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Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment


Sfj Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Many of you in the 12-step programs know the suggestions. One of them is that people in early recovery should avoid dating during the first year of recovery and clean time. This also means no sex during the first year.

The old joke says it like this:
“It’s actually OK to have sex during the first year of recovery, and then in the second year, you can have sex with a partner.” Ha ha.

But seriously, I’ve heard the same thing in rehab: “No dating during the first year of recovery.” CMA and NA people have often said the same thing.

(This does not apply to married people living with their spouse in a monogamous relationship)

Now then, especially if you are a 12-stepper: Do you agree with this and why?

Anyone else care to comment?
     Replies...
imlostinky Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
As usual I am nosing in - I'm married and not a 12 stepper -yet.
As usual, I do have an opinion.

Yes,I do agree.

Why? A few reasons come to mind-
It is too easy to get wrapped up in the new person and lose focus on who your focus needs to be on.
You.

You will go through a lot of tremendous change that first year.

It's like eating a biscuit that isn't done in the middle-
the biscuit can be eaten -but it tastes much better if you are patient and let it cook.
Maybe not the best analogy- but I am eating so it came to mind

In my opinion, better to get to know you first then go on to know someone else.
scottlock Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
ALARMED!!!

Do I have a problem?? Am I addicted to sex?
I can go without a relationship... I have for the past 3 years and I'm only 23.... But I highly doubt my abality to go without sex...I go mad... I'm only human!!!!!!!!

Sex is pretty much the only time I can forget my cravings...
Sfj Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Do you think it is possible to be sane, celibate, clean, and human at the same time?

If you were to accomplish this, consider how much strength of character you would have.

Compared to the alternative, what would be the wisest choice?
ROSE NINA Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
it's sad to say but relationship for me meant being insane& depressed. i was in very bad relationship that lasted about 8 months. i dont recommend it to anyone. no sex in the 1st year. no no no
nine
years
clean
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Quote:
Now then, especially if you are a 12-stepper: Do you agree with this and why?
Yes, I agree with this, because it is smart.
loverofa
meth
addict
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
I must agree also, I met my sweetie when he was very fresh in the recovery process. Although he relapsed..many times. Thank the gods above he is a little shy of 18 months.

The roller coaster was/is mind blowing. I believe God/"Higher Power" put us together at that time to help each other through.

Going from hyper-sexual to None in a new relationship is tuff. You wonder whats up? If you put your ego aside. You realize that your partner is fighting a battle. It really has nothing to do with you. I still forget that.

So it is not the best thing to go into a relationship in early recovery. "work on self"

As SFJ says about his wife. It takes a certain person to stick it through.

"Lostinky" great words.

P.S. After the fact I would not trade my love for him, it has made me a stronger person, also..
(I hope I am making since. )
kierra6 Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
I'm six months into my program.

There's no way I'd even want to go on a date.

I'm just beginning to know myself. I've got a ton of garbage in my life and a huge mess to clean up.

Sex and relationships are messy by nature, even good ones. All that time, care, consideration, thought, energy, nurturing and hard work...frankly, I just don't have it to give to someone else.

Even thinking of it makes me cringe! My judgement has been impaired, my thinking is still screwed up and I am damaged. I need time to heal and repair.

Relationships require trust.

Would you trust a car with a new coat of paint over rust? Might look good at first, but it'll start falling apart when the road gets bumpy!
scottlock Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
I gess I have a lot to learn...

I'm hoppfully getting to know myself...I know I have no idea who I am...

I know I wouldnt be able to handle a relationship right now... I just have "100% no strings attatched never see them again" sex... all a understanding... don't leave em thinking I'll call or there is anything more to it and tell them upfront ... works well... I'll chat more about this when I get to NA...

Below are { and I mean no offence } the reasons I think it Ridicules

..Ok... if we recovering addicts don't know ourselves { that I don't dissagree with } and are getting to know ourselves then I have to asume that still useing addicts don't know themselves also.. What then about all those useing addicts who don't know themselves get into a relationship while useing that somehow works { I've seen many good examples } Then some how both manage to stop useing and stay together? WHATS THE DIFFERENCE IN GETTING INTO A SOMEHOW HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP USEING THAN WHEN YOUR RECOVERING? Is it just to prove how dedicated to your recovery you are?
Would a 12 step program ask you to break up with a partner while your recovering? I don't think so... if so how can they expect you not to get in one if one should happen to pop up when your not expecting it...

sorry I just dont get it.
scottlock Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
sorry I've just been thinking alot about all this myslef...

Just wanted to stress the difference between sex and a relationship... there completly different things... at least to me..
kierra6 Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Nothing was ever said about breaking up with a partner.

I haven't met too many people in meetings who have a partner.

Just my thoughts:

"No strings attached" sex? One time only, then out the door? One might presume this means one-night stands with strangers. Risky. Where would one meet such people? Personally, I've found most one-night stands in a bar. I'd find it very hard to hang out in a bar and not drink. That would be risking my sobriety.

Oh, yeah...I have had total strangers knock on my door with a 6-pack in hand wanting to get to know me better. Saw me at the convenience store and thought I looked "cool" and wanted to hang out. That's just gross, creepy and scary.

I can't remember the last time I had sex straight. That just might make it a trigger for me. Big temptation.

My ex showed up a few months ago. As a friend, he said. I'm pretty sure it was a long-distance booty call. He was using and he tried to get me to drink with him. He got pretty flirty and he was acting horny. Situation felt really dicey to me. No telling where he's been and it was evident he had a serious infection. Nope. The idea is for me to get healthy, not sick, or sicker. I also didn't care for the idea of feeling like I'd been used.

Not having sex usually pisses him off. If he's denied, an argument ensues, then escalates. Potential violence...I'd find myself angry, hurt and resentful. Maybe even scared. Bet I could use a drink to calm down...

Let's say I met someone at a meeting, found this person to be attractive...but it's only sex. One time thing. What comes later? I just used someone. How will I feel about that later. Would I feel guilty?

Doesn't matter what one uses. It's still using.

So...I'm single, sexless and serene. I like it.
ian Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
The only real value (from the addicts point of view) I can see to tell people to abstain from sex or relationships, and I know they STRONGLY 'suggest' than the men hang around men and women hand around women, I don't know how it is in Alanon or Naranon but that's how it usually is in AA/NA.

So like I said, the only thing I see that could go wrong is if an addict enters a relationship that becomes sexual, they don't have the 'normal' escape to go back to if something happens after they get attached to a partner and start running in their head all these wonderful scenarios of what might happen between them and if it doesn't really work out, especially if it's the addict who gets the raw end of the deal and gets hurt, they will have a strong urge to want to subside some of the emotional pain and usually the only way people in early recovery know how to do that is relapse.

Personally, I didn't have a lot of friends when I got clean since I cut contacts with everyone (including my fiance of that we were living together for 4 years), a couple of months later I moved out of L.A. to northern cali, I didn't know anyone and I was very lonely a lot, but it wasn't because I forbid myself to have girlfriends or even friends, it was just because I was putting my life back together and I wasn't even in good enough shape to have something to offer a women in a relationship or a real friend.

It just took some time and it came naturally, most drug addicts need to cut all ties with anyone who uses or sells drugs to avoid dangerous drug using situations.

If someone is entering a relationship in early recovery, of course being fully honest with their partner, I don't see a problem with it at all. Relationships are a part of life, I'm not suggesting you go and get a girl/guy after you've been clean for two weeks just to make yourself feel better for a night or for instant gratification, but it does come naturally and if some people become less isolated and more social in the beginning of their recovery, I really see no harm in that.

Hopefully is something goes wrong in the relationship the chemical dependant individual will have the adequate support system they we're supposed to be working within anyway, otherwise the risk of relapse is pretty high since the emotional pain is strong at the time.

Men and women have sex, it's a fact. If a relationship was built on one person meeting another 'just to be friends' for a while, well, it's not very often that a man and a women would be friends, there is usually some kind of attraction there and at some point it usually plays out in the relationship. I think every one, not just addict needs to ask themselves before entering a sexual relationship if this is really what they want and if it's not just some self destruction sequence going off (like an addict just looking for a good time for one night).

If your serious about your recovery just take these things into account. Another thing to look out for is if your hanging around 'ex-addicts' all the time (in meetings or friends or whatever), all your relationships are with ex addicts, so your much more likely to develop an intimate relationship with another addict. I usually found that two broken people don't make one whole person. So just be careful and be safe..

I met my wife while I was about a year and a half to two years into my recovery, but I was looking for dates before than, but for me, since I was so used to being alone and isolated and felt lonely, I went to live with an uncle I have in Israel for a while to get a 'feel' of what a family is like I suppose.. I'm not really sure, I probably went for a bunch of reasons and that's where I met my wife of over a year now, she was just a waitress at this cafe on the beach and we got to talking.....now we just celebrated our one year anniversary a little over a week ago.

That's just my opinion though, for a lot of people (especially drug addicts, their usually pretty extreme and go from one end of the spectrum to the next) recovery HAS to be an 'all or nothing' black or white kind of thing, so if your AA/NA and it's working for you, maybe you should take ALL of their suggestions, just to be sure you will succeed in recovery and the dating will come later.
forget
suzette
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
I think it's common sense that it takes to "whole" individuals to make a strong, personal relationship.

if you date too early...

part of you is still developing.
.....it's like trying to build something stable on unstable ground.

it's also a divertion from healing your self, diving into someone else's problems masks it breifly, but it keeps showing itself thru the mask.

it's also a "drug" to be "in love" and when the relationship cracks from lack of foundation you have two
problems instead of your own damage, you damaged someone else...

it's like drowning and pulling someone in with you that's trying to rescue you..

it solves nothing.
Cindy
Luu
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
I would have to say it is not a good idea to start a relationship or have a bed mate early in any recovery. I do not know much about programs and in respect to that don't care to comment on it. I do know how things played out after my first husband.

When things were over with first husband and I, I was a mess.. Had been a mess way before he left for good.  It was nothing to do with drugs on my part. I really thought at the time I was ready for a relationship that I felt I had been without for many years. I wanted that more than I needed water I thought. But, I was not ready for anything... I needed to heal... I needed to put all my ducks in a row in my head before I could even think about starting something that had a good chance of working.. I think I over looked many red flags because I didn't give myself a chance... I didn't give myself a chance to be fully functionable.. I get to probably do damage control for many years because of it also.. If there was a good side to all of it, I guess and hope I am a stronger person from all of it.. Its a big learning experience.. Not for the light at heart.
Hemet
chik
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
i know for me in rehab 4 times...no dating..no casual communication umong opposite sex...

it is about focusing on YOU. Relationships take work...they take focus..they take love.

how can someone who has been in love with dope..possibly work on two things at once..recovery and relationship...I find it impossible.
There is no balance..

I find the focus is hard enough for staying clean..learning to love one self..is a challenge as well.

we are very sensitive people and if a relationships falls apart .... RELAPSE IS QUITE possible...with that failure.

Once you understand the steps...put effort in YOUR recovery and understand what it means to work a program can you FINALLY MIX in love...slowly.
Loraura Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Both sex and dating someone new cause changes to dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. Every time you talk to a person who you are in a new relationship with, you get a rise in chemical levels.

It would be easy to turn to this for a dopamine fix just like hitting the super sugar smacks with a side of powdered donuts.

If you're constantly altering your dopamine levels with sex and new relationships.... you could be coping with how sober feels, with how you feel in a new relationship. Then when you have a bad day, what do you do? Do you deal with the bad day? Or do you go get a hit of your new relationship to make it seem better?

Scott proves this point:
Quote:
Sex is pretty much the only time I can forget my cravings...
That isn't a coincidence. It's a chemical reaction.

Is it a healthy solution? That's an entirely different debate. I would imagine the folks at AA/NA have determined that it probably is not a healthy way to cope with life.
Flyf1sh3r Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
I followed that suggestion.

I had to commit myself to the goal, and it was challenging at times. It was good to only have to worry about myself for that first year.

Relationship issues are the number one reason for relapse.

There are many different circumstances in the lives of people entering recovery. No relationships seemed to be what I needed, and looking back upon it now. It was good for me. I have a short attention span, and fewer distractions helped me focus on my program.

I was able to feel all the emotions that working the steps dug up, and process them. Riding that emotional rollercoaster with a partner would have been difficult.

I dont think it applies to everyone.
xxxiCE
PRiNCESS
xxx
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
As much as I hate to admit it, yeah, I think you`re right. Because, okay.. when I first got out of rehab, this guy I`d been close with during my "venge" started coming around and we started dating. He was "off" of dope, though.. but a week into the relationship.. he mysteriously had some. And well, I got back on it. Then, when we broke up.. I got back on it worse because it`s like, when you`re recovering-or this was how it was for me- I put everything into him..and when it was over.. I was devastated and didn`t know what else to do other than use. I guess because my coping skills still aren`t fully developed.. hahahah. But yeah, I agree.
nascar
girl
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
sfj when i asked you about this question i sure was hopeing for a diff. answer but it looks like everyone agrees with ya..love ya ..
mary
mary1
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Absolutely agree. I cannot speak for the drug part (I am a loved one)of it involving relationships, but I can comment on general abuse issues and divorce. It's important to have the time to heal the wounds before you move on to another person otherwise you could find yourself back at square one again and then wondering why you always attract the losers. Time and possibly counseling/therapy will help you identify who you are and maybe how you did attract the loser or losers in your life. I see alot of people here doing just that - jumping from one relationship before one is even complete and then all of a sudden, the new one is just like the old one and then wondering why they always get stuck with the jerks.
imlost
inky
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Quote:
Do you think it is possible to be sane, celibate, clean, and human at the same time?
Yes. I was for a couple years after my first and only divorce.
Of course I tried the rushing into a relationship first.
and of course,it didn't work.
So what do I do a couple years later?
Holidays coming up, lonely, you got it - rushed in again-
and again it did not work.

So I took it slow when I met Hubby. 21 years later, we are still married.I still like him so today is a good day

Quote:
If you were to accomplish this, consider how much strength of character you would have.
Honestly SfJ, those 2 years or so, it wasn't real hard.
Wasn't like I was turning down any good guys- most didn't have jobs,still living at home with Momma.
And to me, the majority were sleeping with anything that had 2 legs so I didn't consider it a compliment when they hit on me.
Kinda insulting if you want to know the truth.
Quote:
Compared to the alternative, what would be the wisest choice?
First marriage ,rush job- lasted a year and a half.
Second relationship- rush job- lasted 3 or 4 months?
Same with 3rd-ended ugly.It did.

As for slow: Hubby and I were friends for a long time before we ever dated- at least 6 months or so.I am talking I saw him through the week and on weekends. HOURS of talking before he even got the first date.
I took so long to say yes, he quit asking.
Then I had to ask

21 years, 4 shared children, 2 additional children-
Wise choice? Better choice without a doubt.

I think now- should the marriage not survive, my next choice would be the wise one.
If I ever chose another.
k8kan
guru
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
Scott

Quote:
I know I wouldnt be able to handle a relationship right now... I just have "100% no strings attatched never see them again" sex... all a understanding... don't leave em thinking I'll call or there is anything more to it and tell them upfront ... works well...
I don't think you've thought this through very well at all Scott.

You're not in Brizvegas now and you're not in the meth community when it comes to looking for sex partners.

Lismore has a total population of about 45,000. When you take out all the mum, dads, kids, and geriatrics, that doesn't leave a very large pool of eligible young ladies close to your age bracket.

Now if you adopt a wombat policy (eats roots & leaves) to sex in a country town like that and you expect to have sex, say, once a week - how soon before you will have gone through all the f***able young women in that town?

As a 23 yo guy it's not uncommon to hear that 'sex for sex sake only' approach, but how many of the girls in your age bracket share the same approach? This is not the meth community you're in now, Scott. I know a lot of 18 - 28 yo spunky young women with healthy appetites but I'm telling you, there's not that many who're prepared to just drop their dacks for one night stands.

So where does that leave you? You may score a few sexual favours, but who with? In a small town like that, there'll be a few girls who will put out without expectng anything back, but they'll most likely have done the same thing with just about every other randy bloke in town. How does that go for your STD risk? Do you always have safe sex?

There's also some girls who'll think a one night stand sounds great when they're looking at the bottom of their sixth middy, but that's not how they feel when they sober up in the morning. They end up hating themselves - and you!

If she's half cut and in the mood many a girl will tell you she's cool about having sex without any commitment from you, but that may not be what's going on in the back of her head. She may be thinking that once she gets you in the sack she'll be able to change your mind...especially if you're a spunk and the sex is good.

A lot of women are going to want more no matter what deal you've struck in the bar the night before. So then you've got to deal with the aftermath of unmatched expectations.

Y'know girls talk, Scott. They tell each other everything, especially in towns where everybody knows each other's business.

Eventually you'll walk into the pub and meet with a line of p!$$ed off girls eyeing you off from along the bar.

Maybe it's cool with you to have half the girls in town hating your guts, but what happens when you meet one that you would like to have a relationship with? How's it going to be a bit further down the track when you walk into a room and there's the girl who makes your heart go boom boom?

If all the other girls are telling her you're nothing but a rootrat and a guy who just uses women as sexual objects, do you think she'll want to believe you when you say you're really a genuine bloke who wants to get seriously involved with her?

So apart from all the very good reasons the other addicts have given you for sticking to your own company for a while, these are a few things to consider about living in a country town.

Right now, your main focus really does need to be on your own recovery. Hanging out in pubs is not a good idea if you're trying to steer clear of the gear anyway. And if you take the wombat approach to sex where you have a limited pool of potential partners, pretty soon you'll find you've shat in your own nest.

So there's this thing on the end of your arm, Shane. For the time being it really is best if you become an 'owner operator'. And if you want to treat yourself, get onto adultshop.com and order yourself a tube of Pjur Bodyglide.
scott
lock
Re: Sex and dating in early recovery and drug treatment
I pick up in bars... one night stands with strangers... safe sex of course... Bars don't make me wanna drink... nothing dose... I HATE drinking and always have... I'm a 2 pot screamer and I simply CAN'T STAND the feeling of being drunk... HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT.

See also:

Dating an addict

Relationships and Meth Topics


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