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How a Rehab Romance Can Affect Your Recovery

We all know these people. In fact we all might have been people or we are these people. You know the ones I am talking about: the people in rehab romances. They are all excited and on their phone a lot. In groups or in meetings the focus is on the person they are in a relationship with. They spend way too much time getting ready for silly things to make sure they will look good when they get to see their significant other. And more often than not, their rehab romance has some kind of spewing drama to it. It is like mixing baking soda and vinegar together and just waiting for it to erupt. Or oil and vinegar; oil and vinegar would work too. Whatever it is, rehab romances don’t usually mix well.

Here are the stuff people in rehab romances say:

He/she is the one-You know this person. This is the person who thinks they have found their soul mate in rehab. They connect ya know? They listen to the same music, did the same drugs, have basically the same using story etc. etc. It was totally fate that they both ended up in rehab at the same time just so they could meet each other. Yep, these people. These people may be somewhat delusional. But the truth is they can’t help the chemical firing off in their brains. They also can’t help having a total lack of foresight. I mean really, who in rehab was looking at the big picture? I know I wasn’t. This usually ends up ending in disaster. End of story.

This is different- Unfortunately it’s not. Nothing ever, is just different. It takes two people who want to be different to make it different. And truthfully no rehab romance is different. They really are all the same in a way. Oxytocin fueled lust that feels like love. In some instances I guess it could be different but you should never plan on being the exception or unique. Take the suggestion of your sponsor and sober supports and even therapists. They aren’t trying to make sure you end up alone for the rest of your life they are just trying to help you do what you came to rehab to do which wasn’t find a relationship; it is to stay sober.

He/she loves me-I cannot tell you how anybody feels. I can tell you that in early sobriety your brain is firing off chemicals. These chemicals, the main one being oxytocin, make you feel in love. The thing is many people, including myself, for a long time believed love was this feeling. Not true. Love is an action word. Love starts with loving yourself, taking care of yourself, getting your own recovery on. Love starts with actions like that and then can protrude outwards. Stating you feel a certain way or thinking you feel a certain way isn’t love. What you do with your actions is love. And often times love begins by recognizing that you have nothing to offer someone in a relationship right now.

I will stay focused on my recovery-This is not easy. In fact it is so incredibly hard. And I am not saying that you couldn’t do it while in rehab romance but it just makes everything so much more complicated than it needs to be. Staying focused is hard enough to do without being a rehab romance. Add in oxytocin and it becomes dang near impossible.

He/she doesn’t distract me from my recovery-Yes, he or she does. If you would actually admit that yes they do. I might actually think you have a shot. But the truth is it is impossible for a member of the opposite sex that you have a rehab romance going on, NOT to distract you in even a little bit. See above paragraph. The end.

I won’t text  or talk to him/her again-You know this line. You get told rehab romances are bad. Him/her cheated on you, relapsed, or did something and now you are swearing up and down you won’t talk or text them again. Chances are you probably will. “Love” in early recovery is powerful and even drug like. You may find yourself with an obsession about this person soon enough as well as trying to contact them. If you really want to find love and you really want to recover though you won’t text him or her. And if you do, don’t worry you’re not shocking anyone. We have all been there, done that.

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