox program a year or so ago but ended up giving in to temptation. But since then it's almost as if he tells me what I want to hear and then does the opposite or doesn't try and have nights off.

I've spoken to him many times as to how I feel and he says he is trying but it's hard. I get this but its still as if he doesn't try. The only time he doesn't drink now is when we have no money left so he cant go and buy alcohol.

I just dont know what to do anymore as I'm scared of what will happen if I leave but I cant keep on living my life the way it is anymore. I've just begun what I hope will be an amazing career for me and I dream of owning a house and car, things I now will only find harder because of the debt I now have. I cant lose this job as well because of him either, but I cant lose him because of when we are good.

He goes to a councillor and goes to an alcohol support centre, but a lot of the time he cancels last minute because he cant face going unless I force him to go, this happened this morning which started the argument as I was really annoyed he snapped at me when I was trying to get him up saying hes not going. He went, but when he came back the argument continued and what happened, happened.

Any advice or help would be really appreciated as this is the first time I've ever spoken about this to anyone other than my own councillor, who said couldn't really help as it's not me who's suffering with alcohol.

Thank you.

1 reply

replying to Mnon

It is very hard Mnon when you are trying to support someone through their addiction. I've tried all sorts of things to help - checking him into rehab, locking the drinks cupboard, getting rid of alcohol from the house, having people over to 'babysit' him so he can't go out and buy booze - but none of these things matter because the addict has to want to change himself, nobody can do it for him.

I noticed that you said you're the wage earner, so are there some boundaries you can set with your money so only you have access to it? If it's your money, you should be the one in control of spending it.

replying to directionless

Hi, sorry its took so long to reply.

We sat down and spoke, set out some rules for our relationship to work, but the rules didn't last long.

I couldnt stop him using my money because he would just steal my card and storm out if I stopped him.

Long story short, we had an argument yesterday, he kept me awake again and I was supposed to be doing overtime so we had money by end of next week. I lost my rag cause I was so tired (the amount of hours I was doing just so we had pennies was making me really ill and on Thursday on my first proper day off in ages all I did was sleep, I must have slept for about 20 hours on/off) and couldnt find my papers for my cigarettes and he had them last as he used them to make himself joints, the argument got out of hand and he used force on me again (shoved me into a corner of a wall and I fell onto the floor). Weve split again and this time I'm not going back. He knows I've got an alcoholic aunt who's nearly dead because of her alcoholism and one person is enough. I cant stand by and let him use my money which I've earned to make him end up like my aunt. I'm gutted we have had to split but I cant take this attitude anymore and the good times are long gone. I just hope this break up makes him finally realise how bad alcohol is destroying everything around him and he finally does something about it.

As for me, I need to finally look after myself and can sort out all the debts I've got and start rebuilding my life. My family ain't proud of the state I've got myself into, but they're supporting me and that's all I can ask for

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