Mental health, emotional wellbeing & personal development

Getting Sober After A Breakup

Getting Sober After A Breakup

By Kevin Repass

Getting sober after a break-up in a long-term relationship was one of the most difficult challenges I ever had to overcome. As a former addict and alcoholic, it is unfortunate that I knew nothing about codependency and addiction until I went into treatment. A break up can easily send someone into a mental and emotional tailspin. I suffered from the dual diagnosis of bipolar and substance misuse disorder which only fueled the fire. I happened to hit a rock bottom like never before.

The two most difficult elements of a break-up are acceptance and forgiveness. I was unable to accept that this person was no longer a part of my life. A lot of this was due to the fact that this person was my best friend for years. We did everything together which slowly but surely became rather unhealthy. Looking back, I wish I had given us more time and space for ourselves. I had difficulty forgiving not only her for leaving me but myself as well. I felt like a failure. I did not just let her down, I let myself down. I was dealing with a low self-esteem and self-hatred like never before. I could not stand to look in the mirror. I despised the person I was.

My substance abuse certainly played a role in the outcome of her leaving me. I was dealing with a lot of guilt and shame due to the fact that I was unable to see that I had a problem. I was unable to accept that she had given up after she promised she wouldn’t. For the longest time I felt half of me was missing. I was dealing with extreme depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I reached a point of insanity to where I was hearing echoes of every hurtful word in my head. I felt as if the only way to drown my demons was with drugs and alcohol. I was self-medicating in a desperate attempt to kill the pain. I was unable to stop. I wanted my addiction to send me to an early grave. The only way to get sober was for me to acknowledge, realize and accept that I was a drug addict and alcoholic. Moreover, I was unhealthily codependent. I decided enough was enough. I had to put an end to the pitfalls I frequently found myself in. I was tired of my addiction ruining my life, myself and the ones I loved. My family offered to get me into a detox and treatment center after a close call with death.

I used to not believe that everything happens for a reason. I have always had to learn my lessons in life the hard way. If it was not for this particular relationship, I probably would have never been able to get or stay sober. I learned a lot about myself, my flaws and the error of my ways in recovery. Getting sober has helped me learn to live, laugh and love again. I have slowly but surely been able to see the positives out of all the negatives. I definitely still have my days where I wish life happened differently but I have no choice but to accept and forgive others…but most importantly myself.

Kevin Repass is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He is a writer for a south Florida-based company dedicated to providing resources and information to all those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.