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Hiding other addictions?

Old 05-22-2020, 04:08 PM
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Hiding other addictions?

My husband is almost 90 days sober from alcohol treatment. Before he went to rehab there was an incident and EMS had to come to the house, and he refused to go to the hospital. He managed to be able to say his name and birthday, and who was the President, and refuse treatment and they said there was nothing they could do. They did say it seemed possible he was on opiates, because he was incoherent, nodding off, small pupils. Or maybe abusing his Xanax with alcohol. I definitely thought it was possible he was refusing to go to the hospital because they would do a blood test.

I have seen him raging drunk many times, never like this. He did eventually go to rehab (yay!), but denies doing anything but alcohol and pot. However, in drunken discussions in the last 3 months before he went, he was telling me many things, including doing meth, coke, whatever was available. then he said he made it up. Is it possible he is recovering from alcohol but did not admit to other drugs? Is he possibly still taking other drugs? I wasn't very good at identifying that he was secretly drinking... I chalked up a lot of his depression, aggression, mood swings, loss of interest in me, inability to function at work to his bipolar mental illness.

A therapist asked me what difference does it make if he is on heroin or crack or meth... he is seeking treatment. I see that, but I think it is a big deal if he is lying about other drugs, and I don't know how he can get proper treatment if he is not honest about what he was taking, or especially if he is still taking other drugs. I cannot tell what is recovery issues, what is bipolar, and what might be other drugs or addictions. Any feedback?
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:16 PM
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Hi Pumpkin Spouse

Anything is possible.

I remember being so drunk once and arriving for band practice not being able to sober up said I'd smoked hash.
To me at the time that was a more acceptable excuse for essentially ruining a jam for everyone.

Your husband might be lying now, or lying then. Impossible to know without other evidence.

I hope in time your husband can learn to be honest with you and you to trust him again.

D
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:32 PM
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Yeah, there's no way to know.

Leave him to it...if you can, maybe find a group of support for yourself like Alanon (It's a 12 Step group for family and friends of addicts/alcoholics.)

I would definitely be worried if there's a possibility he has illegal drugs in the house or car. I wouldn't let him drive with me in the car and I wouldn't drive any vehicle he had access to - in case he has a stash in there. You could be charged along with him for possession.

Some churches have "Celebrate Recovery" too, or family support for family of addicts.

Take care of yourself. As they say in Alanon, "More will be revealed."
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for responding so quickly. When my husband came out of rehab they gave him Vivitrol to help with not wanting to drink. I see that this is also used for those how have opiate addiction. Is this a commonly prescribed drug for people in rehab?
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:38 PM
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Hi PumpkinSpouse. Since rehab what are things like? Does he seem to be recovered and present? Tell us about the last 90 days.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:42 PM
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Nobody on this forum will speculate on what behaviors might result from a prescription and from my reading on this forum there are no small number of things that medical professionals will prescribe to make us better. Tell us if you are peering into your crystal ball. My crystal ball sucks and it never predicts the future accurately. Or if something specific has happened in the 90 days since he has been out of treatment, tell us that. But don't go looking for trouble. You've had enough already.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:50 PM
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You don't know for sure he's lying, but you believe he is. It takes time to develop trust in early recovery. But, keep in mind, if you don't believe him and don't begin to trust him, it will be a problem regardless of what the truth is. I hope you can find some peace.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:30 PM
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Well, it has been very confusing and painful. He has been attending AA, but also smoking some pot (not a good idea I think, but he said it was "marjuana maintenance". Early on (less so now) would disappear into the basement bathroom, and I would hear coughing and wonder what drug makes you cough that isn't pot? He would be distant, irritable and then sometimes warmer, asking me to watch tv with him (but not sit together on the couch). He did hardly anything for the first month he was home, just slept on the couch and watched tv. He has been doing some stuff now, occasional small painting tasks, a little laundry. Not much else, and then the next day just back to sleeping on the couch, says he's tired, doesn't feel well. He's been intermittently unwell with headaches, body aches, chills, fever --had a fever last night but was better today. I worry it could be Covid-19 but he won't get tested and says it's side effects from his medication.

He was in rehab 15 years ago and he wrote to me, and was desperate to make things right when he came home. So I expected him to come home, and with love and support we'd start new. Not this time. When he came home he said he does not want to be touched or have sex and said "we're not like that" anymore. This is new, very painful to hear, because although there have been times in the past 25 years that he did not want sex, he never really put it out there like that: "I'm not interested". Unsurprisingly, he also does not want to communicate much. He gets withdrawn or actually leaves the room if I try to talk to him; and he sleeps in a tight ball and pushes me away if I lean up against him in bed. I understand not wanting sex; I don't understand withholding all affection. Then he says it is the recovery and "Time takes Time" and he does sometimes say that he loves me and is committed (but he only says this after I am talking to him at length about feeling so confused and rejected by a lack of affection) and maybe he is just trying to get me to shut up. Regardless, he says he feels nothing and is not sure he is capable of a relationship and that he isn't interested in being in love, he's trying not to drink.

So I don't know if the loss of interest in sex is the side effects of medication, or if he doesn't want to be close because to really be close he would have to be honest about all the **** he did to me... secrets, maybe other drugs, maybe other women/men, maybe financial things. IDK, these are all things he talked about in the months when he was really a mess prior to this rehab. He said they were all fantasy stories, nonsense. But if any of that stuff was true, I think he would have a hard time facing me sober about it, even though I am loving and kind and realize alcoholism and drug abuse and mental illness makes people do terrible things. In fact, one of the things he said drunk, was that if he did any of these things he would want to hide it from me. I also wonder if he was abused as a child, something he talked drunk about and then denied.

I want to support him. I want him to be sober and live his best life. I want him to be able to be a parent to our kids. I am willing to figure out how to deal with anything --whether it's other drugs, sex addiction, being gay, not loving me... whatever. If I know what it is I can process. But anytime I talk to him he says things like I am just making it worse and he's not ready for a big conversation. I am bewildered.

I want to live my best life too. Everything I know is to be patient, empathetic, honest, forgiving... but also open, standing up for myself, and being self-aware of my own short-comings. I am looking for a healthy way forward. I feel like he might have slid into a lot of activities/behaviors that he is either ashamed of or afraid to share with me. Or is still doing. And so how can we move forward if he doesn't communicate?

He is listening to AA online every day, but he says he never shares. He is on Step 4, but has no sponsor. It makes me wonder if he just says he's going to the garage to listen to a meeting so he can do other drugs or watch porn/go to dating sites. Or if he legitimately needs space.

I don't understand why he is not open with me or affectionate or grateful that I am here for him. I want to be understanding, but I don't want to be taken advantage of and I obviously am having trust issues. I asked if he wanted a divorce and he said no, but maybe he is just dragging me along. I am attending some Alanon, but I am at the very beginning of finding my way.

I'm trying to understand codependency. I'm trying to do things I need to do, focus on me, listen to meditation, clean the house, help the kids, work from home, take care of bills, everything. And it would all be easier if he was honest and on my side. I just don't know if this is common to alcoholic recovery or something(s) else.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:39 PM
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Keep going to Al Anon and focus on you. Get yourself a sponsor and work through those 12 steps for you.

For your information, he's most likely Not working the steps of AA as he really needs to be working With a sponsor.

Best wishes to you on your recovery!
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:08 PM
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So PumpkinSpouse that is A BUNCH of stuff that has been happening since he left rehab 90 days ago. So many concerning behaviors and signs. I really think you have to decide what type of life you want to live and then set about making that happen.

I can tell by your post that you do not want to live like you are living now and you sound so miserable. You make so many excuses for him and he makes many himself that you seem to buy. The situation is very grim if your telling of it is accurate. There are many signs in your story that would lead me to believe he is still using something but nobody knows except him. I think you should start to decide how you want the next chapter(s) of your life to look.

Let's say that he isn't using anything but this is just how he is now. Do you want to live like that? I don't think you do. Nobody would.

I wish you a peaceful life, simple, quiet with only people around you who want to be with you and respect you.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:48 AM
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Yesterday afternoon I said to him brightly, "Hey, I have an idea I want to share with you!", and he answered grimly, "I'm watching Dr. Phil." completely ending the conversation. I said, "Why don't you want to even hear my idea?" and it led to a familiar but confusing back-and-forth where he gets agitated, says he doesn't want me to ask him to talk or hear my ideas or go for a walk or do anything... which is fine per se, but his tone was aggressive and dismissive and when I said "Ok, you don't have to do anything, but why are you talking to me like that?", he says there's nothing wrong with how he talks to me (as he raises his voice). It went back and forth where I tried to explain the part after the Dr. Phil comment that made me feel badly (raising his voice, angry look in his eyes, being dismissive to me and telling me that he "cannot remember" what he said that was hurtful when I just pointed it out to him). Then he says that he is going to get up and walk away and that I'm acting like a victim because it's no big deal to shut me down if he knows where its going to lead. I said, "I didn't say anything! I came in here with love, and you got aggressive!". Then I spent more time saying we need to communicate and learn to resolve problems differently when they are small. And he says he needs to learn to leave the room if I come into it because every conversation leads to me criticizing him and giving him a lesson (i.e. Why are you talking to me like that? Why don't you want to solve problems differently? Why are you shutting me down? Why don't you recognize there is a gray area between talking "all the time" and planning to never talk?). Finally he shout-whispers he's sorry (while he is looking at me with contempt) and gets up and leaves.

I ended up taking a shower and listening to a guided meditation and when I came downstairs I told him I was thinking about what he said, that he didn't want to be corrected. I said there are two reasons I speak up: first to stand up for myself if you are crossing a line, because I don't like being talked to with aggression. Second, because I always take everything you say through a lens of thinking the best, and that you are struggling, and I always assume you don't mean to say things the way you do when it's hurtful words. But you are a grown man and it must be intolerable to have someone "correct your emotions". You say the things you say because you mean them, and you behave the way you do on purpose, and I'm not going to guide how you talk to me. If you want to correct yourself, you will.

He got upset. Says he doesn't always mean what he says. Of course I would take it like that. I was of course planning a whole upset while I was in the shower, and everybody makes mistakes, and this is just so I feel like a victim and he's going to take every word I say and hang onto it unless I apologize. I said yes, if I say something wrong I'll apologize and I'm going to take you at your word unless you say differently. Then he said something else inflammatory and why don't I just shut up and I did. He went outside for a meeting and there was no more talk all night.

I slept on the couch. I can't bear to get in the bed and have him be cold or aggressively push me away.

I don't know how to move forward without communication. What does "Time takes Time" mean? Does it mean living like roommates and not talking, and me continuing to do everything and just waiting for him to recover? It's not just emotions he doesn't want to talk about: he doesn't want to talk about the finances, the kids, things that need to be repaired at home, chores, errands, the past, the present or the future.

Is this normal in recovery? Total distance? I understand maybe he is healing but after 27 years together I don't know how to stop myself from wanting to give a hug, or needing to talk, or wanting a partner. Will this get better?
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:09 AM
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Big gentle hugs for you pumpkin.

I don't have advice. I'm new to sobriety and never had an addicted partner. But this sounds abnormal. I think you need to focus on healing yourself. That's all you can control now. Have you tried therapy?
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:04 AM
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Why are you still with this person?
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:19 AM
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Early recovery is horrible, every little thing seems like it's disaster-ville. Read around these forums, both the alcoholism/Newcomers side and the Friends and Family of alcoholics side.

He is on edge emotionally, physically, spiritually. In every way his body and mind is telling him to Run or Attack. (Fight or Flight.)

I have to say that if someone's conversation style was like yours in (my) early recovery, I would have been pretty confrontational too. It feels intrusive to ME and I'm not your husband.

Please find some help for yourself. Leave him to his own recovery, it's not your business.

If you can't back off a little this is going to continue in the same way. I'm not taking his side, for sure you deserve better treatment, but he is teetering: surely you can see that? It takes many months to feel normal after quitting drugs and alcohol. That's if he has actually really quit. I don't know if part of his personality has always been difficult, I suspect this is not completely off-character for him. You have lived with him for 27 years, so only you would know. I can understand if you are at the end of your rope. Often when recovery starts (for both) it's because everything is broken...for both.

As dandylion often says over in the Friends and Family side on this site, couples would be a lot better off living apart for the first year of sobriety/recovery. It is a very hard time for both of you and you personally need your own therapy/recovery process. I hope you'll start looking for that. Alanon is a 12 Step group for the family of addicts/alcoholics. It's free and you would be welcomed with open arms. Take a look online for meetings.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:50 AM
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I cannot seem to stop myself from trying to communicate. This morning he got up, went to the basement for a while, then came to me and said "Do you want coffee?', made the coffee and sat down. So I said I want to talk to you. "I know you are going through a lot, and congratulations on 89 days. Following up on yesterday, I don't know how to move forward if you won't communicate. I know your sobriety is the most important thing, but (and then I condensed a lot of what he has said in the last few days -although he sometimes backtracked on them): If you don't like me, don't love me, don't find me attractive, don't want to be close to me or work on the relationship, don't want to communicate about emotions or even the kids or the finances or things that responsible grown-ups talk about, and be accountable for what you say and do and don't say or don't do -- how can things get better?" (I know, too much.) He said, "I don't want to argue." I said, "It's not an argument, it's a conversation: I'm acknowledging things you say and do. If you want to correct something, you can. I only know what you tell me. And the only thing you ever tell me is that this is how you are and my only option is to divorce you."

Somehow in the middle of this I mentioned that someone told me he isn't working Step 4 if he doesn't have a sponsor. He blew up! "I never told you I was working Step 4! I never said I was doing AA. There's lost of other approaches, SMART Recovery, other non-AA ways. I'm working my own program. Now you're throwing it at me that this will lead to relapse when you should be supporting me! This led to more confusing conversation where I reminded him of 3 days ago telling me he got Step 1, 2, and 3 and now is working Step 4, which could take "4 years and three hours" (I guess people think about Step 4 for years but it really only takes 3 hours to write it down and pass that step). I was like, ok you're not doing AA. He reiterated he is doing his own program, and checking in once a week as an outpatient, cherry-picking from AA the good parts, and how dare I challenge his system if it's working!? (*mind blown* This is working?)

More from me on I only know what you told me and him being defensive/aggressive about me "ratting him out" to my people who don't know him and if I give him the numbers he'll call my people and tell them what he's doing. Ugh. Then he said he's going outside for a "fake meeting" -- funny term for him to use: I could take that 2 ways (either he is being facetious and trying to give me a dig for supposedly questioning his cherry-picking approach as his last comment was "maybe I'm using AA like a lamppost for support and not enlightenment!" or that it is fake and he is just using it as a reason to get away. Probably both.

So why am I still with him? I love him. I love the him he was and the him I want him to be, and the him that sometimes flickers through. He is funny, smart, creative, engaging and intermittently kind to me. I want to support him and stand by him. I want us to come through this together. Why does he ask me to give him time and be patient and then act like this is all he has to give (nothing). Is he just struggling in early recovery, bombarded by emotions and a physically-impacted body mind and soul? Will he come around? I want to shake him and wake him up!
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:11 AM
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Biminiblue, thanks for your insight. I don't know how to copy and paste an excerpt of your text (so maybe you can tell me how to do that), but you said:
"I have to say that if someone's conversation style was like yours in (my) early recovery, I would have been pretty confrontational too. It feels intrusive to ME and I'm not your husband."

I don't do everything right. I want to understand how to communicate better on my end. I have spent years in therapy and I am open to change. I am hoping for more help from you guys on what will work. Our history includes violence and tragedy. From my perspective, communication is the most important thing, and I see I'm not doing it right or at least not getting good results. I have had traumatic brain injury so maybe that's part of it, but I am the sole supporter for many years off-and-on while he slipped farther into drinking and mental illness and didn't do anything at home, just blamed me for not keeping the house better or managing our finances and kids better. I though once he stopped drinking and was getting help for bipolar that things would improve.

I am hearing from you what I hear from him: that I should keep doing everything myself, expect nothing from him in terms of partnership or parenting or functional support in day-to-day activities or emotional/physical closeness, give him time, and support his approach to sobriety. This is what I did while he was drinking and now you say to continue the same? Are you simply saying my expectations are unrealistic for someone in recovery to be invested and accountable to anyone but their sobriety? Or are you saying that my communication sucks and that there is some obvious way I can communicate that would work or that I should just not communicate at all, and just keep doing everything myself until he recovers via his own program self-styled approach? How long will that take? How will things get better if we don't communicate for years until he is recovered? I think it is better to learn new ways to communicate, and so what is your suggestion?




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Old 05-23-2020, 07:16 AM
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Of course it would be great if he miraculously did exactly what you want and became Mr. Awesome.

That's not going to happen - at least not right away, and definitely not due to you telling him to do so in your precise way.

You have choices here.

If you were single you'd be, "doing everything yourself."

Without the burden of his moods and problems.

Is that an option?
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:23 PM
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Hey PumpkinSpouse.

Hiding other addictions. He also has bipolar correct? When I went to treatment years ago, my main problem was snorting coke. But the coke use led to my drinking too much, and using other drugs which I never touched before. I also did things I wasnt proud of. All of it washed out in therapy, and I shared it with my wife in our sessions together. Was painful but needed to be done. I wouldn't be surprised if your husband didnt use or do some things he is concealing from you. Maybe he talked about it in his rehab? Depends on how they work and if he felt comfortable I'd guess.

what place were the 2 of you in before he landed in treatment? I dont think things can magically change unless you work together, talk, use therapy?, set some goals and each be heard. You dont need to shut up, or suffer in silence. He shouldn't treat you with disrespect no matter what he's going through. But it's accurate to say he may need space and time to think.
I was extremely tired after quitting. Also was dealing with depression, low self esteem, lots of negative views of myself. All that likely showed up in my interactions with others. Sometimes when a person feels low, they can lash out or try to bring others down to their level. Lots of psychological stuff going on.

I never used AA or any structured programs. Only talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, good habits, and stress reduction techniques. There's a lot of ways to recover. Not sure what time takes time means exactly. Progress is measurable.



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Old 05-23-2020, 03:49 PM
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Hi Lines,
Thank you so much for your insight. He is definitely depressed and has told me he is upset with himself. Some of it might be "regular" mid-life crisis stuff, but obviously he is ashamed of some of what he's done, at least he has shared that he feels he wasted his life and career and destroyed relationships and it seems clear he hasn't shared everything with me... except when he was completely unravelling from addiction and could do it in the form of fantasy talk of sorts.

Until about 6 months before treatment I never thought any of this stuff I am worried about now could be true. I loved him and thought he loved me. Even though we had issues with his mood swings and inability to balance responsibilities and a lack of job commitment, he was always loving to me. I thought it was all bipolar stuff, and went to some support groups.

Then he started really going downhill, and also was obviously drinking too much and sharing with me these stories that he said were a parallel life, kind of "what-would-happen-in-a-scenario-where..." involving other drugs, sexual experiences, etc. Some of it seemed like it was missing puzzle pieces, explaining why certain people in our lives interacted how they did with him. Some of it was pretty dark or fatalistic. He probably doesn't remember everything he said, but I do.

Some of it seemed very truthful about drug use in his youth for example, because the new "fantasy" parts of his story tied into things I knew to be true. So when he said he had been doing coke and hanging out at go-go bars every night before we met... I realized those things probably didn't just go away when he got married. He said he "just stopped" doing cocaine... I questioned that. When he talked about getting lap dances at a go-go bar when he was away on business, which I did not want to hear, but I thought it was probably true because he seemed to be authentic when he shared it.

But I don't know what was true, what was bipolar psychosis, what was alcohol or drug-fueled. He would say things, and then his mood would shift and he would say "you know this is all fake, right?". The conversations weaved between current normal conversation, reminiscing about high school and childhood, talking about what-if scenarios, and pure fantasy. At the time he was drinking a lot that I saw, and was also secretly drinking and he seemed to be clearly in a manic bipolar phase. It was impossible to know what was true.

I would think I'm going to divorce him, and then think this is "just" a manic episode, and then think he needs help, and also that he was going to die. He talked a lot about death, being afraid of people coming to kill him. Suddenly he had knives everywhere, and tools like heavy wrenches laid out for defense, and baseball bats behind doors. All this was new. He would talk about everything ending in disaster, or violence, and how I should marry someone new. He told me to watch for who was following me in the car, that there are bad people everywhere. He talked about how someone could kill me because I am an easy target. And he also asked me to marry him again, would cry if I left the room. It was crazy. It was bipolar. I wondered if any of it or all of it was true. I was desperate for him to get help. But he kept drinking. And I did not even know how much he was drinking by himself. But I started to worry if he was mixed up in stuff I didn't know about or just losing his mind.

Around that time I started wondering if he was doing meth or crack because of things he said and because his story on different days would loop back to the same "fantasy scenarios"... and researched enough to find out that there are people who balance a hidden meth habit for years and not everyone looks like someone you typically consider a meth addict. He did however, lose a ton of weight, have dental issues and a bunch of cuts and scabs on his legs that he said were from work. But I remember one long deep cut and he said he didn't know where it came from and wondered if he was in a fight or if this is related to drugs. He said he fell, but it was a long clean cut. How would you not know? His leg scabs were long and I started wondering if that is how you shoot up. I found other cell phones and sim cards he said were the kids.

During conversations when I asked about drug use, he would reveal-deny-challenge-confess-distract and challenge me by asking me things like "how do you think I would use meth?" (snorting it, smoking it, whatever) and I didn't even know the different ways you could use meth. I found some stuff that seemed like paraphernalia, but he has lots of tools and odd things from a glass tube I found and bent-up beer cans with liquid, and some kind of map gas, but he always had a reason for this stuff. I would also think I was making myself crazy over nothing. Well, not nothing. Certainly mental illness going on. And alcohol.

All these stories, scared me, made me cry for him, for me and my kids and the life we could have had.But these stories, scared me, made me cry for him, for me and my kids and the life we could have had.

I do think it would be awesome if he would eventually share with me what has happened to him, good, bad, and ugly. Then I could make choices from a place of truth. I truly love him and hate that he is in a situation where his life has been altered by these diseases, and I am proud of him for fighting for a new way. And I started this post because if he is really hiding other drug or sexual addictions or childhood trauma, then I think he needs very specialized help. I did suggest he see a trauma therapist.

I know this all seems like too much... and believe me, I am skipping whole chapters of issues. Maybe everyone who is alcoholic has these problems or ones like them. Maybe it all caught up with him and he has a wet-brain like they said could happen in an ER trip just before rehab.

I am so glad he is not drinking, but we are barely out of the gate on recovery. Thank you for talking to me.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:50 PM
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Biminiblue,

I spoke to my husband. He says he is going to try harder to let me know he loves me. Right now, I am going to take that as his truthful word. God gave us the grace to find our way this far in recovery --separately and together-- and I am so grateful for yours and everyone's kind support.

Maybe I won't ever know exactly what is happening with him or what has been the harrowing road he's taken. I am praying for him to stay sober. 90 days tomorrow! If he can stay sober I am sure he will find a way to overcome the challenges going on inside his mind. If he can stay sober, I am sure he will find his way back to me, because I am a good woman and I love him dearly.

I will keep working on myself, going to Alanon and whatever else is available to help me find my way, like this group. Today, for this moment, my heart is full of gratefulness and I will keep having faith.
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