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New here...needing help and advice....
  1. #1
    doodlebug1969 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default New here...needing help and advice....

    I'm new here and could really use some input and advice. Thank you to everyone for taking time to read this.

    My boyfriend of 5 years is currently in outpatient counseling for alcoholism. Overall, it's been relatively successful, with a few minor setbacks. Whenever I'm at home, he's good to go. Over Thanksgiving, I took off 6 days and he was fine. No issues at all.

    However, over the past few weeks, I've started noticing some strange things happening if I'm not at home. There was one night that he did drink, but he admitted it to me after a bit of grilling. That's not the issue. Some days when he has counseling, I'll notice a weird smell. Some days when I get home, he's hyper; bouncing around the house, talking loudly, and fast, repeating himself. He was on the phone with a friend of mine when I got home, she can be intense, so I dubiously bought his story that he was just wound up after a long conversation with her. Except: I noticed the smell. Kind of a dull smell, not sweet, kind of acrid. It's something that I've smelled before (or at least something like it...) but I can't explain it or place where. It seeps out of his pores and I can smell it on his breath. It's strong enough at times, that it's noticeable just passing by him in the hallway.

    This weekend, we had a long talk about this and I told him about the smell. He brushed it off that he must be around people at his counseling who are doing drugs and he's picking up the scent. I'm not dumb enough to be buying that.

    Tonight, he doesn't have the odor, but his mannerisms are the same as when he's intoxicated. The way he holds himself, wringing his hands, slightly slurred speech...all are normally symptoms that he's been drinking, but he has a few tells that are not controllable, they were not present.

    My fear is that he's substituting something else for alcohol. He's been addicted to some substance or another for 40 years. Alcohol is the only thing that he hasn't been able to stop without help. Quaaludes (sp), cocaine and even crack all had a breaking point with him and he simply stopped on his own.

    As the daughter of an addict, I'm used to looking for signs and symptoms, but am trying to be careful to not transfer my own past and baggage into his recovery by not trusting him.

    Am I wrong in thinking that he's using something else in place of alcohol? Since it's not every time he has counseling, I'm thinking that a particularly stressful session is triggering him to use something else. I'm about the most naive person out there when it comes to drugs, there have literally been drug deals in front of me at a bar that I had no clue about. I know this isn't very clear, as you can tell my mind is spinning. I'll be happy to answer any questions that will clarify.

    Thank you in advance, I wasn't sure where else to turn!

  2. #2
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010



    Yes. You've found a great place to get some support so I'm glad you found us. Face to face support would be even better so I'd suggest that you find a meeting and get there for you. I'm glad that your significant other is in counseling. That's a start but only a start. As you probably already know, there isn't much that you can do to help him. The work and commitment is his. It's anyone's guess if he's using something to substitute his desire to drink but I wouldn't be surprised but that doesn't mean it's necessarily so.

    I have no advice for you aside from getting yourself to a meeting. This is so heartbreaking and I wish I had answers for you. Take care of you. I'm sure that because you have been around addiction for a long time you know well all the things to look for so long as you remember that it's information only so that you can make the best decisions for yourself. Hopefully someone else will come along who can answer your questions about the odor you posted about. I know that others have noticed that when they are detoxing. I never noticed that for myself so I can't relate aside from knowing that it does exist.

    Best wishes and good luck. Please keep posting to let us know how things are going.



  3. #3
    doodlebug1969 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    Thank you for the warm, Cat!

    I've been doing the online SMART support. Between working full time and pursuing an advanced degree, time is short for me. Thankfully, this semester is ending soon, so I'm hoping to get in with my old therapist for a few one on one's during break. While not the healthiest coping mechanism, I've always been able to lose myself in work to de-stress and refocus my energy into something more productive.

    It took 3 years to get him into counseling, so I have to remember that miracles don't happen in recovery and two months of counseling isn't going to over come 40 years of addiction and habits. He doesn't have the best coping skills when it comes to anxiety and stress (does anyone!?) Every time I've noticed the signs, it's been after a high stress session.

    My friend that he was talking to that day is a recovering alcoholic herself. She's more than happy to be his sounding board, so I give them privacy to talk. I did, however, call and ask her if she noticed anything off during their last conversation and she said that he seemed to deteriorate during the conversation. At first she thought maybe he was drinking, but that didn't seem right as he just seemed "off". She's across the country from us, so all that she has to go by is vocal patterns and reactions.

    Thank you again for the welcome and thank you for the advice! <3

  4. #4
    Forceout is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017


    Hello and welcome to this safe place.

    You are in the right place for support and encouragement. I really don't know if it would matter or be of any help to know the substance, if any, that you bf is using.

    Like Cat indicated, it's more about you and your own personal happiness and safety, etc.

    Substance abuse and/or addiction affects everyone it touches. You need to watch out for yourself first and foremost. It sounds like you are doing that so far. I would find a support group as soon as possible for YOU. Just my thinking.

    As far as the smell, and coming out of his pores......I have some suspicions but I would not get into guessing about something like this.

    im glad you found the forum. It has been a life saver for many, many people. You are welcome here so post as often as you like. Others will comment that know more about this specific situation.


  5. #5
    doodlebug1969 is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017


    Thank you, forceout. Any and all input and advice is appreciated.

    Sooo..last night, with all this perculating in my brain, I made him empty out all of his prescription bottles. In one, there were 2, 30mg oxycodone. They were rather battered, making me think that they had been in there for a while, but nonetheless, they aren't his prescription.

    Of course, he told me so convoluted story about why he has them, none of which made sense, (he bought them thinking he was out of his nerve pills, didnt realize what they were, blah blah blah.)

    The way he was acting last night could have been the oxy or taking extra clonopine, which he is prescribed. The pill count on his clonopine isn't off, so probably the oxy. That doesn't explain the weird smell that he has at times, however.

    According to him, he is tested 3 times a week at his counseling session and they have all come back clean, so he's obviously not taking the oxy. I'm not buying that either. He's too smart and has been doing this too long to get caught now.

  6. #6
    cutifyJayne is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Waxahachie, TX


    Hi, For me I think alcoholism is not the issue on his situation, based on your story he'd been addicted. Sorry If I make you offense. Just I thought just trying to help you out.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 12-15-2017 at 11:31 PM.

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