Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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Staying Sober Through a Breakup 

stay sober through a breakup

How to stay sober when your partner leaves you

Bummer Summer:

Staying Sober Through a Breakup 

So it’s Summer. You’ve been sober for some time by now. You’ve worked through the steps and finally found “the one”. You know, the other person you met and somehow ended up drawing infinity symbols on each other together while eating pizza and Netflixing. You even made if past the honeymoon phase, the first 3 months. Maybe you even had the awesome opportunity to quarantine together! Say this is true, and you didn’t give or get the needed space for healthy boundaries to take hold. Perhaps you argued a bit, maybe said some things you didn’t mean. Oops. A few months go by and those infinity symbols look like Neanderthal cave paintings, you’ve been dumped. Yet again.

We all know what happens when something we were so “happy” about, even if it was toxic to us and the other person, such as a relationship, ends abruptly. We, especially as alcoholics who have not dealt with life in such an adult manner before sobriety, will usually feel sorry for ourselves. We will be angry, fearful, hopeless, and feel like everything was ripped away suddenly. And we will say “why the fuck should I stay sober if I can have him/her”. Well, I’ll tell you why. For yourself. Here are a few reasons I have found to stay sober for ME, instead of relying on others’ company or companionship in order for ME to have a better life in recovery.


Reason #1: It Doesn’t Take Two to Tango.

I’m sure you’ve heard the opposite. But think about it: everything we thought we knew, we have had to surrender and try completely new ideas in order to have a better life for ourselves. It literally doesn’t take a significant other in order for us to keep our job, our car, our house, our sanity, our serenity, or even our sobriety. It is ALL up to YOU. So this is where we have to suck it up, stop making excuses, and stop dwelling right away. Life is too short for useless, counter-productive grief. Get up, dust off, move forward, level up. Failures, including failed relationships, are LEARNING EXPERIENCES. Use them wisely.


Reason #2: We Didn’t Make it This Far To Fall on Our Face.

If your experience in sobriety is anything like mine at all, I was not in a relationship at the beginning of my journey. In fact, I had lost a relationship and fell down pretty far before I sobered up. So I was nearly 2 years into my sobriety before I found me a “keeper”. I had worked the steps with a sponsor and had become a sponsor myself. I was building a life and the beginnings of a career. So why in the hell would I give up what I have worked so hard for just because someone came along then left? Face it. People come and go. But we don’t have to lose ourselves just because we lost someone else in any manner. We didn’t start a new life to throw it away. We can keep going without this other person, just like they will continue to keep moving without us. No pity parties. Just PROGRESS.


Reason #3: We are Better off Than We Were.

So, before I was sober, I was completely hopeless and miserable. I blamed everyone else for my problems when I was the problem in the first place. Not even alcohol was the main issue. I WAS. When I figured out how to live life without alcohol, I started to open my eyes to all the things I knew how to do, my character assets, my best attributes, and skills. Things that no one could take from me but ME. Being that my life was already improving before I found a relationship, I have now, with that relationship ending, a better start than I had before the relationship anyhow. I don’t have to drink, I don’t have to lose my job, my friends, my family’s respect, I don’t have to sit in jail this time. No, instead, I have a job and all the things I have gained through my recovery from alcoholism, still. I don’t have to start from scratch again.


In Closing:

Even if the relationship was something that motivated me to stay on track for some time, maybe I should consider the fact that this was the purpose of it entirely. I believe everything happens for a reason, you meet no one by mistake. You get back what you put in. So if I’m able to take this relationship AND the breakup as a positive event in my life, I can use this whole thing as an opportunity to start a new, more powerful chapter in my life. Sounds better than crying yourself to sleep and not wanting to do a damn thing about your life, huh?

How do I stay sober when I got dumped? Before you drink, think about how you got here. Drinking won’t fix the breakup and the pain will still be there when you sober up so it is not worth it.  Phone a friend hit a meeting or play the tape before you pick up that drug or alcohol.

Why does alcohol relax me? Stress impacts your cortisol and increases your insulin response. Alcohol is sugar-based and when you drink it you feel calm and centered, as the alcohol enters your bloodstream.   Your cares melt away as the alcohol takes over and you feel great for a short while.

How long does it take to heal after a breakup? Everyone is different, but you ill go through the 5 stages of grief by Kubler -Ross. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. each person travels through them at a different rate of speed and you can repeat one if you are not fully through it. Once you hit acceptance you have healed and can move on.

Is staying sober hard? Yes and no. If you have the right help and tea, around you, delete toxic people, and practice a good solid recovery plan you can do it. The key is to hire great professionals and follow their advice. Meetings and a sponsor are great but you need a solid recovery plan. Also The Addictions Coach is your go to for help!


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