Newly Sober and the Distractions of New Relationships

In the beginning of our sobriety we may hear others suggest holding off on starting any new, romantic relationships.  More often than not, we hear that we should wait at least a year before pursuing partnering with someone new.  There is nothing in the Big Book of Alcoholics directly suggesting that concept.  However, it is not always the worst idea to heed.

As we start what might be a painful process of self-examination; the what, where, how and who we are at the start of this journey, the idea of a distraction can be very attractive.  In addition, the good feelings and validation we could receive in our heightened vulnerable state can be, for lack of a better word, or perhaps this is the perfect word, intoxicating.

How many times have we turned the spotlight toward someone we found appealing?  Subsequently we spent our time focusing, maybe even obsessing on the other person, rather than having our energies, attention and drive be targeted toward our true goal, which is learning how to live a decent, healthy life.

It is easy to be swayed by the prospect of engaging in diverting our attention from the truth of our current state.  Perhaps, for most of us, it is best to remain aware of our inability to be truly available in such an early phase of our sobriety.  In such a vulnerable and, potentially, lost position in the world, anyone or anything else can easily influence our fragile attention.  We have forgone our coping device, be it alcohol or drugs or both, and what better way to feel wanted, comforted, and pleasured than by being bewitched with the idea of someone else paying attention to us.

As it stands, there are relationships that have started in early sobriety that have, in fact, worked beautifully for people however those are a very minute percentage.  This is the time for us to focus on ourselves while getting our feet somewhat planted beneath us.  This can be very difficult if we are wooed away by the fantasy of another, an infatuation in our most vulnerable state leaves us unable to accomplish the true task-at-hand.

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