Relationships

Relationships in Sobriety: What I Have and Have Not Learned So Far

relationships in early recovery

Boy I’ll tell you what, relationships are hard enough when you’re sober but when you are F.O.R ‘fresh outta rehab’ (should be a rap song with that title…someone get on it!) having a meaningful relationship just doesn’t workout.

At least for me anyway.

Or does it?

Here’s the thing, I have not tried to begin a new relationship with anyone. Emphasis on new.

Like many, I myself wanted to run back to my ex and show her that I was all better. It was my hope that she would be excited to see the new me and fall right back in love with me.

And guess what, she did!

But then I proceeded to fuck it all up by relapsing and drinking my face off.

I was just so excited to have her back in my life I felt the need to celebrate. Well, actually, if I am being honest, the relapse occurred prior to that but the (ahem) amends I made to her was accepted with so much (ahem) joyful reciprocity that I immediately fell back to old behaviors lightening quick.

Got me to thinking about just how cunning, baffling and powerful my disease is.

All it took was an old feeling, love from my ex to excite my brain, ignite my garbage thinking and subsequently toss everything I learned during my journey through the 12-steps out of the window.

So what happens when you start a new relationship in sobriety? Something that encourages a spiritual connection as a foundation. something built on the present tense and not a ‘recovered’ version of yourself?

Is it possible for someone to successfully begin a new relationship in early recovery?

One thing I learned is that the loneliness that occurs in early recovery can be devastating. Personally, I enjoy the companionship of the opposite sex as much as I do the intimacy. I just feel more like my authentic self around women. I tend to compete less with women than I do other men, and I don’t lie as much about my feelings.

Second, the intimacy can repair certain parts of my injured soul. The nurturing component of a relationship and the intimacy that is gained helps me to see myself differently than what my self, sees its self as.

Does that make sense?

When I am constantly in my own head, evaluating life, I easily get off track.

Now, my sponsor would have me focus on my relationship with God, and that is what I plan on doing. I do believe that God needs to be first and foremost, especially if I hope to offer something of value to the opposite sex when the time is right.

However, ah yes, the however … I wonder if a relationship with someone who shares the same journey and also wants to build a relationship with God can support the effort and perhaps even enhance it?

Listen, this is just me brain-farting over here, asking questions about stuff I don’t know. Partially because I am curious, but also because I want to start a conversation with people that have been there.

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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