Syd speaks in Nothing to give about reaching that place where it’s necessary to let someone go. This kind of situation is sad, but what can ya do? The phrase that really caught me was “negotiating with reality”.

I too love someone with whom I negotiated with reality for a long time. They were sick and destructive, and I believe they still are. It took a long time to realize that I don’t have to be involved in their sickness or their secrets. In fact, it became imperative for my serenity and likely my survival that I don’t.

When maintaining a relationship means spending as much time in someone else’s head as my own, that’s a sign I’m negotiating with reality. When describing a relationship with an objective third party, if I have to include a lot of caveats and explanations, that’s another sign. If my friend or partner tells me something that makes perfect sense at the time, but is confusing the next morning, that’s a blatant sign. If I use the phrase, “… but it’s okay because …” I might be trying to justify something, and that’s a sign.

My sickness is insidious, and so is the sickness of the alcoholic. This is one of the ways these diseases can harm us. I very much appreciate the experience, strength, and hope that have been shared with me to thwart it.