My boyfriend and I broke up after I got a DUI. The breakup was my fault because I felt guilty for drinking and driving. I blamed him for not stopping me from driving instead of taking responsibility for my actions. It’s been four months. I miss him so much and I want to take back everything I said to push him away. I know I was a bitch and I’m so sorry for my behavior. A month ago, I left him a message apologizing but he never responded. I talked to one of his friends who told me my ex isn’t seeing anyone else right now but doesn’t want to see me, either. I want to reach out to him again but need the right words to get him to understand I know I screwed up and need another chance. Please help.
You’re dancing between want and need, but neither is the right partner. You don’t need another chance. You want one. But even that thought deserves excavation. What you really yearn for is the equilibrium you felt before the DUI and the breakup. Your boyfriend represents that phase of your life, so you’re clinging to him. He can’t be your life raft, honey. This is a DIY project. That’s because your crisis is not the loss of your man. The real mess is tied to the thoughts you had that encouraged you to drink too much, to drive under the influence and then blame someone else for your choices.
Please don’t reach out to your ex until after you liberate yourself. Psychotherapy and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are essential. But don’t just show up—do the work. No real change happens until you marry the process. So find a sponsor in AA and work the program. Take a journal to therapy. Write notes in session and read them later. Study the person you have become. Discover places to make adjustments in your attitude and behavior. Change. Become your best self. The DUI and the breakup are scary and heartbreaking, I know, but they are also interventions that invite you to be a more humble and beautiful human being. Take the chance.
Your recent column on friendship was just what I needed when I needed it. I’ve been feeling like I wanted deeper connections. I have good friends, but I’m also retired and feel like I could be close to more than five people. Do you think it’s true that we can only have five real friends?
It depends on our capacity for intimacy. People who listen deeply, communicate openly and are transparent with thoughts, emotions and their spiritual path are more available for deep, loving connections with others. But you can also think of that column as an encouragement to invest in your inner five friends (those with whom you share emotional intimacy on a daily basis) while also investing in love for your community (other friends, plus acquaintances and even strangers in your circle of contact). That’s a sweet way to grow connections that create the kind of world where everyone belongs and is treasured.