Walking away from a loved one with addiction can be difficult, particularly when the person is in an intimate relationship with another person. The challenge of leaving a lover is the emotional attachment which occurs along with leaving behind memories, investment of time and energy and other things which kept the relationship going. Learn why people walk away from loved ones with addiction and how to cope in the aftermath.
Change can be difficult and scary to face when it comes to leaving someone with addiction. Some people think it is the most painful experience to have and that nobody else will understand the experience. The opposite is, in fact, true as many others have experienced leaving a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The following are a few things to keep in mind:
Loss is normal
Loss is a normal part of life, especially with addiction which can feel like a series of losses along the journey. It is natural to feel despair, hopelessness, depression and fear. When the emotions rise up, it is possible to experience joy and happiness on the other side. For the moment, it is normal to allow the feelings to be experienced fully before trying to move on.
Nothing lasts forever and things will either change or come to an end. When a person is in a situation where emotions are responding appropriately, it helps to understand the feelings are situational. When leaving a person with addiction, feelings such as the following may occur:
- Negative emotions
The thoughts and feelings are transient. The hardest part is getting through and sorting out feelings. It helps to have belief that things will eventually get better even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
It gets better
The hardest part of dealing with a loved one who has addiction is leaving when things don’t change. There may come a point when it will become the best decision ever made but it can feel harder in the beginning before it gets better. Along with difficult feelings and emotions, the following emotions may also emerge once the decision is made:
When a person has faith that change and ending what was hard for embracing peace and clarity can change an individual’s perspective on what leaving means. Leaving a person with addiction is a hard choice which pays off in the end by offering a new chance at life. Embrace gratitude and a renewed sense of vision which comes from making a healthy decision.
The Villa is committed to supporting families through the challenges addiction brings. If your loved one is struggling with addiction and you need support, call us to find out how we can help you discern next steps.