Your journey into recovery is a very sensitive process. To ensure long-term sobriety, you have to go through medical detox, possibly attend a rehabilitation center, and regularly attend therapy sessions. Medical detox is done so your body can be cleansed of the toxins it has taken on from addictive habits. A rehabilitation center will help a person live in a substance-free environment so they can comfortably deal with withdrawal and not be tempted to use drugs/alcohol again. Then, therapy is used to ensure a continuous sober life for the individual. However, there are some things that can have a massive effect on whether or not the person stays sober and has a successful recovery. One of the biggest things that can affect a person’s sobriety is dating but we believe it is possible and we have tips to help. Also, sex in sobriety is a widely talked about issue. We will explore sober sex and sober dating in this article!
Dating while in recovery is tough because you want to take care of the other person, but how will you take care of yourself? Recovery is all about self-care and finding ways to take care of yourself so you can live a successful sober life. This can be difficult to do if your priorities are set on your relationship and not your sobriety. However, for some people, they are already in committed relationships while going through recovery. Today, we’re going to discuss how you can live a successful sober life, even if you are currently dating someone. Below are some tips we suggest you follow.
Tip #1: Continually Attend Therapy
As we mentioned previously, in order to live a successful sober life, attending regular therapy sessions is highly suggested. Therapy is a great way to vent out feelings to help you better understand why you are feeling them. Therapy can help you gain some insight as to why you act the way you do and overall learn more about your functional patterns of behavior. It’s a great way for you to figure out what caused your addiction in the first place so that you can fight any sort of desire to use again in the future. It can also help you manage triggers, which can normally cause someone to relapse into their old behaviors. For those who are looking to date while in recovery, therapy can help them assess whether or not it would be beneficial to date at their stage in recovery. For those who are already dating, therapy can help a person better sort out their relational quarrels and help them develop better personal skills to ensure a healthy relationship and long-term sobriety.
Tip #2: Your Sobriety Always Comes First
Relationships are a two-way street, there’s a little bit of giving and there’s a little bit of taking. However, if you are in a relationship, but you’re also going through recovery, you need to make sure you and your partner put your sobriety first. If you and your partner are truly meant to be, they will want to put your sobriety first as well. It won’t always be an easy thing to do, but it is absolutely necessary for you and your relationship. If you aren’t already in a relationship but are thinking about getting into one, you need to be upfront and honest with the person and tell them about your past struggled with addiction. You need to make sure they know you are going to put your sobriety first and the relationship second until you are fully recovered and your sobriety is strong. Having sex in recovery is a major decision and you’ll need to make sure you mentally and spiritually capable of being in a vulnerable state and having sober sex.
Tip #3: Break Up, If Necessary
Relationships take work, but they should never take so much that they leave you feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. If you’re in a relationship that is filled with arguments, jealousy, or any other toxic behaviors like this, it’s best to break it off. This goes for any relationship, but especially for people going through recovery. Toxic relationships can cause a person to start to develop toxic behaviors of their own. This is a slippery slope into substance abuse. If a person feels stuck in a toxic relationship, it may be hard for them to break up with the person, so they may seek substances to numb any negative emotions the relationship is bringing out. If this starts happening to you, you need to end the relationship as quickly as possible. Toxic relationships will put your sobriety in jeopardy.
Tip #4: If You’re Not Dating, Take Some Time Off From It
If you are a person going into recovery without a partner, that’s okay. If anything, not having a significant other during this process will help you better understand what you need in order to live a happy sober life. This is a time where you can focus on what you need and what that means for your new life in sobriety. Most rehabilitation programs actually suggest you take a year to focus on yourself and not get into any relationships. Of course, we want you to be happy, but at the end of the day, sobriety will make you happiest. You need time to learn to cope with this new lifestyle and find ways to ensure it lasts forever before you jump into a relationship. Your number one priority during this time should be you. Some people even use a relationship as a means of suppressing their desires to use substances. If the relationship doesn’t work out, their foundation for sobriety crumbles because the relationship was their rock. This is a very unhealthy way to go about recovery, and relationships for that matter.
For those of you that are already in a relationship during your recovery, keep these tips in mind, they will help continually recover. Make sure to attend regular therapy sessions so you can learn how to cope with this newfound lifestyle. Always make sure your sobriety is the priority, not the relationship. Of course, make sure your significant other is happy, but find a healthy balance between relational-care and self-care. If the relationship grows toxic and is starting to have an effect on your recovery, it may be time to break it off. Lastly, for those who are in recovery but are not dating or are looking to date, make sure to take some time for yourself before you bring another person into your journey through recovery. You don’t want to use the relationship as a crutch during recovery and you don’t want to get into an unhealthy one that causes you to relapse. We suggest you take a year for yourself, find out why you developed a substance abuse disorder, and develop strong coping mechanisms to ensure long-term sobriety.
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