Avoiding Relationships in Early Sobriety: Why It Is So Highly Suggested

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

At the end of the day, nobody wants to be entirely alone in this world. Some people might be more introverted or even prefer to isolate, but those people and all the others still crave companionship to some degree. It ties into our primal nature and is just who we are. We want help. We want love. We want friendship. We want somebody to understand. The thing is, well, we can’t really be there for somebody else if we’re not there for ourselves first.

Most of us used and abused narcotics and booze for years- and eventually wound up lying in the gutter. Our pockets had been drained, we’d “grinched” everything we could get our hands on, and our mind and bodies were just so tired. In a lot of cases, relationships weren’t even a serious thing. How could we tend to the company of another if the chemicals always came before anybody or anything? Some of us managed to straggle through and half-ass a relationship or two with a significant other, but they never could amount to much without us seeking to fix ourselves. Then in best case scenarios, we get sober and are ready to turn our lives around. As far as we’ve been concerned, the world has been on pause while we were adjusting to this new life. There are places to go and people to see.

With a jump, skip and a hop it’s back to the races. By races of course I’m now speaking about the dating game- complete with mingling, fraternizing, and all that jazz. Yet if this is human nature, why is avoiding relationships in early sobriety of importance? It’s a recommendation of course, but there are no concrete requirements to any of the anonymous programs per say. It’s advised to take baby steps and ease yourself into this new role of being the new you.

Watch Out for Distractions  

It’s amazing how different addicts and alcoholics are once they get clean compared to when they were actively using. It’s a complete Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde turn around when you place recovery and a 12 step program of sorts on the table. The 12 steps and these anonymous programs are our saving grace. However, there are a few things that can ruin this new fangled path we’ve created and began to enjoy. Of those things that can mentally deter us, getting into relationships takes the cake for many.

Let’s take a good look at reality. Once we decide to fancy somebody and begin a bond with this person, whatever the manner, we’re taking a leap of faith in sorts. We never can predict exactly how this person will end up being once they show a bit of their true colors. I think we all can agree that it takes a little while to truly get to know somebody or even just get the gist of what they’re about. In some cases sure- it’s Romeo and Juliet and the stars have shined in your favor. In many other cases, a person were originally infatuated with becomes our new nightmare. Everybody at some point has been in a toxic relationship or two at some point in their romantic lives- it happens. Everybody also has a threshold that breaks from these interactions after some time and can make even the happiest of individuals miserable. This right here is one of the key reasons for avoiding relationships in early sobriety. Even with this scenario happening, 9 times out of 10 we don’t really realize how toxic and hurtful these relationships can be. In early sobriety our rationale is still very much skewed whether we like to see it or now. The drugs and alcohol are out of our bodies but our minds take much longer to rejuvenate.

Love is one of the strongest things to exist and is a force that can’t be reckoned with. It’s essentially what makes the world go round. On the other hand, love is one of the most powerful and addictive drugs out there. Don’t forget, as addicts and alcoholics, we tend to become addicted in a sense to everything that brings us joy. In a vast majority of cases, we got high to feel good and to numb away an emptiness inside. It slowly became out filling a void, we then become dependent on it, and well- you know the rest. The concept trying to be delivered is that we chase that feeling through other individuals when we aren’t okay with ourselves still. If you think about it, just because the substances are taken away doesn’t mean that the problems are all fixed. Yes they were the root to all the debauchery and mishaps, but the problem came from us. Therefore the solution comes from within also. It is not until we can learn to be introspective and get to know ourselves that we should be attempting to learn the inner workings of another human being.

Many factors all play along with this when understanding the balance with avoiding relationships in early sobriety. Think about the way we’ve handled ourselves over the course of our using and how we present ourselves now. We’ve been pretty selfish and self- centered. We’ve manipulated and conned people. We’ve enabled and rescued. We’ve been unproductive and emotionally numb. This may apply for some more than others but most can see where I’m heading with this. All it takes is for one toxic relationship to occur, this person starts getting intoxicated, and your feet are dragged out from under you quicker than you may realize. Remember nobody wants to be alone. If our loved one is going back to getting high, logic and heart kind of tell us to follow right? Wrong. We have to practice setting our boundaries, not just for others, but set them with ourselves.

Avoiding a Relationship With Yourself?

woman suffering from a toothache

Everything is gray and there is no more color to life anymore? Recovering from chemical dependency will help us to be able to truly feel again. It takes getting clean and sober before our senses and true happiness come back to us. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-844-489-0836 or visit www.firststepsrecovery.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.

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