The Emotions Are BigLove is the single most sought after emotion we have. We all want it, and we all need it. So if its overall reputation is so popular why would feelings of love cause a relapse in addiction recovery? The answer is plain and simple; the emotions are BIG, really BIG. And for people in early recovery the need to feel something, anything other than our own feelings is even bigger. And with these great big feelings of love, we buy right in. For most of our lives, we have used drugs and alcohol to cope. Now that we are clean and sober, we are left all by ourselves to face what we were numbing in the first place. And this is really hard. That’s why so many turn to the opposite (or same) sex to take their mind off of themselves. Suddenly, you like everybody! And everybody likes you too! So here are the reasons why you should resist beginning a relationship in early recovery:
WHY #1: You Are Not ReadyIf you are still not comfortable with your own feelings, then it is totally ridiculous to think you can handle someone else’s too. Love is the joining of emotions. Love is also wonderful when it is REAL. For people in early recovery, their idea of REAL is probably a little off. No offense, we all know addicts and alcoholics are incredibly intelligent and good hearted. But the fact remains that until you are comfortable in your own skin, you are not ready for someone else’s. No pun intended.
Why #2: Focus on YourselfThink about it, aren’t YOU getting clean and sober so you can change YOUR life? Of course you are! So why bring in someone else to focus on? This is your time to love yourself for once, to be a star, and to become the person you were meant to be. We may all be in this together, but it is only YOU that can beat addiction, so focus on yourself and let the love thing happen later. You will thank us if you do.
Why #3: In Addiction Recovery, We LOVE to ObsessYou may not have noticed, but should, how we as recovering addicts tend to think of things as black and white, and all or nothing. We also tend to create scenarios in our head that are not real, and especially about the opposite sex. Our imaginations fuel our feelings, and this can become dangerous, and cause you to feel really uncomfortable. And this is called OBSESSION. We obsess over the desire to use AND what we make think is true love. Obsession happens in early recovery and can tie itself to LOVE and to substances. And for us in recovery, love is often a great pretender, and nothing is worth losing your recovery, even (what you think is) love.
So if you are not yet fully committed to your recovery you may want to ask yourself, am I committed to another person? Because for persons in new recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, it is our romantic relationships that will hold us back, and take us down. The facts don’t lie and if you ask anyone with some good clean time what has caused them to relapse, or almost relapse, quicker than anything else, the answer is always the same – it was because of a romantic relationship. For the newbie, romantic relationships take more away from you than they give- if you let it.
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