Tilly I would just like to say I have gone through a very similar situation with my boyfriend. However, he turned to drugs as well as the alcohol to cope with the depression. It took him a couple months before he turned to help, but in the midst of getting up was still using. His last episode, 3 months ago was sooo bad I had to call 911. Not only was he physically hurting himself, he also took it out on me. It took having him charged for him to hit rock bottom.
Now he is fully committed to his therapy and completely off the drugs and alcohol and coping with everything with a clear head. He apologized for everything he has put me through and tells me his he wants to have me back in his life. He now has goals, puts himself first instead of others etc.
Here is my dilemma, can someone really change???? My friends are telling me not to trust him that it is a form a manipulation. My therapist says to do what feels right. My heart tells me that things are on the right track, but feedback with others who've had a similar experience would be great.
I’m no expert, but I think the best way to tell if he is serious about staying off alcohol and drugs is the evaluate how much he really wants to be alcohol and drug free.
Some ways to tell are, ‘how enthusiastic is he about his therapy?’ Is he practicing his therapists advice?
If he goes to a 12 step program, is he trying to actually work the steps, or is he just talking about them?
I believe he deserves the benefit of the doubt in terms of trust as long as you believe he is making a sincere effort.
Therapy and programs only work as well as the person.
There is an old light-bulb joke that really makes the point:
How many programs does it take to change a light-bulb?
Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.