We addicts and alcoholics are fast movers- literally and figuratively. We’re all about instant gratification, and if something- like “love”- feels good, we will throw all caution to the wind and pounce faster than a tomcat on a barn mouse. It’s just how we’re built; throw in some attachment, abandonment, and co-dependent issues, and we’re talking a match made in heaven! In all fairness, newcomers aren’t the only addicts and alcoholics who have a tendency to go all-in when they probably shouldn’t, but you’ll see that, and hopefully only observe from a distance, down the road.
Sobriety gifts us with the ability to improve ourselves, and in order to hone that ability, we have to give ourselves the chance to heal. There is a reason why treatment centers strongly discourage new relationships in early recovery. They are a huge distraction to the purpose of getting sober: YOU. Yes, you are the point of getting sober because there is no one more important than you, and if someone else comes into the picture, recovery goes to the wayside. There’s no reason to throw a tantrum about “never being able to date again,” because you will, and you will date a lot, if you so choose. Until then, give yourself some breathing room and enjoy getting to know yourself first. Remember that recovery is a personal journey, a journey of the self. Getting to know you and another person at the same time can be challenging. Balance is something you are learning how to do in early recovery, not something you will immediately excel in. Additionally, trying to create a relationship with another person when you are learning how to have a relationship with yourself is also challenging. Many people seek out relationships in order to avoid a relationship with themselves. What you learn in recovery is this: all the things which might, in some way, inspire you to use, have to be changed. If the root of your behaviors has been avoiding yourself, it’s time to invite yourself to a couple dozen coffee dates.
Another reason to ‘slow your roll’ in early sobriety is because not everyone you meet will be the picture of mental health. Addicts and alcoholics are a sick bunch, and some are sicker than others. We are a work in progress, and some people are a little further along than others. Give yourself the space you need to determine who is worthy of your time.
If you’re still struggling, try a different type of instant gratification: call us and come get sober. It feels good, doesn’t need a sock drawer, and you won’t regret it. You can recover, and we can help you through it in a beautiful, small, and supportive community. The Lakehouse Recovery Center is available 24/7, toll-free at (877) SOBER | (877) 762-3707. Don’t wait, pounce on this opportunity to begin living a really, really good life in recovery.