Boyfriend relapsed, how much is he really into his recovery?
I reconnected with a friend from junior high in January. He was getting out of a relationship - one he had begun while using heroin and cocaine - and we began as friends but things developed quickly between us.
The first time we chatted on the phone he told me he had been an addict and clean for three years. He was in jail for a stint and said jail is what saved him and taught him the willpower he needed to stay clean.
He has two young boys, one of whom is severely autistic. He is an excellent father. They keep him motivated in his recovery.
I'm the daughter of a former alcoholic. I dated a man who drank too much for my liking in the past. I'm very sensitive to keeping an eye open for addictive behavior and when my friend told me about his past, I told him flat out I wouldn't be with someone who did drugs. He told me he didn't and didn't expect to ever go back.
I find out he smokes marijuana, a hit or two a day. He doesn't change much other than to get a little relaxed. He says it's for his anxiety and depression, that it keeps things at bay. I think he shouldn't be using anything. He argues that he does not want to go on prescription meds because he doesn't want to get addicted to them or feel like he needs them.
He told me he doesn't think the pot is a problem, but that he also has made a list of reasons why he does and does not want to continue. I feel like if he bothered to make such a list, it must mean he's not too happy about his usage of weed. He quit for a week or two but a few weeks ago told me he went back because he's under a large amount of stress. He is. I won't argue that. But I don't think he's smart to use a substance to deal with it.
In August, he relapsed. He used heroin or cocaine. He asked me to keep it quiet because he didn't want my family and friends to judge him. He is always worried about what the people in my life will think of him, being an ex-con and ex-junkie. He used for a weekend and came to me, told me about it, said he needed help. He asked for some money for Suboxone. He went and got it and took it for about two weeks. He told me he wanted to not use it too much because he didn't want to become reliant. He went to a doctor who used to treat him for advice and the doc told him his body can not handle the drugs and he will be dead if he didn't stop. He was able to kick it and stopped the Suboxone.
He was proud of himself. He was very worried that he would slip back into it full blown. He told me it was important for me to believe in him, that having me in his corner meant everything, etc. He asked me several times if I felt differently about him, if I still wanted to date him. My feelings never changed once. He is the man for me.
He's been out of work for about two months. Having a felony does not help him find a job. His son with special needs is getting worse. These things are very challenging. I understand, I really do.
I've told him where I stand on the pot. I get where he thinks it's okay. I have never done anything more than drink and smoke a cig. He thinks I'm a bit of a square and "oversensitive" about his usage. A friend whose ex-fiancee went back to heroin badly said I am overreacting to the marijuana, that it is better than hard drugs, that if it helps him, what's the harm? I just wish he didn't feel the need for ANY substance but I don't know if that's a realistic goal. He is really opposed to prescription meds because he says he's not bad with cravings/depression every day but that when it does hit him, it's bad. And that he hates feeling that low.
Last week we talked on Tuesday. I asked him why he thought he was able to not slip full blown into drugs again in august. He said because he doesn't want to die and that's what will happen. He said he has the willpower to handle everything a lot more.
The next day, not so much. He visited his other son at school. He is adored by his son and vice versa. He called me when he left, said his son was so happy to see him, thinks he's superman, etc. He said, "You see me as wonderful. I'm not wonderful. He thinks I'm a hero. I'm not a hero." And he said he felt so low, that he's not the man he wants to be, etc. He asked for some money to get suboxone. I told him let's just talk about it and think about it, that maybe that wasn't a good idea. He said I needed to trust that he knew what was right for him and that he doesn't always tell me when he's freaking out/craving because I get so worried about him. Which is true. I just wish he didn't have to fight this battle. I don't know if I'm paranoid because I have a bit of anxiety myself, or if I'm overly cautious/distrustful because alcoholism runs rampant in my family, or if I let my worries get the best of me. I need to have limits. I don't want to have children with someone who's an active addict. I know he wants to be clean and healthy. I know he's strong and I'm proud of how far he's come. I know that at any time, any former addict can go back. I accepted all of that a long time ago. I guess my question is, how do you deal with it? How do you protect yourself, try to be there for that person, but also keep enough perspective?
We really have a wonderful relationship. We are so good for each other. My therapist is supportive of it. I just get so nervous sometimes LOL.