Relationships in recovery can be a tricky thing. In fact, most people probably do not realize, but relationships are the number one problem when it comes to coming back. Nothing else has the same amount to create such turmoil in our lives.
Think about it: your life is made up of nothing but relationships. If you live in the desert, nobody else, your life would be very different. At least, how much stress would certainly be lower. These points to the true nature of relationships in our recovery: they are both blessing and curse. They bring us great joy, but they can also cause us great sorrow. As such, they must be treated with caution and approached in an intelligent manner.
There are basically three types of relationships in your life: one with yourself, one with your higher power and one with a significant other. There are also dozens of other relationships in your life, such as your coworkers or your friends, but they are 3 big ones. Let us examine them further.
Relationship with Yourself – This is the first relationship you must cultivate and make an initial recovery because it is the basis of all other communication. For most recovered addicts and alcoholics, this means forgive yourself. What does this mean? That means you have to let go of all the emotional luggage you are moving around with you and give you a break. Now that you're recovering, try to do something else. You have to forgive yourself and allow you to live again.
Relationship to Your Higher Power – In contrast, most addicts and alcoholics in the beginning need recovery to work in this area. When we first get clean and sober, we are usually far from our connection to our higher powers because we have been truly ignorant God for so long. Getting back into contact with our spiritual side is important for early recovery. Here is a connection to a network. Begin by connecting with yourself and with greater power and this will lead to better communication with others. When you get more in line with your own spiritual side, your ability to connect and compassion with others will increase.
Relationship with your significant others – This can only flourish if you have nailed the other two relationships. At the beginning of recovery there is a risk of rushing out and finding a new relationship with significant others. The reason why this is so dangerous is because a new relationship will create a temporary and false spiritual connection, one that replaces any need to cultivate and nurture the other two relationships (with yourself and with greater power). The two two relationships are those that keep you clean and sober, not in contact with significant others. But there is a strong tendency to use a new relationship as a recovery plan without realizing that many newcomers return because of this.
Remember that relationships are bilateral swords. They can bring us a lot of joy, but at the same time they can be very dangerous to the newcomer.