Dear Hailey: Response to “Struggling”

Dear Hailey,

I was with my ex-boyfriend for a year and a month. He struggled with alcoholism for the majority of that time but we still had a good relationship. He broke up with me in January. Right out of rehab to focus on sobriety. Since then I have struggled with the breakup. Around Easter he relapsed and I took him in my home to help him. He’s been in a sober home since.

He now has relapsed again. And his mom has told me he is in a new relationship. I am struggling and I need some advice on where to go from here. I feel like I blame myself sometimes. I just need to hear an outside opinion and some advice for healing and moving forward. 

Thank you,


Dear Struggling,

You aren’t responsible for your ex-boyfriends relapse. Recovery from alcoholism is incredibly complicated. You were an amazing support to your boyfriend, even after you were no longer together. He was (and is) incredibly lucky to have you. It was not your fault. It’s always hard when a relationship ends, and this one has extra complications and baggage with it. It was not your fault that he relapsed. It wasn’t your fault that the relationship ended.

When we find ourselves in difficult situations that weigh heavy on our minds, especially for extended periods of time, we often find ourselves experiencing something called “fusion”. Fusion is the belief that our thoughts are fact, that we are our thoughts. The truth is, thoughts are just thoughts. While they exist in our brains, they are not always true.

I’d recommend you write down your thoughts in a journal. Write down these beliefs, and see if you have evidence to back them up. See if these thoughts can be “taken to court”. If you were to theoretically present these thoughts in a court of law, what evidence do you have to support them? You’ll often find the opposite of the story that your brain is trying to tell you.

Be kind to yourself. Spend some time putting your thoughts to paper, spend some time processing. And eventually, you will be able move forward.

I wish you luck,


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