So you say you love an addict, and what a relationship with them!
O.K. Very well then, there are several reasons as to why you might want to rethink this!
Professionals that have experience in addiction field meet the nicest people in the world. For example, take 500 folks who come in for treatment and only about one will be just plain evil. It’s a wonderful group of people. But — and this is a big but — in early recovery, they are not their best self — yet. That comes with time and continued recovery.
In early recovery, the person needs to change just about everything, so the person you date then is not who that person is going to be in six months, nine months, a year, and so forth. They are evolving. They need to learn to love themselves before they can love another.
People who have had years of active use and abuse of drugs and alcohol have not had good relationships. For the most part, their relationships have been destructive and dysfunctional. Good relationships take a bunch of work, as you know. When they were using, their relationship was exclusively with their drug. And this was often achieved by the manipulation and coercion of “loved ones.”
They lived by lying and cheating and their personal (fake) charm. Most are devastated when the denial wears off and they see what shabby shadows of themselves they had presented to the world. Often this leaves the addict a reason for leaving the relationship an moving on to the next.
Romance itself brings its own big messes and chaos. There are highs and lows and emotional turmoil. Your recovering person may have the emotional stability of a teenager, especially if he or she began use at that age. They may even use you to feel better about themselves. Your “love” may be their new feel-good drug.
What that person needs now is rest, peace and tranquility so the mind, body and spirit can heal. New love, new romances filled with spiraling feelings, do not offer that. And, quite frankly, your new-to-recovery candidate sucks at dealing with emotions.
Who is it who says we teach people how to treat us? Dr. Phil, maybe, or Turtle Man. So how you treat a recovering addict at first will not be how they will demand to be treated when in full recovery, where they have gotten back their self-respect, self-love, confidence and self-esteem.
Addiction is a brain disease. It never fully goes away. It goes into the remission department of one’s brain, but there’s no locking that door. There is always the threat of relapse. Are you willing to learn as much as possible about this disease and how to incorporate it into your life and the life of your loved one with knowledge and understanding? You may have a chance with this new love interest, then. But remember, love doesn’t conquer all. It never did, and it never does in real life. Especially when it involves addiction.
Do yourself a favor. Wait. Just wait. Be patient. If you can’t, ask yourself if you are into rescuing others, “fixing” others, taking care of a full-grown human — or are you perhaps trying to rewrite your personal history with mom or dad, and are you yourself a candidate for therapy perhaps?
So hold off. Learn all you can about the disease and allow your addict time to heal. They desperately need to focus on their recovery, not romance. Their time should be centered on repairing the damage their addiction has caused, the hard work and concentration of building a new sober lifestyle, of treatment and gaining sober supports.
Your guy or gal is not in any way ready for that romance in early recovery. They need a huge tuneup. But let me tell you this: When they get that tuneup, you will have one of the nicest and most awesome folks in the world by your side.
In closing here I will ask you this, do you really love them? If so you just might have to give them up, Not giving up on support and engorging them for their recovery, but give them space to evolve into that beautiful butterfly struggling out of that cocoon. It is their battle an only one with Gods help will break the cycle of addiction!
So ask yourself this, do you really love them? And if so love is patient, love is gentle, love is never boastful and love is what the addict needs for their journey towards recovery. Please comment below if you want to add anymore on this topic, thank you and God bless.