Alas, there are lots of emotional casualties left bleeding slowly to death as a result of one of the favorite pastimes of both early recovery participants and not-so-early recovery participants.Yes, dating in sobriety is a tricky obstacle course to navigate.
So what about after that first year, when we’re supposedly healthy enough to dip a toe back into the sea of love?So we’ve all heard on numerous occasions the suggestion in the rooms that unless you’re already in a relationship when entering recovery, you shouldn’t get into one in the first year. How often do we hear about people finding the love of their lives in a meeting within the first month off the booze? And how often do we hear of people going back out because the love of their life turned out to be a slightly psychotic stalker type and not the loving spiritual being they’d imagined? The barroom drama of screwing around, jealousy and sexual competitiveness does not magically disappear when people quit drinking or using or both.If you want to witness some of the most twisted relationship encounters, you need go no further than the rooms of recovery…of any kind.With the absence of our beloved chemicals to kill the pain of rejection and betrayal and hoist up our self esteem, how do we cope?Well we go back out, we move onto the next unsuspecting soul or we grab ourselves by the back of the neck and get well.I’ve dated only one man from inside the rooms and to say it brought up a new set of challenges is an understatement.
Let’s face it, the issue of dating and finding love seems to be an eternal conundrum for all humans since the beginning of time, which is of course why it’s been the focus of so much literature. Lots of desire, passion and drama for the most ardent of romance fans.And of course let’s not forget Kathy and Heathcliff from .Personally, I think it will take me a lifetime to become healthy enough to be trusted with another person’s love and attention.My hat’s off to anyone who has it together enough to go there after a year.I’m four-and-a-half years into recovery and I’m still that “scary as shit girl, steer well clear” when it comes to romance. I have roughly the emotional maturity of a 15-year old when it comes to men. I think my Higher Power put me in a home group with men that I wasn’t remotely attracted to, which helped me avoid the bed hopping antics of some of my fellow recovery members; this was a life saver, in my opinion.Or maybe they didn’t find me in the least bit attractive, because I never seemed to get hit on. It’s pretty cool being able to walk into a room without the memory of previous sexual antics being flashed in my face and disturbing my spirituality.