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Old 11-15-04, 11:59 PM
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Unhappy Pot and ADD killed my relationship...can it be "fixed"?

Long story, but will do my best to keep it short. I have a girlfriend of almost 4 years and we have lived together for almost 3 of those. We were so in love with each other...

I, not knowing so at the time, was addicted to marijuana. I needed it to think clearly, work, and get things done. I also liked the way it made me feel. I smoked a few times a day and it was difficult to go much more than a day without. I had been that way for at least 4 years. When we met, my girlfriend did smoke some too, but just occasionally & recreationaly.

After living together for a couple of months I decided I wanted to quit the pot. At the time, I felt I needed to do so to keep my girlfriend because the pot was making me lazy, tired all the time, irritated when I didn't have any, frantic when I was trying to get some.... Note, that she never asked me to quit. I just told her I wanted to stop and was going to do so.

That day that I said so I began a horrible period for both of us that didn't end until 8 months ago. I was finding it almost impossible to quit and on many occasions aquired and smoked pot without telling my girlfriend. Several times I lied to her when she asked if I had. I am not exactly sure why I lied, but I can think of several reasons that I did. I didn't want her to think of me as weak and not in control of myself. I didn't want admit to her, or to myself, that I couldn't quit.

Many, many times I'd stop for a day or two, maybe even a week, and then just felt the need to get high and I could not stop myself. I would buy tiny amounts thinking that I only need to get high this one time. Once high I would hate the fact that I was so weak and if there was any left would often throw away what was left convincing myself that I was done.

I know sometimes my girlfriend was suspicious or even knew that I got high and just wouldn't ask. When she did, she told me that she wouldn't be upset at me if I told her that I did. But still, I would do everything I could to would falsely defend myself. A few times I could not handle the pain of the dishonesty and later told her the truth that I had smoked that one time...never filling in the fact that I had been doing so the day before, and the day before that, and so on. She had, understanably, lost all trust in me. But she stayed with me, often living with the pain that I had betrayed her.

I tried AA, NA (Narcotics Anonymous), MA (Marijuana Anonymous), yoga, meditation, throwing away any pot I had, destroying any pipes I used to smoke it... none of those worked for me. I knew I was hooked and didn't want to be, but I still couldn't quit. I was having a lot of problems at my job because if I was in a "quit" period, my mind was going crazy and I couldn't get a thing done. Or, I'd be high and getting things done, but not getting everything I needed to do done and regurally forgetting thing I needed to know or do. I had done a really good job at not letting anyone at work, or any of my friends know that I was an active addict or that I even smoked pot.

Over time I came to know that I was using pot to self-medicate my depression. Whenever I quit, I quickly became very depressed, very sad though I couldn't think of anything I was sad about. I had tried going to physicians and getting various anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs (Prozac, Buspar, Effexor, Paxil) hoping that they would help me quit. Of course I didn't tell my doctor about the pot. A few times, starting a new perscription would help me stay clean for a little time, maybe a few weeks, but eventually I'd break down and once I smoked once I was suddently in my usual pattern again.

I even got a better job, a job I love, hoping that my interest in my job would motivate for me to stay clean. I didn't smoke for a couple of days before my final interview, but a couple hours before it I became so anxious and could not stop my head from going crazy, so I smoked a bit, got a little high, and found out a month later that I got the job. Starting the new job, I didn't smoke for about a month, but once I was bored for a moment I had to get high....

The new job offered good benifits. Health insurance at no cost that would cover me and even my "domestic partner". After another one of those I smoked, but said I didn't, but she admited she knew I did episodes, I was finally able to stop for about a month. I wanted pot every day, but convinced myself that if I did it one more time that I wold never quit. I was happy I was clean but still became very depressed. After some time I finally got the strenth to see a counciler and was able to be open and honest with her and she reccomended I see a psychiatrist for depression. I finally saw one and admitted to her that I smoked "occasionally". After some basic tests, she determined I did suffer from depression and also ADD. She perscribed Wellbutrin since it was a anti-depressant that also had some anti-ADD qualities.

I had never though about ADD or me having it before. The more I found out about it the more I realized how I was in so many ways the classic ADD'er. Looking upon my youth, adolescence, young adulthood, to me after college, which is when I began smoking (without college, I was so bored and had so much free time that I had to fill it in with something).

Well the Wellbutrin was amazing. Soon the depression was fading away and amazingly once I started the Wellbutrin I didn't ever crave or want to smoke pot. I think this is because of Wellbutrin's dopamine increasing abilities, just as Zyban could help tobacco smokers quit smoking (Wellbutrin and Zyban are the same drug with different names). After a few months, the ADD in me became more and more pronounced, actually as the depression lifted it became more clear of what my problems were. The Wellbutrin wasn't helping me much with the ADD and could not increase my Wellbutrin intake, because my current level was causing rining in my ears (the lack of depression and desire to smoke was well worth the ringing to me, I just couldn't handle any more). So psychiatrist tried Concerta and eventually Adderal, which seems to work amazingly for me.

During the time I was seeing the psychiatrist, I was also seeing a counclier that helped me a bit, but said I was doing great (I felt so also) and that I no longer need to see a counciler. So today I am still clean and the only drugs I take is my Wellbutrin and my Adderall.

But during the time of me quitting and getting on the Adderall I could clearly see thing had begun to really fall apart between my girlfriend and myself. I loved her with all my heart and was willing to do anything I could to make up for the hell I had put her through. She always admitted that she could no longer trust me and didn't think she would ever be able to. She even has doubts that I have not used since March.

Beyond not trusting me, she says I never listened to her, that I never did many things I promised or said I would do, often made her upset or angry, and that I liked to start arguments (I don't...I just didn't realize that I was becoming argumentative when I was just tring to discuss something). I convinced her to stick around because I was getting better and every day and told her of several things she could do to help me not make her upset, like telling me when I am starting to become argumentitive so I can stop myself, or if I am doing or not doing something that is upseting her. She said she already put in enough effort during all the times I was lying to her and that she felt she could no longer try.

Now we are still living together, sleeping together, holding hands, cuddling, and often acting like everything is okay. But sometimes she admits that she no longer loves and instead she hates me and feels disgusted my me. She says the sleeping together, hand holding, and cuddling feels really nice, but not because I am me, but because I am someone there for her. She says she wants to move out but does not know when she will do so. I don't want her to leave and truely believe in my heart that every day I am becoming more and more like the person I really am and want to be. I also believe that as I become more that person that she will be able to trust me and that the love can be rekindled....

That's where the story ends for now. I have more to add, but have spent enough time at the comupter. I'd be suprised if anyone reads through the entire post, but I would still like and thoughts or comments from others out there.

Thanks,

Jason
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Old 11-16-04, 01:12 AM
Alex Alex is offline
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First; it's my personal opinion that relationships are built on trust. The biggest problem I see the two of you having is your admitted problems in the past that have completely screwed her trust in you. This makes it very difficult to get her to risk trusting you again; she's already been hurt, so why risk it? And if she won't trust you, the relationship will probably fail, or at least be unhappy.

Therefore, as a start, I would suggest writing down pretty much what you posted here, but in more detail and with as much entirely brutal (to yourself) honesty as you can. And give it to her, as a letter. Preferably leave it somewhere obvious for her to find it, and ensure you are not around when she reads it the first time. You don't want her to start it, then turn to you and ask "what's this about?" You want her to read the whole darn thing.

This may not work. But I think it's definitely worth a shot. Point out that your demons were exacerbated by the potsmoking, and the undiagnosed ADD, and that you realize this wasn't fair to her and that she must have gone though hell, and you're ashamed and sorry you put her through that. Emphasize that, while you're in no way trying to use this to excuse your past behaviour, it was in part caused by these things which you have now changed. You can't change the past, but you can (I hope) promise that if she'll give you another chance, the future won't be the same.

It is incredibly important that you take responsibility for your actions, which you seem to be doing in your post here. I'm not saying this as a criticism, but if she feels wronged by you, you aren't going to get anywhere by trying to pretend the wrongs weren't your fault. You'll get a lot further admitting they were, and that you owe her, and that you'd like the chance to make it up to her, over the next 4 years or more.

As for the lack of trust; I recently noticed in my local pharmacy that they're now selling home drug tests, including ones for pot. Since most of the trust issues surrounded this, I would suggest shelling out for some, giving them to her, and telling her that if she ever doubts you're clean, she can ask you to take a test. And that you won't hold it against her at all, because it's entirely your mistakes that caused her pain, and the least you can do is step forward and try to prove that you're now telling the truth. You know she can't accept your word, so you hope the testing will do until she feels she can trust you again.


After doing the above, if she's willing to give you another shot, you can move into explanations of your past behaviour. Do not rush into this. You want to move slow enough that it doesn't look like you're trying to excuses or rationalize it, but only explain why it happened then, and why it won't happen again, accepting the blame for the past actions. Most of the problems you describe seem to be classic ADD symptoms, even the liking to start arguments. I can't recall which ADD book it was I read it in, but apparently ADDers tend to seek out conflict, because being in conflict is more stimulating than not, which helps our brains fire. You were fighting not because you wanted to, but because a part of your brain was encouraging it because it worked better when you did. Similar reasons can be shown for many of the other bits.

Not that these excuse them. But with treatment, the occurence of them should be vastly reduced, and you're already being treated.


So there you go, that's my suggestion. Start with brutal honesty and self-blame for the things you admit were your fault. Give her time to chew it over, but emphasize that things have changed, and that you will do whatever it takes to prove it to her, for as long as it takes. Then, if she agrees, you can slowly start explaining why things got screwed up, not trying to say it doesn't matter, but just explain why things will be different now. Add in some trust-building things like drug testing and working your **** off to keep up with commitments and such, and you might just bring her around.


Oh, and I'm assuming you are off the pot. If she ever catches you lying about that, or anything else, ever again, you're absolutely screwed. Your relationship will now, and forever after, be at two strikes; one more and she's gone, at least potentially. This doesn't mean you can't screw up, but if you slip and smoke some pot, tell her immediately. And apologize. You can get away with screwing up, if it's few and far between. But lie about it, and you may never fix things. That's another reason the home-test kit would be a good idea; it'll keep you honest. It detects stuff weeks after it enters your system, so there's no chance to lie about it.

She's angry, hurt, and doesn't trust you. And she has every right to be. But she's still holding your hand, cuddling, and sleeping with you. So there's still something there. You've used up all your strikes and have no wiggle room left, but the relationship may be salvageable, if you're willing to work at it.

Hope this helps, and good luck.
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Old 11-16-04, 01:22 AM
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If you are making the headway you say you are then good things are in store for you both. That may mean that you will be together or apart but life will be better and the future brighter for you both I'm sure.

As I see it, the addiction thing is a stunting or at least it was for me. It had stunted my emotional growth. I was more of a juvenile and less of an adult.

When I cleaned up, I worked hard to grow up.

There is a reason my wife was attracted to me when I was a drunk and into drugs of all kinds. It wasn't until we both grew up that things began to get interesting.

The last name we chose when we married means "Thou Mayest". We gave each other permission to be gone if it wasn't what felt right and good. I might want her to stay but I would never ask her to. All I can do is my best. In doing so I hope it's good enough for her but what's most important to me is that my best is good enough for me. On a good day it sometimes is too! < g > When I learn to look after myself and care for me as if I actually liked myself, this is when I become loveable to my family.

I can't offer any advise but I hope my experience lends you some perspective.
Cheers! Ian.
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Old 11-16-04, 05:58 AM
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The trying to quit smoking pot sounds oh so familiar to me , and the breaking of pipes and throughing away left overs.

I never had the oppertunity to know I had ADD or use the prescription drugs to try and help quitting, for me it was just an age and maturity thing.

In the last year I have participated 2 or 3 times when Im visiting with my friend and I totally hate the feeling I get when Im High on Pot , but I like the social aspect of smoking a joint with a friend, but right after I smoke it then my brain tells me I shouldn't have done it as its not happy anymore.

Takes me 2 or 3 days to get back to happyville in my brain so my visits to my friend are few and far between now.

The next step is to recognise before the social sharing of a joint is that I wont be a happy camper in the long run so why bother.

I am really glad you posted and wrote in such clear and concise detail as it was a real awakening for me, to see what I have been thinking in words on (paper/computer screen) instead of pictures in my mind

Lots of luck

Itschatic and Alex's words said the many things that I agree with ...........
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Old 11-16-04, 08:06 PM
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I feel you man...but I only got through a few paragraphs of your story...a little to lengthy for most adders...just a heads up! hope things are getting better for you guy.
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Old 11-17-04, 06:24 PM
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it never bothered my wife when I smoked weed chronically for a few years. She could never tell when I was stoned or not, except I tended to laugh and smile a little more than normal. I guess I always act stoned. I could tell a big difference though and quit years ago because I couldnt function at all, it became a very negative thing. Like walking out of the house with half my face shaved and loseing my cars keys in the refrigerator.
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Old 11-17-04, 06:35 PM
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Thanks Alex, I like your idea and am going to give it a try ASAP.
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Old 11-17-04, 06:42 PM
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reusable, that was funny!!!
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Old 11-18-04, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reusablepheonix
I could tell a big difference though and quit years ago because I couldnt function at all, it became a very negative thing. Like walking out of the house with half my face shaved and loseing my cars keys in the refrigerator.
I've left the house before without rinsing the shampoo from my hair, and found my cell phone in the fridge before... this is without the "help" of pot, too.
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Old 11-19-04, 12:50 AM
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It's the perishables in the cupboard that have bitten me worst!
ian
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Old 11-19-04, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potuncle
Thanks Alex, I like your idea and am going to give it a try ASAP.
Let us know how it all goes; if it works out, great, and we can perhaps give you further advice or help fine-tuning the relationship. If it blows up anyway, then tell us so that A> we can see if our advice was the problem, or if things were just worse than you thought, and B> more importantly, so we can give you some support. Either way, these boards are one of the singularly most supportive and helpful places I've come to, whether we're talking about ADD or anything else. They're a great resource, use us.
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