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Old 03-22-2011, 06:01 PM
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New to this world...

I found this forum looking for information on dating someone in recovery.

Yes, I am a "normie", but as my name would suggest I have my own issues as well. This post will just stick to him though

Three months ago I moved in with someone in recovery. At the time I had no clue what this meant. "I went to rehab two years ago, but I have no problems now" didn't seem too insane to me. Everyone has a past, right? This quickly escalated into not being sober anymore, having a junkie boyfriend move in, just all kinds of nightmares. I am in the process of moving out and am very happy.

Her best friend is an AMAZING guy. He's always the guy that comes to pick her up and dust her off, take her back to rehab, get her back in the program, whatever. He's been her (and her parents) knight in shining armor for two years. I met him a month ago and we have seriously fallen for each other.

Everything seems perfect, but he's an addict. He spent 10 years of his life ingesting, smoking, and shooting everything he could get his hands on. He's been sober for two years, worked his steps twice already. He seems honestly more put-together than I am! He isn't bothered by me drinking or smoking around him, and he seems like a completely different person from the person his friends describe him as, fresh out of rehab.

I can't lie though and say I'm not worried about falling in love with this man and in a year or two going through relapse hell and all kinds of crazy stuff. AA and NA and rehabs and honestly anything other than pot is just totally foreign to me. He is great about answering any questions I have, is really open with where is his and everything. He seems honestly like the perfect guy if it weren't for the drugs. I think the roommate relapse really scarred me.

Any advice for someone completely new to this world? How likely is it that if he's attending meetings regularly and never missing a call from his sponsor that something could happen? He said I'd see a relapse way before he started using. But how does that happen when I'd be the person he'd want to be hiding it from?
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:33 PM
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Welcome to SR!

I dont have a way to predict your friends future.

I have learned in my recovery program to live in today.
I have learned not to borrow trouble from tomorrow.

If you like your friend for who he is today, terrific!
I wish you a peaceful journey.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:54 PM
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Hi me a year ago!

The learning curve on dating someone in recovery is huge. The fact that he is really dedicated to his staying clean is GOOD. From what I observed, it is very hard work.

I'll just share what I experienced.... in the beginning he seemed to have it all together regarding recovery. He answered my questions, seemed headed on the right path, very active in AA/NA blah blah blah. I really admired his dedication!

Then Relapse. My entry into bizarro world.

I didn't see it coming, I had no idea it was happening and I realize now that he was working very hard at showing me his best side and to come across as really having a handle on his recovery (he was perfect too).

There were a number of factors I'm sure that lead to his relapse but to this day I don't know what really triggered it. He vanished for a month. They do that.

He got back up and is in a program long term. I'm just the supportive cheerleader (rah!) and that is the extent of my involvement in his recovery work. If your friend is doing his work, that is the most important thing.

As for you, just enjoy the time you spend and take it day by day. That is the best way when you are involved with someone in recovery. All that other stuff about his sponser, meetings, etc doesn't matter. It isn't yours to worry about, it is his deal. Trust me on this.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Babyblue View Post
Hi me a year ago!

The learning curve on dating someone in recovery is huge. The fact that he is really dedicated to his staying clean is GOOD. From what I observed, it is very hard work.

I'll just share what I experienced.... in the beginning he seemed to have it all together regarding recovery. He answered my questions, seemed headed on the right path, very active in AA/NA blah blah blah. I really admired his dedication!

Then Relapse. My entry into bizarro world.

I didn't see it coming, I had no idea it was happening and I realize now that he was working very hard at showing me his best side and to come across as really having a handle on his recovery (he was perfect too).

There were a number of factors I'm sure that lead to his relapse but to this day I don't know what really triggered it. He vanished for a month. They do that.

He got back up and is in a program long term. I'm just the supportive cheerleader (rah!) and that is the extent of my involvement in his recovery work. If your friend is doing his work, that is the most important thing.

As for you, just enjoy the time you spend and take it day by day. That is the best way when you are involved with someone in recovery. All that other stuff about his sponser, meetings, etc doesn't matter. It isn't yours to worry about, it is his deal. Trust me on this.
THANK. YOU. SO. MUCH.

Honestly thats pretty much exactly what I'm envisioning. I know I should take things a day at a time, and thats what I plan to do. Thanks for reminding me that this is his thing... I know that its going to be a huge part of him forever (or I guess I hope it will, because thats how he will stay sober)... Its just a lot to think about I guess? For now, I too remain a cheerleader
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:37 PM
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It will be a part of him forever, esp if he has to work hard to stay clean and sober.

There is a lot to think about from your end and your end only.

It is very easy to get sucked into that 'world' but try your hardest not to. Stay you! Don't lose yourself is what I'm trying to say.

For me, the less thinking and figuring out I do, the more peaceful I feel. I have a hard time with taking things slowly. It is helpful to respond to your post and remind myself of this too.

One day at a time.
Breathe.
Live your life.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:56 PM
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I wouldn't tell you to RUN, but I WOULD suggest moving VERY slowly in getting involved with this man. As a recovering alcoholic, myself, I am well aware of the risk of relapse. OTOH, my first husband recovered completely and has been sober 31 years. I would be shocked, truly astounded, if he relapsed. Of course, anything is possible. But people who work a good recovery program are reasonably good risks, I think. Look for real deep-down honesty. That, in my observation, is a key sign that someone is doing well.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:51 AM
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Here's the thing...

...a new relationship is a risk regardless. And, recovery is not exactly the same for everybody-- some people truly lose the desire to use, others have to fight that desire hourly until the day they die. Also, the risk of relapse is there every single day. It just is. Learning to live with that risk is key for the person in recovery, and for the people around them.

My wife has been sober for 8 months after ten years of drunkenness. A friend of mine, after 127 days of sobriety, stopped attending AA and started drinking again. Another woman I know has relapsed three times in 30 years, and is currently on her second year of sobriety. And, a great man I know has been sober for 14 years since he was released from prison, just quit smoking, and has a very successful business. There are no guarantees.

I will tell you this-- if you ever get the feeling that he is using again, he is. If you find yourself finding ways to convince yourself you are wrong about that, welcome to the ninth circle of hell.

Lastly, if you do decide to pursue a relationship with this man, I highly recommend you begin attending Alanon meetings. It will help you have a clearer understanding around almost every issue surrounding alcoholism, and relationships with alcoholics.

Take care and good luck.

Cyranoak
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