Broken hearts are not just the province of poets and love-sick teenagers. Modern psychotherapy has recognized the traumatizing effects of events that can lead to deep depression and misery, such as the death of a loved one, a job loss, abusive experiences, and the dissolution of a relationship. Some individuals pursue counseling as soon as they experience one of these events. Others will self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to ease the pain that accompanies a heartbreak. If individuals in this latter group devolve into drug or alcohol addiction, breaking that addiction will not be sufficient to heal them completely and to keep them on a long-term path to sobriety. That addict or alcoholic will also need to heal his broken heart.
A broken heart often leads to resentment, which locks an addict or alcoholic into a pattern of remembering, reliving, and retelling painful events. A person who holds onto festering resentment will use drugs or alcohol to soothe painful memories, rather than confronting and getting past those memories. As those memories embed themselves more deeply into a person’s psyche, he will focus his energy increasingly on his own internal problems.
Healing a Broken Heart
An addict who wants to heal a broken heart must learn to let go of the pain. He can do this first by allowing himself to feel and experience that pain fully. Pain that is buried becomes the seed for resentment that holds an addict back. An addict should experience the full amount of anger, rage, disappointment, and any other emotion that the painful event has created. Allowing the pain to come out will also connect the addict with compassionate counselors and therapists who can sympathize with and help him get past his pain.
Addiction recovery programs often focus on the power of forgiveness. An addict needs to forgive himself and the people who might have hurt him to recover from his addictions. The same holds true to heal a broken heart. As difficult as it can be, an addict should forgive the person who caused his heartbreak. Forgiveness allows an addict to end any blame games and to shed the mantle of victimhood. Recovery programs also encourage addicts to make amends with individuals that they might have hurt themselves. Forgiveness and atonement will go a long way toward healing a broken heart.
Forgiveness and Mindfulness
True forgiveness can take time. It will be easier for an addict who live in the present moment to forgive the individuals who hurt him and caused his heartbreak. Meditation and prayer can help an addict to achieve the mindfulness required to live in the moment. Meditation will also help to focus an addict’s mind on the positive elements in his life.
Lastly, support from family and friends and a healthy lifestyle that contributes to positive physical health will help create a positive mindset to heal a broken heart. Recovering addicts who participate in 12-step recovery programs will have substantial experience with third-party support and healthy living. Individuals who are not in one of those programs can incorporate these elements into their own lives to treat a heartbreak.
A broken heart can cause more pain than a physical injury or serious illness. Drugs and alcohol might mask the pain temporarily, but that pain will come roaring back when the effects of drugs and alcohol wear off.
Please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052 for more information and suggestions on how you can heal a broken heart in a positive and long-lasting way.