There’s something about the first time you really fall for someone, and fall hard, that’s like no other love.

The heightened emotions, the thrill, the unpredictability, the drama.

If you are anything like me, you carry that experience with you into other relationships… wondering if you will ever feel something quite the same again. Moving on, and growing into new relationships requires a certain maturing, but it’s more than that. It also involves coming to terms with the fact that your next loves will probably never be exactly the same as your first, and that’s okay.

Letting go of that expectation creates room for new opportunities to arise.

I often talk about how we use alcohol in terms of a relationship. In fact, the most basic definition of a relationship is: “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.”

I don’t know about you, but I was certainly connected to alcohol aka “in relationship to” alcohol for a loooong. In fact, since around the same time as that other first romantic love I was referencing. To be totally honest, I STILL am in relationship to alcohol, because it isn’t 100% out of my life forever. We’ve broken up, and gotten back together, been “on a break,” started seeing each other again “casually,” and broken up again in infinite combinations. I would describe our relationship now as distant acquaintances. We get together every few months, we know that it’s better if we don’t see each other a lot, and that our relationship is better in the long term if we limit the amount of time we spend together.

Treating my relationship to alcohol for what it is, a relationship, has really help me shift the way I view alcohol and also how I go about renegotiating the terms and boundaries of our relationship. So if you are think it’s time you and alcohol had a heart-to-heart here are some helpful perspectives and tools to use.

1) Like letting go of any relationship, there will be a grieving process. Even when you KNOW that your relationship isn’t good for you, there was something that drew you there in the first place. Alcohol may have helped you access certain parts of yourself, have wild experiences, connect in new ways etc. It is perfectly normal to feel sad about “losing” these parts of your relationship. Just remember – nothing is really lost. It’s all an evolution. So cherish the good memories, take what you learned from them and seek to understand no moment is exactly like that last one anyways…

2) It takes time!! There is no overnight process (that I know of) to heal from a broken heart. Same goes with healing and moving on from your relationship to alcohol. Go easy on yourself. Positive affirmations really help. When I’m going through a rough patch, I make a daily habit out of it. I find it also helps to honour the time, the process and my past in the affirmations.

3) Everyone has their own process… some make a clean break, some take longer. Whatever you chose for yourself, be gentle. Ask for support if you can. If you don’t have anyone is your close circle who you feel comfortable sharing this with, ask to join our private community of Sip Sisters.

4) It requires clarity. Whatever you decide the terms of your relationship to be, make sure that it’s clear. The more grey area you allow yourself, the more room there is for confusion, misunderstandings and “uh ohs” that may sneak up on you. Define your terms and write them down. Abstinence leaves less room for “in the moment” reinterpretation, which has been known to happen a few drinks in. If choosing moderation, write down clearly how much to drink, of what kind of alcohol, on which days, with which people, etc.

5) Honouring, forgiving and letting go.  It serves to honour and pay tribute to the “good.” This is really important and something that often gets glossed over in traditional recovery programs. No one chooses to do anything repeatedly if it is entirely horrible and awful from the get-go. Recognizing how alcohol may have “served you” is an important step to then legging go. So is asking for forgiveness, and forgiving alcohol for the shitty stuff. Remember, treat this as you would a break up. We know that forgiveness in critical part of letting go.

6) Create a Ho’oponopono ritual. This was taught to me awhile ago to heal from heartache, and I’ve used it for both people and alcohol. It is based off of an ancient Hawaiian ritual of reconciliation and forgiveness.

First, create a beautiful calm place for yourself with candles and soothing scents. Open your journal or use a new clean piece of paper. You may choose to meditate a bit first or do a grounding breathing exercise. Putting pen to paper, write down as many responses as you can to these prompts. Keep the focus on whatever you are trying to heal from, whether this be alcohol, sugar, binge eating or a person.

  • I am grateful for (this allows you to pay tribute and honour the good AND the bad, the experiences that have transformed you)

  • I am releasing (your opportunity to let go of the bad, what keeps you stuck)

  • I forgive (this is huge! Dig deeper… a lot will be what you forgive yourself for, though you may want to forgive “the source” or other people as well)

  • I am welcoming in (setting new intentions – energetically, magnetically and hard wiring new neural pathways – don’t underestimate this)

  • I send love to (you, your body, your inner teenager, your future self, your trauma, your potential, ALWAYS finish with love)

When you are finished writing, take your piece of papers with your responses, say a prayer, and burn it! In the words of a coach named Mike Hrostoski: “All we have to to is release what is holding us back from our dreams, welcome in what we need to take the next step of our journey, forgive what hurt us, and send love. And then… we are free.”

He continues: “There is a two week period following a fire ceremony in which ‘instances of opportunity’ appear. These ”instances” provide the opportunity to translate your intent for healing into your reality. Think of the fire ceremony not as an instantaneous magical change, but rather, an opening to heal and shift habits and patterns – to manifest a different dream. Remember to recognize this “opening” and seize the opportunity to create change – then let the universe take care of the rest.”

In the past few years I have performed many of these rituals, usually by myself but occasionally with groups of women. I agree wholeheartedly with Mike, they are powerful opportunities for transformation.

I would love to hear more about your experiences with ritual, ceremony, letting go, and healing. Have you ever tried something like this? If you decide to try a burning ritual, send a picture or let us know what the experience is like for you.


ps. There is nothing wrong with getting additional support, especially in the beginning of a break up. If you’d like to talk 1-1, click here for my calendar and set up a time.