My partner has a new psychiatrist and was prescribed new meds this week. Her behavior has been really triggering me, and today, I asked for an intentional dialogue to discuss it.
I told her that I wasn't accusing her of anything, but wanted to point out some behaviors that looked a lot like relapse to me. I said that it could well be my own codie sensors misfiring or there could be another reason, possibly the new meds that were prescribed.
Then I described the behaviors. She's been even more distractible than usual lately. Her internal censor is off and she seems less inhibited than usual. For example, she shared some really explicit information in front of a 14 year old. She seems to have been keeping secrets. She told me that she's emailed and texted her sponsor to ask a question and her sponsor hasn't responded. In my imagining, she was asking her sponsor if she "had to" tell me about a recent slip, since that's often how she's phrased it in the past. She's had some substantial itching that doesn't have a known cause to the point where she needed a colleage to go out and buy her benedryl and took 2 to get through the workday. I told her that the biggest signal for me is the way I've been reacting to her. I've been all antsy around her like I tend to get when something's up and I can't quite put my finger on it.
Here's what was different on my part. I was loving and very specific about NOT accusing her of using. I owned my own shit, particularly my reactions and acknowledged that it might well be in my head or be something other than using.
Here's what was different on her part. She listened. She owned every example I gave and even gave more examples. She acknowledged my examples of lack of censoring herself and gave another example I didn't know about. She said that she'd also noticed how distractible she's been lately and how childlike she's appearing to herself. In addition to what I'd shared, she acknowledged that she's had a lot more energy lately (which is how she gets when she's using) and that she has been staying up extremely late. She asked me to write down the symptoms I saw so that she could share them with the psychiatrist and asked when I could go with her to see the psychiatrist. She said that she'd been waiting for me to mention it and that it was validating to her, because she wasn't sure if she was reading into herself the symptoms she was seeing in herself. She acknowledged that she liked some of the effects of the medication, but that they also scared her. I left the conversation feeling relieved and much closer to her, which is unusual when I broach such a hard subject. Shew!