NC post-rehab...why do I feel sad?

Old 01-31-2012, 06:46 AM
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Question NC post-rehab...why do I feel sad?

My ABF finally went to rehab. The months before going were rough. He was sober for a few months, started drinking again, made attempts to "control" it, but of course got quickly out of control. So we broke up, him saying I deserved better, and me saying that I couldn't enable him anymore.

He was never a mean or abusive drunk, never raised his voice or lifted a finger. A few days before he got home, I got a letter from him saying he was learning a lot, and realized that he can't be in a relationship right now, and felt that we should not have verbal or physical contact so he could focus on healing.

I am happy for him, and happy he is going through this process. All I have ever wanted for him is to be happy and healthy. But at the same time, it hurts, and it feels like I'm the bad guy. I am accepting that I may never see or speak to him again. I am his only sober friend. I know our friendship is complicated by our past romantic relationship, but it feels like I am the reason he needs to heal. I know this isn't true, but it breaks my heart.

We have known each other for over 20 years, and were together for two. We wanted to get married, and declared each other the love of our lives. We were the very best of friends. I still have so much love for him, and, at least a few weeks ago, he loved me too.

I feel lost in dealing with this, to be cut from someone's life like this. I am busy myself with work, school, friends, family, etc, but I miss my best friend, too. I know I need to be my own best friend, and I am doing my best towards that end, but still, there is that bond and loss and grieving that is really hard to deal with.

I would appreciate everyone's thoughts and experience. Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:21 AM
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None of this is easy, no matter who is the one to break up the relationship. Healing takes time, it takes a new mindset, a new inner peace...a new direction.

Take it slow, grieve and be assured that tomorrow is a new day, one that can be filled with happiness and joy, life is what you make of it, we all have setbacks, and from each setback we learn something new and emerge as a stronger more confident person.

Sending support your way!
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:55 AM
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What a painful situation. I am glad you understand that this is not about you. He MUST put his recovery first and it is actually a good sign that he is taking it seriously enough to make it the priority.

I expect that he is also doing this because he does care for you, and realizes he is not able to be in a relationship. He's not ready, and he may not want you to wait around etc.

I hope you can understand what I am about to say and not take it as if I am accusing you of being his problem.

In our lives and relationships we establish certain patterns, habits and dynamics. And we get into comfortable routines. When we get into recovery we begin to see how we must change many things in our lives other than just not drinking/using. Because if all of our other patterns and routines are in place, it makes it much easier for us to slip back into drinking/using again. Like ruts in a road.

That doesn't mean everything in our lives was wrong or that all the people in our lives were bad, but sometimes we must set those things aside for awhile, or even permanently in order to establish healthy patterns.

The intent of recovery it to learn to live as a fully integrated member of society, but sometimes at the start we do have to focus on recovery and protect ourselves from some challenges we are not ready to face.

What feels like rejection to you, might be him taking some honest responsibility for himself for the first time in a long time.

I know that doesn't make the hurt and loss any less. I have experienced the same situation. But reminding ourselves that it is not about us can help us progress in a healthier manner.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:17 AM
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The most supportive and loving thing you can do for him is to continue what you are doing: taking care of your own life for now. It is not a passive resignation, to continue on with your life activities apart from him, it is an action step. It is a decision you make, an action you take, while you release him to his work. Your higher power has separated you from him and you can surrender to this for now with the faith that what is happening today is part of a plan for you both.

Sometimes when we are hurting, we just don't have anything in us to take care of someone else's feelings. He needs not to have to take care of yours. And he would have to, if the two of you tried to do any repair on the relationship right now.

Your recovery paths must be parallel in the first year of sobriety. This is the advice of most experts on addiction.

As one famous counselor says, "It's hard to lose an alcoholic." They seem always to show up again, and sometimes again and again.

I hope if he does decide to contact you in the future, by then you will have solid recovery on your part which would make you a positive, not a negative, friend in his life.

For now you are doing the right thing.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:03 AM
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P.S. The way I wrote that, it could be misinterpreted as my thinking you were a negative influence. Not at all!

I just mean that with strong recovery, you would be an even more positive friend/girfriend.
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