- Personal relationships in early recovery

Personal relationships in early recovery




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Postby Dallas » Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:28 pm

Welcome to the forums, Chris! And, thank you for sharing your message.


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Postby anokagrassland » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:57 am

Um, better not listen to me. Thought I was helping this girl but apparently I was doing the opposite. Now I've got a third of the group mad at me. Oh well, they'll get over it. I guess I figure God throws the stuff at us we most need to learn to deal with. Especially in early recovery. Lord, I sure know I got hit by some stuff I thought people should have been more sensitive about. Forced me to go back and rework everything I had learned up to that point. I needed every bit of it too.

Haven't done anything but listen to her talk. I guess it shows how sick she is. I was told that after she talks to me she retreats farther into her shell. Well, that's exactly why was talking to her in the first place. To try and get her out of her shell.

I must admit I'm getting tired of women inside or outside of the program not being able to say what they're thinking. Can't tell you how many times one has told me how much she liked me and begged me to call again, only to have it turn out that was code for "get lost". Lot of sick people out there.

I passed along my apologies to her friend that talked to me on her behalf. Not much more I can do. I'm sober anyway. Grateful for that. Oddly enough I chaired the meeting tonite and the other 2/3 congratulated me on a good meeting. So, I must be helping somebody!

Goodnight and Merry Christmas,

-Chris
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Postby Dallas » Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:12 am

Merry Christmas, to you, too Chris!

Keep coming back!

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Postby anokagrassland » Mon Dec 25, 2006 9:18 pm

Thanks. I had a heck of a Christmas present. I had a call from a friend at 8:30 this morning. His granddaughter, another AA, is doing well and back together with her husband. She's a friend as well and I spent some time talking and listening to her when she was new, new again anyway, to the program.

Always a plus when we learn somebody's making it, especially somebody we've invested ourselves in.

-Chris
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Postby DebbieV » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:34 pm

For me, with less than a month sober, I ask myself two questions on this topic: One, what kind of program are they working if they want to be with me in the mental and spritual shape I'm in as a newbe. Two, what kind of program am I working if I'm thinking about dating before I even know what kind of person I am sober. I have seen so many changes happen in myself in the little time I have been sober, so I want to get to know the sober Debbie alot more than I want to get to know sober so-n-so, because I know for me, getting to know me, going to meetings, reading my BB, working the steps, and staying close to my fellow AAers is all I have time for and all I can manage, and I am happy with that. If I get lonley and I do, I go to a meeting or pick up the phone, that one isnt easy for me but I do what I'm told because MY best thinking got me here.

Thanks for being here for me.
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Postby anniemac » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:42 pm

Great two questions to ask, Debbie! Sounds like you've made sobriety your priority. I am so thankful that I didn't make any relationship decisions early on (I wanted to leave my husband; now we are happily married - go figure!!).

I see by your location that you're right near our Dallas ~ what a gift for your recovery!
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tragic clarity

Postby Powerless » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:00 pm

Hello all,
Dallas, thanks for the forum, I really am enjoying have all your insights since I’ve moved to Hell frozen over….lol .
Ok, here’s my pitiful story of today’s tragic event of clarity: I spent the morning putting together a profile on Match.com…..woooowhoooo….lol . I was extremely descriptive with what I wanted (I’m good at that), anyway something in the back of my head kept saying….yeah right! Anyway, so happens (Divine intervention), that I got the opportunity to watch my kids and left for their house. Phone rings and it’s my ex-girlfriend, going on how much of a piece of crap I am…blah blah blah….grrrr.
Of course she isn’t right…lol, and neither is the rest of the people involved……I’m right!!!
Anyway, as the day went on and I was working for cash….I started thinking (dangerous), and I realized (point of clarity :idea: ) that I am sooooo insane that I have no business being in any kind of relationship. Here’s the good news, all this probably saved me and someone else a lot of pain. So, I’m back to given myself a year….ugh. :?
That’s all folks….from Silverton, CO
Powerless.
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Postby DebbieV » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:40 pm

Hey Powerless,

Your post reminded me of a meeting today at noon. It was step one and there was this guy who was freaking out because he wanted to drink so bad, he knew his he was powerless over alcohol-that his life had become unmanageable, but he kept saying the urge to drink was still strong, that when he got upset, mad, scared, lonely, etc..... he wanted to drink. That all got me to thinking about me the other night sitting outside smoking a cig ( I stopped smoking a month ago but the damn things keep finding a way back in my hand :D ) anyway I was thinking about how cool it was that some of the 10th step promises ( pg 84 &85 in BB) had started coming true for me. It says I will seldom be interested in liquor. How cool is that? and that is so true for me today...it also goes on to say it will be that way if I stay in fit spiritual condition. What still does happen on occasion is I get a real big urge to escape at times, and now that I don't want to drink or use to do it, I find myself trying to find other ways. I know my first reaction is men, but I think I'm too afraid that my sponsor would kick my ass if I went out with someone with two months sober :D :D , so that's a BIG no. I also think about sleep, that is a good way to escape. I have others but I will try to keep this short. Bottom line is I am still an alcoholic, even if I'm not drinking. I drank and escaped for 22 years, now I am learning how to escape in positive ways, like a meeting, maybe hard for you to do up there in hell frozen over, may not be many meetings, maybe you could grab some sober alcoholic and start your own.
I read the BB first 164 pages and the stories, if the first 164 bore the hell out of me at times.
Getting on here.
Step work.
Helping another alcoholic-or just another.
Hanging out with my son.
Hitting my knees....if you put your mind into it, I bet you can make the list longer. So maybe, just maybe, its not the relationship you want, could it be the escape of you that your looking for? I know, HARSH reality isn't it? It was for me. Maybe your not as sick as I am, maybe you are ready for a relationship, and it has nothing to do with escape. I am telling you what I went through. So that's my ES&H for the day. It works for me, today (and yesterday). I hope with all my heart you find what works for you.

Deb
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Postby garden variety » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:38 pm

The relationship thing.

I think relationships with others are a normal thing to want to have, but for me it took a long time before I was ready. There was a gap of 11 years between relationships for me, and not all of that was sober time, but most of it was.

When I first got sober, I was very lonely. I wanted a relationship so bad it brought me to tears almost every night. Then I don't know how it happened, I think it was somewhere between 6-7 years sober, I realized that I was making the "relationship thing" way too big for too long. But I also realized that I HONESTLY wasn't ready to have an intimate realtionship with a woman that involved commitment.

I realized that I would have to "practice these principles" with a lady in close proximity every single day. And that means that I have to put her good and needs in my own mind before myself. Not that I would not look at my own good at all - because staying sober is my top priority, and if I don't have that, then nothing else works. But it meant that I would really have to live "unselfishness" and "honesty". I can say like the book says "what an order"!

So coming to realize that, with God's help, made me understand that a realtionship is not something to take lightly. I had to look at it with a "sober" mind. Which means that I have to PRAY about it - it means when we're both there, between the sheets so to speak, guess who else is there? That "Power greater than ourselves". Whatever I'm doing with whoever, I'm doing it with the body and soul that God gave me.

So that raises the stakes a lot for me. I'm accountable and responsible to God as I understand Him. So I need a companion who is more than just a pretty face. I'm bringing my God into this intimate relationship. The whole purpose for me is to grow spiritually with a companion and ultimately get married or commit or however you want to say it.

So God gave me the good Direction to be careful, and to do things in a way that will allow His love to grow between my companion to be and me. But He also reminds me that nothing is more important than my relationship with Him, and that can only be kept strong if I remain sober each day, and invest in "achieving sobriety" over my lifetime. So I had to find a companion who would not feel lonely if I help other alcoholics and attend at least 4 meetings a week (this is what they taught me if I go less than 4 meetings a week - I'm taking more than what I'm giving).

Then also the major thing is I need is to have a companion who I don't have to worry about going out drinking. So if that lady is in the fellowship, I have to be extra watchful to find someone who is working a solid program of recovery, and who has been sober a few 24 hours. Or I should be together with someone who isn't an alcoholic, but understands the illness. Now again this is just me. So through these last few years, that hopeless and lonely feeling was an overblown emotion that I needed to balance with "sober" thinking. Thinking about where a realtionship would lead and what kind of person would be a good match for me.

A funny thing happened all at once late last year. I got acquanted with a beautiful lady in the fellowship with 20 years of sobriety - a lady with good solid sobriety. At the same time, I met another beautiful lady who wasn't in the fellowship, but who knew about alcoholism and had gone to Al Anon. What a treat! 11 years of nothing then suddenly two very serious companionship "candidates" appear out of no where at the same time. I asked God what to do - and the message I get is "You ask too many questions."

In other words, God's Direction was to not micromanage the details or be a control freak who needs all the answers. He just wanted me to live one day at a time - nothing different than I had been doing before this "event". So I threw my arms up in the air said "Thy will, not mine!" The Al Anon girl who I fondly call the "grammar teacher" was more interested in me than the girl in the fellowship. So we hooked up for a couple dates and found each of us like each other quite a bit. There also is that "chemistry" of attraction between us. So we talked and decided to give a relationship a try. I have what she wants, and she has what I wanted too in a lot of ways with each other.

So here we are seven months later in a real honest-to-goodness relationship. I go to meetings and still do everything I need to do in sobriety. We see each other over weekends and some weeknights and do a lot of fun things together. We get along real well - we have disagreements too but not much at all. I've suddenly realized that I can "intuitively handle things which used to baffle me". We are growing to "love" each other and are committed to each other (exclusively).

This is something that takes me giving it attention. For me, a relationship means that I do have to work and sometimes do things that I might not want to. I sometimes have to consciously give up being self-absorbed. Somehow, those years away from a realtionship has taught me how to "not sweat the little things." I appreciate being involved with someone who is sober and very attractive, and I find myself almost "intuitively" giving her my best. She also does the same for me.

Looking at it from the thread title "relationships in early recovery", I know something this normal, this satisfying, and fun would not have happened early in my recovery. The emotional swings, the pain, the lonlienss, all of those wild, crazy, but normal feelings that I had, and many of you have in early sobriety - well they're leveled out a bit. This isn't all "dramatic" and unpredictable.

I guess you can say it's "right-sized" for once in my life. But I tell you what - if it can happen to me - it can happen for anyone willing to trust God as we understand Him. But that didn't come until a few years of doing step 3 every day.
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Postby TinaL » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:07 am

GW, Thanks for that really great share!! :lol:

God Bless,
Tina
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