madeline

Help me help my boyfriend

17 posts in this topic

This may take awhile but I want to give you some background. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years, living with him for one. Up until the past few months everything was perfect. He was perfect. He has some issues that he has to take medication for but has always taken all of his meds very responsibly. A few months ago he lost his job and everything seemed to go downhill after that.

 

     He was fine at first but then he started getting bored. Started to go out here and there but not much. Then he stayed out all night a few times. After that he started withdrawing from me, his kids, anyone and everything that was "real." He began creating this fantasy life. He was lying to me (though I knew it) lying to everyone that cared about him. Lying to these new "friends"  he had met. The last month he went into this downward spiral, abusing his Adderall to stay awake, abusing new drugs like ecstasy. I did my best to stay by his side and bring him back to the man I had been with the past couple of years but he got to the point where he didn't want to be with me.

 

     I knew he had to hit bottom and he finally did about 2 weeks ago. His new friends it seems were not friends at all and took advantage of him. He has never been around people like that before and has never abused any type of street drug. He rarely even drinks. He had a sort of wake up call and in turn he called me and asked if we could work things out. I of course said yes. I love this man and I know who he really is and it is not the person he has been portraying the past few months.

 

    At the same time he decided he had enough of the Adderall and realized that his misuse had led to a lot of his issues. He quit cold turkey. He has tried to quit in the past. Stepping down is not an option. He will try but then of course there is always a reason he needs just a little more. In the past he wasn't able to quit because he tried alone. I have been there the past week and he has had a lot of withdrawal symptoms. He slept for 3 days, then was wide awake for almost 2 days. He has been extremely hungry, his anxiety (which he had prior to this) has gotten worse and he has become extremely agitated though he has done his best to control it. He had a moment right after he woke up from his 3 day sleep that he felt really good, until he couldn't get BACK to sleep. He finally made it back to sleep today and has slept all day.

 

      I have been making sure that he is taking all his other meds as prescribed, feeding them to him personally. I have also made sure he is eating well and have started giving him L-Tyrosine and a few other supplements to try to make this easier. I have been patient even when he has gotten irritated. I've tried to remind him why he is doing this when he says he would feel normal if he had his Adderall.

 

     He is on day 6 now and the one time he did get up today he talked about his complete lack of motivation to do anything at all. He was pleasant but didn't want to do anything. I've tried to just get him to go on a car ride or walk in order to get him active even if its only for fifteen minutes but he won't do it.

 

      Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Am I doing everything I can be doing to help him through this? Is there anything I shouldn't do during this time that would make it worse? Is there anything I can do or say to motivate him to maybe take a walk and start getting just a little active? I'm at a loss!

 

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madeline You are doing everything wright it sounds like you are a very caring girlfriend and you are defiantly concerned about him .Your boyfriend is going thru the normal crash  landing it usually takes 5 to 7 days of hell for him and also on you allso  jest keep on doing what your doing for him don't push him at this time in doing anything he is not ready for he needs to crash land at his own pace don't rush him at this time jest be supportive like you have ben . The time will come  soon when he feels better to have a  conversation about how you feel.  Street drugs use  and medication are a very bad combination it can have adverse reactions on mood stabilization.

Good luck time will heel

FALCON

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Thank you Falcon. There was a major turn of events at 3am. He woke me up, unable to sleep after having slept all day. He was furious. Talking of not having anything to live for. Saying he felt nothing but anger and had no feelings of love in him. Basically told me to stay but making it clear that he didn't want a relationship. Then he left saying he was going for a drive and never came home last night. I'm not sure how to handle this. I came back because he asked me too and said he wanted this now all this happens

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It might help if he knew more about what to expect from withdrawal and addiction recovery. If you know what to expect then the depression/mood swings/existential boredom are easier to deal with. This can be accomplished in a few ways:

 

1) Reading a lot of books and articles about addiction, especially amphetamine/methamphetamine addiction. There are great articles on this site. There are a ton of articles/sites about meth addiction too.

 

2) NA/AA. If you're not a big reader then get the information from other addicts in person.

 

3) Rehab - you probably learn a lot of good tools there, but most people can't afford it so they do the first two.

 

The other tip is for him to take it easy for the first few months, lower his stress level, and not make any major decisions for awhile. It takes a long time for your brain to recover from drug use. Think of it like weight gain and loss. Say you gained 50 pounds over two years and now you decide you want to lose it. Do you think you'll lose it overnight? No, of course not, the human body doesn't work that way. You'll probably aim to lose a pound a week. So, losing four pounds a month, in 12 months you'll have shed the 50 pounds. This makes sense to most people, but somehow when it comes to addiction recovery we think we should be cured in a week? No, it doesn't work that way. It works like the weight loss analogy.

 

One more thing: he has to want to quit for himself, not for you or his relationships. He has to want to get sober, there's nothing you can do to make him see the light or anything like that. When I quit, my husband gave me tough love and good, objective advice. He did not coddle me or feed me vitamins and he called me out if I was being a bitch or taking my shitty moods out on him or others. Basically, he was supportive of my recovery but made it clear that it was not okay for me to act like a spoiled little baby. This was exactly what I needed to recover.

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Thanks for your reply. I spoke this morning with one of our friends who has quit adderall and she is helping me make sense of this. It is his best friend of 17 years. He went to her house the weekend before he called me and she talked to him for two days straight. At that point he was clear headed and layed everything out about wanting to quit and get his life back. He was motivated and ready. When he came home he started applying for jobs, called his ex to get his schedule set back up with his kids, talked to me about coming back, even started talking about the future with me involved. Up until last night things were cool. Hard with the withdrawal but none of this. Is it possible to lose it in this way while withdrawing? He says he feels nothing but anger. Is this normal? What is an appropriate response to this madness?

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Anger is normal. Anger at the pharmaceutical industry, anger at the time you've wasted, anger at your self and others.  It will probably followed my depression/remorse/lethargy. His emotions will be very erratic (up/down) for the first 2-3 months. Adderall really fucks with your brain chemistry and it takes time to level off. Right now he needs rest. Sleeping a lot will be normal.

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It might help if he knew more about what to expect from withdrawal and addiction recovery. If you know what to expect then the depression/mood swings/existential boredom are easier to deal with. This can be accomplished in a few ways:

 

1) Reading a lot of books and articles about addiction, especially amphetamine/methamphetamine addiction. There are great articles on this site. There are a ton of articles/sites about meth addiction too.

 

2) NA/AA. If you're not a big reader then get the information from other addicts in person.

 

3) Rehab - you probably learn a lot of good tools there, but most people can't afford it so they do the first two.

 

The other tip is for him to take it easy for the first few months, lower his stress level, and not make any major decisions for awhile. It takes a long time for your brain to recover from drug use. Think of it like weight gain and loss. Say you gained 50 pounds over two years and now you decide you want to lose it. Do you think you'll lose it overnight? No, of course not, the human body doesn't work that way. You'll probably aim to lose a pound a week. So, losing four pounds a month, in 12 months you'll have shed the 50 pounds. This makes sense to most people, but somehow when it comes to addiction recovery we think we should be cured in a week? No, it doesn't work that way. It works like the weight loss analogy.

 

One more thing: he has to want to quit for himself, not for you or his relationships. He has to want to get sober, there's nothing you can do to make him see the light or anything like that. When I quit, my husband gave me tough love and good, objective advice. He did not coddle me or feed me vitamins and he called me out if I was being a bitch or taking my shitty moods out on him or others. Basically, he was supportive of my recovery but made it clear that it was not okay for me to act like a spoiled little baby. This was exactly what I needed to recover.

Cassie,

 

The weight loss analogy is the best addiction analogy I've come across. It helps me understand my schedule for recovery. At the very least, it puts my recovery in an annual time frame rather than a monthly timeframe and eases up on my self-expectations for improvement.  I think I'll be able to tolerate my moaning and groaning with a little more self love now that I am framing it up this way.

 

I admire the clarity and compassion in your writing. Thank you for this post and all of the support you consistently give to us at quittingAdderall.

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Well he seems to have settled down tonight. Not happy by any means but not volatile either. I decided today I would go about my business, not bother him with eat something or take your meds. He came out of the bedroom once, ate, briefly made small talk but his tone was numb and uninterested. Then straight back up to bed. His daughter is sick. I have taken care of her all night and not once did he get up to check on her which is crazy because she is his world. I'm just trying to remember that this is not me, that its the process he's going thru. His best friend is coming in to stay with us a couple of days. She's and ex addict and is just coming to , if anything, try to lighten the mood. He relates well to her because not only has she had the same addiction and came out on the other side, but she also deals with anxiety and depression just as he does. I believe her presence will be beneficial to him. They get each other and since somewhere during the time I went to bed last night and 3am I became the enemy. I figured it didn't hurt to call in back up. Thank you for all your replies and advice. This is much harder than I expected and I'm intent on making sure I do everything I can to help him thru this.

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Dear madeline I have ben thinking of you and the madness your going thru I have read your post again tonight .Well her is my worthless two cents of advice your boyfriend is gong thru something not wright. I have a feeling its more then the normal withdraw symptoms from addarall .If you do not see any improvement in his mood and state of mind after your visit with your friends this week end I think he should see his DR. maybe his medication is not doing him good and may need to be adjusted get him some proper professional help. The members on this web site are a great group of peapal which share experience with quitting addarall and other stimulants but I think your boyfriend has some very deep issues he is dealing with . As for you maybe you need to talk to a professional consoler for your self you speak about the madness in your life wright now I do not want to see you go crazy from all the madness by talking to a professional it my help you deal with it better.

Your consernd friend FALCON

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Thank you FALCON,

 

     He was up again all night last night. This morning he was actually pleasant and said he had gotten some things done around the house that he had been wanting to do while he was awake. Complete shift of mood. I have been reading for the anger, and irrational thinking that withdrawing can cause and that helps.

 

      Just some extra background. He is a war vet. After being hurt in Aphganistan he was medically discharged and the result was nerve damage. He has chronic fatigue and chronic nerve pain. His anxiety and depression doubled after and then there's the PTSD. He has also been recently diagnosed with extremely low thyroid and testosterone levels and has been taking medication for that the past couple of months but it doesn't seem to be making a dent. He went to a specialist to ensure that all the medication he was taking could work cohesively. His medication for thyroid and testosterone is currently being upped since there has been no effect felt. I'm wondering if his misuse of the Adderall the past couple of months has hindered his other meds from being effective.

 

     Our friend agrees that he may need to go into the hospital. Not just for drug rehabilitation but all the other things that come with it. Therapy, a regular schedule, regulated meds, and so on. We plan on approaching him with this when we see an opportunity where is he calm and the mood is light. He himself has suggested this a couple of times in the past month. Today we are on day 8. I feel that at this point it would be a good idea to get him active and that a lot of this is his lack of motivation to do so. Hell he had enough motivation to get in his car at 3am yesterday morning and stay gone all night! I made the choice not to confront him on that but instead wait until I had some back up because I realize he has made me the enemy right now

 

      My mother is a certified psychologist and so of course I have been relying on her throughout this. She has worked in drug and alcohol therapy in the past and is well versed in what he is going through. Her advice was to be there for him only when he is receptive to it, when he says he needs me, and otherwise go about my business. Not to mother him but be there in case he needs me. Stay patient and take nothing personally. not to try to force anything at all on him. We have five children between us and half the week we have them all at once so it is not as if I don't have other things to keep me occupied. I will be interested to see how this goes tonight once our friend arrives. He tends not to bullshit her because he knows she has been there and can call him out if need be. As far as I'm concerned, he has stopped communicating with me like he did before he began abusing the Adderall. He has said I don't understand his withdrawals. I do to an extent but he has never seen me in that place. 15 years ago I was addicted to just about every drug I could get my hands on. Pot, ecstasy, pills, cocaine, K, acid. If you gave it to me, I would take it. I have been clean for 15 years but I remember the moment I decided I had to stop or I would die. The following two week were the worst of my life. On top of all his symptoms I was extremely sick for the first week. It took months before I felt normal again and to this day I find times where I realize the damage I have done. My memory from that time is completely a blur and my short term memory is not great by any means. I also damaged my reproductive system and it took years and lots of bed rest to be able to have healthy children. I do get some of this to an extent. He just wasn't there for that so its hard for him to understand how well I can relate.

 

Thank you so much everyone. I needed this in order to vent, get advice, and have someone be honest with me. Have a wonderful day!

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Madeline, I admire your strength in dealing with this roller coaster ride.  I am really concerned about some of the actions of your boyfriend.  The up and down swings, erratic behavior, anger, and multi-day insomnia almost make me think that he is abusing some sort of drug.  I hope that I'm wrong; I just don't want to see you get hurt.

 

Also, having another woman in the house around a man who is mentally and emotionally vulnerable might not be the best idea.  Even the most virtuous man can stray when his defenses are in such a weakened state.

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JustinW,

 

     Thank you for your concern. He isn't abusing any other drugs at this point because I have been there the entire time accept for when he dipped out the other night. I have all of his medication put up and he gets it when its time for it. I cleaned out the bedroom and bathroom. Went through everything and found nothing. His behavior started becoming erratic a couple of months ago and yes then he did begin experimenting with other drugs but it turns out that he wasn't aware that the people that come with that lifestyle aren't as trustworthy as he first believed and it seems it turned him off completely. This was his first experience in that world and though I warned him of the consequences of hanging around those people, he was not listening to me. So I don't think he is abusing any drugs at this moment. He made the choice solely on his own to stop the Adderall realizing that his abuse of it had clouded his mind and directed him towards a lifestyle he simply did not enjoy. There is one friend left from this chaos that is less than helpful and though he has had minimal contact with him, there is still contact and I believe that is where he was the other night when he took off. It is the only one of those friends that is actually close by. The others live hours away. I don't believe he did anything the night he left because I saw him, interacted with him yesterday and he showed no signs of having taken anything at all. At least I have enough experience to know what that looks like.

 

As far as having our friend over. This is not a woman I fear will be anything other than a friend. They have been best friend for 17 years. She has stayed at our home numerous times, we have stayed at hers with her husband and 4 children. I talk to her daily as does he. She is very close to our family and there is absolutely no interest in anything other than friendship between the two of them. They are more like sister and brother. Her and I are extremely close. I have no fear that her intentions are pure and I know that my bf isn't capable of seeing her in that way. She is the one and only woman I know without a doubt I can trust lol.

 

Today I had a lot to do outside of the house so I have been running errands all day and honestly I hate to say this but I have been avoiding going home. I'm afraid being alone with him will leave it open for him to be rude and irritable with me so I figured it was best to stay away as long as necessary. Though he is probably sleeping, I don't want to hover around the house while his moods are so unpredictable.

 

Hopefully tonight when he is the most awake and active we can sit down, maybe try to have somewhat of a good time, get him in a calm light hearted place and then bring up the situation. Our goal is to speak to him about creating some sort of plan that everyone can be on board with, most importantly him. We also want to see what he thinks about going inpatient.

 

I wish you all could have known this man prior to this. He was an amazing father, always playing with his kids and mine. Coaching my sons football team, loving and affectionate, always helping with the kids, dinner, anything that would take the stress off of me. For two years we were like teenagers in love and then bam, it all went away. It sounds crazy but I know that man is still in there. It doesn't just cut off one day. He is worth it to me to fight through this and see him healthy again.

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just my 2 cents but your boyfriend needs to help himself.  Being supportive is great I wish my now ex-girlfriend was as understanding as you are, but he will need to do this himself. Recovering from addy's is a supersonic mind-fuck. Getting through the first couple months involves some inward reflection and rebuilding ones inner confidence. I believe I am getting mentally stronger because of this experience. Encourage him to have his own outlet that doesn't involve you somehow. 

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Lol thats normal. Early in recovery your mind grapes are really fucked. Mental fog, anger, depression, similar to being bopolar   

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This is one of the times that I am happy to be wrong then.  How is your support structure Madeline?

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My mother is a certified psychologist so I go to her with a lot. I have a very close friend who helps me with the kids. There's 5. When things get tricky. And of course there is our friend who is here to visit. I stay in constant contact with her.

Last night he became very frustrated. I ran him a bath, then gave him a massage. It seemed to calm him down and after he was actually affectionate. He woke up this morning throwing up. There's a stomach bug going through our kids and of course it hits him now

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