Five Fast Facts about Relationships in Recovery
When you are in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction, whether you are just starting the recovery process or you have been in and out of treatment for a while now, one of the factors that you may find yourself feeling uncertain and unsure about is what to do about relationships in recovery. There are certain rules and guidelines that can help you to navigate the murky waters of relationships of all kinds (romantic, friendship, professional, and familial) as you are recovering from your drug or alcohol addiction. Get to know a few fast facts about relationships in recovery so that you can be sure that you are doing what is right for you and for your addiction recovery.
1 You Cannot Go Through Recovery without Building Relationships
Many people do not understand just how important relationships are in the addiction recovery process. Oftentimes, people are told that they should not pursue relationships early on in the addiction recovery process or that they should focus only on themselves for a prolonged period of time. This is not completely accurate. Recovery requires you to build relationships with other people. After all, isolation is one of the symptoms of addiction and is a surefire path to relapse. Relationships in recovery are important and you cannot deny yourself relationships if you want to be successful in recovery.
2 There Are Numerous Kind of Relationships
There are many different types of relationships. As you move through recovery, you will develop relationships with your counselors and therapists, your peers and fellow recovering addicts in treatment and group therapy, and with other staff members in the treatment center. These people will be your support system as you move through treatment. These bonds that you create with your care team and peers in treatment can last well beyond your return to your regular life. Many people stay in close contact with the people they went through recovery with and even attend support group meetings together or rely on each other as a support resource well beyond rehab.
3 A Major Part of Addiction Recovery is Rebuilding Relationships
When you began abusing drugs or alcohol, it likely put a serious strain on your existing relationships. This includes your relationships with your family, your spouse or significant other, your friends, and anyone else in your life. A major aspect of your addiction recovery will be working toward rebuilding these relationships with people that are important in your life.
Rebuilding relationships in recovery is not going to be simple or easy. It requires a great deal of effort on your part and on the part of your loved ones. However, your therapists will help you to reconnect with the loved ones that have a positive influence and impact in your life. You may even go through couple’s counseling and family therapy to help in the process of mending those relationships. If you are interested in rebuilding relationships in recovery, there are resources available to assist you.
4 You Should Not Begin a Romantic Relationship While in Rehab
While it is understandable that you will feel affection and kinship to the people that are in rehab with you, it is not a good idea to start a new romantic relationship with anyone while you are in rehab and treatment. Your priority and focus while you are in those first few weeks of addiction treatment needs to be on yourself and your recovery. Dating a recovering addict is difficult for anybody but when two people are recovering from addiction at the same time, building a healthy relationship and properly recovering can be tough.
Once rehab is over and you are back in your regular life and routine, if you still feel that romantic affection for someone you were in treatment with, you can begin pursuing that relationship them. Romantic relationships in recovery during rehab can distract you and cause you to lose sight of the real reason you are in recovery and rehab.
5 Be Cautious and Conscientious When You Begin a New Romance
After you have completed your addiction treatment program and are in recovery, you will want to be cautious in pursuing any new romantic relationships. The infatuation you have with a new romantic partner can sometimes be all-consuming much like your addiction to drugs or alcohol. In fact, some people in recovery become addicted to a person in a way that mimics their addiction to a substance.
Proceed with any romantic relationships slowly and with caution. Be conscientious about your feelings and actions and be open and honest about your recovery with your new romantic partner. Dating a recovering addict requires a person to be extremely understanding and to become a support system for you if the relationship continues in the long-term. If you do this and rely on your support group for help when you are unsure, you can be sure your romantic pursuits are healthy and successful.
Relationships in recovery are inevitable, and by understanding these important facts about building relationships in your addiction recovery, you can be sure you are doing what is right for yourself and your addiction treatment progress.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.