: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

1 reply

replying to ThisTim3

It is at times, more present than past - weathering the storm - not weathered the storm. As there are triggers for me that takes me right back there in an instant. Scary. I can be perfectly fine for days, weeks and months, then something triggers me and a long forgotten memory comes back to me and skakes me up. Then I have to figure out how to calm myself. I try not to take this to him as I would rather not. It is a struggle. But, when we do talk about it always seems to be a little bit better. Little bits better all through the years to this safer place all these years later that is only possible because he continues to not use.

1 reply

replying to ThisTim3

It is 3 am, and I woke again with memories. It comes sometimes in little bits and my mind kind of holds on and provides more alittle at a time. Recently I remember that years ago while on the coke, he wouldn't look at me. And, when he did it seemed that he didn't want to and maybe even he choose to not see me when he did. I would be looking at him and . . . this takes me to this memory - this one moment where he was telling me that he was 'going out'. He's not looking at me when he says it, but rather at the wall I guess. So, I ask him if I can come with him. He seems surprised by this question and slowly turns his head and looks at me. It was one of our weirdest moments. The look on his face and the way that I felt, which I'm still trying to figure out. It didn't seem like it was him. So scary. All those years ago.

replying to ThisTim3


i read your reply in may and it home so hard i couldn't even respond at that time. it's what you say about the safer place that is only possible because they stay clean. sometimes it feels so precarious for me, it's been 16 months now and it's good, and overall improving. yet, some days are better than others as my husband still behaves like an addict sometimes and it is very triggering. as time goes by the more you realise it's always going to be there in the background.

what you wrote earlier also hits right in the heart, I'm still only at the relative beginning of this journey but i have clothes, pictures, shoes, rooms and places in this house, towns and even a country(!) etc that i cannot even look at or think about without being transported straight back to those dark times. it is full blown ptsd. have you maybe got a bit of ptsd going on?

like you when triggered i do go through a thought pattern and keep my head focused in the present, what else can we do huh!?

but sometimes it gets me bad!

eg... watching bgt semi-finals with the family... on comes a group from the 2020 version. they formed a lockdown choir.... my brain immediately remembers how dreadful life was during 2020 (his worst year of using/horrific behaviour)... remembers how lonely and frightened i felt, how it felt like all the families i knew pulled together while i was trapped in the most horrible circumstances without even my best friend (him)... he then remarks he saw them on youtube when looking up music videos... my brain then remembers he has since told me he was sat there on his computer using very, very, frequently... you get the picture... then more stars from 2019 and 2020... more memories of how we'd sat as family and as it turned out he was on the drugs.... by this point feelings over ride the calming routine... tears in full flow but i blame it on the programme ..however i get it down and we watch the program and kids go on their way... and I'm tidying the sitting room up to go to bed... he is standing by the door ... it all floods back like a tsunami!!!! plus more... again from those days ... i would tidy up... he would get shirty about some nonsense... go on down... obviously use... id do all the work.... he'd come up and moan, then go off... obviously use again... then pick a fight! push me/yell/whack something etc... go off and use, we'd then go to bed and he'd fidget round and have to keep popping off *to the toilet *... I'd eventually drop off and he'd wake me up fidgeting and disturb the whole house going up and down the stairs (going for a hit).

All that memory dump because he stood by the door and my defenses were weakened.

All i can do/we can do is (an official technique apparently!) is ... remember the memory when it comes, don't shut it down, feel the feeling and process. talk about the memory and how it feels. that's the only route towards closure.

i don't think we ever get closure from this, but we can get some small amount of peace from our memories.

i also strongly identify with the waking in rhe night. it's when the memories are loudest.

i don't know if it's the same for you guys but the worst things happened in the small hours. the most amounts of drugs consumed, the craziest behaviour, the most terrifying fights, the lying awake wondering where things went wrong. looking at this stranger who was in my husband's skin. also after i found out, not being able to sleep at all because of being so utterly distressed... any time i wake now my brain has to be kept on an extremely tight leash or thoughts will very quickly spiral.

i know im safe now, sort of but the memories and feelings are branded into every part of my being.


replying to ThisTim3

and i also remember my husband wouldn't look at me, not at all... i never knew why, it was because he was lying, ashamed and didn't want me to see he was on that stuff.. i remember when he started looking me in the eye again and that's when i knew he was ready to start being honest and upright once again. and that's how i feel sure he still is clean... obviously the cynic in me wonders if he's just learned to cover his tracks better by using eye contact, but that's what happens when you take a sledgehammer to the marital trust you once had x

replying to ThisTim3

Yes, PTSD - both of us. We are now having conversations that we never thought we would. Years ago he would also make these weird faces at me, maybe so I would stop looking at him. I've been wanting him to just talk about it. Recently he has, just bits. This is scary for both of us. I notice if I don't say anything (which is difficult for me), he may say more. But, if I say anything right when he first mentions something - he just shuts down. Like yesterday - he just comes out and tells me that the coppers chased him many times and he went on and told me about a couple of these chases. I wanted to ask him why he was being chased, but I didn't as I felt he would stop telling me about what happened.

replying to ThisTim3

Last night he told me that it wasn't him. The coke took him over and the person he became was not him. So scary. Who was he then? I asked him again after waiting years for the answer to the question that I had asked so many times - and that he had avoided answering so many times. I knew the answer. I needed to hear him say it. How did he feel about me when he was using coke. That is the question that I needed to know all these years. Last night he told me. He told me that he didn't care about me at all. I knew it, I felt it, I lived it, he just said it. It hurts. I needed to hear him say it. After years of being with him, being happy together, trying for many months to be pregnant, feeling so happy that we were expecting, then so overwhelmed with morning sickness, he was then emotionally and physically gone from me. I was alone and scared. I finally have his answer - decades later.

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