It can sometimes take us a long time to realize that we stay in unhealthy relationships in part because we are afraid to be alone. Often when a relationship is toxic for us, we know we need to end it for the sake of our happiness, mental health and inner peace, but we find ourselves unable to. When our relationships become addictive, we sacrifice our own wellbeing.
Some of us are caught in unhealthy relationship cycles and battling addictions at the same time. For some of us, our relationships themselves are the addiction. It can take years to extricate ourselves from our self-destructive relationship patterns, but learning how to be alone is one of the best things we can do for ourselves in our recovery.
Many of us are afraid to feel the painful loss of a breakup, sometimes because we experienced that same sort of separation in our families. Letting go of someone we love can be one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. We are battling fears of being abandoned, replaced, rejected, fear of inadequacy, fear of being lonely. Our current experiences often mirror the ones we experienced as children and witnessed with the adults in our lives. We inherit patterns from the people who raised us, we learn from everything we see, and our childhood experiences often inform and direct how we function as adults.
For many of us, our addictive relationships can contribute to and exacerbate our depression, anxiety, other mental health issues, and other addictions. We often struggle with suicidal thoughts, just as many other addicts do.
Some of us have racked up one painful relationship breakup after another with no time alone to really process, grieve, and work through our pain. How do we start the process of learning how to be alone?
It starts with a choice. Just like with any addictive behavior, you make the decision that you can’t live like this anymore, that you’ve hit your rock bottom and refuse to fall any lower. You decide that you want to live.
Choose to face the fear and the pain. Choose to prioritize inner peace. Affirm that you are strong enough to do what’s best for yourself. Grow your self-love so much that you never want to settle for unhappiness again. These things take time. Many of us struggle with unhealthy relationship patterns for years. You deserve to be safe, happy and respected in all your relationships. If you are in physical danger, please get help.
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