My Girlfriend is in Outpatient Rehab...but I Think She's Still Using Drugs...
My girlfriend and I are coming up on our 5 year anniversary next month. We're both 29, we've had an amazing relationship thus far but unfortunately there has been a problem with drugs and alcohol and I really don't know what to do. We have a great relationship....but drugs especially have gotten in the way and seem to be creeping their way back in during her rehab.
It almost destroyed what we have last year after 4 years, in July I found out that she had made up a HUGE story about where she was in order to be with her friends doing drugs all night. She hasn't cheated on me with anything but cocaine. I found out that this story was a lie and confronted her and it turned into the worst night of my life - and I was ready to leave if she didn't get help ... so, she did.
Finally it clicked in her head and she went to rehab and stopped drinking, stopped using drugs....things seemed like they were getting better but lately, I think she's using once or twice a week ... cocaine.
The problem is, she works at a bar Wed-Sat night. Not a trashy place, a nicer bar... Her weekly drug test is on Thursday. I think she has been using later in the night every Thursday and/or on Friday nights when working knowing that it will be out of her system by the next drug test 7 days later since coke is usually out of your system in 2-3 days. This kind of blows my mind why they only test these people once a week when they know this...it's sort of saying "ok you can use these 2 days but make sure you don't again for the week"....
I confronted her about it lately, it's very easy when you know someone sober to tell when they're not and to me it just has seemed off lately. She's not drinking, it's almost as if she's just using coke ... and that's strange to me because it was the drinking that would lead her to crave it in the past and now without the drinking - if I'm right about this, it's very strange to me that she'd make this conscious decision.
I don't want to leave her, this is our only problem but it's a huge one to me and it leads to her being dishonest - and it scares me how comfortable she is lying to me when she's using - I dealt with that for a long time. It leads to lying and just overall deceit and I don't want to look forward to this the rest of my life.
I planned on marrying this girl and I still want to - but not like this. I can't have this in my life and I'm just not sure what to do at this point.
I confronted her about it 2 weeks in a row. Once last week after her pupils appeared dilated and she just seemed weird, and again last night she seemed strange when I picked her up from work. We grabbed some food, she didn't talk much once I said "you don't seem like yourself right now, you're slurring your speech and talking slow", she was, I wasn't going to sugar coat it. She ate her food and went to sleep ... and to me it sounded like she had done cocaine the way she was breathing...the half stuffed nose because it's swollen from all the crap the people cut it with...
I am considering calling her rehabilitation counselor and asking that she starts drug testing her twice a week. On Monday after her weekend of work and also on Thursdays like they have been. She works with a bunch of coke heads and alcoholics so it's been hard for her to be around it and the plan is for her to leave ASAP this year ... but its a significant income. She can't just leave the job right now and not work at all.
She has 2 degrees and plans to get out of there ASAP but its a very difficult time to get a "good" job. She brings home about 1200 dollars a week - that's not easy to replace even with her being willing to take a pay cut - she knows that will come with it. Right now, we need this income together and to save for a house, and have been.
I just don't know what to do. We also have a dog together and I love him so much, you have no idea. I could never walk away from him or take him from her. It's like a kid. I love this girl with all my heart - but sometimes I feel like I'm putting myself out by dealing with this. I really thought things were on their way up - but I think for a couple months now she's been doing this on occasion while still looking clean on her drug test weekly - its not okay to do it at all...its not like a diet and you're eating greasy food...this is major. I just wonder when it will stop...because I can't live like this.
It's also very difficult for me to say "listen I KNOW" because I don't know...she's passing her drug tests...but I have lived with her for years and dated her for years. I KNOW her. I know her before work and I know when she's different after work....its not like I'm making up problems - something is not right. I've been suspicious before, but these past 2 weeks have almost been proof that something's up - and of course when confronting her she won't admit to anything.
That's the hardest part - It makes me feel like I'm crazy but I know that I'm not ....she's found a way to beat the system (rehab) and has been working it like this for who knows how long. I'm thinking this had to start sometime between October and now ... because for a while she was getting tested on Tuesdays and Thursdays from another doctor ... and was fine then ... so she couldn't have gotten away with it before.
Anyway - I found this site searching for others having a similar problem - I hope that someone can suggest something to help me...because I'm so sad lately. Every day just eats at my heart.
Your story is sadly so similar to many others who have written about what they endure ... being married to, or in a relationship with someone suffering from an addiction. The substance might be different and the circumstances vary, but the underlying message is always the same ...
The lies, the manipulation, the pretence, sometimes even making out you're the one to blame. That is the world of addiction.
Your girlfriend has been through a drug and alcohol rehab program
... and is currently going through an outpatient treatment program again. So what's missing?
Going through a treatment program is the first and often crucial step in getting sober. But that's only step number one! Staying clean and maintaining your sobriety through working a proper addiction recovery program
is the really critical part. Because if you're not working some kind of recovery program consistently, staying clean is exceptionally difficult, if not impossible.
Now since you don't mention anything about her working at her recovery, I can only assume that she isn't? And until she does, I don't think much is going to change. Because one of the key principles of recovery talks about 'people, places and things.' If you keep hanging around the same people, places and things you did during the days of your active addiction, relapse is almost inevitable. And since her job definitely meets those criteria, I don't see how she's going to change while she's still working there.
I know money is important - but at what cost? Surely a job paying half of what she's earning now, without the temptations and risks attached to her current job, is a better bet if she's going to stay clean? Find a cheaper place to live, put the saving for a house on hold, downscale on your expenses. Because as you're experiencing first hand, what kind of relationship have you really got if she isn't clean? All the material stuff you can get back, but without her sobriety all you have is emptiness.
This takes me to the most important and fundamental principle you need to remember in all of this. As much as you love your girlfriend, and want to somehow help her, unless she WANTS sobriety for herself, and is committed to achieving and maintaining that, there isn't a lot you can do.
Sure you can ask her Doctors to test her twice a week. But she'll find a way around that if she wants to keep using. And that's the crux, if she wants to keep using, no matter what you say or do, she'll find a way. Eventually you may have to make her choose ... you or the drugs. That might shock her into taking her recovery seriously, but it may not. Understand that it's got nothing to do with you, and that you simply can't control or cure her addiction. Her sobriety is entirely her responsibility.
I know you're torn and what you're going through is incredibly difficult, but unless your girlfriend becomes serious and committed to a life of sobriety by working at her recovery, this is the kind of life you can expect to live. Except it will probably get worse with time.
So I think you need to decide on the kind of future you want, and whether you're prepared to be in a relationship as it currently stands? As much as your girlfriend is responsible for her choices, you are for yours - so your future happiness and well-being is entirely in your hands.
Take Care and Best of Luck