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annisha68

Girlfriend of 6 years ended us after Mothers death

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I have been reading alot of the posts here and am so surprised this seems to be a common occurrence. 

My partner and i have been together for 6 years. There have been many ups and downs because she is in the closet. She comes from a tight orthodox greek family. Her being in the closet caused both of us emotional turmoil because she was still living at home. However after 3 years she moved out and we were able to be more free together. 

Anyway her Mom died in May unexpectedly this year. Her sister was also diagnosed with breast cancer (has been cured now).   I was as supportive as i could be practically and emotionally. I went to the funeral even though i had to sit up the back. I wanted to still be there for her of course. The death of her Mother seemed to bring us closer. 

Fast forward to October of this year. My Dad suddenly went into a deep depression. He had to be admitted into a psych ward. He was starting to get better with proper meds. However he had a fall and broke his hip. Now he has delirium and his memory is getting worse and he may end up in a nursing home. I am broken hearted over this because all my life he has been my only solid foundation. When i met my girlfriend she was also the other constant in my life. Anyway my partner has tried to support me through all this even though she is still feeling the loss of her mother. I have been very emotional about the loss of the Dad i once knew. 

Over the past 6 weeks my partner has been saying to me she really loves me but is feeling very numb since her Mothers death and feels she cant be the kind of partner i need right now. She feels she can support me better as a friend. When she said this i felt the world had dropped out from undrrneath ne. I said there is no need to break up. I understand that she is grieving and i will be patient. However i could feel her slowly becoming more distant and i began to panic and put the pressure on. I felt like the only 2 solid people in my life were slowly slipping away from me.

Dec 12th she finally ended it. She said she loves me and doesnt have the energy for a rship right now and that she wants to find herself. She has always been there for others and now she needs to love herself and be there for herself. She wants to be there for me as a friend and she wants to support me through this rough time with Dad. She told me that she knows by this decision she could lose me forever but she needs to do this for herself. Now that her mom has died she wants to learn to stand on her own two feet. She has told me not to wait for her because she doesnt know how long this will take. She goes back and forwards because she still has a deep love for me so it can be confusing at times. 

Its christmas day and i am alone at her house. She invited me to join her and her family but i felt uncomfortable. I spent all day with her yesterday but i couldnt stop crying because being at her place brouggt all the beautiful memories back that we shared together. I have never felt so lost and heartbroken as i have in the last couple of months. I cant imagine what she is feeling. 

Anyway i am not sure what to do. Stay her friend and try to be supportive of her at this time and hope eventually she will return as my partner or to go no contact so i can heal. I am so conflicted and hurting right now. I just cant believe my life and hers have been thrown upside down in the way it has 😣😣😣

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I am very sorry you are going through this, it's happened to me and to many others here, so you're not alone in having gone through this.  Going no contact for a few months is best for you to give you the time needed to get over this.  You are broken up now so your primary concern needs to be you, and let her figure herself out.  I know you care about her, but it's best to put some distance to give yourself a chance to heal.  It doesn't work to be friends unless/until you both are on the same page and realize your relationship is no longer as it was...while one is secretly hoping to get back together can't work because that would be manipulating what the other wants.  I've been through this.  Jim and I were engaged for a year when he broke up with me when his mom was dying, August 2010.  After she passed, I sent him a sympathy card, that was 2 1/2 months later.  We resumed contact, but he was giving me mixed messages, so it confused me and caused me pain.  I realized he didn't know his own mind so I looked out for myself and protected my heart.  This gave me the strength to recognize we were no longer a couple, nor would be...he had a lot of stuff to work out and to this day has not done the work on himself that he needed.  We are very good friends.  Going no contact allowed me to heal and see with more clarity and although I cried buckets of tears, it was necessary.  Fast forward eight years, we are good friends, can tell each other anything, are there for each other but no illusions of marriage or other "couple" ideas.  We have a good friendship and that is good as it is.  Neither of us have dated since, but we're older, if I was young I probably would have eventually.

I hope you'll read through some of the threads...I've read each and every one here, after so many, you begin to see a pattern emerge.  It really is them, not you.  For whatever reasons, they weren't ready for commitment with us.  Jim says things might have turned out different had his mom not died...I'm not so sure.  I think things went the way they needed to, but who knows, things happened as they did and there is no speculating what didn't happen.  

I know you are in a lot of pain, I'm very sorry, I know how it feels and it's not a good feeling right now...but you will heal, it will take time.  Keep busy, spend time with your family and friends.  I can't imagine it feels too well being there right now, I'd go home, see some people that are in a more positive space right now.  I hope you'll continue to read and post here, it helps.  Rae should be along soon...with it being Christmas, not sure what her plans are, it might be a couple days, but she'll be along when she's able.  

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Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

The reason i stayed 2 nights at hers is bc i really dont have family to spend xmas eve or day with. It was either sit at home and be very depressed by myself or spend it with her and be sad and depressed. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I slept in the spare bedroom and it was absolute torture to see her bedroom from the one i was sleeping in. I just wanted to go in a hold her. I missed her terribly. 

We kind of held each other last night as we watched tv and i felt some peace inside but it was hard. I know she is feeling just as conflicted as i am. She loves me so much still and she wants "us" back but something keeps telling her no. That she needs to evolve as a person and something has changed inside her since her Mother died. Her love for me hasnt changed or been switched off. She just needs time to find herself and stand on her own two feet. 

She left earlier for work this morning and i got a msg from her saying i can stay another day and when she comes home we can have an outdoor bbq together. Its summer here in Australia. I wrote back that i better go home bc she probably needs a break from my sadness and crying. 

I know i should go NC but im so scared to because thats really saying goodbye to her and that hurts more then the break up. However i feel like i am dying inside when im with her. The things that she used to do when we were a couple have gone and that hurts. She said she still wants to do them but knows it will only put us back and that its wrong. I feek if i stay around as her friend that eventually all of that will come back. 

She wants me to go to her place for nye and spend a couple of days there. I probably will go but i guess im asking for more pain. 

I just cant believe her Mothers death has made her decide to end things. It kills me and i know its killing her. Im so much in pain and feel so broken right now. 

 

 

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I really do understand...it's like ripping a bandaid off or gingerly taking it off little by little...going no contact allows the healing to begin, it may hurt a lot at first but then comes the healing...whereas the way you're doing it drags it out, harder in the end, but I also get that it's hard to take that step.  Just try to do what is ultimately best for you.  She is already looking out for her own best interests...who is looking out for yours?

My heart goes out to you, I know this is tough.  That it's Christmas makes it feel all the tougher.

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I feel like if I back away now though that I could lose her for good. We have been together 6 years and I feel like I should hang in a little longer. She herself has said she still really loves me and wishes that she could fix this feeling because a  part of her still wants to be together with me. However, she has also told me she doesn't expect me to wait because she does not know how long this grieving process may take her. I feel if I go away now that we would never have a chance again. Omg this is so confusing *cries*

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I would like to encourage you to re-read Kay's comment here:

12 hours ago, kayc said:

She is already looking out for her own best interests...who is looking out for yours? 

Self-care is important.  Without it, we are unable to be our best selves for those we love.

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I am not very good at self caring. I just feel my whole world is collapsing. I have to visit my Dad today and seeing him the way he is hurts so much. The one person who was able to support me isnt there anymore the way she used to be. What a time to end it!! I havent stopped crying since dec 24th. Well i have had breaks obviously but it feels like i have been crying continuously. I just feel so weak emotionally and physically. I just feel like ending myself but i cant because i have to be there for my Dad. 

Wtf does it mean that i have to find myself?? She has to find herself since her Mom died?? Its so confysing. We got closer when her mom died and now she doesbt wabt a rship anymore. Just wants to be single. She said she is keeping herself open to us which is a positive. But still how long does this go on for? 

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16 hours ago, annisha68 said:

I am not very good at self caring.

Then this is what you focus on now...eat something healthy.  Try to sleep well at night, if you need a sleep aid, get one.  Stay in touch with your doctor.  Self-care isn't just physical though like hitting the gym or taking walks, it's anything that takes into count your well-being.  Spend time with friends and family.  Be around people who are uplifting, not anyone negative, you don't need that right now especially.  Put yourself first.  In our culture we're often taught that that is selfish..not necessarily!  If we don't first consider ourselves, we won't be any good for anyone else!  Even Jesus demonstrated that, he got away by himself when he needed it, he partook of sustenance when he needed it, he was balanced and balance is often key.

16 hours ago, annisha68 said:

But still how long does this go on for? 

As long as you allow.  As long as you deem this is healthy for you.  She can take a very very long time making up her mind or figuring things out...or she may never figure anything out.  Meanwhile you're putting yourself through it.  Unless she is actively working on your relationship...you don't have one right now.  She is single...so are you now.  Be kind to yourself.

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I have read all the posts in this sub forum and i have noticed that most peoples SO's cut them out of their lives completely which would be so hard to deal with. I am lucky/unlucky that she wants me in her life still. Not only were we partners but we were best friends. We shared our lives together and that is why its so hard to let go and move forward. Especially since she has now said she is keeping herself open to a relationship with me in the future. However i know that you are right. I should go NC to preserve the good feelings for her and to help myself heal. 

I cant help feeling that partly its my fault too. I laid so much emotion on her when Dad was starting to become ill. It was too much for her in her time of grieving. Not only had her mom died but she was also supporting her sister with breast cancer and looking after her Dad since the Mother died. Then my Dad gets ill and i start to demanding more of her time and emotional/practical support. She has always been a huge support to everyone she knows. She is that kind of person. She still wants to support me through this trying time with my Dad. I actually said to her yesterday that she doesnt have to support me now with my Dad. That its not her responsibily anymore and that she needs to start focusing on herself for once. She didnt reply to that which was unusual. 

I have been also been listening to cues after what she said to me the other day. I was having another mini breakdown and throwing lots of emotion at her about the end of the rship. She said all this pressure isnt a good thing for us and im not allowing her to grieve. She said its been all about me and my pain and when is she aloud to feel her pain and when is she aloud to start grieving. So now i am doing my best to not do relationship talk and not ask her how she is feeling about us. Its so damm hard though. She said that if i want to show her that i have changed then i need to back off abit. 

I have hope that eventually she will come back once she has got through the worse part of her grieving and as long as i back off with the intense emotion. I am meant to be going to hers nye and spending a couple of days with her. I know it will be really hard for me not to cry but i have to try my best. I have to show her i can be strong for her.

I know im probably crazy but i want to support her through this tough time. For once in my life i have to make it about her and not me. 

Being able to post here is so important. If i didnt have this i would go insane. Please keep replying because none of my friends get it. Thank you for listening. 

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Oh gosh i want to ask her right now if she is missing me like im missing her. I know i cant but i wish i knew if she did. Its driving me insane not knowing. Cries. I know she is having a bad day so i cant do that to her right now. 

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Going no contact means no NYE, and to be authentic, stop hoping for something different than what is, accept her as she is and the situation for what it is, otherwise how could you be friends any time in the future, to hope for something different is to manipulate her/the situation to something different, it can only survive if you're both on the same page, but for now you need to give yourself ample time to heal, which means YOU focus on YOU while she focuses on herself.  You both have a lot you're going through.  Your words show you are constantly worrying about HER, but that's not focusing on YOU.  Let her deal with her.  Place your faith in her that she can take care of her own life, just as you do yours.  I know this is a process to get to, not easy to change your patterns of turning to each other, but you are broken up so changes must be.

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17 hours ago, annisha68 said:

I have to show her i can be strong for her.

You can best show her your strength by respecting her wishes at this time, and tending to your own self, as Kay has described.  As writer and life coach Iyanla Vanzant advises, "Do the work."   Look on this experience as an opportunity to do the work on yourself.  I think you'll be glad, one day, that you chose to do the work!  It's not easy but then, nothing of value comes easy.

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46 minutes ago, kayc said:

Going no contact means no NYE, and to be authentic, stop hoping for something different than what is, accept her as she is and the situation for what it is, otherwise how could you be friends any time in the future, to hope for something different is to manipulate her/the situation to something different, it can only survive if you're both on the same page, but for now you need to give yourself ample time to heal, which means YOU focus on YOU while she focuses on herself.  You both have a lot you're going through.  Your words show you are constantly worrying about HER, but that's not focusing on YOU.  Let her deal with her.  Place your faith in her that she can take care of her own life, just as you do yours.  I know this is a process to get to, not easy to change your patterns of turning to each other, but you are broken up so changes must be.

Absolutely, 100% as concise as can be.

It sounds like you are/were relying on her to look out for you and take care of you, but never cared for yourself and needs, and still won't. That is co-dependency and its not healthy.

I've been there, so I know what it feels like to lose a person that you became dependent on because you didn't have anyone else and didn't learn how to care for yourself. It feels like your entire life, world and self-identity are lost because with the ending of the relationship, you lost what defined you and what you cared about most. Losing yourself to a relationship comes with a steep price. My ex did the same to me, asked to be friends after he cheated and broke up with me, then proceeded to manipulate me while he "figured out" how to make the girl he actually wanted date him. 7 years down the drain, I had to learn how to care for myself, how to define myself as an adult and navigate a world I had no idea how to exist in without him by my side.

I did the same thing you are: putting my own needs aside, being at his beck n call, pining after him, hoping my existence in the background of his life will make him come back, worrying exclusively about him and his life after he left me, while neglecting myself because I felt like I owed him something for taking care of me. Part of the reason why he "grew apart, got bored and confused" then left me was because I didn't know how to take care of myself and my only real identity up to that point had been "being Joe's girlfriend." He was right, our relationship turned toxic because I relied too much on him for fulfillment, happiness and survival.

As KayC said in a previous post, she's already looking out for her own best self-interests, who's looking out for yours? You are constantly worrying about her, hoping and trying to get back together with her. You love her, but WHO'S LOVING YOU? What if she does get back together with you, then 6 months or a year from now she breaks up with you again? You will be in the same place you are now, only worse off for it.

On 12/27/2018 at 9:30 AM, kayc said:

She can take a very very long time making up her mind or figuring things out...or she may never figure anything out.  Meanwhile you're putting yourself through it.  Unless she is actively working on your relationship...you don't have one right now.  She is single...so are you now.  Be kind to yourself.

THIS THIS THIS THIS! ALL OF THIS! My ex-bf Tim did this, he asked me to give him some time and space to get his mind right after his father passed, and he never actually "figured out" anything, he just used me to fill a void and as an outlet for his feelings after he disappeared from my life for three months, but not before telling me he didn't want to break up. All he ended up doing was thrusting his confusion, sadness and instability unto me.

Don't let her do this to you. All you can do now is stop yourself from falling down this rabbit hole with her. She may never figure out anything and even if she does there's no guarantee you'll be included in her epiphany or new life, meanwhile, you're putting your life on hold waiting for a time that isn't going to come. That isn't fair to you. Don't set yourself on fire to keep another person warm, you will be left a smoldering pile of ash while they are still whole and full. There is no valiant reward for this kind of self-sacrifice, we don't live in a fairytale, and it's wrong of you to expect there will be.

7 minutes ago, Kieron said:

"I have to show her how strong I can be for her."

You can best show her your strength by respecting her wishes at this time, and tending to your own self, as Kay has described.  As writer and life coach Iyanla Vanzant advises, "Do the work."   Look on this experience as an opportunity to do the work on yourself.  I think you'll be glad, one day, that you chose to do the work!  It's not easy but then, nothing of value comes easy.

YOU need to focus on YOU. STOP making YOUR life about HER.

You absolutely will be glad in the future that you chose to "do the work" instead of pining after someone who continually rejects you. It takes time to learn these things, its painful and can be hard to deal with, but it is worth it in the end to finally realize the power and freedom behind what it means to be your own person.

--Rae :)

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I know that you are all right in what you say. I did depend on her too much. Thats why i said to her the other day that its not your responsibilty to help out with my Dad anymore. She is an oncology nurse so she has this innate need to take care of others first before herself. Thats why i think she is finally saying she needs to look after herself first. I cant blame her really. When her Mom died she had to take care of all the families needs ie her sister with the breast cancer. Not long after her mother died she had to go back to work and watch grieving families and console a woman who lost her Mother. She is also the kind of person that does go inwards when she is experiencing emotional pain. Its understandable she is finally doing that. Yesterday she took the day off work and laid in bed all day. The night before she had been vomiting and nearly passed out. Her emotional pain always presents itself physically. The pain has to come out somehow, right? 

She is the one that doesnt want NC. She wants me in her life because we mean so much to each other. I have a strange feeling that she is slowly shutting down though. She did send a very sad song to me yesterday grr. It was about exes becoming strangers to each other. 

Im still very conflicted. I very much want to be there for her but im weakening inside. Im sick of crying all the time and im sick of having hope. My gut tells me she aint ever coming back to us.

Nye tomorrow and still not sure what i will do. Jan 4th coming up soon and that would have been our 6 year anniversary :(

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23 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

All he ended up doing was thrusting his confusion, sadness and instability unto me.

They will do that, if you let them!  That's why it's so important to choose YOU and become the best strongest version of you that you can be, with clarity of mind and purpose!

23 hours ago, Kieron said:

You can best show her your strength by respecting her wishes at this time, and tending to your own self

Extremely important point!  She broke up with you.  Period.  Now she's dallying with you which is messing with your emotions.  So important to go No Contact to break those habits and patterns and allow yourself the chance to heal, to know who you are, apart from her, and it's important to respect her wishes which are to be broken up.

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Of course she doesn't want No Contact!  SHE is in the driver's seat, with you come running whenever she snaps her fingers!  SHE can decide when she wants a relationship or not.  SHE gets to decide when to change, what to change, and meanwhile you're huffing and puffing behind her, trying to do her bidding, waiting in the wings.  Does that sound healthy and wholesome to you?!  Best to work on yourself and be in a ready place from a healthy standpoint when a new relationship comes along, one where you and the other person both know what you want and it doesn't include throwing each other aside when life's trials come along, but rather standing together to weather them.

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15 hours ago, annisha68 said:

Nye tomorrow and still not sure what i will do.

You know what to do.  You just don't want to do it.  You're afraid of severing the last lifeline with her, but you don't HAVE a lifeline, you just don't see that.  You think when she casts you some crumbs that that's really something, you hope against hope...but what you're hoping for is caution in the wind!

We've been there.  So glad to not be there anymore, and I refuse to let anyone do that to me again!

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

Of course she doesn't want No Contact!  SHE is in the driver's seat, with you come running whenever she snaps her fingers!  SHE can decide when she wants a relationship or not.  SHE gets to decide when to change, what to change, and meanwhile you're huffing and puffing behind her, trying to do her bidding, waiting in the wings.  Does that sound healthy and wholesome to you?!  Best to work on yourself and be in a ready place from a healthy standpoint when a new relationship comes along, one where you and the other person both know what you want and it doesn't include throwing each other aside when life's trials come along, but rather standing together to weather them.

I don't think I could've said this better! Tim did this to me too. He didn't want me, but didn't want me to leave on MY terms, he wanted to the relationship to be on his terms, and for a while, I let it happen. The simplest way I can tell you is DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN. You have the power to say no. If she isn't willing to respect your boundaries, feelings or see that her behavior hurts you, you need to go NO CONTACT. This isn't fair, it's damaging and it's an abuse of your love. You need to do what's best for you because she already has. While you're fighting with yourself internally about your relationship, she has you wrapped around her finger and she knows it. Cut the cord. It's what's best for both of you.

You said she internalized her pain and emotions, that's not healthy, and she needs to seek therapy, as do you. You need to break the co-dependency cycle and learn how to care for YOU as an individual (even in a relationship), and she needs to learn to express her feelings in healthier ways. I used to internalize my feelings too after a life of oppression, rejection and abuse. It nearly cost me my future marriage, my mental health and college degree. I almost ruined my own life because I thought by bottling my feelings up, I was strong and normal. It seems like this was her breaking point in the same way that my best friend's suicide was for me. She has a choice, and so do you. Either take the path of least resistance and continue down the destructive paths you're both on, or, "do the work" and learn better self-care, habits, what it means to be your own person and how to express your feelings through healthy outlets. If you choose the path of least resistance: You let the demons, abusers, substances and poor habits win. You both deserve better.

1 hour ago, kayc said:

You know what to do.  You just don't want to do it.  You're afraid of severing the last lifeline with her, but you don't HAVE a lifeline, you just don't see that.  You think when she casts you some crumbs that that's really something, you hope against hope...but what you're hoping for is caution in the wind!

We've been there.  So glad to not be there anymore, and I refuse to let anyone do that to me again!

Once again, KayC *Standing Ovation* YES! Deep down we know it's bad for us, but we're in denial and don't want to confront the truth. Well, places like this forum will speak the truth. And it's what most of us *needed* to hear.

--Rae :)

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21 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

This isn't fair, it's damaging and it's an abuse of your love. You need to do what's best for you because she already has.

So true!  I know you're afraid, but do what you know is the right thing for you, rather than act out of fear of losing her...you've already lost her and just refuse to see it.  Existing on crumbs isn't sustenance.  Oh gosh, been there!  I was at a crossroads and am glad I chose ME!  By allowing myself time to heal and protecting myself, I actually allowed us to eventually be friends, something few of the couples here have been able to do.  It would not, could not, have worked had I been secretly hoping for more!   I can honestly say I am glad things worked out as they did.

 

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Well i spent nye at hers. We both cried alot but i do truly realise its over now. Its a bitter pill to swallow. I realise i cant stay her friend now. It just hurts us both too much. We realised this last night. Im still at her place today. She was crying over her Mother and it was sad that i couldnt hold her but its not my place to do it anymore. I have to start holding myself now. 

I think we will both have to go NC. Its going to be so damm hard. In a couple of weeks time we will have to meet up bc we hot tix ages ago to see Florence and the Machine. That will be tough. Florences latest album came out around the same time her Mom died. Many of the songs will trigger many feelings for her and myself. It will take us both back to that time :(

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Well it's kind of like ripping the bandage off quickly vs slowly, but no contact will be raw at first but it will allow you to start to heal and you will begin to see with clarity and as you work on yourself, you'll be in a better place next time you go into a relationship.  Why not donate your tickets to someone else or let her go with a girlfriend?  Why are you putting yourself through this when you know it's inevitable?

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Hey there. I just came in to give you an update of my situation and also to say thank you for your honest replies. They were very hard to hear at the time but i do appreciate the honesty.😀

Anyway here we go. My ex and i are still friends. I know, i know. Im silly. The last few weeks have been like an emotional rollercoaster. I am experiencing anticipatory grief in relation to my Father. I am currently looking for nursing homes for him and its been emotionally draining. I havent family to help me so its been a very isolating experience. Over the time i have had many mini breakdowns and i am sure there are more to come. However i keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking it one day at a time.

Onto my ex. Well currently neither of us are looking for anyone new. We are staying open to each other and see what happens. We are also cuddle buddies and hold hands occassionally. She does still need alone time to experience her own grief and to stand on her own 2 feet. In the meantime i am starting to go out and try to meet new people. Off to see a few bands tonight and then tomorrow night may be going to a party on a boat. Slowly but surely i feel like there is some detachment going on within me towards her though. I think its my heart probably protecting itself. She has asked me over to her place a few times and i have said no. When she first broke it off with me and would ask me over i would scurry over to hers like an eager beaver. Im not so much like that now. 

 

 

 

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I hope you can be honest with yourself, which is most important, and if you want to make the friendship work, neither of you can be secretly hoping for something more.  It is that honesty that protects from manipulation and makes that friendship possible, otherwise you will continue to experience ups and downs emotionally and the pain will be as I said above, like taking a Bandaid off little by little rather than getting it over with.  Personally I think you both need a period of no contact to make this happen and give yourselves time to have some healing.
I'm glad you aren't come running to her.

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Hey there. An update. Another failed relationship due to the death of a parent. 

Lsst night i finally did what you have all been telling me to do. I told her we cant talk anymore. She didnt put up a fight or try to change my mind this time. I did this because being friends with her and the breadcrumbs were both slowly destroying me. I collapsed at home by myself after telling her through fb messenger. The pain of making that final break was too much. I was crying so much that i fell to the ground. The pain was unbearable.

But i just couldnt do it anymore. The pain of her and also watching my Fathers mind slowly drift away from me is all too much to take. 

Its morning now and for the first time in 6 years there is no good morning from her. Omg it hurts so badly. Im not sure how im going to do this without caving in. Im missing her so much and i feel like i have lost so much. I teally hope this pain doesnt last too long. 

 

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It's kind of like withdrawal, it really is.  At first the pain is tremendous.  We went no contact immediately after he broke up with me, and that gave me a chance for healing and once my head cleared I had better clarity.  That enabled us to be friends later on, otherwise it wouldn't have worked.  And it doesn't work in many cases, you have to both be on the same page, no mixed messages or secretly hoping for something else.  If that's the case, better off staying no contact forever.  

Your peace of mind is the most important thing.  Give yourself time to heal.  This reminds me a bit of dieting...sugar is addictive.  It takes two weeks to get it out of your system.  So if instead of getting off it finally and completely you dapple with it and "let yourself have a little bit" once every two weeks, you are self-sabotaging and making it harder on yourself, that's just enough to keep the addiction going!  Better to go off completely and finally.

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