I am trying to heal. My alcoholic lover of two years broke up with me. I am very very sad, but anticipate that at some point I will truly be grateful for G-d doing for me what I could not do for myself. The point is, I can't shake the sadness, I can't shake the fact that he would want to continue living a life of misery rather than sobering up and having a joyful existence with me, which we did, part-time, but we did. Unfortunately, he doesn't possess the strength to overcome his disease. How do I shake it, I miss him, I miss our moments together.

Sherri's Answer:

I am so sorry to hear your pain and understand the sorrow you are experiencing. It is incredibly difficult to comprehend, but for individuals who are in the throes of an addiction, the most important relationship is that which they have with their substance. And unless that love affair is broken it will continue to take precedence over all others because emotions, thoughts and actions are all clouded. Unfortunately, it is the people to whom they are closest and care about most that are left feeling like victims

For your own personal preservation, you must recognize that your ex-boyfriend's addiction is a disease and recovery from it not about you. There are many organizations that help loved ones whose lives are touched by addiction, and showing up to one of their meetings will help you sort through the mess of emotions, from helplessness to guilt, that you are now facing. Finding people who understand your sadness, with whom you can talk and share experienced in a supportive environment, is a good place to help you (yes you) "recover." The best place to get started is Al-Anon, which offers help for friends and family of addicts.

Right now, your self-esteem seems to be suffering, which is to be expected given your circumstances. I strongly encourage you to engage in confidence boosting activities, whether that means practicing daily affirmations or getting involved in a hobby, activity or sport that makes you feel strong, secure and good about yourself. Turning the focus away from your ex and onto yourself will speed up the healing process.

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