- Thinking about a possible relationship with a Newbie

Thinking about a possible relationship with a Newbie




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Thinking about a possible relationship with a Newbie

Postby jd2683 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:04 pm

Hello! I'm new to your forum but could really use the insight of some members here. I should start out by pointing out three things, 1) I'm not in a 12 step program, AA or Alanon, never had a reason to be. 2) I'm in the SA and MH field, my major was psychology. Currently I'm working for a contractor for Medicaid in Substance Abuse. 3) My roommates are both long term members of AA and Alanon, one is recovering, one is a dry drunk. I've met a guy that is a newbie in the AA program, 6 months in. He's a friend of my rooommates. She (the Alanoner) knows him from running in the same circles at the club where both of their groups meet. She is an 11 year vet of the program. Living with her, I've learned a bit about the program and have also picked up a bit from my vocation. This is a guy that I could really see myself falling for, and as exciting as it is, I have my reservations about seeing someone that is new to the program. For one, I don't want to start something that may be to his detriment. I know the dogma says don't start any relationships for 6 months to a year after starting the program. I realize of course that this is just that, dogma, but all dogma is founded in truth.

Secondly, my roommate (the Alanoner) and my other roommate (the dry drunk) where in a 15 year relationship which recently ended about a year ago. I have seen how difficult it was for her, (the alanoner) to deal with being in a relationship with the dry drunk (even when he was working his program). From what I gather, a lot of the issues they had (and still have simply as friends) are not uncommon in the AA community, which frankly scares me a bit.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, I want to respect his anonymity. I would never intentionally disclose anything regarding his status or recovery, however I wonder if just the fact that I live with my roommate (the alanoner) who is quite active in the local 12 step scene could cause a conflict of interest? I should also mention here that as he and I were talking, we discovered that he came through one of my employers programs. As such, that means that I have access to all of his treatment files. Again, for professional and ethical reasons, I wouldn't look at them, but I do wonder if anyone out there sees any potential issues with this?

I'd like to give this relationship a fighting chance. I guess that overall, I'm just looking for some basics as far as do's and dont's. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
jd2683
 
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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:50 pm

jd2683 wrote: 2) I'm in the SA and MH field, my major was psychology. Currently I'm working for a contractor for Medicaid in Substance Abuse.


jd2683 wrote:I know the dogma says don't start any relationships for 6 months to a year after starting the program. I realize of course that this is just that, dogma, but all dogma is founded in truth.


jd2683 wrote:I should also mention here that as he and I were talking, we discovered that he came through one of my employers programs. As such, that means that I have access to all of his treatment files. Again, for professional and ethical reasons, I wouldn't look at them, but I do wonder if anyone out there sees any potential issues with this?


Sure! Here are the potential issues:

1. If you have been trained to be a professional in the substance abuse and mental health field -- and you are already working in this field -- you should already know -- that this is a huge no-no for you.

2. You should already know that it is a huge no-no for the person that you are interested in.

3. Dogma: I've never conversed w/ anyone yet -- that uses the word dogma -- as you have, that is convinced of the "validity of the dogma." They most often use it in a discussion, as you did -- because they don't believe and are not thoroughly convinced of the "truth" in the dogma. This is most often done by someone who has a self-interest desire -- to go against the principles in the truth.

4. Perhaps you should consider joining Al-Anon. You do qualify. Your roomates and the fact that you are interested in pursuing a relationship with an alcoholic -- recovering or not. You may want to observe the Psychology of the interest.

5. On a professional level and on a personal level -- it's what the actual pursuit of this relationship would say about you. a). You're more interested in your own personal self-interest -- than the interest of a 1. Client, or 2. A person in recovery. And, 3., with your professional training -- you know that you should consider this person on the same level as "a patient" that is receiving out-patient care. 4. If you are not aware of this -- and you can't distinquish between patient & practioner -- either you are in the wrong field, or you are not adequately trained to be in the field.

6. Because of the above -- you're not only risking the recovery of "the patient" -- if something goes wrong -- and, from experience, let me tell you, for sure it will go wrong -- you're risking losing your professional standing, being black-balled in regards to working in the field, and losing any opportunity of licensure & certification -- forever.

7. When it does go wrong -- expect to also be sued. Yep. When the alcoholic fails -- resentment will be the #1 offender -- and you'll be the one that gets ALL the blame. And, you can expect to get the full blame for years to come -- if... this person continues to be active in 12 Step Programs. You will be laughed at, ridiculed, and blamed for "the patient's" lack of success -- and if they are successfull -- you'll be talked about in re: "what not to do & what to watch out for" for longer than you'll live.

You are the one -- that because of your professional training -- that will be held to a higher standard -- and higher amounts of punitive damages will be awarded against you in a legal judgement against you, and possibly your employer will be dragged into it also.

8. The benefits of pursuing this relationship? None.

9. The risks? The odds are so far against you it would be like putting money in a slot-machine -- expecting to make a hit that will pay out a jackpot for the rest of your life. Nothing less than insanity.

I could go on and on and on. 24 yrs as a recovered alcoholic that is familiar with hundreds of these scenarious -- and as one, that has just maybe -- had the equivalent professional and legal education that you have received -- in the SA/MH field -- I'll let you go ahead and write #10. You may be convinced that I'm just brainwashed w/ "the dogma."

Best wishes on your decision and your future. I don't know you. I don't know the paitent. All I know is experience. I'm not out to get you. I'm not against the professional community. I have no dog in the dogma fight.

Dallas B.
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Re:

Postby jd2683 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:43 am

Just to put it out there, and perhaps I wasn't communicating clearly, I meant no offense by the word dogma. Simply put, what I meant is that nowhere in the big book does it state that relationships should not be pursued for a specific length of time, rather that that school of thought is something that is an unwritten rule.

As far as the professional ethics go, yes you are correct that it is against professional code of ethics to date a consumer for which you have provided direct services (eg for a therapist to date his or her own patient). However, as I am not a direct provider (EG I was not his therapist/doctor and never had professional contact with him) nor was my company (our company does not employ therapists, we are basically a funding agency and have nothing to do with the actual care of the consumer) and as such it is not considered a conflict of interest professionally as we do not provide the therapy ourselves. I would agree that this would be against code of ethics had he called me looking for assistance and in my capacity as a provider of information, I used this as a conduit to date him, however this is not the case. I discovered that he went through a program that gets a portion of their funding from us after I met him. Even if I wanted to, I could not ethically or legally find out whether or not his funding came through our agency.

Yes you are correct that the consumer should be treated as a patient receiving outpatient care, however by your standard, no one that has ever worked in the SA field should ever date anyone that has received SA services, regardless of if that person had ever had professional involvement with the client. This is not realistic.

Normally, I would not bother to have posted a reply in this manner, however, did sense an overly hostile tone to Dallas' reply and felt that I had not communicated clearly to begin with. As you said Dallas, you don't know me so making the assumption that I'm "more interested in your own personal self-interest -- than the interest of a 1. Client, or 2. A person in recovery" I find to be at best an irresponsible statement (and unnecessarily inflamatory) statement on your behalf. My genuine concern and reason for asking for assistance was to gain a better understanding of how to assist him. Perhaps you should check yourself before you jump to hurtful assumptions.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:28 am

jd2683 wrote:As such, that means that I have access to all of his treatment files. Again, for professional and ethical reasons, I wouldn't look at them, but I do wonder if anyone out there sees any potential issues with this?


Shoot yourself. :lol:

I was right that you had your mind made up before you even wrote anything -- and it was just how I explained your use of the word "dogma."

1. You held yourself out as a professional. I didn't do that to you.

2. You mentioned "professional and ethical reasons." Those are not important to you.

3. Why would you ask "if anyone out there sees any potential issues with this" -- and be offended because you asked the question and you got the answer.

4. The bottomline is: You didn't like the answer you got to the question you asked. You've already did your "research", according to you, by even looking in the Big Book. So, you got a resentment -- and you don't know how to deal with it -- other than to lash out and point your finger of blame at me. :lol: :lol:

You do what you want. It isn't going to effect me or my sobriety or my life in any way. The only one that can be a real loser in this is -- you.

You didn't want an answer to your question that was not to your liking. What you were really looking for was "validation" for something that in your gut -- you already know is wrong. I would be surprised if this is the only forum where you've asked your question. One day you'll look back with regret that you didn't listen to sound suggestions.

Dallas B.
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