How to let go of the past


Hi! My boyfriend of 3 years has been struggling with drug use for the majority of our relationship. When we met, I had no idea he was using (opioids), recreational cocaine. When I found the OxyContin initially, we talked about it and he chose to start with outpatient detox and rehab. Eventually he went to inpatient, however he has relapsed many times. In addition, when under the influence, he looks up female escorts and texts them just to “get the rush” but never perused one (as far as I am told). He has been making serious effort to be clean and claims to be for the last 2 months now. I am extremely traumatized from his lies, manipulation, and calling escorts in the past. I love him that I want to see him through this and I know without drugs, he would be perfect. I keep giving chances to continue the relationship, but I am scared. He keeps telling me I need to let go of the past because he is clean now. Can addicts just have a “turning point” where they close the door to drugs forever? How do I let go of the past if I want to continue the relationship? Stay? Or move on?


Hi @Pasta. Letting go is not easy, but it’s so important. For my husband and me, letting go of the past required facing the past, together. We attended couples therapy to do this because it would’ve been way too difficult and probably unproductive if we tried on our own. We sifted through past actions and behaviors, started to understand the “why” behind some of them. We unpacked the hurt and discussed what we needed from the other to move forward.

For me, letting go required building trust. Building a strong foundation where I felt safe, loved. So I didn’t need to hang on anymore to old behaviors that no longer served me - snooping, trying to control, getting anxious, frantic, resentful. Trust in his love, trust in myself, and trust in something greater.

Not only did I have to let go of the past, but I had to let go of the future as well. This didn’t mean dreams or hopes for the future. Rather, I let go of outcomes and expectations. Visions of what I thought marriage, family, and recovery were supposed to look like went out the window, and I had to learn to accept the present moment. I stopped expecting things to look a certain way. I stopped expecting recovery to mean that once he was clean, everything would be okay.

If you are having trouble letting go, maybe ask yourself “What am I holding onto?” and go from there. It’s not a one and done process, either. Every day we are shedding old hurts, old behaviors, old truths, and making space for growth.

I’m here if you need someone to talk to. Message me anytime. Sending love.


Hi @Pasta, Thank you for sharing! It’s been a while since your original post so I wanted to check in and see how you’re doing today?

To answer your question: People can and do recover. Each journey looks different. It can take a lot of time for them (and us) to heal from this. And what’s so important to know is that when we have a relationship with someone in addiction and recovery we can play an influential role in shaping progress. This is what we teach in our course, we actually have our next Group Course soon so I’d love to invite you to join us there, I hope you’ll consider it!

Either way, please do let us know what’s going on now so we can share some helpful tips and support in the community here.

We’re here for and with you, sending <3


Right on, @momentsandlight. Well said.:heart:



Just an update from my original post. From what I know he has been clean - but the morning of my birthday, we were away together, he was in the bathroom and I felt suspicious Bc I could see through the crack of it and he was bent towards in the counter. I opened the door and he was about to snort an OxyContin. The morning of my birthday! He immediately discarded of it and told me he found it in the corner of one of his travels bags the night before and kept it thinking about it all night. He said he went into default mode and just began to crush the pill to take without thinking. He claims thank God I stopped him because that would have ruined his “clean streak” since April. I am crushed and lost so much more trust in him but he tells me how committed he is to being clean and this was the first time he found a pill and didn’t know how to react, claiming now if it ever happened again then he would just not touch it. He called his sponsor after and has apologized endlessly stating he wants to attend more meetings… Moving forward is so hard when I am scares this can happen again or if he is lying? Any advice?


@Pasta, that’s some sticky situation you are in. Boy… I don’t have much to say because “caught in a lie” and “fessing up” are very familiar and very nauseating and I don’t feel much like revisiting that. Let’s take a different tack…

What I learned from doing “the Course” and practicing my communication and object orientation with my S/O is that he really loves me loads, and if I ask in the right ways, withhold for the right reasons, and above all stay really clear on MYSELF, then it doesn’t really matter- in my case, my son decided on abstinence. [ON HIS OWN LIGHTBULB< For his own reasons] I’m pretty sure if I was still harping away- maybe even nicely, sort of trying to get him to change by force of will, that we wouldn’t be connected as we are. Somehow, loosening the one up/one down thing, and being more gentle kind and caring… and those are rarely 3 words used to describe me… it helped him come to his own thing. Even just asking permission to talk about something, that’s tots foreign to my Clobber school of loving Parenthood… and it made it so much smoother… So that’s my advice… work on you- you are the only thing you can actively change, and the quality and dynamic of your communication can be a HUGE lever toward your person’s decision making.

I fail, I brush off, I keep trying. We live in love with our people, and I strive to make it as calm and even as possible. I am not saying that it’s Over… i guess it’s forever, but I’ll take it every day when I know how to cue my own cure and leave it to others to come to their understanding. Choose love and choose yourself. Then it’s all clean- and maybe he’ll be part of that… but if it’s really clean… there’s no wrong answer. I really strongly suggest you “invest” in the self-care of this course. It’s Peanuts relative to so much other available help… and it might help out your heart and soul as it has mine. :four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover::heart::heart::heart:


@Pasta I’m so sorry to hear that this is how you spent your birthday. This situation sounds so familiar. They use, they tell you they’re trying to stop, and you don’t know what to believe. Just like @Thinkstet, it’s hard for me to go back to that place because it was so traumatizing. I can feel the anxiety and fear creeping in just thinking about it. Please just know that you’re not alone, and that you can get through this.

When I didn’t know what to believe, or had so little to trust, I held on to any positive truth I could find. He is working with a sponsor. He has a desire to get clean. And as he works his program, you can find ways to build trust in yourself. Because no matter what happens, trust in yourself is what will get you through. I found stories of hope in support groups and Al-Anon meetings that helped me keep going.

It could happen again. He could be lying. That’s why finding peace within is so important. When we make our ability to move forward someone else’s responsibility, it becomes impossible. When you take care of yourself and examine your role, you can better motivate positive change in others.

How are things going today?


Update a month later - he came home from work and was changing. I heard something fall when he took his socks off and I immediately had a feeling - it was a pill. He told me he had found 5 at work in a bag under his desk. He told me he threw 4 out and kept this one because he planned on taking it for his golf outing tomorrow.

I react in so much anger and frustration because I just can’t take this. It’s too much and upsets me so much as I have been dealing with this for a couple years now. I hate drugs and never had to think about them until I have been with him. It makes me just too upset the thought of him continuing to do or thinking about doing drugs. How should I be reacting to this? It’s hard for me to react calm and supportive anymore.