(Content warning: discussion of suicide attempts and self-harm)
I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for three years, having lived with him for one in January. He was 14 months sober from alcohol in July of this year (I have since discovered he was using other drugs in this period) and he had a significant relapse in July lasting two months. Over summer he was admitted to hospital for a medical detox from alcohol (a very rare offering nowadays on the NHS - I’m from the UK) and a very short voluntary stay on a psychiatric ward. He has long-term mental health problems and suffers with depression and anxiety.
He relapsed again in November - nowhere near the level of last time with regards to risky behaviours, but still a significant relapse. His behaviours were extremely manipulative and he made attempts to hurt himself when he didn’t get what he wanted (this sounds really awful, but I don’t believe these attempts to be genuine - but when he video calls you to show you the blood from a cut on his neck, you panic). He got sober again a few weeks ago, but has relapsed three times since. I came home from work tonight to him sitting on our settee, drooling and difficult to rouse.
The local drug and alcohol team gave him an opportunity to stay in a detox centre for three weeks and then rehab for three months, fully funded by the NHS - he was drunk at the meeting, so turned it down and walked out. They may still consider him for a rehab stay, on the condition that he engages with the team and completes a few courses, but this could take months to arrange and thanks to government cuts the NHS cannot meet the needs of everyone so he may not get it at all - and that’s if he even truly wants the help.
My mental health is completely shot. I live an hour from my family. His family are very supportive of me but they’re not my family. I’m a mature student and am increasingly falling behind with my studies. I have to balance this with working as many hours as I can. I am currently having EMDR therapy but I’m finding it difficult to practice techniques when I remain in such a stressful living situation. My family don’t like him for what I am going through at the hands of his disease and I don’t tell my friends what is happening for fear of judgement, so I withdraw. I feel like an idiot every time he relapses that I haven’t spotted the signs. I feel like an idiot that I have remained in this situation willingly. I am scared he is either going to ruin his life and lose everything, or that he is going to die.
I am feeling increasingly isolated and despondent about my future in this relationship. I cannot bear the thought of leaving him. We had our life planned out before us. I love him deeply but I hurt so much. He is the kindest and most thoughtful man I’ve ever known - when he’s sober. I think I am at a crossroads in my life. Is the fact I’m even considering this mean I have answered my own question? How on earth can we move forwards from this? I’m at a complete loss. I am losing him and myself to this disease.
(Sorry for the long post! It’s 10.36pm here and I’m sitting alone in my bedroom, I needed to get it out.)