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  • Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    English muffin
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:07 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:13 pm

    Hi I’ve been with my partner a year now and I found out a few months ago he has a cocaine addiction. He’s never told anyone, I found out from finding it in the house. A few times I had suspicions and asked him about it, he would deny it but eventually he admitted he had a problem. He’s obviously very embarrassed about it and ashamed and wants to stop. He promises me he will get help but never does then it happens again. I don’t know how to deal with it. I want to help and support him but the lies and not trying to get help makes me think he doesn’t want to stop. I don’t think my reactions help because I get mad and upset about it. How do you help someone who is scared to get help?
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    Astraia
    Moderator
    Posts: 51
    Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:34 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:11 pm

    Hi @English muffin

    I am glad you are here reaching out for support. This shows that you care so much about your relationship with your partner.

    I notice that the past few months have been challenging for you two. However, I am glad to hear that you have created a safe space for your partner to disclose that he has been using cocaine. Having said that, embarrassment and shame are feelings that commonly appear after a person has disclosed their use to someone they care about. It is also very common for people abusing substances to lie because they do not want to feel judged.

    It seems to me that this entire situation causes you to feel angry and disappointed. Usually family members or significant others find themselves trying to fix their loved one, because you would like the substance use to stop. You can beg, argue, confront, demand, fight, order and at times give in. At the end of the day, what is important to come to terms with is that your partner could be using cocaine for many reasons and that ultimately he is the only one who can make the decision to seek help to stop or cut down.

    I also invite you to join some online meetings for family members that are in a similar position to yours. These meetings will help you to understand more about what your partner is going through and how to respond more effectively. https://www.breakthroughforfamilies.com/

    Warm regards,
    Astraia

    ;)

    @Lhiver @ScorpionPW @PnorkelPW @SunflowerSeed
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 543
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:13 pm

    Hi @English muffin and thanks for sharing on the forum.

    I agree with @Astraia in that it sounds like you are supporting your partner as best you can and trying to come from a place of understanding. Often in these circumstances the person using the substance doesn’t see it as a problem and aren’t ready to do anything about it. The thing I say to all friends, families and loved ones in these circumstances is that what’s important is your boundaries and how much you can take. How much lying can you take?

    Everyone has a different level of acceptance when it comes to substance use and what is okay and what isn’t. Something to remember is that just because someone is using drugs or alcohol doesn’t mean they’re addicted and doesn’t mean it is a problem for them…………but maybe the use is a problem for those around them. I wonder in this case what is acceptable for you and what is the problem? Is any use acceptable or would you prefer he doesn’t use at all?

    One of the questions you asked is whether he wants to stop. Would you be okay reaching a compromise if he wanted to use once per month or some other agreed amount? As I said earlier, just because someone is using doesn’t mean they’re addicted. Maybe if he knew there was an agreement in place about his use he wouldn’t need to hide it and this would stop the lies………….maybe it wouldn’t too but it might be an open and safe way of working together with him to help you both understand if it is becoming a problem and he is having trouble controlling his use.

    As @Astraia asked……what’s driving his use? Is it for fun or is it masking a bigger issue??? Does he want to work on that??? This is about him.

    I think all you can do is encourage him to speak to his GP or a drug and alcohol counsellor if he thinks he needs to. My experience of going through addiction was that I told those around me what they wanted to hear. I told them I wanted to stop and I wasn’t lying………….but I could never manage to do it. I discovered further down the track that I was never ready to stop. There were times where I wanted to but I wasn’t ready. Ultimately that is up to your partner and you can only ask him for an honest conversation as to whether he actually wants to stop or whether he wants to use and whether you can reach an agreement on what that looks like.

    I asked a question at the start……….how much lying can you take?? Your boundaries are what this will come down to. There is no one approach fits all to this. You can tell him you’ll support him if he wants to stop, help him work through strategies from his GP or counsellor if he goes down that track, and whatever other support he needs……….but if your boundaries are continually broken then that’s what you’ll need to assess.

    You need to look after yourself through this too. Have you got friends or family who can support you through this??

    I hope some of this helps and I’m more than happy to continue a conversation about it all and support you as this goes on. Just make sure you tag me in your post so I get a notification and can respond.
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 457
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing @English muffin and I'm sorry to hear about the struggles that your partner, and in turn you are going through.

    I've been on both sides of this coin and I'm not sure that there's any easy answers. I know that when I was in addiction, even when it was hurting the people around me I wasn't capable of getting the help I needed until I came to a place where I was ready to make the decision for myself, based on feeling like I had no other option. Up until that point I was so afraid of living life without drugs because they were the only thing I'd ever found that helped me cope with life.

    On the other hand, when it's been somebody close to me who is stuck in it I felt all the same feelings of frustration, worry, sadness and anger that those who were close to me through my addiction had felt. What really helped me through these times was making sure I was looking after myself, setting boundaries and trying my best to love them anyway. Again, this was never done perfectly and was never easy, more something that I strived towards.

    I would recommend getting in touch with Family Drug & Gambling help. They have a 24/7 helpline which you can ring and speak to somebody who has a lived experience of being a loved on of somebody who has struggled or is struggling with addiction. They also run multiple support groups face to face and online and have counselling as well. Here's the link:

    https://www.sharc.org.au/sharc-programs ... ling-help/

    It's really great that you've reached out and I really hope you can find a way to support your partner in a way where you can also look after yourself. And keep reaching out to us here, we're always here if you want to check in, ask any questions or just let some stuff out that you're struggling with.
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    DonnaK
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2022 5:10 am

    Re: Struggling on how to handle alcoholic partner. yourself here - friends and family

    Tue Jun 28, 2022 5:29 am

    My partner of a year has been struggling with alcohol addiction for some years now. Prior to me meeting him. I to have struggled with binge drinking in the past and now know from numerous fights I cannot drink around him.
    The problem is that he doesn’t want help after me leaving the realationship a few times. Work warning him of loss if his job. Family alienating him because of his behaviour.
    He is a really beautiful person when not drunk, but when drunk is mean and nasty.
    He also has been contacting other women when drunk so the trust in this department has shattered as well.
    I feel like all sense of normality is out the window. I do love him and believes he loves me but doesn’t want to change anything from his side. I have taken him to AA a Counsellor and church. I’m not sure what else I can do?
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 620
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:59 am

    hey @DonnaK welcome and thank you for sharing with us.

    It sounds like things with your partner have been incredibly difficult. Trust and mutual respect are such important elements of any relationship and I can hear that your partner is upholding his side there.

    You've clearly done a lot for him, I'm wondering what supports you have for yourself right now? It can be really easy to lose sight of our own needs while support loved one. Remember, we cant pour from an empty cup. You might find it useful to check out this thread on boundary setting with loved ones

    It sounds like he is at a stage when he might not yet see his behaviour as problematic. In this instance, it's so important to protect yourself and your needs, we an only carry others so far.

    Let us know how you''re travelling

    @PnorkelPW @ScorpionPW
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 457
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Tue Jun 28, 2022 9:39 pm

    Hi @DonnaK

    Thanks so much for sharing and letting us know a bit about what's happening with you and your partner. It sounds like a tough spot to be in and it sounds like you really love and care about him.

    I remember having a partner once who was struggling with drinking after I had already gotten into recovery and it was so so challenging. I ended up needing to leave the relationship to keep myself safe but there was real love there and this stuff is never easy.

    With anybody close to me who has been struggling in this way, I've learnt over a lot of trial and error that boundaries are so important, for me at least. It's having boundaries that allow me to look after myself first so I'm not trying to give from an empty cup but still trying to be there for people that I love and care about which can often be a cumbersome process and has never been easy. One of the most important things I've learnt as well, is that until that person is whole heartedly ready to make the decision to seek change for themselves that there is not a lot I can do to try and push them towards it. I know that from my own experience of struggling with addiction as well.

    I would really recommend getting in touch with Family Drug & Gambling Help. They have a 24 hour helpline where you can call and talk to somebody who has lived experience of being a loved one of somebody who has struggled or is struggling with addiction. They also run support groups online and face to face, as well as counselling and other supports:

    https://www.sharc.org.au/sharc-programs ... ling-help/

    I hope you continue to reach out on the forums and we're always here if you want to stay connected :)
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 543
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:43 pm

    Hi @DonnaK...........thank you for sharing on the forums

    It seems to me that you've tried all you can to support your partner and try to steer him in the right direction but ultimately it's going to be down to him to not only access the help but to commit to sticking with it. I lost everything...............the marriage, the jobs, the money but it was a few years later that I actually committed to getting help and maintaining it. I have to agree with @Lhiver and @ScorpionPW in that your boundaries and self care are of utmost important here. Your self care needs to be a priority because it sounds like you've done some work on yourself over time and have made some positive steps in regards to your drinking. It'd be a shame if that got undone through this as well.

    You've taken your partner to all the right people and places for support..............hopefully when your partner is ready he knows where that support is. It can be really hard not to feel a sense of responsibility and that if you keep trying you'll be able to get your partner to change. Try to remember that he is the one making his decisions and you're not responsible for his decision making.

    I know that no-one could make me change. I loved my wife and she loved me but she had to make a decision that was best for her and that was to end a 15 year relationship because I wouldn't change. I'm not saying that's what you should do but I feel that what you need to think about is how much more can you take.
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    GodsChild777
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Fri May 13, 2022 5:28 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Mon Jul 25, 2022 7:04 pm

    @ScorpionPW
    I have only just read your reply to my first post, so sorry. "The gift of desperation" makes complete sense to me right now as I know I this is not the life God had planned for me. Iam starting to believe iam destined to be something greater than just another "drug addict".
    I've cut all the so called friends off that feed into my addiction.

    I relapsed again last month and ended up detained in a mental heath ward. I was an emotional wreck. Wanting revenge against everyone who ever done me wrong in my life. Was having violent thoughts ( and I'm not in the least bit aggressive) . I didn't even realise anything was wrong at the time.
    I have severe bipolar since teenager so I have been put on new meds.

    Will the cravings ever go away? :( as time goes by will I want to use less and less?
    I can't remember how I coped before starting so I'm just so scared of the unknown.
    1 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 457
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - friends and family

    Mon Jul 25, 2022 9:47 pm

    Hi @GodsChild777, it's good to hear that resonated with you and that you have some hope that there is something more for you...

    I remember having to cut all of the people out in my life that were still using. This was really hard at first because some of these people were really close friends but I just knew I needed some distance from there or there was no way I'd be able to stay clean. It was so so important for me to build new connections or it would have just been too lonely. For me, going to meetings really helped with this, going for coffee afterwards and slowly building relationships with like minded people who are living in recovery instead of addiction.

    You may have seen me mention this on another post but I remember hearing something in the early days which really helped me was "harbouring resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting somebody else to get poisoned". Even in situations when somebody genuinely wronged me and I had a legitimate reason to feel anger, I had to come to terms with the fact that if I held on to that anger the only person suffering was ultimately me. To forgive for me wasn't necessarily about doing something for the other person, but it was about giving myself freedom from carrying around the weight of the anger through my life. It's can be quite a process and sometimes a lot easier said than done but it's always something I work towards. Something that really helps me with this is owning my part in things and somehow that helps me to let the rest go at times.

    I know for me, overtime the cravings got less and less overtime. The early days of recovery were really hard at times. Some days were like a rollercoaster ride, I had to chunk it down sometimes to 5 minutes at a time throughout the day and just do whatever it takes for my head to hit the pillow at the end of the day without picking up. Again, going to meetings helped me a lot to fill my days and keep recovery focussed. There's no way I could have gotten through my early days without picking up without NA, I know that's not everybodies experience but it was certainly mine.

    I found that when I faced really difficult situations where I'd never been able to get through clean before but I managed to not pick up, that it was easier the next time. Like, I had to build my own evidence that I was capable of living life without drugs, that I was capable of getting through challenges and day to day life with new ways to cope. It was only through building my own evidence of this that I truly believed life could become easier and more enjoyable for me without drugs. But we all need to start somewhere!

    Thanks so much for sharing again, if you ever want any info on any meetings or any other supports you can access we are more than happy to give any info. Also, if you just wanna chat we're always here :)
    0 x

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