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Relationships & Social Issues This forum is for adults with AD/HD to discuss how AD/HD affects personal relationships.

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Old 05-16-20, 02:24 AM
tiltedpinballma tiltedpinballma is offline
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Exclamation Impulse control and broken trust

I did a lot of damage to my marriage over the years due to bad impulse control. I was undiagnosed until a few months ago. I thought finally knowing what was going on and getting treated would let me start rebuilding some broken trust.

Then, in between being diagnosed and getting treatment, I managed to dynamite my marriage. I was watching our kids (both toddlers) and made the admittedly bad choice to have a couple drinks. Pretty mild though - no where near legal limits. Then I suddenly remembered that my doc had given me a non-refillable little bottle of Clonopin (anti-anxiety) last year, and told me they had a serious interaction with alcohol. Before I knew it, even though they had sat on my shelf for months untouched, I was popping a couple down.

I don't remember anything much beyond that. I think that once the benzo kicked in I started escalating things (more pills, more booze, I really don't know). In any case, when my wife got home I was locked in our bedroom, passed out. Our kids were OK thank god. When I came to a fair bit later she told me I had to leave and she wanted a separation.

In part, I'm hoping to get some judgement on how unforgivable this thing was. I'm so ******* ashamed that I did this while I was watching young kids. On one hand, once you get past the what ifs, the chances that something bad would have happened to them were really pretty low. Our house is very well child proofed, the odds of a spontaneous fire are astronomically low ... They just watched the same cartoons they would have if I had been sitting right next to them. But on the other hand this is so clearly abysmally bad decision making, impulse control and just makes me feel like a loser who doesn't deserve to be their dad.

Where do I go from here? How much of this was 30+ years of undiagnosed ADHD? How could I have valued "feeling good" over my kids wellbeing? How do I stop thinking about what life might be like if this hadn't happened and literally one week later I had started treatment that might have completely turned things around? My wife hasn't asked for a divorce yet, but her trust in me is totally caved in and buried. I mean, do I deserve a chance after this?

Part of me knows I'm not a monster. In my head, I didn't think the Clonopin would have half that effect. I wasn't actively weighing "Should I ditch my kids and get blasted on this junk?" I barely thought about it at all, and I expected just to feel relaxed and free of stress while I waited for her to come home. The part of me that was supposed to catch me in the act and say "woah dude, bad fn idea!" .... I mean that part has been MIA my whole life. I'm doing whatever I can to change now (counseling, medication, etc) and unlike the past I finally have some optimism it might start making some progress. But I don't know how to do this with my family in shambles.

tldr: I was about to get my ADHD under control, but apparently I had to make one last huge CF. Now my wife thinks I'm a danger to our kids, and maybe I am. WTF do I do?
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Old 05-16-20, 05:51 AM
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Re: Impulse control and broken trust

I think it depends. It depends on past patterns of behavior and if this was a one off thing. I am an alcoholic. The bad parts of the alcoholism-before I realized I was- were intense but short lived- not years of slow painful alcoholism. That does not mean I didnt cause chaos or harm. Yet I got sober 9 years ago and made amends and asked for forgiveness and live the best, honest life i can now. Have you experienced times of escapism with drugs, pills or alcohol? Have you had use of mood altering substances affect your family?
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Old 05-16-20, 10:19 AM
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Re: Impulse control and broken trust

Whether or not it's a pattern is up to a little interpretation I think. About 3 years ago I got seriously depressed. Over the next couple of years I had about 4 incidents that were similar, but different. Each time, I took a serious dose of drugs, although the drug was different every time. My wife and kids were always out of town when this happened. In my mind, I was not at all suicidal. I was under a lot of stress (failing job, family health issues) and hadn't felt my brain lose track of time and focus on something I liked in a long time. So I impulsively abused those drugs because I felt like I'd do anything for a little euphoria. I think this is something ADHD people have an easier time understanding. In any case, I was pretty conscious of how dangerous the amount was, but didn't seem to care.

When I took the Clonopin more recently, I wasn't seeking anything mind blowing, and I didn't think I was going to cook my brain. It was still bad impulse control, but I thought it was going to be like drinking another couple beers, not a blackout. Like I said, I had never taken one before, let alone when drinking. After the point my memory is gone, I don't know what my thinking was. I've read since then that benzos zap your ability to give a **** about anything (hence anti-anxiety). Experienced heroin users take them and then overdose because they know their limit, and they just ignore it.

About six months ago I started getting some counseling and looking for better medication. I still thought I just had depression at that point, but it was that combo that eventually led to me being diagnosed. Mentally, I was in a much better place earlier this year than when similar events occurred in the past. And now, getting treated for ADHD, I think my impulse control is going to improve. I'm removing abusable substances from my orbit too. I'm on non-stimulant meds, got rid of the benzos, won't let doctors prescribe opiates for pain, no booze in the house, etc. So in a lot of ways, I think this last event was less in the pattern .... And maybe any pattern there was is over.
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Old 05-18-20, 03:33 AM
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Re: Impulse control and broken trust

I know its tricky business but stimulant treatment actually helps reduce drug and alcohol issues. Not for everyone but many.
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