Dealing with a Breakup in Addiction Recovery
Breakups can be incredibly difficult–especially dealing with a breakup while in recovery. The end of a romantic relationship brings fear of the unknown, many “would-haves” or “should-haves”, and intense feelings of loss. Do not use this pain to justify a relapse; use this pain to create something beautiful with your life. Sure, the relationship is over and done and you’re hurt. Accept that the pain is temporary and move on. It is very important to deal with the breakup as healthily and quickly as possible, and to always put your sobriety as the number one thing in your life.
Feel the Pain, but Don’t Wallow
Do not try to resist the pain of a breakup. It hurts. This is a normal human reaction to the loss of a romantic relationship. Psychological discomfort is completely natural and is part of the normal grieving process; don’t be too hard on yourself! Unbearable suffering can occur if you resist this type of pain. Remember that it will get better soon.
If you loved someone, you are going to feel pain after a breakup. In fact, it would be very abnormal if you didn’t feel bad! Be comfortable being uncomfortable and try not to wallow in the pain. There is no right way or wrong way to recover from a breakup, but there are a couple things to avoid. If checking their social media, wearing old clothes, or romanticizing a future with them is painful, then you must do everything in your power to redirect these thoughts when they occur. Think about the future. Be your best friend.
Show Yourself Some Love
Become an expert in self-compassion. Don’t allow negative self talk to dominate your head. Any time you have a negative thought or start obsessing about the past or your ex, change your inner dialogue to words filled with love, self-encouragement, and a promise of a better future. Don’t “pain-shop” by looking at the pictures you took together or their social media profiles. Exes are exes for a reason.
This is a powerful tool used by thousands of people going through a breakup, regardless of whether or not they are in sobriety. Mindfulness is rather simple in theory but can often be difficult to practice:
• Observe your thoughts, emotions, and feelings in a more objective way. Do not think of them as your own thoughts. Just observe and let them pass.
• Here is a Buddhist metaphor: people are often hit with two arrows, when they only need to be hit by one. The first arrow is the event, and the second is the pain attached to the event. The second arrow is the unnecessary pain caused by resistance to the event. One of the main goals of mindfulness is to avoid the pain of the second arrow and to relish in the first. The pain passes faster if you are only hit with one.
Go to More AA Meetings
During this difficult time, you need to surround yourself with like-minded sober people. Don’t text your ex or their family asking for a second chance. Take comfort in the fact that millions of people have gone through breakup and heartbreak and have come out on the other side as better people. Hang out with your family and friends and do your utmost to avoid isolation or isolating activities. This is paramount to your success in early recovery.
Sobriety is Your Number One Priority
Even though a breakup can be very painful, sobriety should remain your number one priority. Do not feel embarrassed about the breakup, no matter what you said. What is in the past is in the past and you must look towards the future for growth. Learn from the experience and think about the lessons your learned in the relationship. It can be a tempting thing to blame the other person, but it takes two to tango; consider the part you played in the relationship and then take ownership for your actions. Remember: there’s a difference between taking ownership and wallowing in self-pity.
Dealing With a Breakup While in Recovery: Sober Companion and Sober Coaching
If you or a loved one is going through a breakup while in recovery–especially early recovery, a sober escort, companion, or coach can help you transition from the early phases of post-treatment into a healthy and sober life. We are addiction specialists that have experience in every part of the healing process; from intervention and rehabilitation, all the way to post-treatment and recovery care monitoring, Recovery Care Partner is here to get you or your loved one that is struggling with addiction back on their feet.