My boyfriend is a coke addict and alcoholic. He is ambivalent about change - sometimes he wants to cut down because he sees the way it's devastated his life, other times he doesn't have a priority beyond picking up a bag. We met 8 years ago, lived together briefly, moved away but kept speaking for a few years, and then I blocked him until Nov last year because he'd been cheating on me.
His pattern of use is weird to me. His favourite thing is to get a bag on a Friday, and a bottle of wine or vodka, use it all and play PS4. I would find that extremely boring as I see drugs as something social.
We met 8 years ago, fell out of touch because I blocked him, and got back in touch last year. I was shocked when we met up recently.
The impact the addiction has had on him is:
- Physical: part of his nose is deformed and there is a permanent crust of pus and blood even when he's not sniffing coke. Also he looks about 45 at the age of 32. It is hard to explain but he just seems to have aged so rapidly and all at once. I'm 31 and have the beginnings of fine lines.. but he is covered in wrinkles and has grey hair.
- Emotional: he can be quite moody, mainly irritable, and sometimes loses his temper with me. He always apologises after snapping, but he never used to be like this. He was always quite even-tempered.
- Financial: he earned £70k in one year due to working stupidly long hours, and spent it all on coke and alcohol. He has nothing to show for it and still owes £20k on credit cards, payday loans and to various 'loan sharks' around his home town. He has recently taken up labouring work but it's cash in hand and he isn't saving anything (I suspect most goes on coke). His credit score is crap as he has multiple CCJs and will likely never qualify for a mortgage.
- Psychological: he has poor self-esteem, very little motivation and has fallen out of friendship with nearly every friend he's ever had - barring one person who lives in America. He also stole £700 from his parents' charity to buy coke and that strained relations with him, although they have stuck by him.
We are in a long distance relationship so I don't see a lot of what goes on day to day, and I'm not naive about how bad things could be. I know he lies to me about his use, because I used to do coke in my early twenties and I can tell when someone's getting on it. Just the way his voice speeds up or his eyes look on video calls is evidence enough - even without the constant sniffing!
Unfortunately he's working in an industry - building - where drug use (esp. coke) and heavy drinking is somewhat normalised. He was also previously a HGV driver and loads of them use speed to drive long distances. He uses long hours of work as an excuse to buy coke for "energy". But he also uses the times when he's unemployed/has no work as an excuse to use coke because of "boredom".
Essentially I think it's just that addict thing where anything is an excuse to use, e.g. "well it's Tuesday so I'll get one".
I'm stressed out for various reasons. I knew what I was getting into .. to an extent .. but didn't realise until we met up and I could see the damage he's done to his body. By that time we had been speaking every day for a couple of months and I was emotionally invested in him again. I really care about him.. love him.. would like a future with him. Ever since we met 8 years ago, I wanted us to be together. But I have dreams where he's in hospital dying. I don't think our future will be for very long, the way he's going.
Also I'm a newly qualified doctor and I've been told that his drug use could impact my career if we move in together. I'm scared to ask for advice from my union because I worry that it will get traced back to me and I'll get into trouble.
My friends keep telling me to walk away. That isn't an option for me right now. I want to make it work but I don't want to make him into my patient or my child.
I just wondered if anyone has been through similar?