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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

Open Letter to Him: Breaking up in Recovery

When I heard you say “I’m seeing someone”, I got sick to my stomach. Clarity smacked me in the face and I quickly learned how much I really like you. Our flirty friendship is no longer enough for me.

Upon hearing this news, the old me would have called for a girls night, taken shots of Jack Daniels, and hooked up with someone in order to feel validated. Now that I’ve been sober for nearly a month, using alcohol to numb this pain is no longer an option. Now I have to sit with this feeling and actually feel it.

These tears are new. I’m learning how much I was suppressing with alcohol. I didn’t really feel before now. Maybe this is why I struggle with understanding empathy.

Someone once told me that the growth of an addict’s brain is stunted from the time that they started using. If this science is true, I’m having the feelings of a 17 year old girl who finally understands why it’s called a “crush”.

It’s easy for me to blame you for not pursuing me further, but I’m well aware that in our situation, pursuit is a two way street. Over the last few months, we talked about how short life is and all of the things we are going to accomplish. You’ve been my daily reminder that I can do anything and I hope I was to you, too. We talk about following our dreams and how we are going to change the world….but why don’t we do this when it comes to each other?  I guess I’ll try to feel those feelings, too.  While you’re hanging out with her, I’ll be here – pretending to be satisfied with this cup of tea as a night cap.