Long time - no hear - on this topic!

Topics and discussions related to being single and or dating while in 12 Step Recovery or 12 Step Programs
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Long time - no hear - on this topic!

Postby Dallas » Tue May 08, 2007 11:00 pm

It's been a long time since I've read anything posted here in the "Singles in Recovery" topic. Is it because everyone else out there is in now in a "Relationship in Recovery"? Or is it... "no one dares to share!" :lol:

I've heard that some people feel ashamed or "less-than" to talk about being "single in recovery" ... because they think others might think that something is wrong with them. Is that true? If it is... please let me know - so I can start feeling bad about myself!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:


Amy S
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Single in Recovery

Postby Amy S » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:36 am

I've been in the AA program for a while now but I only have about 35 days without a drink, which is great for me. I just recently learned that I'm not supposed to get in a relationship until I've had a year sober. I can understand why you should wait but it's already really hard for me. Does anyone out there have any advice about how to make this easier?

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Postby Dallas » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:17 am

Yes!!! Get locked up!!! :lol: :lol:

No! Don't really do that! Because... they might not put you in a single cell!!! :lol:

Another way... would be... try to sleep... without waking up for a year! :twisted: :shock: :lol: :lol:

You might look into checking in to a Convent. :lol:

I hope that someone out there will have some serious advice for you! That way, I can borrow it and use it on myself! I waited the year... but, right now... I've been waiting again at 20! (Which is not suggested... either! ) :wink:

I also did the one year without sex once... and had to start over again, when someone said "that includes... with yourself!" OH!!! WHAT!!! AN!!! ORDER!!!!

Use this time for you! Let yourself know that you are doing it for you... and, that you are worth it!

It's probably hard to believe that it's worth it... but, it's like staying sober... we wouldn't have known that it would be worth it... until we did it.

One thing that I did for myself, when waiting the year... was to constantly remind myself "I'm doing this because I really do care for myself... and I really do want what's best for me." And, I discovered that for myself... it really was best for me.

Getting involved with someone else could have easily distracted my efforts to stay sober. For me, it was hard enough trying to learn how to stay sober and live sober... one day at a time... for a whole year!!!

I did go out on kind-of-like dates... where I would go to the movies and concerts, ball games, or the beach, or picnics and parties... with a group of A.A. friends. But, I made the effort to not be coupled up with anyone.

Another thing that I did... was... to get as many A.A. committments as I could -- to keep me busy. And, I used that time to take the 12 Steps.

Well... that's about enough out of me! Hopefully, the others will pitch in with better and more exciting things than I suggested.

By the way... Welcome to the site and welcome to the forums!!! I have a hunch... that this forum "could" be a good activity that can help!


garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:27 pm

Hiya Amy S,

Whoever told you that your not supposed to have a relationship until you have been sober a year is giving you their opinion, feelings or advice that is not part of the program. This is just not in the book either. There's only one "person's" business that is and if you are serious about recovering and you do the third step you'll get to know who that "person" is.

The book says it this way: "God alone can judge our sex situation"

Well that sounds like the end of all discussion of anything "official" about relationships doesn't it?

Now Dallas has given you his experience strength and hope and I pretty much agree with him that relationships can be a distraction - a BIG distraction when you're working on recovery and the 12 steps. You should also listen to the suggestions of your sponsor if she has worked all twelve steps - but thats all anything a sponsor is supposed to do is offer suggestions and help you work the steps.

When I have a "protege'" (now that's a new word I learned your supposed to call your sponsee because "sponsee" is not in the book either) I suggest that before you have a relationship with anyone, you need to have the most important relationship in your life working. And that is with a God of your understanding. Every other relationship takes its example after than one.

The best way to get that one done is by working through the 12 steps to the best of your ability because step 12 says thats when you get a spiritual awakening that's strong enough to keep you sober. Now if you were to ask me what I suggest as the time it takes that your "ready" for a relationship, I would suggest after you work all 12 of the steps to the best of your ability. Then you have a pretty good stronghold on staying sober and you can do what you're supposed to do like carrying the message to other alcoholics and practicing the principles.

And in a relationship you will need to practice the principles - trust me on that. And don't squirm around it either because the "principles" are the 12 steps and they teach you a "design for living that really works." See Amy, you have to make your relationship with a Higher Power and your sobriety as your number one priority and that's what the steps are there for. Then everything else falls into place easier.

Now if you ask me how fast can you work through the steps, I'd just say look in the book. (I say this because new folks always want some kind of solid answers.) First it says when you decide you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, then you're ready to take certain steps. So when you're ready AND WILLING, then you launch on a course of rigorous action (going through all the steps) and if you do that with "all the desperation of drowning men" (well in your case it would be "drowning women") you'll be able to get through the steps as quickly as you need to because your life depends on it. The biggest thing is be honest with yourself and do this thing with all you got inside of you. I promise you won't regret it.

And don't ever forget that you have to put a whole lot of work in a relationship and time if you want it to be good and lasting. But you also have to put a whole lot of work in the program at the same time. They say "First things first" and that means sobriety.

I hope this is helpful. God bless.

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Postby anniemac » Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:18 pm

I agree with what's been said here, Amy ~ it's not part of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous to stay out of relationships for the first year; yet it is the experience of many members that a relationship in early recovery can not only distract one from their primary purpose of staying sober and working the Program, but also can create such a roller coaster of emotions that can leave one feeling less than stable in an already tumultuous time of adjustment.

A guy shared last night at a meeting, a young guy, early 20's, that he's been relapsing and relapsing and he finally realized that maybe it's because he's putting his pursuit of women ahead of his pursuit of sobriety.

My personal experience is in the inverse; I was (am) in a long-term marriage and I wanted out. It was suggested to me that I wait at least a year to make a major decision like that. I'm very grateful that I did, because now I am happily married - to that same man that I wanted to divorce. What I felt and thought and wanted then is so different from what I feel and think and want now....my entire way of looking at life has changed. In early sobriety I was absolutely not in a position to make lifelong decisions.

Maybe dating is not a lifelong decision, but if not, then what is it? A distraction, something to make us feel good, to fill us up (like the drink did).

As for your question, how to get through this -- I'd say, just like the not drinking...one day at a time, one minute at a time, immersing yourself in your recovery and the Steps and being of service. I know many folks in AA to whom relationships were addictions as well, and they just had to go "cold turkey" to break the cycle.

Amy S
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Postby Amy S » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:23 pm

Thanks for the advice, it has really helped a lot. I hate being single but I agree that it is probably best for right now. Right now my moods and thoughts seem to be all over the map, it's hard enough just to stay sober. Any way, thanks you guys.

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Postby Dallas » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:26 pm

My first sponsor used to poke fun and humor at me, with stuff like:

When I asked him "What's the 13th Step?"

He replied: "It's like this... you go meet a girl and you say Hi! My name is Dallas! I'm alcoholic! I suffer from untreated alcoholism, I lie, I cheat, I steal, I'm dishonest, I suffer from severe emotional and mental twists, I'm extremely moody, unable to stay happy, I dwell on misery, I have problems with my relationships, I can't make a good living, everything I touch turns to disaster and my life really is unmanageable --- wanna share your life with me?"

He said, "If she says yes... you know that you've met someone who is sick enough to desparately want what you are trying to get rid of!" :lol: :lol:

Another time, when talking with him about "early relationships" he said to me:

"Dallas... when you go to the grocery store... and you cruise through the produce section... are you automatically attracted to the bruised fruit and wilted vegetables? Is that what you're really looking for? If you don't do that with your fruit and vegetables... why are you so interested in doing that with your life?"

Sometimes, he would say to me "Two sickies do not make a wellie!" :lol:

And, now that I'm thinking of this... I'm reminded of page 52, BB: which describes for me, when I was new... "my life had become unmanageable"...

"We were having trouble with our personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a (or... keep a... good...) living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people --" (insert was mine) :lol:

That pretty much described me when I was new!

It is true... that suggestions like "no relationships in the first year" is not part of the A.A. program, nor is it in the Book, Alcoholics Anonymous... but neither is "Go to meetings" or "Don't drink between meetings" or "Get a sponsor" or "Call your sponsor"... in the Big Book! :wink:

I've discovered that there are many good and healthy suggestions... that are simply not in the book, nor are they a part of the A.A. program.

There are a few sentences in the Big Book that "might" cover some of the good suggestions... and it's found on page 164, in "A Vision For You" (And, again... maybe they don't). It is:

"Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize that we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us."


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Postby DebbieV » Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:30 pm

Changed my mind on this one, have to give it more thought :oops:

Don't worry I'll Keep Coming Back :lol:

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Big Book Thumper

Postby anokagrassland » Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:01 am

I've been referred to as a Big Book Thumper and that's just fine by me. I believe in the Big Book and I refer back to it whenever somebody tells somebody else "what you're supposed to do and not do!" I often feel too many people are making the program up as they go.

The Big Book leaves dating to the individual's discretion. I agree with that. No two people who come into the program have the same story. Some are complete disasters and some only need slight help.

Personally I'm finishing up a divorce. It's been 2 1/2 years since it started. I haven't dated anybody through it. I've had coffee or a soda with the occasional lady both in and out of the program and that is it.

I was married to a woman who liked to scream and ridicule and occasionally hit. I have always been a fairly quiet man. I'm 6'3 and 230 pounds of mostly muscle. I played football and wrestled in high school and college. I farm and ranch for a living. Point being that queit doesn't mean sissy. Forgive the lack of a better word. Anyway, in my particular case my sponsor through out my divorce has wanted me to talk to more women so that I would see that they aren't all like my ex.

I don't know if it's worked or not. I'm really rather terriefied of women! Girls in the program have been nice to talk to but it seems everytime I do that some other guy comes along and accuses me of "trying to take advantage of their emotional state to get their pants off". Ussually it turns out that is exactly what my accuser has been doing!

Female friends have been a big part of my sobriety the last 2 1/2 years.


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