New- Looking for Advice and Guidance

Old 11-19-2013, 09:33 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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New- Looking for Advice and Guidance

So I'm here for a few reasons. I have my own drinking problem that I seek therapy for and have made substantial progress with over the past 5 months. I used to binge drink on weekends and sometimes socially on weekdays. I was functional though, could go to work, go to school or do whatever I had to do after a night of partying. I used to live to party and drink. When I was assessed by an addictions specialist they classified my drinking as
"problematic" and said I was in a good place to make changes. I made those changes. I am now in the process of addressing my triggers in healthy ways. It was amazing, the first Saturday I woke up and I was not hung over. The first time I faced a failure in my profession and did not drown it away with a bottle. But the main reason I am here is because my therapist has advised me it sounds like my boyfriend is an alcoholic.

When we met, (at a bar) I told him I struggled with my drinking and was seeking help and he told me had been through the same thing. He now lives with me and his drinking gets worse and worse. He hides it, he lies to me, he's late with rent and bills, he is miserable 80% of the time. When he's sober he sleeps and immerses into a deep depression. I started noticing the changes a few months ago... I don't know if I have a special skill set or just a good read but I would constantly feel like he was lying to me and would sometimes have proof he was lying to me, and it took me a long time to confront him about it. I'm very passive aggressive. I tend not to like confrontational situations, and I'm not a pushy person by nature... Maybe I just undervalue myself, but I don't ask for things and I don't try to force people to change or be the way I want them to be. So I ended up confronting him it was so messed up. I wrote down how I felt in four pages spilling my heart out one day just to get it out and use it when I was ready to verbally confront him. I told him we had to talk. He wasn't working that day (this was on Halloween) and when I arrived home, he was not there. Nowhere to be found. I felt disturbed by it. I had emphasized how important this was for me and he said he cared and wanted to know what I had to say. He had nowhere else to be and I felt that if it were reversed nothing would stop me from being there to hear what was so important to him. Bad trigger for me is rejection and feelings of inadequacy. I snapped. I downed half a bottle of wine (I had been sober for about 2 weeks and the only drinking I took part in was social, 3 drinks.) my stomach began to hurt instantly and I felt drunk within 10 minutes. I left the apartment went to a local bar and downed 2 beers. I returned and he was there and pissed off at me for leaving and drinking. We did not talk that night I just slept it off. He found my written ramblings and read them all the next day. I went to confront him the next day and he said he read it and he was sorry he did not want to make me feel this way. We decided to be honest with one another and he said we'd talk more.

Since then, things haven't changed. I still feel like he's lying or hiding things. He still does not seem himself. I had a bad day at work and of course I wanted to drink it away (I got denied my raise and put on a three month probationary period... with little to do with my work product, but more to do with lack of training in my field.) I became physically ill as a result of the stress I was under. Almost depression. Not able to eat, not able to sleep properly. I needed to take a sick day. He was upset with me because I did this and there was tension.
It finally boiled over. I mean... you all probably know how it feels... they forget about plans, they lie, they come home reeking of booze, they are distant and it's difficult not to take it personally. I finally snapped last week and said it felt like he hated me. He snapped back at me (via text msg) saying he wasn't coming home and he was going to drink all night and do a bunch of drugs cause I ruined his day. I lost it. I felt weak. I grew. I communicated with him via text during the day for 12 hours with no response. I wasn't obsessively messaging but my approach was to kill with kindness. I told him he was better than this and we are team. I know it's hard to open up but I love him and I am here for him. I told him if he doesn't hold on.... I'm holding on to nothing. I scheduled an emergency session with my therapist. Her advice was to attend al-anon meetings and she explained how addicts truly work and how he has to face the consequences of his actions and I have to set boundaries. All on the notion that I'd be staying with him which I wasn't even sure of at the time. I returned home later that night and he was there concerned for me telling me it was time to really talk but not tonight.
Finally on the past weekend I hit my wall. I couldn't take it anymore. I just absorb my surroundings. I was depressed and stressed about my job and stressed and depressed about my home situation. I pushed myself really hard to have a good day. (He was working so I got to be alone.) I went to go buy my nephew a birthday present and get groceries and found myself wandering the streets of the city crying and unable to focus. My eyes lighting up at each bar or liquor store I passed. I forced myself to resist. I walked the streets for hours until I got home and showered and lay in bed. He arrived home at night time. He said his boss took him for dinner. I can't believe him I can't trust him after all the lies. I feel like he was being honest this time but I always have to question. He could tell something was wrong and I told him I wasn't doing so great. I told him I was slipping. He said it was his fault. I said I can't rely on you for my own happiness. He said I deserved better. He said he loved me and he was scared. He has had a hard life, he's lost a lot of loved ones. He's struggled I can understand it but it doesn't mean it's right. He told me he was going to work on giving me what I deserved. We left it at that.

Yesterday. Normal day, he wasn't working and went to collect some money he was owed (for working- he works in a trade and does several side jobs at season's end) and to run some errands. I had a sick feeling already about this day. I gave him a call to see where he was (assuming he'd be at a bar) and he just advised he was waiting on the person who owed him money. I returned home from work and I could tell he was on something. I have had that gut feeling before but dismissed it as the booze. I sat next to him and asked if he was okay. He said he was. I asked him again and held tighter. He admitted to doing some cocaine with his buddy. I told him I had known and could tell. He said he had to stop doing it. I asked him how bad was it. He said real bad. We talked a little. I listened to my therapists advice. It killed me to do it but I told him we could not talk about it until he was sober. I told him about the crying every night on my way home from work not knowing if he would be home, happy, or lying and not sober. I told him he had to have consequences for this behaviour. That I was there for him and I love him but I was going to take a shower then I was going to stop talking to him for the rest of the night. He kept opening up to me, and sure it was nice he was opening up but I made it clear to him: We will talk when we are both sober. I can't have fake intimacy like that. I know very well how much easier it is to talk about these things when under the influence. I've lived a party life style for the past 10 years of my life. I've heard all the cokeheads say how much they hate it. Say they don't want to hurt their loved ones but what are they doing the very next day or weekend?

I want to believe him but I've been burned many times in the past. Now I'm scared. I don't know what to do. It's clear in my mind heart and soul that I'm not ready to give up or throw in the towel... however I'm fuzzy on how to conduct myself. A large part of me wants to distance myself. He needs to stew in it. He claims seeing me down and hurt by him hurts him more than anything. If he does not see his consequence to his actions he will not see a need to change his actions. Plus I'm obviously pissed off that he's been lying to me for months after I opened up so much to him and made myself vulnerable (which I'm not prone to do... which I've never done in a relationship). I'm scared if I distance myself too much he'll turn back to it all to cope. I'm caught in a crossroads. I want to help him and he seems to want help and seems to think (or know) that I am able to help him... but my past ... I've been through this. I've known many addicts. I've felt compassion for many and I've heard all the same stories and things he has told me. I don't know if I am being naive or what but my gut says he's being sincere. He said he's ready.

I can no longer trust him. He has to earn that back. He has to earn everything back. I just don't know how to be around him. I'm posting for advice. I'm doing my best to take care of ME... as much as I wanted to drink on Saturday I did not. Even this morning, on my commute to work, I thought "Damn I'd love to have a few glasses of wine after work tonight." (To deal with the stress.) but I' made plans with a sober friend (my mom!) to have dinner. That will keep me out of trouble.

I'm just ... I'm a co-dependent by nature. I'm full of compassion and hope and love seeing only the good in people. I have a light inside me that shines so bright. People often flock to me at times in their lives when they are down ... monumentally significant losses or pains and even minor ones. I've helped people get back on their feet, I've been burned and ****** over a few times too but it never kills my spirit and hope that people are good. It's difficult for me to be hard on him but I know he needs it.

To any others that can understand my shoes: What did you do in my position? What would you do? If you're a substance abuser what would you find most helpful from your partner? Looking for guidance and maybe a new place to express myself. Thanks for reading.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:05 AM
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Engineer Things; LOVE People
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,712
wow. What to say?

Go to meetings?

Don't Drink?

I can tell you that when you start fixing you . . . you will not be so concerned about him.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:27 PM
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Location: Iowa
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Sounds like you're doing fantastic working on your own sobriety. Good for you. If everyone with a drinking problem had your self-awareness this board would not exist.

Your boyfriend is going to do what he's going to do. Like Hammer said, the healthier you get, the less you'll worry about "fixing" others. Thanks for posting.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:41 PM
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Location: W Washington
Posts: 11,589
your first concern should be that you feel like you are slipping. YOUR recovery is in danger here. you have a roommate who drinks and drugs. in fact since you two have been living together HIS drinking has been getting worse and now you are thinking about drinking a LOT.

sounds toxic. you can't fix him. you can only fix you. now it sounds as if he's been doing cocaine and you didn't know, and it's "bad" as he put it? can't pay bills or rent on time, hmm, wonder why?

this isn't about winning awards for most compassionate's about winning awards for taking care of YOU first, not drinking, one day at a time, and carrying the message. we can't force someone into recovery. and we can't gauge when someone might be serious or ready. you'll KNOW when he's serious...cuz he'll stop using. doesn't sound like he's there yet.

protect you. even if that means putting distance between you. you have to do whatever it takes.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:21 PM
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Take care of you first. If he is drinking and drugging those two things take priority over everything in your boyfriend's life. Even you and your well being. He cannot and will not engage in any fruitful or meaningful discussion about your relationship while he is actively using.

My alcoholic addict husband got fired from his job yesterday because he didn't show up on Friday because he was passed out drunk. Meaning we lost a huge chunk of income right before th holiday snooping season and a bunch of other big bills are due. What does he do? Look for another job? Go to a meeting because he is stressed out and wants a drink? No. He blows a hundred dollars on beer and crack. And then comes and asks me for more.

Him doing this is jeopardizing your sobriety. I am an alcoholic. I relapsed in August and am now on day 8 working and struggling to stay sober regardless of my ass of a husband's actions. Take care of you.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:42 PM
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I hate auto correct. Holiday shopping, not snooping season.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Canada
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Others have said it before me, you can only change your self, not anyone else unless they want to change.
I think physical separation is probably best. Living with an active addict is crazy making (I just cannot do it anymore). If this is a new relationship for you, you need to ask yourself why would you want to continue making further investment in an unhealthy person?
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:18 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10,660
Yes, I think other posters are correct. Focus needs to be on you yet it seems to be on him.

Living in this situation is clearly putting your sobriety at risk. Whatever happens in the relationship, you need to take care of yourself and your own recovery. He's pulling you down with him, and in your heart you know this. That's why you are so clearly aware of the lies.

Bottom line: Is this relationship making you happy right now as it is because you cannot change or force him to do anything. His addictions will just get worse and the situation will degenerate. That's the painful truth of addiction.

I'm sorry this has been so hard and I think it is amazing you are working on your own recovery as much as you are given these distractions and pain. Loving somebody isn't enough to fix things this serious, and that really hurts.

Please keep posting and we will support you as best we can.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:11 PM
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When his ACTIONS match his WORDS, then you can *start* to trust him. Until then, you have a lazy alcoholic/drug addict sucking the life right out of you, not to mention putting your very own sobriety at risk.

I take it he thinks you'll cover his share of the bills or does he think a Fairy will drop from the sky and pay the landlord so he can go out and get all drunk and coked up?
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