When you enter into a relationship with someone there are some common phases you go though. The awkward phase where you get to know each other, the romantic phase where you can’t believe how wonderful this person is, the phase where you wonder if this is forever and the excitement and fear of all that, the phase where you find out what you don’t like about the other person and wonder if it’s all worth it, and the phase where you accept it all. You accept that you have times where your madly in love and times when you want to kill said partner; but you’re in love and committed so it’s worth both ends of the spectrum.
Sobriety for me is like being a in relationship. I’m still trying to feel my way through but I’m guessing I’m right around the fear stage. My fear is infidelity, or cheating. Breaking this bond and going outside this magical place I’ve found because I’m feeling nostalgic about my single (drinking) days. Or fear that my friends won’t like my new partner Sobriety and will stop having me over. Eeert, let’s stop right there. That’s my new big hurdle that I am overcoming at the moment. See, when I first introduced Sobriety to my friends I thrust him upon them all like he was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I gushed about him, I wouldn’t stop going on about him, they should all have a Sobriety in their life, and wanted everyone to know that THIS was the one. Naturally, they gagged, but they were also concerned. This sudden attachment seemed unhealthy. I just met Sobriety and I want to marry him and settle down forever? They eyebrow raising, scoffs, and doubt were too much for me to handle. So I shut down, told Sobriety it was them and not him, and felt ashamed and saddened that my friends weren’t as accepting and excited about Sobriety as I was. I threw myself into Sobriety arms and clung to him for dear life. I ate, drank, and slept Sobriety.
I started to feel isolated and I blamed Sobriety for my loss of friends. Maybe my friends were right to question him. Maybe he wasn’t all I made him out to be. I did the unthinkable. I cheated on Sobriety. It wasn’t even close to as great as I thought it would be. I woke up in an unfamiliar bed, un-brushed teeth, make-up smeared, screaming headache, thirsty and reeking off booze and feeling disgusted. I remembered all of the things I loved about Sobriety and wanted nothing more than to quickly repair that relationship and give it another go. But what would I do about my friends? My family?
Sobriety welcomed me back with open arms and we had a long talk about how to make this relationship work. Sobriety needs space. It can’t be all about Sobriety. Sobriety also needs to slowly let my friends get to know him. I can’t force him on them. I need to bring him along and let them see over time who Sobriety is and get to know him. Not based on what I say/insist he is but based on what they see he is. Sobriety has some asks of me too. Have trust that Sobriety will be there if I loosen my grip. Listen to music that’s not centered around Sobriety, read books that aren’t centered around Sobriety, have conversations that aren’t centered around Sobriety. That I live alongside Sobriety and let Sobriety enhance my life. Basically, not live up Sobriety’s butt. All the makings of a healthy relationship. Yep, I think I’m getting some meaningful perspective here.
On a side note, I read a great book called “Co-Dependent No More” by Melody Beattie. This has helped me in my own personal relationships. More recently it’s made me see that I have a co-dependent relationship with Sobriety as well. A bit abstract, yes, but it’s true.
Thank you for reading and allowing me to hash this out in a safe setting for my sometimes fragile feelings. Best wishes for a wonderful day, friends. xo