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[ Opinion ]

How To Survive A Break-Up: In Recovery

I was about four months sober when I first heard the term “Rejection is God’s Protection.” I remember scribbling the words in a note pad and never, ever forgetting them.

So, when my boyfriend told me he was not ready to be engaged to me this April, my heart broke. I was ready for it all. I was madly in love. I wanted him, as my forever.

At the time, I looked around at our beautiful home, and I heard a quiet voice saying: “You will be okay. You will be okay.” Over and over, I repeated those words in my head.

“You will be okay.”

We didn’t break up that day. I thought maybe he would change. That we would grow together and eventually, he would be ready. But, for the next four months, the voice got quieter. It wasn’t saying I would be okay. It was telling me to GO. To leave.

There is a poem, by Tony Hoagland, called Sweet Ruin. It reads:

“I think there must be something wrong
with me, or wrong with strength, that I would
break my happiness apart
simply for the pleasure of the sound.
The sound the pieces make. What is wrong

With peace? I couldn’t say.
But, sweet ruin, I can hear you.
Always the cloud, suddenly present
And willing to oblige.”

I felt like I was breaking my happiness apart, simply for the pleasure of the sound. Was I? It was my pattern. Fall deeply, deeply in love and then get out. Go. Leave. Don’t stay.

You must go. You must go. You must go.

But, I didn’t go. I pulled away. I became empowered. I stopped worrying about the cleaning, and the cooking, and the flushing of the toilet, and making sure all dishes were perfectly aligned. I stopped making the bed every morning. I stopped devoting my nights to him. I stopped the intentional act of love that comes when you want to selflessly devote your whole body to another human.

That person wasn’t me.

And there was a problem. When you devote your life to growth and evolution and unconditional love and self-awareness and reflection and prayer and meditation and service – and the other person just devotes their life to talent and skill and growth in another way, in the way society tells you to grow. You can’t grow together. You won’t. There are different intentions and different ideals and nothing makes sense anymore. The romance is off the table and the intimacy is at its lowest. It’s gone.

You are two bodies that won’t be buried together.

You will separate, and you will grow. And you will love each other still. Oh, there is still so much love there. And you are still united, but the plans are for a goodbye and an end to a relationship that couldn’t exist and refused to occupy any more of your time.


You can’t get to the bless you without the fuck you.” I remember hearing these words by Sean Corne, on the HOME Podcast. They resonated. Deeply.

Do you know how angry I was at the way I was broken up with? I was told I hadn’t grown. I was immature. I wasn’t on his level. It would be easier if he had someone who could drink with him.

These are real words, and while I don’t want to publish this because I want to protect him, I am simply sharing the insanity and ugliness that words can cause and how it can break you and truth apart.

The beautiful thing is that after speaking to a group of women – and getting all the f*ck yous’ out of my system. I came to a place of immense understanding. The words he used, they weren’t my truths. They weren’t how I saw myself. And the truth is, he felt terrible for what he said and HOW he broke my heart. It was his ego. It wasn’t his heart.

I imagine he would have done things differently, if he could. But, that’s not the way life goes. Those words were aligned and I was meant to hear them.

So, I got all the ugliness out of my system and I just remained angry, for a night or two. But, the anger returned. It was more than one night. It reappeared three weeks later when I thought of our pig, Peaches, and the commitments he made to me and the promises he broke. I thought it un-fair. And the anger wasn’t necessarily at him. The anger was coming from my inability to be uncomfortable.


Oh dear lord. I was absolutely frozen in the moment he ended things with me. I thought time had stopped. So I cried. For three nights straight. Some days, I still cry. I remember, my eyes were puffy and itchy and dry. I could chug four bottles of water and I would still feel as if I was in the Sonoran Desert. But, I cried. I released the pain from my body and I handed it over to a power greater than me. 


People will rescue you. They truly will. They will show up for you in ways you never thought possible. They will hold your hand. They will cry with you. They will send you videos about angels and texts full of quotes and mantras to get you through. They will tell you how lovely you are. How this end is nothing but a new beginning. They will recommend books and words and podcasts and purchases. People will show up for you.

That is the best thing about my sobriety. I have built a tribe of women who I can count on, any moment, of any day. When you are in sobriety, you will learn, that if you have built that community, you will never be lost. You will be fulfilled.

The day after my break up, a woman I have never met, showed up at my door, with flowers and a card. Could life and service be any sweeter? I think not. (Shout out to Melissa Johnson of My Truth Starts Here). 

Two days after my break up, a woman I had never met, offered me a room in her home. I live there today. In a home full of love. 


Oh gosh, this mantra repeated in my head, over and over, and over again. And guess what I did? I did the next right thing. I cleaned the whole house. I removed what I could from the home. I pulled all the money I owed him out of my bank account and I laid it on the countertop. I wrote him a sweet note in a card.

When I first saw him again, after our break-up, I told him how grateful I was for our relationship. How much he had helped me grow. How thankful I was for his presence in my life. And how he would always be a part of me because he was Peaches’ dad. This was 3 days after our break up, and it was easy. It wasn’t hard. When your faith is strong, and you trust the planning of the universe, you show up in ways you never thought were possible. You treat people with dignity and respect and you walk away with your head held high, in grace, and with a heart full of love and forgiveness.


There was never a moment where I thought, let me get drunk or high and this will disappear. There was NOT one of those moments. The reason is because I know that sobriety is the best gift in the world. That I have awakened to my life. That I have nothing to escape from. That escaping NEVER EVER helps.

There was a point, however, where I thought fuck, why does he get to go get drunk and forget about this and I have to sit here with this deep pain? There was that moment. But, it disappears quickly when you remember that alcohol offers you nothing but a nasty hangover and a sober morning where the pain is even deeper.

So you surrender. You give it all up. You just live day by day and you follow the timing of your life. You remind yourself to honor the space between no longer and not yet. And you survive. You survive, because you surrender. And when you surrender, the universe rewards you in ways unimaginable.


I am the one I’ve been waiting for. I remember this mantra. I learned it during Hip Sobriety School. And I searched for it, frantically, as I tried to change the wallpaper on my phone, a black and white picture of my ex and I, holding our pig, in love and kindness.

I am the one I’ve been waiting for. All my life. That is what I’ve been waiting for. God has patiently shown me ways to show up for my life and live independently, but I reject them. And I go my own way.

But, not anymore. I know that this is the season of change. This is where we are uncomfortable and sad and unhappy and often, full of self-pity, and hidden rage. But, this is where we become strong and we grow and we fight and we live and we trust the timing of our life.

We set mantras on our phone – ones’ that say “I trust the evolution of my life.” You look at it every time you open your phone. You remind yourself that this is the process of surrendering. Over and over. You know one day at a time. You know how to do that. And you reflect on how far that got you. So you do it again, one day at a time. You remind yourself of things, so you will not forget.

You say: I am the one I’ve been waiting for.
You pray: God show me your will
You mediate: For compassion and peace
You repeat: I trust the evolution of my life.

Over and over, you do these thingsAnd you remember, that “devotion creates miracles.”