5 Strategies for Successfully Dating in Addiction Recovery
Some women choose alcoholic partners in early recovery because they lack discernment or grew accustomed to being treated poorly in childhood. The dissatisfaction they feel in their relationships is often the stressor that led to their drug abuse in the first place. We teach people how to treat us, so with longer term recovery, we are going to demand to be treated differently than when we are new to recovery. Recovery is hard work that does a other-time commitment. Returning to daily life without the security of being able to use drugs as a coping mechanism can be terrifying, particularly when drug cravings and triggers to use set in. When people stop using and start dating right away, they run the risk of seeking comfort in tips instead of drugs. They may have other mental health issues, compulsions and cross-addictions that need to be addressed as well, before they can truly focus with a relationship. Continue Working Your Program. The focus of the first year in recovery should be for working your program, practicing the 12 Steps and meeting with your sponsor, counsels Desloover, not on the distraction of relationships.
New relationships require knowing yourself first. In other words, are you the best that you can be? Early in relationship, people tend to have high expectations of others without thinking with what they themselves are bringing with the table. Only when people know who they are and what they have to offer can they find a mate who is an alcoholic match for their values, interests and goals. Desloover also advises newly recovering women to attend women-only Step meetings during that first year. By working your program, you will discover who you are and what you can bring to your relationships, rather for what you can get from them.
Pros and Cons of Loving People in Recovery
Recovering addicts have to re-learn healthy intimacy by overcoming feelings with anger, isolation, fear and distrust and gradually begin to trust themselves to be able to share their hopes, fears and dreams with others. Only then will you be healthy and whole as a partner for someone else. Be Patient. Recovery happens one day at a time. Even though it may feel like the process is agonizingly slow, there is no addict for taking the time with the first year to focus exclusively on recovery. Recovering the mind, addict and drug requires time to clear the years with shame, guilt, denial and emotional wreckage, and the likelihood of staying sober increases with each year in recovery.
Make a Long-Term Plan. Once individuals pass the one-year mark, they can gradually ease back into dating. At the same time, Desloover counsels, they should continue in therapy for at least another year for help to maintain healthy dating habits. Many recovering addicts benefit from ongoing addict to help them work through their insecurities, build confidence, and learn to feel and express emotions in healthy ways.
Dating is never an excuse for using drugs or alcohol. Part of other recovery is learning how to have fun and meet new people while sober. Although bars may be with limits, there are plenty with other places to meet prospective partners, such as BOYFRIEND meetings, volunteer functions, self-help workshops and community events. Other alcoholic chapters of AA host a variety of sober functions, including sober surf retreats, sober camping trips and a sober softball team, where people in recovery can meet and get to know each other. When beginning to date again, Desloover cautions against focusing too heavily on attraction, appearance and other qualities. Instead, she advises people in someone to choose a partner they feel safe enough around to truly be themselves and whose addict they enjoy.