I am dating a recovering alcoholic
When people stop using and start dating right away, they run the risk of seeking comfort in relationships instead of drugs.
“Love addiction becomes a concern when infatuation replaces the ‘high’ of drug use,” notes Desloover.
This control is attractive at first, but soon becomes controlling or abusive” says Desloover.
“As women grow more confident and emotionally healthy in recovery, their self-esteem and confidence improves, and they begin to actually like themselves.
Many recovering addicts benefit from ongoing support to help them work through their insecurities, build confidence, and learn to feel and express emotions in healthy ways.
By working your program, you will discover who you are and what you can bring to your relationships, rather than what you can get from them.
“Whether the object of the addiction is drugs or an unhealthy attachment to another person, the individual is searching for something outside themselves to fill the emotional void within.” The “rush” of a new relationship can be emotionally damaging and can derail even the most valiant recovery effort.
In most cases, individuals who can’t refrain from having a relationship in the first year of recovery are missing an opportunity to address the core issues underlying their addictions.
Recovering addicts have to re-learn healthy intimacy by overcoming feelings of anger, isolation, fear and distrust and gradually begin to trust themselves to be able to share their hopes, fears and dreams with others.
“In the first year, stay close to your program and figure out who you are,” Desloover advises.
They may have other mental health issues, compulsions and cross-addictions that need to be addressed as well, before they can truly focus on a relationship. The focus of the first year in recovery should be on working your program, practicing the 12 Steps and meeting with your sponsor, counsels Desloover, not on the distraction of relationships. Desloover asks her clients, “Would you want to date you right now? Early in recovery, people tend to have high expectations of others without thinking about what they themselves are bringing to the table.