: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

Drugs first now alcohol. Trying to do the right thing.

We are both 31 years old. Known each other for over 21 years. Thats why this is so hard. I need help. We only started dating 3 years ago (besides that one time for a couple weeks when we were 15). We were always friends but after high school we lost contact when he joined the army. He was injured in service and put on painkillers. Then when he was out they dropped his medical care. He could have gone to the VA and started that process, but it was such a long gap and he was already addicted. He found drugs on the street. That escalated to him eventually using heroin. He decided on his own he had a problem. He went to rehab. Relapsed a couple times. He tried rehab again. That stuck! He was put on methadone to taper off properly. He has done well with methadone. No more relapses! Unfortunately he has a very addictive personality. He quickly filled that hole in his life with alcohol. The girl he was dating at the time was wrapped up in a lifestyle that had them at the bar or a friends party every night. When he didnt feel like going she made him go to "keep up appearances". I hadnt talked to him years at this point, but saw that he was engaged on facebook. For some reason I just cried!! That was my reaction! Oh god! Ive missed my chance at being with my best friend! I balled my eyes out! She was a law student/lawyer when they were together. That was just the culture of her colleagues. They went to corporate/political parties and drank. They celebrated so and so's win on a Tuesday in the local bar, etc. but they must appear together and solid or she wouldnt be taken as seriously. Even if he didnt want to go. So he became an alcoholic. Fast forward 7-8 years. He left her. He moved back home. We reconnected and fell very hard in love very quickly! There was non of that awkward "get to know you" stuff. We had known each other since we were 9 years old! We couldnt fake a personality flaw if we tried! It was great! Refreshing! Easy! Now, im no stick in the mud! We had fun in our own way! We would drink and have mini parties with loud music, just the two of us! We would dance, sing, and just enjoy each other! It wasnt until a few months after asking him to move in with me (which happened pretty quick) that i even noticed that he drank during the day too. It wasnt just in the evenings after work. So i encouraged us to slow down a bit. I suspect that is when he started hiding it from me. Then he called me at work one day and said he was in the hospital. He felt terrible and drove himself there. When i got there and talked to the doctor he was hypertensive, hallucinating, severely dehydrated and malnourished. He was going through such severe alcohol withdrawal he almost lost his vision. He was in the hospital for 9 days detoxing. He had basically replaced his entire diet with alcohol. He nearly died. I had no idea until then. Our work hours were different. I left for work hours earlier than him and got home hours after him. By the time i got home it was no shock that he had a few beers. I wanted a few myself! But he was having beer for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I had no idea! I stayed with him in the hospital every single night. When he came home he asked that we not drink for 30 days. I told him no problem! We dont ever have to drink again!! Not long after that his truck broke down and he sold it. It was old anyway. Since i worked earlier and later it was no big deal for him to drop me off at work and pick me up at the end of the day so he had a way to and from work until he got another vehicle. Well, a few times he was late picking me up. A few times his phone was dead and i didnt know if he was coming. So i got a ride home from co workers. That should have been a red flag that he was drinking again. But i love him! I couldnt see it. Then one day i got a ride home and he wasnt there. I called him and his phone went straight to voicemail. He did work late on rare occasions, so i wasnt worried yet. About 10pm i was really worried, i called his mother, i called his job (the night shift girl who answered the phone anyway). Nobody knew anything! About midnight i get a call from the local jail. It was him. He had gotten a DUI in MY car! I bailed him out. Told him he is not to drive my car ever again! He was a delivery person at the time. So he lost his job because of the DUI. So he was out of money, out of a job and out of a car. Alcoholic or not he was still on treatment for his opiate addiction. I couldnt handle that kind of relapse. So i paid for his methadone. Which is very expensive btw. I had him transfer to a different treatment center because the one he was at was not helping taper him off. They were just taking his money and not helping. Once transferred to the new center he sees a counselor and a nurse once a week! They have been tapering him properly and safely! He is almost done! But all that happened in the first year we were together. The 2 years since then he has not been able to keep a job for more than a couple months at a time. He has been put back in the hospital because of his drinking (6 days this time). I come home from work early because im sick, to find him with a beer in his hand! I tried everything! I tried yelling and threatening, that does NOT work. He just hides it from me better. I tried "just be honest with me, i wont get mad. Its the lying that bothers me most". That just causes him to admit it AFTER i have caught him. I have tried gathering all of the empty cans he hides around the house and throwing them in the floor at his feet so he can see that I know, and he's not actually hiding anything. I have called his mother, who is done helping him. I have thrown him out of the house and locked the doors. I have even tried drinking with him in moderation, as long as he drinks with me at least i will know about it. NON of that helps! He still lies and drinks behind my back. All of this time he has no job (or only for a few weeks) and does not contribute to our household. FOR 2 YEARS!! I pay all of the bills. I feed us both. I provide everything we need. While also paying for his methadone treatments to keep him off other drugs. Luckily we dont have any children! Not that we have a sex life anymore, with all the stress im putting up with, but very thankful there are no children involved! He had recently gotten into the habit of waiting until i fall asleep and taking my car up to the store to buy beer. With what little money he may have (from stealing change or bills out of my purse or selling his belongings, or the pay from those couple weeks he worked with a construction crew). I finally got him to stop STEALING my car by hiding my keys (and the spare) at night. Now he is waiting until i fall asleep and STEALING my debit/credit cards and walking to the store to buy beer. Now, a month or so ago i started researching how to cope with an alcoholic. I learned some quite a bit! I feel much better! I have learned that by skipping my company's Christmas parties, and skipping gatherings with friends, as to not expose him to alcohol, i am infact enabling him. I had no idea! I thought i was helping! But he is not learning how to cope if he is not exposed to it at all. Therefore i am helping him keep up this lifestyle of lying and hiding his alcohol consumption. I have learned to stop doing that. I learned to stop taking his fails personally, because believe me, every time i found a stash of empty cans it felt like he didnt love me enough (or himslef enough) to stop drinking! I learned that NON of this is my fault, even when he blames it on me (he has said in the past that he drinks because i stress him out). And most importantly i learned that i need to take care of myself! I need to protect myself and MY mental health! I am lucky that he is not the physically abusive type, but i was so stressed out and so preoccupied with HIS wellbeing that I let myself go. The best example i saw was that if he passes out in the front yard, and I quietly go and gather him up late at night and put him in bed, he wakes up just like he does every day. While I am stuck dealing with the emotional trauma of picking his drunk ass up, so that the neighbors dont see him and all the consequences of his drinking that go along with it. Only I bear that weight! Not him. BUT!!! If I leave him there on the front lawn for everyone to see. He has to wake up and feel that shame and deal with those consequences himself for a change! I love this principle! It has relieved SO MUCH stress for me! It is NOT my fault, he needs to deal with HIS issues!! I CANNOT deal with them for him! The biggest rule is that you have to allow them to hit rock bottom. Otherwise they will never understand what is at stake, and they will never change. I dont mind at all letting him hit rock bottom! He deserves it after i have held him up for years and then proceeded to steal from me! See! I know what the right thing to do is! .......but i have known him for over 20 years, i know exactly who he is on the inside. I know i need to break up with him, he is just using me. But that is not him! That is his addictions! I miss him! I want my best friend that used to walk me to the nurses office when i had a nose bleed. I want my best friend back! I love him so much! I know he is in there somewhere! I just dont know what to do anymore! I am SUPPOSED to throw him out and let him deal with his own issues, but its so hard when i have loved that sweet little boy for my whole life! Is there no way to just make this all stop!? I need help!

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