Updated: Jul 20, 2020
When I met my partner, I was getting clean from a long, nasty cocaine habit. I was married to a wealthy man, but I wasn’t happy, and we were about to adopt a baby girl from Russia. I left my husband for a man I met in recovery, and we enjoyed a decade of happiness, raising my daughter and cohabitating peacefully.
My partner was twenty-eight years clean and sober when he relapsed five years ago, and he has not been able to stay clean since. I stayed with him through rehabs and never gave up on him or us. I still don't know why I stayed except to show my community how loyal I was and how evolved I was and, most important, I knew what a good man he was when he was clean. Yeah, right. I learned the very hard way that we lose ourselves when we think we can fix or change someone else unless they want to change.
Mental illness and addiction are tricky, clever beasts that want you completely nuts or dead—trust me, I lived it within myself and my partner. This last time we had not been living together for two years, but we still maintained a connection—I felt loyal, a sense of duty, like part of this was my fault. Until I broke loose from caretaker mode and went into reclaiming and showing up for myself mode—that is, when I began to live in my truth, and my frigging truth was I loved him AND I needed to let him go, completely.
You can't hold on and let go—you have to choose—my heart and soul go out to anyone who feels they have the power to fix, change, or control anyone but themselves.
Lessons learned—my seatbelt first! Detach with love and grace for them and you! As yoga teachers and students of yoga, we teach self-study, truthfulness, clarity through practice. I want my daughter, my kula, and each of my students to know that the real struggle is always within.
If anyone needs to talk or wants to discuss this subject confidentially, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Halle Becker is the founder of Homegirl Yoga. She also teaches for Warrior Flow TV and leads international yoga retreats.
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