THE MAN I LOVE & HIS COCAINE HABIT

LOVE & MARRIAGE, MENTAL HEALTH

When you hear the words ‘drug addict’ your mind goes to the extreme, but the reality is very different. It’s something that is affects people from all walks of life and often those you’d never expect.  This list, from an author who wishes to remain anonymous, is written by a Mother of two who’s partner is struggling with alcohol and cocaine addiction. I ‘once a while dabble’ that escalated into something beyond his control. 

 

  • I always knew he wasn’t ok.

  • When we first met, I went along with it.

  • He was exciting, it was all new to me and we would have wild nights out coming home the next day, spending the day in bed on a comedown with no responsibilities.

  • Which was all fun and games to some extent, until I got pregnant.

  • My life changed very quickly, pretty much overnight.

  • He calmed down a bit but the drinking was still frequent and excessive, and the drug taking was enough for me to worry about our future as a family.

  • I thought being a Dad would change him and it did in many ways, he is an amazing father but the thing about addiction is it has a hold over people that can leave them hurting and letting down the people they love in ways they never would if they were sober.

  • I’ve always thought I could help him and wanted to save him. Forever choosing to see the good in him and believing that everything would be ok, that one day he would ‘grow up’ and walk away from that part of his life.

  • I thought us buying our first home would change him, the responsibility of a mortgage and bills, but again I was wrong and just kept telling him to stop being an ‘idiot’.

  • The thing with addiction and alcoholism is it’s the only thing you can practise more and more and get worse at, and that he certainly did.

  • Think about it… if you practise making your favourite dish or practise playing your favourite sport, the more you do it, the better you will get at it.

  • If you practise taking drugs and drinking alcohol, the more you do it, the worse you get at it. There is no calming down, there is no getting better and there is no growing up.

  • Unless of course you seek help in recovery.

  • Things took a very big turn for the worse after the birth of our second child, this was (naively) a shock to me… again I thought having more responsibilities would make him stop.

  • But the extra responsibility did the complete opposite.

  • All I wanted was a happy, ‘normal’ family and I felt like it was falling to pieces every time he didn’t come home.

  • The disappearances became more frequent, coming home at 4am turned into 10am, 1pm, the following evening.

  • Every time he did it, it got to a point in the night where I was crazy with worry, convinced that something terrible had happened to him and that was why he hadn’t come home.

  • But I always knew it was because he had ‘got on one’.

  • I sometimes wished something terrible had happened.

  • His behaviour was affecting everything.

  • I still thought I could fix everything.

  • Every time he went out ‘just for a couple of pints’ I would tell myself it would be different.

  • Every time there became a point in the evening where the phone would stop ringing and start going to answer phone.

  • I used to ring and ring and ring.

  • Some nights I thought ‘I’ve got a better relationship with the EE answer phone lady’ than I did with him.

  • The days that followed would always be hard.

  • The defensive front that would be put on, closely followed by remorse and promises of change.

  • The weekends and days lost because of come downs and hangovers.

  • I would sit and scroll Instagram watching other families doing lovely things and having days out and I would just hate him.

  • I was always ‘overreacting’ and always made to feel like it wasn’t a big deal.

  • But it was a big deal.

  • It was making me anxious and angry.

  • Which of course was affecting the kids.

  • I would waste my days trying to micromanage him. I would phone him often, plan his favourite meals so he would come straight home from work and not be tempted to go to the pub.

  • I believed countless lies and always blamed myself and felt stupid for being hopeful, stupid for holding onto the good in him and most of all stupid for putting up with it.

  • But every time it happened I would of always ‘had enough’.

  • Until eventually one day, I really had had enough.

  • Rock bottom was hit and unfortunately it takes that, and it took me finally finding the strength to walk away and let him deal with his actions for him to realise he needed serious help.

  • It’s so hard to watch someone you love so much, who you know loves you so much have something that has a hold over them.

  • I used to think how can you do this to us? 

  • I still do, but I’m trying my best to learn more about addiction.

  • I think accepting that he can’t control it has been one of the hardest things to come to terms with, once it’s got him, it’s got him.

  • And although it sounds selfish of me, I feel I can no longer blame him for everything. Which is difficult to understand when someone has put you through so much.

  • He has now been in recovery for around 6 months.

  • We have lost ‘friends’ and lost our life almost.

  • But I have to remind myself of how I felt when we used to go to the pub for a ‘few’ or go to our friends houses or have friends round.

  • I have to remind myself of how those evenings always ended and how I would usually drink too just to stop myself feeling sick with anxiety.

  • He has relapsed 3 times since he has been in recovery.

  • I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but also that if we continue to try and make a go of things that I am forever living in fear of a relapse.

  • One thing I struggle with now, is how I always used to think, if he just stops drinking everything will be ok.

  • But recovery isn’t easy for any of us.

  • I’m still anxious and I’m still angry.

  • Very, very angry. At him, at myself, at society, at drink culture.

  • I’m angry at the ‘system’ whatever that is and wonder if he had had better support as a child through certain traumas would he be an addict today?

  • I’m still unsure of our future, I’m still unsure if I can let go of the resentment and move forward.

  • I feel a huge amount of guilt for not being as supportive and understanding as I could be of what he is going through.

  • But I know I have been hurt so many times and that the resentment is something that I will need to work on, in order for us to move forward.

  • I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I’m at work in the evenings and he doesn’t answer the phone.

  • I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach when he’s a little bit late home from work.

  • But I still have hope.

  • It used to be something I was so ashamed of, but every time I have opened up I see so many other women in relationships with addicts or alcoholics.

  • I used to look at him and think god you are being such an arsehole, but now I know it’s a mental health issue and there is such a stigma around addiction and alcoholism.

  • I feel a huge amount of shame sometimes for staying with him, for trying to make it work.

  • I feel a huge amount of embarrassment when he has relapsed again, and I’m phoning my nearest and dearest again in need of support.

  • I feel a huge amount of guilt for not ever feeling fully present in almost every other relationship I have in my life because I’ve been so wrapped up trying to make this one right for so long.

  • I feel a huge amount of confusion about wether I’m doing the right thing for me and the kids.

  • But above all else I feel a huge amount of relief that he is finally getting the support he needs.

  • I wish I could give reassurance to others going through similar that the person they love will be ok.

  • I wish I could tell you that you can fix everything and make everything ok.

  • I wish I could find a magic cure.

  • But there isn’t one.

  • The only person who can truly take that step and make those changes is the addict themselves

  • And the truth is, the day I let go of trying to make everything ok and trying to ‘fix’ him, was the day that he also realised that only he could help himself and take the first steps of recovery.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Claudette February 8, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Wow. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Holly February 8, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Wow. What a post. Thank you so much for having the courage to post this. My partner is an addict. He’s been in recovery for 15 years. You’re so right about it being a mental health issue. When things get tough he heads off to AA & NA meetings. Some weeks he goes once, other weeks up to 6 times. It’s a journey. There’s a great gift in recovery, which is hard to see sometimes but it’s there, I promise x

  • Reply Claire Davies February 8, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    I totally & utterly understand. I went through the exact same thing. Same feelings. Same constant worries. He’d go for a day to begin with, then it just grew to at one point it was 3 months. Even when he was not drinking, it was hard as he was anxious, resentful, frustrated every negative emotion. I was the same and just waiting for the next time. I had local custody sergeant and A&E saved in my phone and mine constant was the Vodafone voicemail lady. I knew exactly how many rings before she would pipe up. I send you love and good luck xx

  • Reply Esther February 8, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Oh wow. Thank you for sharing. This is literally every thought I’ve had as I’ve admitted t outloud and come to terms with my partners addiction. Have you tried going to an https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk meeting? These are for those who have a loved one with an addiction. Lots of love and mama strength to you x

  • Reply Michelle February 8, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    I love that there are brave women out there to tell the tale (which too parallels mine) to hopefully encourage and support other addicts families. We who have loved ones who choose or don’t choose to recover suffer need as much support as the addict them self’s. i too have a program (FA) and a fellowship to help me manage my worries and anxiety and help me identify my behaviours which enable my husbands addiction Thank u u are not alone and god bless 🙏

  • Reply Emma February 10, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing this…it’s a bit like reading my life…except for the coming out the other side bit. Still in the trenches.

    • Reply GM June 30, 2019 at 3:01 am

      Ha Emma! Reading your message and totally feel the same ! Night replies speak volumes!! Just the reality of feeling so alone as I feel there is so much judgement around.
      Wish everyone lots of luck in these situations and lots of sleep!

  • Reply Leona July 24, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    This is like i wrote it myself, everything rang true , life with him is hard life life without him is equally hard, i worry without me he will become even worse and the responsability of that lays heavy 🤷‍♀️ Ide like to say im hopeful but right now im really not, hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel soon 😢 xx

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