Dear Universe: My boyfriend and I have been together for many years. In our late thirties, we share a passion for health and fitness and clean living. Over the last several months, his behavior has changed. He finds reasons to pick a fight or sometimes makes things completely up. He’s becoming threatening. A friend who’d seen it before said he’s using steroids. I’m shocked! I’ve told him our relationship is on hold until he cleans up but he just ordered another supply online. I’m devastated. I don’t want to lose him. What should I do? ~ Anxious
Dear Peaceful: When drugs are involved, you grieve as if there has been a death in the family. Indeed, the “before” person has “died” as his brain chemistry and behavior changes. You must understand upfront aspects of him are gone forever. We all change over time, but chemicals make change shocking. Your immediate priorities are taking care of you after you and any friends and family you can muster let him know what he means to all of you (intervene) and that you are there to support his recovery. If he chooses addiction, then protect and prepare yourself for the war that will rage within the both of you even if that means walking away and locking the door. The battle is his. If he’s willing to recover, encourage professional services, support groups, yoga and meditation. You can help by visualizing him whole and healthy. He will come out a changed man, possibly even for the better. And you will find out the depth of your love. Perhaps in the interim, it’s you who’ve changed and may wish to move on. May the both of you forgo any blame to find peace and acceptance during and after this difficult time.