When it comes to those of us who have experienced addiction, sex and drugs have a lot in common. Alcohol and other drugs, as well as sex, and relationships can all be misused as a way to avoid dealing with painful emotions. Even though the actions with each can look very different on the outside, they often mask the same underlying emotional needs.
Being in recovery, we have to be aware of our thoughts, behaviors, and motives so that that unhealthy sexual behaviors and relationship patterns don’t develop and, if they do, we have to be able to take an honest look at what’s going on. This is important one, because unhealthy sexual behavior can undermine our recovery by distracting us from our program and two, because it can be a sign that any underlying problems, such as trauma, trust, or intimacy issues have not been fully resolved. In either case, we can be heading down a dangerous path to relapse.
Here are 7 signs sex is sabotaging your recovery.
1.) You focus more on sex than on your step work
The pursuit of a sexual partner is more important than your step work and overall recovery. This is a major red flag that you are allowing your desires to undermine your recovery.
2.) You lie about sex in inventory
Being dishonest about sex – or anything – just goes to show your lack of willingness to do the work. There’s a phrase you might have heard around the rooms: staying clean but living dirty. Basically, you can’t have one without the other. You’ve got to be willing to live the principles and a major one is honesty.
3.) You sleep around and engage in risky sexual behavior
If you feel like you’re unable to be alone, or you feel worthless or unloved when not you’re not in a relationship, or your self-esteem plummets when you’re suddenly single or have fewer sex partners than you used to, there’s a deeper issue at hand. Addiction and promiscuity often go hand in hand, and they can trigger one other.
4.) Revisiting a relationship with an old flame
Going back to old friends or romantic partners can trigger relapse, and besides, feeling compelled to be in a relationship at all times – even one with a history of failure – can be a sign of an you acting out. Remember, you have to be able to change people, places, and things if you are serious about your recovery.
5.) You hang out at bars in order to pick someone up
Again, “people, places, things…” When in recovery, it’s not really a great idea to hang out in places, such as bars, where the temptation to drink or use might (eventually) get the better of you. If you find that you are willing to compromise your safety for the mere possibility of hooking up, then you’re probably letting sex undermine your recovery.
6.) You skip meetings for sex
This is one of the more obvious signs that sex is sabotaging your recovery. If you’re prioritizing booty calls over meetings, then it’s time to take a good look at yourself and your motives.
7.) You sleep with new comers
Or do other sorts of things that go against your moral code and principles if there’s a possibility of getting booty.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, love addiction or sex addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.