Struggling to know how to emotionally protect myself in my relationship with my depressed boyfriend who uses drugs when things get really bad (not regular drug use). Just really want to know that other people have gone through this and that it has got better. Don't know if this is just a shout into the void but if anyone takes the time to read this i'd be really grateful!
About 6 months into our relationship he was diagnosed with depression and began getting therapy, later going onto antidepressants. I know that he tries really hard to be present in the relationship and make me feel loved despite what hes going through. He is a lovely, wonderful person. Our relationship is mainly without issues, we laugh together all the time and can usually talk through our issues as a discussion rather than a fight. The exception to this however, is his issues with drugs (more specificially dishonesty about drugs). There has been events throughout the relationship where him using drugs has caused not only me to feel hurt, but seriously affect him too. It wasn't until recently, where he went through a very rough patch mentally and used drugs multiple times in a week, that he admitted to me properly that he uses drugs as a coping mechanism. He describes it as being something he does when things get bad because he "no longer cares" and "wants a distraction" from his thoughts. It is also worth saying that as far as i'm aware he doesn't use often, just when things get really bad (a couple of times a year), and it's always a dramatic event rather than a day to day, secret using problem.
I completely understand why getting high would be appealing to him when hes in a dark place. I just can't cope with the issues that surround it. He has lied to me about whether or not hes done drugs before, withheld times where hes been high and not told me until after, and once told me proudly and pointedly that he hadn't done drugs while he was out with his friends, only for him to tell me months later that he actually had, but wanted me to be proud of him.
I had to call for a break in the relationship a few weeks ago because of this (still on the break) because the mental stress of it is too much for me and my trust is gone. I know that he's not using drugs to hurt me and it's more likely that hes in danger of becoming dependent on them to cope (something only he can get himself out of), but the lying and drama that comes with this problem has emotionally broken me down and turned me into a paranoid girlfriend, I don't trust that he's safe when we are apart and have caught myself grilling him multiple times. The lying also hurts me deeply (i've told him this clearly before and he has given me evidence of being more truthful as time has gone on).
I really don't want to leave him, I love him and all the other aspects of our relationship. We've been together over 2 years and live together. I can't fix him, and it's not my job to. I want to tell him that drugs have become a dealbreaker for me, and that he either needs to stop using them or get professional drug specific help for his problem if he can't stop using them. I just worry that he could lie to me about getting help/being clean and then I could get hurt even more down the line.
I feel selfish to say this but It's a struggle to know if i'm indirectly damaging myself by staying with him. If this was a person who wasn't depressed, I would've walked away. Because he has depression, i'm more forgiving of his reasons and can see a pattern in the problem. I have googled this so much trying to find support but I can't find anyone else dealing with someone they love who has depression and has drug related issues. There's so much reading on how to support someone with depression but hardly anything on how to support yourself alongside it. I know that until I feel stable and healthy I can't support him properly. How can i protect myself emotionally and when do i walk away?