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LDR, depression, drink, drugs - advice needed

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
So, I'm in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend of 2 years. She was raped just over 2 years ago and this lead to a speight of depression and a suicidal period for her. She had a counselling course recently which I think helped, and she's on anti depressents at the moment. Being with her through this has lead me to feel very responsible and protective over her (as well as loving her to bits). However I feel I may be being too protective.

She has always had an involvement in the drug/hard party scene, and her friends and family are pretty well in to it as well. So naturally, I feel like the oddball and the controlling one when I try and coax her away from this sort of lifestyle. It's fair to say that she's had a history with trying to bury things with drink and drugs and I'm scared that her drug use and drinking could lead down a very bad road (as it has before) - dependence, addiction, general abuse, or just a bad hit one night. Her medication means that her alcohol tolerance has lowered quite a lot, and drinking is quite risky.

I feel like a buzz kill when I say I honestly feel like staying away from substances is the best thing for her, and her health and wellbeing is definitely at the heart of my anxiety and worry about her going out to festivals and clubs. However, I know having a social life is really going to help her climb out of what she's been through and it's going to be difficult to have that social life when all her friends and family go to festivals and like to take drugs. I can't help it but I feel incredibly anxious and worried whenever she goes out to a club or (particularly) a festival. It becomes unbearable when she does MDMA, which she has done 4 times. She's said before that she loves drugs and she could do MDMA every weekend when she starts a student life in September (although this may have been in the heat of a moment, we had an argument/disagreement over it recently). I honestly don't know if I could handle that.

So, I suppose my question is, am I being too protective trying to keep her away from drugs and too much drink? The anxiety I get from her going out can be to the point of crippling. Is one of us being unreasonable? I know that in her head things are very mixed up, and she could slip down a bad road unknowingly. Sometimes I feel like a controlling douche, but I know that I'm doing nothing but try to look out for her like I always have.

Apologies for the massive post - there are more details at hand if anybody wants to know anything else.

Thanks in advance,
Mike

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi there MikeS,

    Welcome to the boards :wave:

    I deleted the same post you made in the drinks and drugs section, simply because having posted in different sections can get confusing, and seems like this could be more of a relationship issue than anything else, so kept it here *hug*

    It seems completely natural for you to worry about your girlfriend. She went through a lot, and I imagine you went through a lot to help her get back on her feet?

    It's a tricky one - as you say, she needs to be able to socialise and see friends etc in order to get through the bad times, but on the other hand, there is some concerns as to whether doing this will actually help her or make it worse.
    Not to worry you more, but as you know taking anti depressants and drinking/doing drugs can be harmful (have a look at the cautions sections on the NHS on antidepressants as well as our FAQs) so making sure she knows this is important.

    Being her boyfriend can put you in a tough situation - of course you love her and care for her, but how much involvement and worry is allowed? It's a very thin line as you say between caring and being "overprotective". Being in a long distance relationship can make things harder as well. Have you spoken to her about how this is affecting you? Sometimes having a fight about it can make people defensive, but sitting down for a calm chat could help her understand better how you feel.

    Her lifestyle and issues aside, your anxiety that can become "crippling" is also very important and shouldn't be ignored. Do you have any friends or family you could speak to about this? Perhaps going to your GP also could help. Keeping anxiety in can sometimes make it worse, so dealing with it head on could help.

    Do let us know how you get on *hug*
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey,

    Sorry u are going threw alot at the moment :( sounds really tough. Sends lots of hugs to u.

    Have u tryed talking to her about going to her yp about about her depression other things. U not being pretive over her. U sdoing a good job in supporting her threw this.

    Have u tryed asking her yp about

    Changing her depression tablets. And talk to the gp about other problams and ask what u could do to support and get some advice too

    Sorry I cont put links on hope someone can putting them on.

    Have u had a look at drink and drug forms at the top that could help.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Appreciate the replies, I've had problems getting on to thesite so sorry about the late reply.

    It's fair to say it hasn't been an easy ride for either of us (but obviously more so for her than me).

    I guess part of it is feeling *so* responsible for her after the past year or so, nobody else close to her knows everything or has known about her for so long. So my mind's just going "What if she can't help it? What if she *needs* someone to make her stop? What if she's incapable of staying safe of her own accord and actually needs me to stop her from collapsing?" if that's the case, I can't leave or stop can I? Even though it's making me seem like the devil? I'm trying my hardest to think of it as tough love but more and more it's seeming like the amount of good I'm doing is pulling her down the same amount as well. I can't stop if it's making her safe. I'd rather people (her included) hate me while I try to keep her safe than let her fall down. Am I doing the right thing?

    We are both in support chat sometimes so that helps a little. We are planning to have a talk about it tonight as well and if I keep calm I think we can make it through okay. As for me being so anxious, I don't get panic attacks or anything severe, but it's quite a big problem with us I think. Could I PM you at any point about this, Christele?

    Thanks again, appreciate the response
    Mike
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    **helen****helen** Deactivated Posts: 9,235 Supreme Poster
    MikeS wrote: »

    I guess part of it is feeling *so* responsible for her after the past year or so, nobody else close to her knows everything or has known about her for so long. So my mind's just going "What if she can't help it? What if she *needs* someone to make her stop? What if she's incapable of staying safe of her own accord and actually needs me to stop her from collapsing?" if that's the case, I can't leave or stop can I? Even though it's making me seem like the devil? I'm trying my hardest to think of it as tough love but more and more it's seeming like the amount of good I'm doing is pulling her down the same amount as well. I can't stop if it's making her safe. I'd rather people (her included) hate me while I try to keep her safe than let her fall down. Am I doing the right thing?

    Hi Mike,

    While it may feel like you have a job to keep your girlfriend safe, often people need space to be able to realise their own limits and boundaries and to even think about changing their behaviour and being able to keep themselves safe. Chances are people are often more capable than we give them credit for and the temptation to jump to the rescue can be really strong. Could that be the case for your girlfriend? It sounds like you do want the best for her, but are perhaps trying to 'save her' rather than just be there to support her?

    I read an article today with a list of myths relating to ways to lead a fulfilling life... This one really stood out to me:
    Myth #6 It's not enough to help people, I need to save them.?

    You need to get good at making other people's problems your problems. It's not enough to listen to a challenge someone is facing; you need to take it upon yourself to solve it.

    It?s not enough to support someone?you need to save them. Don?t worry about boundaries. Make it personal. Own it fully.

    TRUTH: You need not, and should not, rob people of their problems.

    How would you feel about talking to your girlfriend about the kind of help she'd appreciate from you, as opposed to the kind of thing you're currently feeling driven to do? It's really positive that you're able to keep talking with her - and you mention both being in support chat, is that on TheSite? Christele can't provide 1-2-1 support via these boards, but she is a regular mod at the moment and so can continue to post in this thread :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Helen. That... actually makes a lot of sense. I'll make sure I bring that up to her later, it hadn't occurred to me before to ask what she'd like from me. Maybe that's just part of being lost in everything. I guess it's just the fear that if I loosen my grip she could fall (bad analogy?). Almost like if something really bad happened it would be horrible (obviously), but also on me if I could have prevented it? Even though I know it's not my job to. I don't think I'd forgive myself. Maybe I should try refocusing - maybe working out how I can deal with it myself rather than trying to change what she does.

    As far as the relationship side of it goes I don't want her to turn in to a different person and then me become disposable to her if she has everything else she wants or simply just gets lost. I feel like the limited contact we have might be... I'm not sure - devalued almost(?) if she ends up on comedowns all the time and is always feeling like rubbish. The fact that she says she knows all the risks and everything that could happen, and how it makes me feel but still doesn't want to stop... could that say something about me vs drugs in her mind? I remember MeganC saying support in a relationship should be mutual but it honestly doesn't feel that way with this.

    Sorry, getting very ranty on here (but thanks for the suggestion to post here, it's helped a lot). Yes, both of us are members on TheSite. :)

    Cheers again
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MikeS wrote: »
    The fact that she says she knows all the risks and everything that could happen, and how it makes me feel but still doesn't want to stop... could that say something about me vs drugs in her mind? I remember MeganC saying support in a relationship should be mutual but it honestly doesn't feel that way with this.

    It's a tricky one because in theory yes perhaps it should be mutual, however she might feel this only affects her. She might not realise how much this is affecting you too, which is why it's great you're going to talk.

    Good luck tonight, seems like there is a lot to share on your side, and hopefully she will open up too.

    In terms on PMs, we rather tend to suggest trying out askaquestion, which can help you have 1-2-1 expert advice if needed. Please do continue to post here though, and let us know how you get on *hug*
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I hear you. Thanks Christele. :) Appreciate it. I'll keep the thread updated.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So we had a little bit of a chat but we were cut short on time. She said that getting high (on whatever) makes her feel like she's running down a hill so fast she doesn't want to stop. If she does stop, she says she might crash. After a bit of a chat we came to a few conclusions. She can't turn drugs down, struggles to have a good time without them, and she doesn't have a clue what's going on with her life. It turned out she did drugs on two other occasions which she chose to hide from me (which I can overlook because I knew she was trying to protect me in her own way, but we agreed not to hide things any more). She came to the conclusion that drugs are quite a big problem, she's tried to bury her problems and things in drink and drugs and now she doesn't really know which way is up. From what I can gather she's done so many things to try and escape that she's sort of lost sight of who she is.

    She said she's going to keep some distance between her and friends that do drugs, maybe trying to spend more time with the ones who don't. She also said she's going to stop hiding from everything, which I think is a great thing to say. I think it's fair to say we both got a lot out - I was much more honest and blunt than normal which she said she needed. 99% of the time I'm quite soft and whatnot when we talk but she said she need to be told how it is sometimes, harsh realities etc. which I suppose is true for everyone.

    Glastonbury's coming up soon and that'll be difficult (having the drugs culture it does) but she said she can say no to the person she's going with and I think I've got faith that she'll pull through it. I'm slightly less worried about her going now, I was dreading it before and reeeally didn't want her to go because it seemed like she was shooting herself in the foot knowing she'd be getting smashed on everything. But, I'm pretty confident that won't be the case. Seeing live music is a high in itself and she's bound to have a wicked time anyway. She's also working on a food van, so that'll help.

    To be totally honest it's difficult clinging to faith and trust around this sort of thing now, but I think things will be okay. Can't help thinking if I was there with her things would be made a lot easier. Also, on what Helen said, we talked about whether I'm getting *too* involved with her problems and she actually said it feels like she needs saving. When people come in to help her shields go up because she's not good at accepting that some people are just nice enough to want to help. I know that's the case with a lot of people who suffer from depression.

    Wow, wrote a lot... haha. Apologies for the essay!
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