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Boyfriend Relapsed - What to do?

Old 03-13-2012, 12:16 PM
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Boyfriend Relapsed - What to do?

I orginally posted this in the Substance Abuse forum and someone directed me here.....any help is greatly appreciated!

Hello All! I am new to this forum and new to this type of situation. I am hoping you can give me some advice. My boyfriend is in recovery from his addiction to pills. He became clean because he over dosed and went to rehab. I was not with him at the time we did not meet until afterwards. It has not been a year since he went to rehab. After getting out of rehab he started to drink again and smoke occasionally. When I met him he told me he was clean from pills but now I am realizing he wasn't. I think he started to take them again gradually and gradually. Lately it has been getting worst and out of hand. I've noticed and brought it up to him but it wasn't until this weekend when he actually admitted hes been taking them. Even still I don't think he is telling the truth about how often he has been taking them. I just find myself in a difficult situation and not being in this situation before or even really having a close relationship with someone with a drug addiction I am not sure what to do. His mom and I talk openly about his problem and she mentioned if I ever notice him doing pills again or something like that to bring it to her attention. She does not know he drinks or smokes often. The problem I am experiencing is that if I tell his mom she will kick him out and take his truck which would just end up being a downward spiral for him so I don't think that will help. But I feel like if I keep quiet it's enabling the behavior and if something were to happen to him again I would feel guilty. Do you have any advice as to what I should do? He says he won't do it anymore but I don't think he will just be able to stop completely. I told him I want to help him and be there to support him throughout this recovery that as long as were making positive steps forward and the problem doesn't continue or get worst I will be there for him. Please help any advice is greatly appreciated and I can give you more information if needed! Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:01 PM
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(((Jerytoms))) - Welcome to SR, though I'm sorry for what has brought you here.

I'm both an RA (recovering addict) and recovering codie (codependent) who has loved ones still active in addiction.

When I first got here, I read lots and lots of threads because I honestly didn't realize how codie I was (not saying you are). There are threads at the top of this forum, we call them "stickies" as their permanent threads but there is a LOT of good information there. For someone who isn't familiar with addiction, it's probably like being in a foreign country and not knowing the language.

I will tell you this..he is most likely lying about how often, how much he's taking. We A's (addicts/alcoholics) are very protective of our DOC (drug of choice) and will downplay it so it doesn't sound so bad.

We don't want people to realize and actually have consequences...such as his mom kicking him out and taking his truck. I'm not saying tell his mom, but if she were to ask, I wouldn't lie.

I can tell you it took a LOT of bad consequences on top of more bad consequences before I chose recovery. Losing my nursing career didn't do it, jail didn't do it, homelessness and walking the streets didn't do it. Relapsing and losing what little I had gained back in the prior year, facing prison (instead of just jail, I was on probation), finding out that I just couldn't GET high enough to drown out how much I'd messed up, AGAIN, plus a few other things..that finally pushed me into recovery.

I would also advise you go by his actions. He's going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear. That's why I recommended the readings...if you've not familiar with addiction, you may not know what to look for.

I can tell you that when I chose recovery, I never said those words to my family. They knew it because my actions SHOWED it. It sounds like you've never known him truly clean, and after reading around here, you may think about "is this really who I want to be with?" That decision is totally up to you, but addiction is something we are never cured from. I "work" my recovery every single day, as if my life depends on it because it does. I'm sure I could "handle" using again..I just don't think I have another recovery in me, so I do what I need to, to never go back to that life again.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:02 PM
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(((Jerytoms))) - Welcome to SR, though I'm sorry for what has brought you here.

I'm both an RA (recovering addict) and recovering codie (codependent) who has loved ones still active in addiction.

When I first got here, I read lots and lots of threads because I honestly didn't realize how codie I was (not saying you are). There are threads at the top of this forum, we call them "stickies" as their permanent threads but there is a LOT of good information there. For someone who isn't familiar with addiction, it's probably like being in a foreign country and not knowing the language.

I will tell you this..he is most likely lying about how often, how much he's taking. We A's (addicts/alcoholics) are very protective of our DOC (drug of choice) and will downplay it so it doesn't sound so bad.

We don't want people to realize and actually have consequences...such as his mom kicking him out and taking his truck. I'm not saying tell his mom, but if she were to ask, I wouldn't lie.

I can tell you it took a LOT of bad consequences on top of more bad consequences before I chose recovery. Losing my nursing career didn't do it, jail didn't do it, homelessness and walking the streets didn't do it. Relapsing and losing what little I had gained back in the prior year, facing prison (instead of just jail, I was on probation), finding out that I just couldn't GET high enough to drown out how much I'd messed up, AGAIN, plus a few other things..that finally pushed me into recovery.

I would also advise you go by his actions. He's going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear. That's why I recommended the readings...if you've not familiar with addiction, you may not know what to look for.

I can tell you that when I chose recovery, I never said those words to my family. They knew it because my actions SHOWED it. It sounds like you've never known him truly clean, and after reading around here, you may think about "is this really who I want to be with?" That decision is totally up to you, but addiction is something we are never cured from. I "work" my recovery every single day, as if my life depends on it because it does. I'm sure I could "handle" using again..I just don't think I have another recovery in me, so I do what I need to, to never go back to that life again.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:11 PM
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How old is he?

If he started drinking right after rehab, he didn’t relapse to pills, he never really stopped using and at some point picked the pills back up…

Help him by not helping…
It is very simple, leave him to find his way, see him as capable and let his addiction go…

Whether you decide to stay or go, you will need to work on you, only you…get a support system, educate yourself about addiction and enabling.

His mother, tough call…

You are not his keeper and you are not obligated to tell her anything. Understand these are my feelings because I don’t play games and I will not be played for information. I didn’t with my mil, if she asked how he was then I told her to ask him, and also told her it wasn’t something I focused on, he was a big boy and could find his own way.

But if it is his mothers truck and he agreed not to use drugs while using it she has every right to take it away. If it is her home she has every right not to have someone in active addiction in it…. If it is his truck, she can’t touch it, at all. If it is his home, she can’t kick him out.

And please get past what will take him down, it seems having a home and having a truck didn’t keep him from using all this time.

Have you seen him do anything different since he spoke to you? Did he at all look for help ? If not I think you might know where he stands.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:29 PM
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Welcome, I am a Mom, so different then your story but we still love an addict.
It was hard but after years it hit me in the face. I could do nothing for my son, it was 100% his. I learned here and in group, it was sadly not my battle, my battle was dealing with myself. If a loved one asks for help, asks to help him find help and then goes himself to start the journey, I think that is the best we can do for them. It hurts to say we can not change someone, I know.
There are so many here that fought the battle for themselves and won, that it is inspiring and gives hope.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:30 PM
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Sorry for the double post
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerytoms View Post
. The problem I am experiencing is that if I tell his mom she will kick him out and take his truck which would just end up being a downward spiral for him so I don't think that will help.

He's already on a serious downward spiral given he's addicted to the pills and addiction is progressive.
Recovery is an inside job. There is no we in recovery.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:00 PM
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Thanks all for the replies and advice! I am definitely going to do some reading around the board to get myself familiar with everything. He is almost 27 and I am 23 years old. Since we talked he has not looked up information to get more recovery or anything like that. I had another talk with him about it today. I am not going to bring it up anymore though. I am not letting it turn me into a crazy person and run my day to day life. He is a big boy he can make his own decisions. I am still on the fence to say as to what I would like to do in terms of staying vs going I guess it will depend on his actions in the upcoming days and weeks. I told him I'll always be there to support him and help him all he needs to do is ask but I can't force him to do anything.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:27 PM
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He isn't in recovery, he's in active addiction. He's already in a downward spiral and no one, including him, knows where it will stop. His brain is hijacked right now and he's going to use until he doesn't. If you want to support his recovery, you're going to have to wait until he's done using.

Please know that every moment you spend with him, he's an active addict until he isn't.
Please continue to find support for you, you're going to need it. If you chose to stay with him, you're going to find out where his downward spiral crashes. You'll be along for the ride, and your odds for survival are better if you're wearing a seat belt.

As far as his mom goes, would you want your parents to know if they were in danger? Would you want someone to tell you? I'm grateful someone told me about my daughter.

The biggest mistake I made with my daughter, was the one I made with myself, first.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerytoms View Post
IThe problem I am experiencing is that if I tell his mom she will kick him out and take his truck which would just end up being a downward spiral for him so I don't think that will help.
This would probably be the best course of action to take by his mother if her son is actively using. Trust that your boyfriend has a choice--get help to recover or not. If he chooses the course of not getting help, then losing privileges like a roof over his head and a vehicle to drive are self inflicted. No one is making him use and abuse drugs. If taking away privileges ends up being a downward spiral, then he can choose to do the right thing to stop the spiral.

What might happen is he might want to move in with you when his mother kicks him out. Now that is something to think through carefully!

As far as the truck goes, my son moved out last month and the car he had been driving (which belongs to me and my husband) stayed here. He has a suspended license. It's not hurting him one bit not having access to a car. There are busses that he can hop onto. I told him when he gets his license back, a job, and money to pay the insurance on the car, he can have the car back, but until then there are busses. We'll see what the future holds, whether he ever gets the car back, but for now he's having to learn to adjust to not having easy transportation.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:07 PM
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I think it was unfair of his mother to ask you to report to her about anything he does. You are very young and inexperienced in life and are finding your way, and in my opinion it was unfair of her to ask you to report his drug use to her. I can't help feeling she is using you. I know she's worried about her son. But to ask you--his young girlfriend-- to carry secret information back to her is, in my view, unfair.

If he's an addict he'll be lying to both of you everyday anyway.

Your words--"I want to help him and be there to support him"--these are the words of the codependent partner of an addict. So you are in the right place, here at SR, and you will gain a lot if you read the section of links labeled "Sticky" at the top of the forum page.

Take good care, dear. You are in dangerous waters.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:21 AM
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I told him I want to help him and be there to support him throughout this recovery that as long as were making positive steps forward and the problem doesn't continue or get worst I will be there for him.
The problem will get worse because addiction is a progressive disease and always does get worse unless it is stopped completely.

I am the mom of an addict and my "deal" with girlfriends who asked is that I would not gossip or report all the goings on of my son, but I would not lie either. If they asked me if he was using or if I thought he was, I would tell the truth, usually without elaboration. When my son lived with me, I preferred to know but his actions usually told me. My boundary was that there would be no active addiction while living in my home, if he chose to use, he chose to move...immediately.

This isn't going to be an easy road for you, no matter if you leave or stay, but reading here to see what you are up against may help you to prepare yourself either way.

Hugs
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:27 AM
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I am starting to realize how much of a problem it is and how I am in over my head. I honestly feel completely helpless even if I did tell his mom I still feel it's just a helpless action. I was being really nieve. I believed him when he said he just did it a few times because he was stressed out and it wasn't going to continue to happen. We talked about things recently even though I know the talk was no good because he doesn't want help himself. I can still see he is using. I know he is lying to me but it's not worth bringing it up because he will just deny it and get angry with me. I'm not sure where to go from here. Ever since I confirmed that he was using again I've been physically sick over it just because I don't know what to do and feel that it's such a huge battle I don't know if I have it in me to stick it out with him but at the same time I don't know if I have it in me to leave him and be worried everyday about his well being. I'm going to have to make a decision sooner or later. I read the sticky about what addicts do and I am starting to realize that him saying he loves me is a lie. It can't be true. Maybe he thinks he does but he loves his addiction and it is his priority way above me. I'm not sure if I am willing to compromise what I want and my life and be with someone who is willing to have an addiction as a priority over our relationship. Using has him completely blind to what he is putting me through and how he is making me feel. Today is also our anniversary which makes me even more emotional over it. Thanks to all that have listened and replied I just needed to vent.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerytoms View Post
I believed him when he said he just did it a few times because he was stressed out and it wasn't going to continue to happen. We talked about things recently even though I know the talk was no good because he doesn't want help himself. I can still see he is using. I know he is lying to me but it's not worth bringing it up because he will just deny it and get angry with me.

I'm not sure where to go from here.
You have two choices--leave this relationship and find someone without all this addiction baggage attached to them or prepare yourself to be with an addict. At this present time your boyfriend has no desire to be clean and sober. It will get far worse than what you are now experiencing if your boyfriend does nothing to stop the progression.

My addict is my son, so I can't move on and find another son, but I can choose not to let him use and abuse me anymore than he already has. If you move forward in your relationship with your boyfriend, by all means get yourself to Al-Anon. You are going to need their help to keep yourself above water.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jerytoms View Post

Ever since I confirmed that he was using again I've been physically sick over it just because I don't know what to do and feel that it's such a huge battle I don't know if I have it in me to stick it out with him but at the same time I don't know if I have it in me to leave him and be worried everyday about his well being.
Sticking with him does not ensure his wellbeing. You are not that powerful. None of us are. Sticking it out with him implies this is a temporary set back.
It's not.

Rehab does not cure addiction. Best case, it's an opportunity for a highly motivated addict to learn some of the tools of recovery.

This guy is 27, living at home and likely driving a car owned and insured by his parents. He's a decade behind most 27 year olds, common stuff for addicts. He's using that car to score his dope and likely driving while under the influence of dope.

While you remain in this uncertain state, please protect your money, credit/debit cards and any valuables. Do not loan him money or your car. Double up on birth control as STDS and other nasty stuff are common with addicts. Parenthood does not cure addiction.

Avoid getting into his car cause you don't know what's stashed in it ( dope and/or stolen goods) and you can find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Please take some time to separate the hopeful fantasy of who you want/need him to be from who he is, right now.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:31 AM
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Sadly, it's almost always much worse than we originally thought. Kind of comes with the territory. It is good that you feel helpless, because the truth is, you are helpless. Completely helpless to "help" him. We have ALL tried it, trust me. Many of us have tried for years to "help" our addicts before we finally surrendered and realized WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER IT. If you already know he is lying to you, deceiving you and being dishonest, what are you really fighting for? It is impossible to "love" them out of addiction or for their love for us to pull them out of addiction. It NEVER happens that way! You need to dig deep, go to a meeting, get some support, start working your own program and change the only thing you have the power to change...YOURSELF! It won't take long to realize you are worth and deserve so much more than a relationship (if you want to call it that) with and active addict in the throes of addiction. It gets no worse! Help yourself! Be kind to yourself and get healthy!
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:04 PM
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If you feel too torn inside, you do not have to make a black or white decision. You can make a "gray" one. You can ask for some time apart so you can focus on yourself and your own mind and heart. You can take this day by day or week by week, until you feel clearer about your situation.

If he pressures you and refuses to honor this request for a period of reflection on your part, if he gets angry or sarcastic or bullies you, then that behavior will probably help you get even clearer.

Sometimes "Forever" choices are just too hard to make when we are so confused and torn.

But some time to yourself without anyone's manipulation of your thoughts would be a great help.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:37 PM
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Jerytoms: Just a suggestion, but rather than being the rat, so to speak, why not simply print out some of the "stickys" from the top, some that you think address the situation and just give them to your ABF's mom to read so she can decide for herself. I would imagine in her gut she already knows, but she wants someone else to confirm it for her. That burden should not be placed on you. But I don't see anything wrong with providing useful information to her; and the ABF could have copies, too. It's good material to place on the refrig with magnets....that way everybody has a chance to be on the same page. What they do with the information is up to them.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:45 PM
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being in love with an active addict is like loving dr. jekyll and mr. hyde. you just don't know when or who will show up. and you can't control who will show up.
it's crazy making because all you want is dr. jekyll...but you can't do anything about it. you have no control over the other person's split.
what happened to me...I started to become split too. love/hate/love/anger/love/frustration/love/go away/dream/nightmare

after a while the decision becomes made for you
either recovery happens
or you get sick and tired of being sick and tired
and recovery, the hopeful choice that gets "made"... is not a walk in the park

just keep doing every little thing to take care of yourself, be assured that if you commit to caring for yourself your decision will come easier for you!
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jerytoms View Post
I told him I want to help him and be there to support him throughout this recovery that as long as were making positive steps forward and the problem doesn't continue or get worst I will be there for him.
I believe that supporting loved ones during their struggle to get sober is really important. However if they are not making efforts to get sober than what are you supporting?

I am really sorry you're going through such a rough time. I've been in a similar situation and nothing changed until I started going to Naranon and Alanon meetings and realized I needed to make major changes in my own behavior for my own well being. I had hit MY bottom. But it was wonderful to find support in meetings to realize I wasn't alone and there was hope.

One of the changes I made is similar to what you said you were going to do. I set a firm boundary with my wife and told her I would only be with her if she was active in recovery. There is some grey area in what active in recovery means but I have stuck to that and it has been one of the best decisions I've made for both of our paths in recovery.

I hope things are getting better for you!
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