Relationships in recovery can be a tricky thing. In fact, most people probably don’t realize it, but relationships are the number one problem when it comes to relapse. Nothing else has the same amount of power to create such turmoil in our lives.
Think about it your life is made up of nothing but relationships. If you were living on a deserted island, with no one else, your life would be very different indeed. At the very least, your level of stress would certainly be lower. This points out the true nature of relationships in our recovery they are both a blessing and a curse. They bring us great joy, but they can also cause us a lot of grief. As such, they must be handled with care and approached in an intelligent way.
There are essentially 3 types of relationships in your life one with yourself, one with your higher power, and one with a significant other. There are also dozens of other relationships in your life, such as with your coworkers or your friends, but those are the 3 big ones. Let’s take a look at them in more detail.
Relationship with yourself – This is the first relationship that you must cultivate and repair in early recovery, because it forms the basis for all other relationships. For most recovering addicts and alcoholics, this means forgiving yourself. What does this mean It means that you have to let go of all of the emotional baggage that you are carrying around with you and give yourself a break. Now that you’re in recovery you’re trying to do something different. You need to forgive yourself and allow yourself to live again.
Relationship with your higher power – Again, most addicts and alcoholics in early recovery need to do some work in this area. When we first get clean and sober, we are usually far removed from our connection with our higher power because we’ve been essentially ignoring God for so long. Getting back in touch with our spiritual side is critical for success in early recovery. There is a hierarchy here with relationship building. Start out by connecting with yourself and with your higher power, and this will lead to better relationships with others. As you get more in tune with your own spiritual side, your ability to connect and empathize with others will increase.
Relationship with your significant other – This can only flourish if you have nailed the other two relationships. In early recovery, there is a danger in rushing out and finding a new relationship with a significant other. The reason this is so dangerous is because a new relationship will create a temporary and false spiritual connection, one that replaces any need to cultivate and nurture the other two relationships (with yourself and with your higher power). Those other two relationships are the ones that will keep you clean and sober, not the relationship with a significant other. But there is a strong tendency to use a new relationship as a recovery strategy without even realizing it, and many newcomers relapse because of this.
Remember that relationships are a double-edged sword. They can bring us great joy, but at the same time, they can be extremely dangerous for the newcomer.
Henderson Steve has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in Relationship
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