- Biochemistry of Love, Relationships and Recovery

Biochemistry of Love, Relationships and Recovery




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Postby Dallas » Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:43 pm

That was a nice dissertation, Paul.

I hope you feel comfortable to do it more often!

I like reading them! :wink:

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DATING! in recovery

Postby jeff070204 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:19 pm

This may be my favorite topic. Two things I've never understood -- and probably never will understand -- are people who are new in AA dating each other, and the unwritten "rule" against it.

When I finally had my last drink, I hadn't had sex in six months. After my last drink, I began a year-and-a-half long stretch of institutional living in men-only facilities, making dating -- logistically speaking, at the very least -- an unlikely possibility. Moreover, if I thought I had "LOSER" tattooed to my forehead before, now it was as if I'd been neutered.

I had no job, and hadn't for well over a year. I also had no job prospects, as I deemed myself essentially unemployable. (Who'd hire me after this, under these circumstances, right?) I had no money, no income, no car, and I lived in a halfway house with a bunch of ex-cons. And I had no reason whatsoever to think that any of these circumstances would change. My mood and outward behavior reflected my circumstances, and how I felt about them, and myself.

In short, I was a real catch. So when I heard the no-dating-for-a-year "rule", I thought it was some kind of sick joke.

"Awww -- ya mean I have to tell all these hotties who are beating a path to my door to get lost??"

Then I found out that not a few of the folks I saw at the meetings actually were getting with each other, and I was utterly baffled. I still am, actually.

I suppose I should mention also that a girl from AA essentially insisted that I date her when I had 18 months. I reluctantly went along with it. It lasted 5 days, and was a disaster.
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Postby GeoffS » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:10 am

I am a believer of doing what it says in the big book.

The so called "rules" of well meaning AAs that seem to be adopted are all part of the watering down process that has taken AA from high success rate to much much lower success. The further we get from the Book, the fewer of us get to be sober.

If people can point out where it says things like don't date for a year, you must obey your sponsor, show me and I'll gladly do it all.
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Postby garden variety » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:10 am

Hey Dallas - We got another disser-tater !

Thanks Geoff - you noticed it too!
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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:18 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I noticed that!

Well... Paul... do I "have" to ask for an update?

Don't you know that we are "all" wondering about your deal? :lol: :lol:

What's the latest?
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Postby garden variety » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:39 pm

Well now about my "deal" I think you might be talking about that new lady-friend who came along to slap my chin or something?

I just got off the phone with her. I'll go ahead with the honesty part here, but I know somebody's gonna get a resentment.

I had an appointment with a customer at my home tonight to take care of some business - real official money-making stuff I do for a living. She said she wanted to come over tonight, bring the pork chops, and have dinner with me. But she says I know you've got an apoointment so we'll wait until tomorrow.

I get off the phone with her, my client calls less than 5 minutes later and tells me he's sick, can we re-schedule for Saturday? Well I bet you think I was pouting because I lost the chance for making a few bucks tonight, right? :P :P :P

By now, I'm sure anybody that isn't drinking can figure out the rest.

Dallas, what kind of dream world am I living in?

It's real hard to put into words - but I think I can sum it up pretty close with something in the book.

Go to page 25.

"We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed."

My brother - every word of that has come to life for me. That is the truth. Dallas - what I found here is what I never thought could possibly exist. Well someone wake me up. Someone wake her up.

"We have found much of heaven..."

One day over the weekend we both got to thinking the same thing at the same time about each other and what was happening. We just looked at each other and said "surreal".

All of this just by saying a prayer and not picking up a drink today, and helping another alcoholic.

To anyone lonely or longing or aching for that special somone that you're beginning to think could not possibly be real or exist. I know where you've been and what you've been thinking, and I've shed many a tear and all but gave up hope.

To you I'm saying please don't give up 5 minutes before the miracle happens. Stay with us.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:08 pm

Hey Paul,

Does she have a little sister?

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Dissertation, Part Deux

Postby jeff070204 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:57 pm

In light of the fact that the circumstances of my life were as I described them, my feeling was that I had essentially forfeited the possibility of ever dating again. If some girl had wanted to offer me her incomplete and damaged mind, heart and body, I hardly see how it would have resulted in "more pain". Nor do I see how such an unlikely turn of events would have significantly increased or decreased the likelyhood of my drinking again.

Take something like ACYPAA -- that being the "All-California Young People in Alcoholics Anoymous" convention, which is taking place here in Sacramento in three weeks. I was strongly encouraged to attend this event two years ago by many in my fellowship, for whom the event was the high-water mark of the AA year, and a culmination of what being sober in the Program was all about. I went, and when I got there I was flabbergasted. Not only was the scene that of a hotel being besieged by some 1,500 to 2,000 kids, roving the lobby and corridors in packs all hours of the day and night, screaming at one another, but I got the overall sense that the reason most people were there in the first place was the prospect of "hooking up" -- finding someone there to have sex with.

Most of the attendees at the event had less than a year of sobriety, and a sizeable number had less than a month. I don't know what percentage of those in attendance actually managed to have sex there -- I only know that the scene was complete and utter chaos, and that the sex part was so important to one young woman I traveled to the thing with that she had actually lined up a dude to bang at the thing in advance.

I did not have sex with anybody, and was only too happy when the thing was over. I left there more bewildered by the whole AA business than perhaps I ever had been.
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Postby garden variety » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:57 am

Sounds like a job for Rule 62! :wink:

I found that some A.A. conferences, like Founders Day in Akron, are the place where folks in the fellowship sort of let there hair down so to speak. I believe the Roundups and other events are designed for the members and participants to have a glimpse of "Service" while providing a social setting and events that will allow "mingling" and the chance to "hook up" or meet compatible AA's for friendship and whatever else develops. I believe if "service" is presented too seriously, newer folks, especially younger folks, wouldn't want to give service a try. I don't have a problem with service being presented to look attractive - many great relationships come out of a couple AA's doing service together.

I mean if you look at roundups, some of them set the things up to take the load of "parenting" off the hands of participants so the people attending can have fun and maybe explore the possibility of relationships. At Founders Day, they have a Saturday evening dance. The purpose of that is a little bit more than "carrying the message."

I'm going out on a limb here, but when a few buddies and me get down to Akron U for founders day, there is 100 years of sobriety touring the roads in a rented red convertible Ford Mustang. I'm talking about 4 guys in the 50-year-old range acting like a bunch of sophomores. Yes we go there to have a blast, flirt with women, catch a handful of excellent speaker meetings, and if any of us meet a lady, we dance and get to know each other. We aren't going there as "sexual predators" looking to do "13th stepping" with newcomer girls. We go as single guys having fun and we're open to making friends with single ladies looking to do the same. Going to Founders Day or a roundup isn't like going to the home group.

The last time I went, I got several phone numbers from fellow female AA's. Nothing ever panned out as far as relationships go, but there were possibilities. And some of the ladies were probably half our ages with less sobriety. We weren't looking for the "1 year sober" qualifications - we were looking to have fun with ladies who were there to have fun. If more was to come about, then "practicing the principles" and just using common sense comes into play. For me, the key is practicing the principles in all relationships. I don't intentionally go to AA events with a mindset of I'm going there to "bang" someone, but I don't close the door on that possiblilty either. :shock: Rule 62? You betcha. :D

Now I'm only speaking for myself here, and I don't know how others view these events. But the book says that we're not supposed to be the "arbiters of sexual conduct." Most men and women that go to these things have been around the block a few times, many are single parents with kids. Just go to a New Years dance as an example. It's a beautiful thing to see sober people having fun and maybe experiencing love and companionship the first time as sober adults, when they might otherwise be raising hell and causing destruction.

Today going to a conference or roundup would be different for me. My lady-friend and me would go as a couple, and I wouldn't be running around flirting, getting phone numbers, or disrespecting my girlfriend. We'd take in the sights, attend some good speaker meetings, probably join in some step meetings, hold hands and kiss while walking around the grounds, and after the daily agendas, we'd probably plan a "romantic" evening with dinner, coffee and desert, nice hotel room, and - well you get the picture.

But to get to this point of finding and having a relationship with a girlfriend, I had to let go of those old ideas I had, that I was "damaged goods" and the only other folks that are in the fellowship are also "damaged goods." I had to make a habit of taking a few chances and learning from them, letting myself be honest and vulnerable, and figure out how to take "no" for an answer without thinking there's something wrong with me or the world was coming to an end. I had to let go of the "internal drama" and the "all about me" alcoholic thinking patterns. In my early years of sobriety, I was just like you Jeff - I thought I "forfeited" the right to ever have a decent relationship with a woman again. That was an "old idea" which "the result was nil" for many years into my recovery. I had to stop being the "legend in my own mind." In other words, I had to accept the ideas behind "Rule 62".

The beautiful thing is that over time, by practicing the principles, I do change. Today, I'm the man I always wished I could be while drinking - and I thought by drinking I could become that man. What an delusion! I could never be tender, hold a woman in my arms and look her in the eye and tell her "I love you" while I was drinking AND while I didn't have the spiritual tools I found here. Today it is a simple thing to say I love you and mean it because the fellowship showed me how to. It took a "profound alteration in my reaction to life" as the Appendix says which starts with Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness.
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Postby Kelly » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:23 am

First off Paul, I believe the phrase was “whack me on the chinâ€
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