RELATIONSHIPS IN EARLY SOBRIETY

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE /ADDICTION
February 3, 2020
Addiction Rehab Process
Addiction Rehab Process
March 19, 2020

RELATIONSHIPS IN EARLY SOBRIETY

"Let us get him married, that will teach him some responsibility and his wife can then get him to stop drinking/using. " Numerous lives have been destroyed and distorted by this premise of the family.

The individual might stop drinking or using for some time but under the pressures of a new relationship soon succumbs and things go from bad to worse.

Rebuilding, mending bridges in relationships in recovery and sobriety that have been affected during using and entering, creating and maintaining new ones are a process that requires a lot of awareness primarily on the part of the one in early sobriety.

Developing The Relationship with Oneself in Treatment

  • Drinking and using addictively changes one as a person. One’s mental space is occupied only with using. One identifies with the persona one becomes after using it. “Who one is”, is a distorted version far from reality.
  • In treatment, one gets to first identify the falsity of oneself, through sharing, writing, meditations, etc. One learns to deal with one’s past, detach oneself from perceived painful emotions, and accept responsibility for one’s life in its entirety.
  • One learns to become comfortable with oneself and experience joy and happiness in not using.
  • Associations between fun and using are broken during treatment .
  • An in-depth understanding of one’s sexuality is reached through writing, sharing, and counseling. Sex and sexuality experiences with and without using are dealt with openly and honestly. Guilt and shame associated with it are dealt with. Misconceptions and myths regarding the same are also understood. This is an important aspect of treatment as most relapses occur due to a sexual connotation.
  • From looking at one’s life experiences one is able to identify who is one’s true friends, friends for just using or friends with benefits. With the support of experiential Counsellors, one learns to be kind, compassionate, and non -judgemental to oneself.
  • One learns one is good by oneself. This is known by the right choices made in every area of one’s life.
  • One’s relationship with oneself should always be the focus of priority. This enables one to build strong relationships outside.
  • The right treatment program would also give equal importance to family co-dependency counseling as the loved ones around are equally affected by the problem.
  • Tips to Keep in Mind in Relating Once Back Home

    Recovery Should Be The Number One Priority

    Protecting one’s sobriety is the core . Avoiding those who drink or use substances when one wants to build new relationships is important.

    In reconnecting with old friends, one needs to stay away from those who drink or use or meet them when they are not using, in a coffee shop or a place that is fun or in activities that are healthy.

    Rebuilding Relations with Family Parents Siblings or Spouse

    Even if the family takes counseling for themselves, several times they can look at you with old eyes. Building trust in them towards you will take time. If they are suspicious of you or pick up an argument or fight, throwing the past at you, remember, You have given them enough reasons in the past for them to think and behave the way they do and you are somewhere responsible for that. Your strength of sobriety is not based on the support or lack of it from your family.

    Relationships with The Opposite Gender

    In early recovery one must avoid getting into a new relationship with the opposite gender as one is still strengthening the one with oneself. Even later, choosing somebody who does not drink or use would be ideal for one’s safety.

    Being honest about one’s using with the new individual if one is keen on creating a long term relating is very important. Transparency and the ability to being oneself should be the key parameters for choosing a relationship. Just because you have an addiction history does not automatically make the other person "normal" or better than you.

    If any relating is becoming abusive, dishonest, secretive, unhealthy then one needs to break it and move on or away from it. Since one works through identifying past patterns of relationships in residential treatment, it acts as an awareness point to realize when one is slipping into old patterns of behavior or even old patterns of choices in partners.

    Since one works through identifying past patterns of relationships in residential treatment, it acts as an awareness point to realize when one is slipping into old patterns of behavior or even old patterns of choices in partners.

    Co- Dependency Can Be a Problem

    Manipulating behaviors in one and an unhealthy need to please in the other are signs of a Codependent relating. There need to be healthy boundaries in relating. Be aware of this and step back if you come across this even in a close family. Toxic relationships need to be avoided.

    Take It Slow

    Do not rush the pace of any relating. One needs to be patient and understanding of oneself regarding sex and develop a partnership that is mutually patient and understanding. Do not rush into marriage before stabilizing one’s recovery which can be fragile in the first year and hence needs more nurturing.

    Continue to maintain regular follow-ups at your treatment place and with your counselors. They are there to help you. Never hesitate to pick up that phone and call if you are even emotionally disturbed. Always prioritize your recovery over anybody else or anything else.

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