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Addiction to Alcohol/Ex boyfriend passed away due to his addictions

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Question
I recently got some devastating news on the 30th December I found out that my ex who I broke up with 2 years ago passed away from alcohol hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver 3 days before xmas at just 34 years of age. I am absolutely devastated. Our relationship ended due to the fact he couldn't stop drinking and injecting suboxone. He suffered from depression and a history of heroin addiction from when he was 18. He was a lovely guy and I am absolutely devastated as somehow I always prayed for him to beat his illness. Last time I wrote to him I begged him to go to a rehab and to try and get a handle on his addictions as he was a lovely person otherwise. He promised he would keep me updated on his progress but I never heard from him again. I feel guilty for not telling him I missed him also when he wrote to me offering his condolences when my grandfather passed away in 2012. He ended the letter with I miss you and I didn't respond back with the same as I was grieving over my grandads loss. Like I said I am devastated and was just wondering how to get through this period any suggestions?

Answer
Hi Michelle,

I am sorry to hear about your ex passing and his struggles with addictions.
It is okay to feel what you are feeling as we often have regrets when it comes
to losing someone we were close to at one time.

Often there are feelings of guilt or at least regret that we were not able
to do anything to help them. Addictions cannot be controlled as they
are an illness of control. Surrender is the first step in recovery and many
people cannot or do not seem able to let go of thinking they can control
their or others addictive illness.

The past is not something we can return to physically so amends must be
done in one's mind through recognizing that you are powerless to
change another person and if life decides they must go then we grieve
that loss and let ourself feel without judging our feelings.

Loss always leaves us in disbelief and then anger over what might have been.
We wish we could bargain with life and do things over again but when
we realize our powerlessness we finally surrender. These feelings
go back and forth until we once again regain our balance.

Letting go of guilt is a process which must be allowed by letting
our emotions happen without trying to suppress or judge them.
Feelings are just feelings and are not good or bad but can hurt.

There are many reasons to think someone should live but none
of them really count when someone dies. Try not to be too harsh
with yourself as we are human and we are a work in progress.

We can only do what we can do, he was doing his best and
some of us just do not make it through these addictions.
They are more powerful than we are and no one can really
be blamed for something that is so uncontrollable.

It is sad and shocking to lose one so young, I hope you can grieve,
feel what you feel, stay still with the hurt and fear and then later
when the tears dry remember the good in him you mentioned.

Take care,
Druideck
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Addiction to Alcohol

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Druideck

Expertise

All questions are important, I have over 30 years of personal experience with alcoholism and recovery issues. Advanced Counsellor Training / Experience with treatment and AA.

Experience

Over 30 years of recovery from alcoholism. Counsellor in an alcohol outpatient office. Experience as client and as counsellor in treatment center.

Education/Credentials
Advanced counsellor certificate, Melbourne ORYGEN Research Centre volunteer consultant

Awards and Honors
AADAC volunteer award

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