A relationship ends because one of the partners is in denial over serious problems with chemical dependency.. What can be done to help the other partner deal with the heartbreak and loss, she asks.. Your guided imagery tape is wonderful and helps me to keep things in perspective. I am a lesbian and I spent almost ten years with a professional and dedicated teacher. Unfortunately she developed some serious alcohol and substance abuse issues over time. She is in strong denial that these things interfere in her life in any way. We are no longer together, and I was strongly encouraging her to seek help when she abruptly moved out. She refuses to accept any responsibility for that part of her life or for the pain and heartbreak created by her decisions.

Currently she is living with someone who has had a life-long addiction problem. Even though I don''t want to allow yesterday to impede my own progress today, it has been difficult to let this go and place it with my higher power.


Dear Mary,

I know this has to be horribly rough on you, but you did the right thing. In fact, you did the only thing you could do, under the circumstances. Enabling her continued using would be terrible for her (although she’d be the last person to think so) and terrible for you. You weren’t able to save her, but you did save yourself, and that took courage and fortitude. Hang in there and kudos on you!!!

And my best guess is that the great appeal of her new love has much to do with the fact that she’s a fellow user who, unlike you, does not challenge her decisions and her habit. Nothing you can do about this but keep breathing deep breaths, putting one foot in front of the other, grieving the loss and carrying on. It’s terrible when there’s nothing you can do except watch helplessly while someone you love self-destructs, but you did what you could by trying to set her straight and, when that didn’t work, by walking out.

Perhaps Emmett Miller’s guided imagery, Accepting Change and Moving On, can be a help. I hope so. And remember, this too shall pass. The only thing we can really ever count on is that things will change, one way or the other!