When things start to go well, some things may start to happen on the inside.
You may start to feel guilty for thoughts you had in the past for wanting, or perhaps needing, to leave when things got really bad when his disease was out of control. You think to yourself, “Things are so good now, how could I have ever even considered leaving?”
But then you stop and think of those moments. Those really bad moments, when the disease was out of control, and leaving might be not just an option, but your only option.
You recall those moments really did happen. And it’s okay to have felt those thoughts and feelings. It was appropriate, normal, and even necessary to weigh difficult decisions at that time because honestly, you didn’t have a choice.
And remember, both you and your loved one didn’t ask for this. It’s a disease.
It’s a disease that seeps into your loved one’s bloodstream like a poison. It can turn the happiest of lives into messes, and the strongest of relationships into dysfunction. That’s what the disease is good at.
Looking at Life on The Flip Side
So when you’re in the middle of self-doubt remember the following:
- You’re only human, and you did the best you could when the unexpected and the unthinkable happened.
- Yes, those bad memories did happen. And it’s hard to digest and remember all those bad moments. Be gentle with yourself.
- Admitting those bad memories happened doesn’t take away from all the good that is happening with his sobriety and healing.
When You Backpedal Because You Don’t Want to Lose the Good
I’ve done this, and I’ve seen other family members who have their loved one in recovery backpedal from talking about the past. Because quite frankly, we’re all sick of talking about it!
So you might find you backpedal from time to time about talking about the old, bad stuff because you don’t want the new good stuff to go away. It’s so precious, and you’ve worked so hard to have healthy, functioning relationships you’re afraid you might lose your current peace by even mentioning it.
And that’s okay. You’ve been to hell and back. You’ve earned time to be in fresh thoughts, spaces, conversations, and experiences.
But don’t doubt yourself. It is possible for both to have happened. The good and the bad. Because it did.
So stop. Breathe. The new good stuff is real. And yes, it is precious. So keep working on and appreciating all your new wonderful.
And forgive yourself for the past. Just like we need to forgive your loved one and what happened with the disease, you also need to forgive yourself, too.
And that might be the hardest part. So start forgiving. And letting go. You did your best. Time to start living again. Cuz here comes the good stuff.