Personal relationships in early recovery

A discussion of topics about relationships in Recovery
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Personal relationships in early recovery

Postby sober13 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:06 pm

What does the big book or Bill W. say about personal relationships with the opposite sex early in recovery ? I have heard not to get into any personal relationship for with any women for the 1st or 2nd year of recovery .
Thanks .

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Postby wareagle10 » Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:21 am

Welcome aboard sober13: Good to have you on board. I don't know what the bg book actually says about relationships in the first year. I have heard for years that you should stay out of relationships for the first year because you are just getting over the alcohol and your emotions are not completely intact or working in a normal manner. We sometimes don't know whether to laugh or cry, to talk or yell, to cheer or swear, so that leaves us very vulnerable to relationships. We don't know whether what we are feeling is real or not, so the talk is to stay out of those relationships so that we don't get hurt and then return to the bottle for solace. I will, however, look in a concordance to see if there is anything in the first 164 pages that refers to it. You might try looking in a piece of soft literature called the "44 Questions" to see if there is anything in there. In the meantime, stay on board and its good to have you here!
Take care and straight ahead, John.

PS: Dallas has posted a reply for you under another heading, under 12 steps.

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Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:39 am

Hey Sober13,

I haven't heard back from you! Everything is okay, I hope!


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relationships in early recovery

Postby sheresq » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:09 pm

To be sure, Bill W. did not provide much detail on relationships in early recovery in the Big Book; however, after being sober quite a while, he provided some information in the 12 & 12: "The prospective partners need to be solid AA's and long enough acquainted to know that their compatibility at spiritual, mental, and emotional levels is a fact and not wishful thinking." Before I had worked the steps of the program, I was certainly not a "solid AA" nor had I acquired any maturity at a "mental and emotional level." When I am asked for advice about relationships in early recovery, I point people to p. 119 in the 12 & 12. It is my opinion only but "early recovery" is the entire period before one has worked all 12 steps regardless of "dry time." Sheresq

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relationships is early recovery

Postby musicmode » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:54 pm

My name is Anne 8) , I'm an alcoholic,

I've heard it put this way--as well, I've witnessed the seldom goes well for either one.

How I've heard it put/what to be mindful of: the relationship in early recovery...question: are you trying to fill that void that you were trying to fill, erase, whatever--with alcohol/substance? If there is an interest in a certain someone, ya keep comin' around, doin' what you're s'posed to be doin', if that interest is still tweeking a year from now, or, once you've worked thru the steps, then--- mmmaaa-aaybeeee. Once the noggin begins to clear, ya might discover that that person of interest has been in the program, let's say...'10' years...but has never worked thru their steps even once, or only once. Also, if you do have a genuine care enough for that other individual--you'll be doing that person a grand favor by gettin' your own feet grounded in the program. if there's a sense of panic in: if I don't "latch that person-someone else will"--feeding need & greed...feeding jealousy, anger...fear...once again, I'm settin' things up myself to be hurt & to continue playing the victim--oh woe is me, I feel so sorry for me. I seen this--- guy of 12 years...newcomer made no secret of her interest in him, & even tho' he did know better, he got hung up on her, too..she was a ball of energy (eee-eyaaa, she was comin' off speed & crack, chasin' it all down w/ booze) --this guy was a walkin' talkin' BB, a matter of a month or so, he came dangerously close to relapsing himself--she got all huff & puff when he'd no longer lend 'er money....not sayin' that's the case here, just usin' this example cuz the end result was scary, & dangerous. She went back out. She figured he was the 'answer'. You will find the answer here, to the solution, but not 'that way'. That can be 'replacement'..."if I could only just find the right guy/girl, all will be grand--no more problems"...that's placing a condition on something that, for us alcoholics, is life or drink or not to conditions whatsoever can be placed on that--a person isn't a fix anymore than alcohol is a fix.

Easy Does It,

Anne 8)

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Postby Dallas » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:22 pm

Thanks for that share, Sheresq! Good wisdom in those suggestions!

Thank you Anne, for sharing your insight, experience and wisdom! I've seen what you wrote about over and over and over again! I've even made a few mistakes of my own which nearly cost me my life!

As I look back at my own experiences, I can (with hind-sight) see, that the reasons that relationships were so dangerous for me in early recovery... is that I was so danged emotionally sensitive! (Not that I'm over being so danged emotionally sensitive, either!)

When I got sober, I began experiencing emotions that I hadn't actually felt in years... if ever! And, I didn't know what to do with those emotions!

Top that off... I was full of baggage of emotional hurts, harms and pains, from a lifetime of living... and my only coping skills that I had to deal with those emotions... was to "drink them away and try to forget them!"

When I sobered up... I couldn't forget them. They began to press me down and press me out (is that where de-pressed originates?). And, while I had that junk going on... here I am feeling new feelings and new emotions... that I still don't know what to do with!

Alcohol and drugs had been my coping tools. The tools that I used to solve my problems was chemical tools. "Just alter my perception... and the feelings go away!"

When I got sober... I couldn't use the chemical coping tools any longer. So, the emotions and not knowing how to deal with the past and present was really driving me nuts!

An early-in-sobriety relationship, for me, would be defined is "Hi! Hello! My name is Dallas and Im alcoholic! I'm powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable. Want to share my unmanageable life with me? You're cute! I like you! You hurt my feelings! I hate you! Want to get married?" :lol:

For me, recovery was coming slowly... often too slowly! It wasn't until I completed the 12 Steps... and dealt with the garbage of my past... that I could even have a decent relationship with myself... let alone to share myself with someone else.

Then, after the garbage came out... and I could live in a safe, sane and sober relationship with myself... I needed to learn "What is a healthy relationship with another person?" I had no clue. I had no coping tools. I had no knowledge of how to have a healthy relationship with myself or with another person.

And, when I think of it... if the other person is new in recovery... how will she be any different than I was? Do I think I can be the Knight in Shining Armour and just Love her into sanity, sobriety and recovery? (I think, that could be similar to "I've got to stop playing God!") I couldn't Love her into sobriety any more than God could Love me into staying sober! It was up to me to learn and to do what I had to do to keep from bending my elbow!

One healthy person does not make a healthy relationship of two. A healthy relationship of two... requires two healthy persons. Kind of the same as... half measures will avail you nothing... when it comes to sobriety or relationships. (Like the song: "It takes two! Baby!.... It takes two!" --- And like ... A.A. -- It's impossible to practice A.A. alone!).

As I look at the 12 Steps, in how they've worked for me... They have enabled me to have a good relationship with myself, and they have taught me and prepared me to have good relationships God, and with others.

And, maintaining good relationships... for me, has required me to continue to do the things that have prepared me for good relationships, and have enabled me to cope with different tools, and gain some emotional maturity, and emotional stability... in addition to keeping me sober, happy, joyous, sane and free. If I stop doing those things... the ugly me and the ugly stuff will return... and when that happens... I'll end up drinking my way down the path to Coyote Ugly!


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relationships in early recovery

Postby DC » Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:00 am


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Postby Dallas » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:48 am

Yep. I think that's exactly what I was trying to say.

Funny how you put it... that's exactly the same words my first sponsor used to tell me "Two sickies don't make a welly!" (Are you from Granada Hills, CA?) :wink:


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Postby Tina L. » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:42 am

i used to live in Granada Hills :shock:

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Postby anokagrassland » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:12 pm

Personally I'd rather date a lady in the program. Even new in the program, they tend to be better women then most of those outside of it. Simply because they are working a program. Most of the women I've talked to outside of the program haven't done any counseling or treatment of any sort following divorces or breakups. "It was all his fault". Then they continue to engage in the same destructive behaviours that caused problems in their previous relationship/s.

No, an AA lady has my vote. I've met one too. She's an absolute perfect match. Considering I farm and ranch in a remote place that's a pretty big deal. She's from an even more remote ranch. She doesn't have enough time in the program right now. How much is enough? I don't think anyone can say. It depends more on the individuals involved. Some people may never be ready for a close relationship. I've seen people get pretty messed up by their sponsors too. Actually I've seen more problems with sponsors then I have with dating.

The importants thing is for both people to keep their focus on God and to keep working their program.

There is too much non-AA stuff continually being introduced into AA meetings. Meetings need to revolve around the Big Book and the 12 steps.


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