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Taking illicit substances and falling into an altered state of mind while married and in a loving relationship

Community Member


here goes.

I’ve separated from my wife 3 years ago, due to ongoing issues I had with drug addiction. Mostly Ice.

It lasted for about 2 years, I made several

attempts to get clean but somehow found a way back. we had a good home and were very much in love.

the shame was unbearable at the time. and to make it worse, I went to defensive mode, I couldn’t handle the anger that came from her, and started being very responsive toward her confrontation of the situation.

its now been 3 years clean! But...

Ive lost the house and spent Lot of money on lawyers with a financial separation.

Lost my car and job.

Also lost all our mutual friends who at one point were my best friends. I’ve actually spent the past two years taking it out on them as I felt they facilitated an expensive and long drawn out separation.

I still feel immense guilt and shame and it Consumes my mind everyday.

I recently tried to return to work and got a good job, and apparently impressed, but every day I would show up with crippling anxiety, I found it very hard turn my head when someone approached me, I would feel

like I was shaking and they could see it.

one day one of the directors asked me to join him and get a coffee, walking back my hand holding the coffee would tremble and I’d spill it, we stopped three times to clean up the spill. I told him the cup was too hot... I would hide out in the toilet for 10 mins to catch my breath. And stop trembling,

after a while I just stopped showing up.

So they’ve given me time out.. which means I’ve lost my contract, they did say they liked having me and wished I could continue with them. So theirs prospect of more work with them.

My main issues though are centralised around the devastation of my separation, and my petulant behaivior toward one and all thereafter. I am now alone and with friends. I feel like this is what I deserve. I’m 41 now and am starting all over again in all facets of my life, I’m territiary educated so it’s not a complete disaster! Albeit the crippling patterns of anxiety and complete lack of sleep each and every night.


3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Billyc,

Congratulations on being 3 years clean. That is an enormous achievement! I feel that is worth celebrating:)

It sounds like you’re really struggling at the moment though. You have clearly been through a lot and have lost a lot along the way.

I feel the fallout from addiction can be devastating...you sound very lonely, on edge at times and I sense your feelings of deep remorse...

But all is not lost, you also obviously want to turn things around and are very willing to try again. I admire that...

I wonder if there’s any chance that you could try to make amends with a friend or two. Is it okay if I ask if there’s any chance you could reach out to maybe 1-2 friends, have a very honest conversation and apologise for the past 2 years, and promise to do better (and follow-through with actions) and see where that goes? They may or may not be receptive, but at least you would be trying to build a bridge...

As for the work situation, I think despite the time-out, you clearly left a positive impression on them. That’s definitely a positive, and as you said, maybe there’s a way back in. But I feel perhaps it would help to deal with the anxiety, etc before trying to return to work.

For example, if you haven’t already, perhaps you could see your GP and ask for an extended appointment to enquire about a mental health plan. The plan entitles you to a certain number of Medicare rebatable psychologist visits...just a little idea.

If you feel like sharing/writing, it would be nice to hear how things are going with you. No pressure of course...

Kind and Caring thoughts,


Hi Pepper

Thanks for your reply, in particular pointing out the positive elements of it, it’s hard to see them when I’m inside then bubble.

I am seeking a mental health plan through a local GP, I was advised of this through some time in triage. I’m also at the point where im

willing to take on medication as prescribed. and your spot on regarding returning to work at the right time! I guess I am the one that creates the “right time”, this forum is terrific and has an abundance of resource and connection,

I am remorseful, and that’s my biggest hurdle at this point, letting that go! I think I’ve done my dash with my friends, things got pretty severe. Maybe down the road,

thanks for getting in touch.

what did you mean ongoing consultation?

Hi Billy,

It’s great to hear from you again. You’re most welcome and thanks so much for writing back 🙂

I’m very happy to hear that you’re finding this forum helpful and hopefully feeling supported as well.

I think it’s great that you’re seeing/have already seen a GP. Maybe, in some strange way, a little break from work is what might be helpful for now. As you said, when you’re ready to return, you’ll know it...

Sorry, I’m not sure what you meant by “ongoing consultation”...were you referring to my comment about how you would be entitled to a certain number of Medicare rebatable psychologist sessions under the mental health care plan? Thanks.

Hopefully we’ll hear about how you’re doing when and if you feel up to it...no rush or pressure...

Kind and caring thoughts to you.