Breakups are hard, whether you’re moving out of a long term relationship or breaking up with someone whom you were briefly intimate with, the loss can be devastating.
Most of us form connections quickly, and their loss can cause pain, stress, and emotional trauma.
For recovering addicts, this presents another problem, because those emotions are often the ones that cause us to turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place.
A breakup might make you feel like the only thing that will make you feel better is a drink, and why not. The media romanticizes alcohol as a solution to romantic problems, so it might seem natural to just start drinking. As recovering addicts, we know that’s a lie. There’s nothing romantic about alcohol and it will make you feel worse not better.
If you’re going through a breakup, these 5 tips can help you to stay sober and on track so that you can get back to your life.
1) Talk to People
Whether you’re going to your sobriety group, talking to a friend, to your family, or to anyone else, you need to talk. You might not want to, but speaking about things can help you to come to grips with them, deal with them, and will help you to get advice and deal with your own issues.
If you experiencing cravings, consider discussing them with your sobriety group or with someone who will understand your reasons and will help you to walk through them without judging you.
2) Work Hard for a Healthy Breakup
Healthy breakups can be hard and they often require a great deal of maturity and self control on your part. No matter what the reason for the breakup, try to close things off. This means apologizing if you are at fault, making sure that you or the other person has all of their things, avoiding insults and being respectful of the other person.
Try that instead of following your first instinct and getting rid of their things and their pictures, blocking them on social media and on your phone, and removing them completely from your life.
Taking the time to add closure to your breakup might be painful, especially if the other person is at fault, but it will help you in the long run, and it will help you to handle your emotions and your cravings much more easily.
3) Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re in pain, but this is the worst thing you can do. If you eat right, go to the gym or go for a run or for a walk, and make sure that you spend time outside every day, you will feel considerably better than if you wallow in self pity, watch reruns, and stay on your couch.
Activity will also release endorphins in your brain, which not only help to improve your mood, but will also help you to fight off cravings.
4) Get Out and Do Something
Most of us try to isolate ourselves when we are in pain, but this leads to increased loneliness and sadness. If you do intend to stay home, try planning to do so something, like putting together a puzzle, building something, or cleaning your house. But, make sure you create time to go out, spend time with friends away from alcohol and drugs and do something fun.
Even if your budget is low, you can have fun and stave off loneliness by going for hikes, window shopping, visiting local tourist attractions in your city, or anything else you’re interested in. In addition to staving off feelings of loneliness which can increase cravings, you will also distract yourself from wanting a drink.
5) Give Yourself Room to Grieve
This is especially important for men who are often told that they have to move on and pretend that they aren’t hurt by the loss. We are often given very limited options for grieving publicly, and this is one of the reasons that many of us turn to alcohol as a means of coping with our emotions. You are going to be sad, confused, and maybe even angry, and no matter how long you’ve been in a relationship, your emotions are valid. Give yourself room to grieve.
While everyone deals with emotions in their own way, many people feel better writing a private letter to their loved one, talking to a family member or a friend, or by taking the time to say goodbye in their own way. Facing your emotions and dealing with them will help you to retain your self control and will reduce the need to turn to alcohol or drugs as a solution instead.
No breakup is easy, but yours doesn’t have to mean losing your sobriety. Hopefully you also have the opportunity to find closure in your relationship. Remember, retaining your sobriety is the best way to ensure that your future is happy, no matter who is in it.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please call Lighthouse Treatment Center today for help. We are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. Help is available now.