My boyfriend and I struggled with a codependent relationship and it was my responsibility to grow and change for myself…
Relationships are never easy, they take a lot of work. They must have trust, love and lots of communication. Relationships are also beautiful and amazing when they are healthy. That means that both people in the relationship need to be healthy themselves.
Dating when both people are in recovery is a whole other bag of worms. The person or persons in recovery need to maintain their sobriety above anything else. Their sobriety depends on working a program of recovery, a relationship with a higher power of their understanding, creating relationships with other members of the fellowship, as well as many other factors depending on the individual.
My personal experience is that both my boyfriend and I are in recovery and have been in a relationship for two and a half years now. We are both healthy and happy, but I was not this way for the first year of our relationship. Relapse is a huge part of my story and I just could not get past two or three months sober. I just could not give myself a chance at long term sobriety, even though everyone told me the longer you stay sober the easier it gets. I just could not see the forest beyond the trees and always gave up before I could get to the other side. My boyfriend, God bless his heart, stuck by me through all of this because he said he could see the person I was inside and knew I would get through this. It took me a long time to realize he couldn’t save me and that I was putting his sobriety at risk as well.
After three relapses in that year I was finally ready to get the help I needed. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate my boyfriend for the love and support he gave me through this process.
With that being said doing the work was my responsibility and I needed to do this for me and me alone. I couldn’t do it for him, my friends, my family, or anyone else.
I entered a inpatient treatment center for two months. I worked through a lot of my traumas in individual, and group therapy sessions. I cannot tell you what a healing process this was for me! My boyfriend came in for a couple of sessions with my therapist and I and we were able to establish healthy boundaries and expectations for each other and our relationship moving forward.
Pathways to long-term recovery as reported by NCBI states that recovery from addiction is a lifelong process. For me I can say that the first 90 days were the hardest and each day after that it got easier and easier to stay sober. Now this is not to say there were not ups and downs because come on this is life. Just because we get sober doesn’t mean that life doesn’t happen, but trust me it gets easier to cope with these ups and downs over time. Once I hit my first year in recovery maintaining long term sobriety became a much more attainable goal.
When in recovery and looking at your current relationship Psychology Today states that It is important to take inventory of your current relationships so you can identify those that will help or hinder your progress toward health and healing in recovery. Moreover, consider whether relationships that are not supportive of your priorities deserve your time and energy. If something doesn’t seem or feel “right,” it’s important to pay attention to that gut feeling, be able to communicate about it. Identifying and shedding unhealthy or “toxic” relationships is also part of the recovery process.
Whether you are in a relationship in or out or recovery it is always important to look at if the relationship is healthy for both individuals in it. Working on yourself and the relationship you can learn the tolls to maintain a healthy life for yourself and your relationship. Sometimes when we get sober we realize the relationship is not healthy for us to be in and while we heal in recovery we are able to make this assessment and make this choice from a healthy mindset. Whichever place you are at YOU can heal your life and life your best life in recovery!
Crystal Hampton is a 37-year-old avid writer from South Florida. She loves snuggling with her teacup yorkie, Gator, and boyfriend, Adam. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.
Image courtesy of Eric Ward.