Ending a Relationship in Recovery
A relationship that ends can be a stressful and emotional experience. Relationships end for whatever reason and it does not matter if the end of a relationship occurred between a boyfriend or girlfriend, close friend, or spouse, nor does it matter who initiated the breakup. The end of a relationship can affect you either way and can trigger negative emotions. You may feel isolated, confused, hurt, or depressed. There is one thing to consider though and that is, as with any loss, one must grieve. You may think that because you initiated the end of the relationship and are satisfied with your decision, that you do not have to grieve. The truth is you have still experienced a loss and must process this loss emotionally.
Relationships end even when working a program of recovery. You need to be sure to take care of yourself as you grieve to ensure your recovery efforts are not jeopardized. Sometimes a person can decide to get help for their addiction while their partner chooses to stay in the addiction. This is a very difficult experience for many, as there can be overwhelming feelings of sadness and pain. You may even feel disappointed that your partner does not wish to share a path of recovery with you. You should not let this deter you from your path. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you take care of yourself during these trying times.
First, recognize that you will feel sad, betrayed, hurt, or angry. These feelings are normal. Recognize and accept that you are unsure what happens next and work through the difficult emotions. Give yourself permission to feel these emotions for a period of time. If you feel like crying, do so and release the sadness that you feel.
Remember that you do not have to go through this alone. Call your sponsor or close friend and share your feelings with them or seek out a professional counselor. If you isolate yourself during this difficult time, it can raise your stress levels and interfere with your work, health, other relationships, and most importantly, your recovery.
Allow yourself time to grieve. Grief is a natural reaction to losing a relationship, as you are not only losing the person but also the experience of being with that person. Allowing yourself to grieve might feel scary at times, but it is necessary to move through the grief. Through experiencing the grief, you will be able to move on knowing that it will not last forever.
If you are working a program of recovery during the loss, protect yourself with going to meetings or getting professional help until you have healed. You could even stay with a close friend or family member until you feel better. Protect your recovery at all costs!