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Repost: ZoSo's Laws For Surviving a Breakup with an Addict

Old 07-16-2014, 04:45 PM
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Repost: ZoSo's Laws For Surviving a Breakup with an Addict

Back in August 2012, I posted this as a "Lessons Learned" sort of thing. And since we have some relative newbies who are struggling with breakups with their ABF or AGF, this post seems relevant. My hope is it inspires you, in some way, to pick up the pieces of your life and move forward...

++++++++

It's been a long time since I've done an original post. Mostly because there's really been nothing to talk about...until tonight.

Tonight, I started graduate school again. I'm currently two courses shy of my MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering. When I was dealing with my AXGF, I was so sick myself that doing that level of work was impossible. In fact, my career took a hit as well. Now that my career's back on track and I've restarted graduate school, I figured a post like this would help Newbies who've been knocked sideways by the actions of their addict boyfriend or girlfriend.

Call it: ZoSo's Laws for Surviving a Breakup With an Addict

1) Decide that you're going to be OK. Let's say hypothetically the addict drops the bomb on you. You're pissed, you're hurt. After everything you've done for them, they pull this. Don't be surprised. He or she is sick. So it can go one of two ways: you can roll over and die, or decide that you're going to get through it. In my case, I woke up two days after the bomb was dropped on me, decided my AXGF did me a favor, and said aloud to myself, I'm gonna be OK. And once you decide that, it's No Contact from that point forward.

2) Accept You're Going to Have Your Down Moments. It's inevitable. You've been betrayed and hurt. This is something you have to face, and this is something you have to accept. The good news is it's not forever. You have to keep pressing forward, tell yourself this is where you are now, admit it sucks, and keep going.

3) Reconnect With Friends. This is important. Very important. Your friends may be pissed at you because you allowed yourself to stay in an unhealthy, compromised situation. Accept their feelings and what they tell you, and acknowledge it to the best of your ability. Enjoy their company. If you're comfortable doing so, share with them what their friendship means to you. However you do that is up to you.

4) Reengage With Your Bliss. What gave you joy before the addict was in your life? For me, it was music and the guitar. My bliss includes my band. There's five of us, and when I'm with them, I'm not an engineer or a student or a codependent. I'm one of the boys and I act like I'm 15. I laugh. I make sick jokes. I torture someone. It's all good...and believe or not, it changes your brain chemistry for the better. Find what you love, do it, and thank God you've got that in your life.

5) Attend Al Anon/Nar Anon Meetings. When you're down in the dumps, it's important you go to meetings. You have to go with an open mind and open ears. There is a high probability that one or more people will share an idea that can turn your day around. These meetings aren't about the addict that left you. They are for you and how you respond when the bomb is dropped on you. Allow others to comfort you in this setting. And offer your support if someone needs it.

6) Recommit to Your Career. When the bomb is dropped on you, you don't want to be at work. You can't concentrate, you're sad, you're angry, and the last thing you want to do is a, b and c. Guess what? Use work as a distraction. Engage with your colleagues. Engage with your boss. Set manageable goals for yourself every day and meet them. Give yourself credit when you do.

7) Pray. Every. Night. If you're in Al Anon, this isn't that foreign. If you're not, read carefully: part of getting well is accepting you have no control over the addict and their behavior. And in that moment of surrender, you turn to a Higher Power to restore yourself to sanity. You can't handle the addict anymore. The pain they've left in their wake is overbearing. Give it to God and let Him shoulder it for you. Thank Him for the gifts and the people you do have in your life. Pray for the addict if you want, too. But do this every day. It helps. Believe me, it helps.

If you do these steps, little by little, hour by hour, day by day, you will reclaim your life. It may take weeks. It may take months. But what you will notice is a good day here and there turns into two good days. Two turns into three. Three turns into four. And the pain, while it's still present, isn't as sharp. You know it's there, you accept it's there, and you sit with it.

One year ago, I was essentially not functioning. I allowed myself, my career, and my education to be hijacked by a person that, in hindsight, only cared about her needs, her wants. She didn't care what I thought, what I needed, what I wanted. Suicide threats, cognitive distortions, lying through her teeth...

...then leaving me for another addict, via text message, while confessing with glee she f**ked two other guys.

Yeah, that hurt.

And guess what? Almost 8 months later, I've got my life back. I've got all of it back. I'm stronger, I'm wiser, I'm more honest with myself...and I recognize my part of what was truly a sick, dysfunctional relationship. It's lessons learned. She gave me a gift.

God Bless.

ZoSo
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:06 AM
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Thanks you :-)

To hijack and inject another thing which has worked for me:

I read a lot on forums like this to get a sense of support of course, but also to get a better understanding of what life with an addict really is like and what it does to people. It helps with turning the picture and thoughts around from the 'good' times to reality. It helps to remind me my situation would not have been an exception with a happy ending. In my imagination I fast forward in time and the unpleasant things I read become my own future reality.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:47 AM
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I probably need to read this every day. Thanks for sharing. I always look forward to your posts, Zoso. You rock.
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