Sobriety Taboo. When Is It OK To Date When Maintaining Recovery?

Sobriety Taboo. When Is It OK To Date When Maintaining Recovery?

Since I have been lucky and blessed to be happily married to my soulmate for almost, well, let me say a long time. Our wedding song was by Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’ Mine! We got married after a year living together as I didn’t want to marry again as my ex-was a closet alcoholic at a young age. It was a horrible 4-year experience I did not want to be repeated. And, of course, this was years before I became an addict myself.

Now that I have all that behind me, I have heard many times sitting in meetings and even in my treatment group years ago, by someone, obviously single, would ask the question, “when is it OK to date or start a relationship while maintaining recovery?” Well, I always heard not for at least one or two years into recovery.

We need to be focused on our #1 priority, GETTING Clean, Sober, or Bet Free first. And I think using “Common Sense” in this situation should rule. Look, if you are NOT WELL, how can you be good relationship material with someone else?

Think about that! And that is why I am sharing this article this weekend from the fine folks of the magazine, “The Fix.”

IT is why I am sharing the article. It may help clear up the ‘ole’ question of “Dating in Recovery” By Kiki Baxter

 

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Relationship-Checkup

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“When my sponsor told me about the suggestion to not date for a year, that I should just concentrate on getting sober, I said: “I’m a really good multi-tasker.”

 

I thought that when I got sober, I’d get into the best shape of my life, start going to the gym all the time, train for a triathlon, become super successful and meet the man of my dreams. Basically, my version of what advertising says is a ‘perfect life.’ I wasn’t thinking along the lines of what some people say: the gift of sobriety IS sobriety. Boring. I mean, I was and I wasn’t; I mostly just wanted to stop being miserable. I did a 90 and 90, got a sponsor, joined a gym, took a class in my career of choice, slept a lot, and met a guy.

When my sponsor told me about the suggestion to not date for a year, that I should just concentrate on getting sober, I said: “I’m a really good multi-tasker,” and “I can get sober and date at the same time.” Luckily for me, she didn’t say it was a rule because there are no rules in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Nowhere in the Big Book does it say: “no dating allowed in the first year.”

It just talked about some people prefer a little more pepper in their sex life or whatever (page 69) and who are we to tell people what spices to proverbially cook with? So thank god for that because, in my first 90 days, I met a guy. He was a friend of a friend and when we met, he told me that he was going through a big transition in his life.

“What kind of a transition?” I asked while thinking Oh my God! We have so much in common! We’re both going through transitions! As if a relationship could be built on that alone. Or even a marriage, because I thought that now that I had opened the book of sobriety, everything would change in the blink of an eye. It would be like I just woke up to a new life. That’s how it happens, right?

I mean, don’t you kinda hear that all the time? The person’s life was shit and then they got sober and now they’re in this awesome marriage/job/house/car/babies and it all like happened in a year or maybe two? I’m smart and attractive. That shit should happen for me too! I can make that happen. I. CAN. MAKE. THAT. HAPPEN. Higher power who?

So, when I asked the guy what kind of transition, he said poetically, “It’s like my house was taken away so now I have no house, but at least I can see the moon.” And I was like “Wow, coooooool. I totally love the moon.”

For our first date, we went on a bike ride along the river, had lunch where I did not order a glass of wine (the first time that has ever happened) and ordered a coffee instead. I didn’t tell him that I was newly sober. I just told him I didn’t drink, and he said that was cool and he’s thought that maybe he should quit drinking too (uh oh); that he meditates and when he meditates, he feels super clear and drinking gets in the way of that (uh yeah).

Then he walked me home and I remember feeling very sensitive and insecure. It was like I was eight years old again with a crush on a boy at school and I forgot how to walk my bike. Or talk. I felt awkward. Which is why, at 16, drinking and boys went hand in hand. Less feeling. More yay.

When I got home, I realized there was no way I could date right now. I knew that if I was rejected or even felt rejected, it would probably cause me to drink. I didn’t have the emotional tools. I talked to my sponsor about it and then called him up and said, “I really like you, but I’m going through something right now where I need to take a year off of dating. I hope you understand.” And he said, “Wow. I should probably do that, too.” Turns out he was going through a divorce and was in no place to be in a relationship or be the man of my dreams/dysfunction right now.

For the rest of the year, I concentrated on going to meetings, fellowship, making new AA friends, eating cookies and milk, binge-watching Netflix at night, and it was the most awesome/horrible year of my life. I highly recommend it. I gained 10 or 20 pounds which seemed weird. Dudes can go through a rough time and get fat and grow a beard and still be considered likable — but as a woman, it’s harder to hide behind a beard and 50 pounds and be cool. But a girl can dream.
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So, a year later, guess who I ran into? No-house-moon dude. And yay! I was like a year sober so totally awesome and fixed, right? It. Was. On. We went on a few dates, and I honestly can’t remember if we had sex. It was only seven years ago and I know we did sexy things but I cannot for the life of me remember. I don’t think we did, because we would have needed to have the talk and well, let’s just say that the time I chose to have the talk was not a good time to have it.

Take it from me when I say “DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HAVE THE TALK WHEN HIS HEAD IS BETWEEN YOUR LEGS. ” That should be in the Big Book. It’s a real buzz kill for one and all. And our relationship (if you can call it that) ended shortly thereafter which was okay because he was seriously still mourning the loss of his ten-year marriage.

So that’s my take on dating in the first year. I do know a couple people who hooked up in their first year of sobriety and 30 years later are still married. That might happen to you. I knew that wasn’t going to happen for me. It wasn’t until year two that I met the man of my dreams AKA qualifier who really brought me to my knees (not in a good way) and into Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous which is like the nicest thing a guy can do. Kidding. But not in a way because Girrrrrrrl, I needed some of that SLAA in my life.

Since then, I’ve moved to a place that I am happy to call home, am “healthy” dating and more will be revealed. But the best thing is that I like myself – dare I say, love, myself? I love my friends, my career, and my life and I don’t expect a man or any person or thing to save me.

WHY? Because I don’t need saving anymore. Thank god. Thank HP. Thank my program. And thank you.


Please visit so you can read more amazing articles like this one on
 “The Fix.”

“Wishing All My Blog, Recovery, and Reader Friends A Very Merry & Blessed Christmas Weekend!” XOXO ~ CAT

Hello and Thank You All Who Visit This Merry Christmas Weekend !!

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A Personal Note this Christmas from my Heart to Your’s .  .   .   .

With another Christmas Eve and Day upon us, let me reflect on The Many Blessings from this Year!

I sure have been very blessed and grateful to have shared my OWN Recovery Journey with you all year long, to share and bring HOPE,  JOY, and some Serenity to all of you. I want ALL to know what “Long-Term Recovery” can bring you when you decide to reclaim your LIFE back from not ONLY Gambling Addiction but from all addictions. Apply what you learn from doing the inner work as you also learn to rely on all your “Skills & Tools” in that recovery tool box you have.

We begin a quest of love, to learn to learn ourselves so we can pass that love on to those who still suffer and struggle from “the cycle” of addiction. I share my heart to hopefully show others that the “Triggers and Urges” will subside, that you will learn to FEEL again, and most importantly? You CAN gain a life of much “Peace and Serenity” .  .  .  .  .

So I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Clean, Sober, and Gamble Free Holidays!

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*Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ *CaT*

Celebrate Recovery! My Girls Are At It Again With A New Guest Recovery Article By: Author Alyssa Craig.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

I hope your 4th of July weekend was FABULOUS! Mine was pretty quite. But my recovery girls Rachel and Alyssa were at it again with another helpful Recovery Article Share for all of us. I feel it is important to have many insights and views about recovery. So I enjoy sharing many other authors views and articles here. Today Alyssa is Celebrating Recovery with us in this new Guest Post.
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Celebrating Addiction Recovery Victories in Healthy Ways
Author: Alyssa Craig

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Meal In Garden Together

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Meal In Garden Together

 

Why Celebrate?
As humans, we celebrate milestones and accomplishments often, from birthdays to graduations. But why do we do it and how does it fit into addiction recovery? Develop an Attitude of Gratitude: Celebrations give us a chance to express gratitude for the things that are going well in life.

Appreciation: By giving appreciation and attention to our accomplishments, we can more deeply enjoy what we have achieved.

Honor Life: This is a concept that often takes a backseat during addiction. Remember to value life itself.

Recognition: Addiction recovery is difficult. Celebrations allow us and our loved ones to acknowledge our accomplishments and milestones.

Thank Support: Celebrations draw family and friends together for a happy purpose and when it comes to addiction recovery, it allows us to also celebrate having a solid support system.

Positivity: By giving focus to milestones, it helps to reinforce positive behavior and a positive attitude.

Self-Assessment: Milestones give us an opportunity for honest self-assessment. It gives us a chance to see how far we have come.

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Which Addiction Milestones Should Be Celebrated?
What may be a difficulty for one person may not be for another, so you will have to determine for yourself what constitutes a need for celebration. As a general guideline be sure to include the following in your celebrations:

  • A Day/Week/Month/Year of Sobriety: It is up to you how often you will celebrate, but these are easy milestones to select from. The one month milestone in particular is important as this is when withdrawal symptoms are worst. After the first month, cravings subside and addiction related physical changes improve significantly which can be a great psychological boost.

  • Returning to School or Work: Getting a new job or returning your focus to your education is a big deal, as these areas probably took a hit during your addiction.

  • Sustaining a Healthy Relationship: Family, friendships, and romantic relationships tend to suffer when a person is suffering from an addiction. If you have repaired or sustained a relationship that would not have previously been possible, that is worth celebrating.

    More Ways To Celebrate:
    Once you are ready to celebrate, you may want some suggestions. Here are some ways you can acknowledge the hard work you have done, the things you have overcome, all without a fear of relapse.

    Express Gratitude Daily: Celebrate each day with a dose of expression of gratitude. This might be a mental list, an entry in a gratitude journal, or writing a note of thanks to someone who has helped you.

    Clean, Sober & Gamble Free Party: One fear of a party is the presence of alcohol or drugs, but by planning your own party, you can control this. You will find your friends and family to be supportive and you will have a great time. Find great ways to replace old party habits with suggestions such as the ones listed here.

    Athletic Event: If you have worked on improving your physical health, this might be a great time to participate in an athletic event as a celebration of your stronger, healthier body and well-balanced recovery.

    Volunteering: Paying it forward is always a great way to celebrate your victories. Look for ways to help in your community or even with an addiction recovery program near you. It is likely someone could benefit from your knowledge of obstacles you have faced in recovery.

    Take a real Vacation: Travel is a great way to broaden your horizons, experience a new culture and get away from it all. Set a goal for yourself in your recovery and once you have reached it, reward yourself with a dream vacation.

    Treat Yourself: Practice self-love by creating a rewards system for different types of milestones. Think of what you would like to achieve and what you will get at each level. New outfits, a gadget you’ve been wanting, signing up for a class to learn a new hobby, or indulging in a little treat are all great ways to celebrate your efforts.
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Addiction recovery is a difficult, ongoing challenge and you deserve to celebrate your achievements and successes. Not only will it help reinforce a positive attitude and perspective, but you may also find a way to serve those around you, helping to build others up as you continue to progress.

Courtesy of Author, Alyssa Craig 🙂