The Truth About Relationships as an Addict
Relationships are something that we as humans simply crave in our lives, and some, if not most of these relationships can be healthy and productive to an individual, but as an addict in a relationship, staying afloat long enough to feel anything is the best I could hope for.
When I was in active addiction for seven years, I was always trying to meet a new girl, get a phone number, or swipe right on Tinder because I wanted and craved that companionship and closeness with someone, the same thing that I saw everyone else around me enjoying. It seems to always feel like, when you are single, that all the people around you are either getting married or getting into new and exciting relationships. I kept thinking to myself, “how come I can’t have that? Nothing is wrong with me, so I should be able to have that special someone in my life.”
The biggest problem I had was that the people I kept choosing to bring into my life were not healthy or stable themselves. As an addict, I had a very big “look at me” attitude, and I wanted someone in my life that would validate me and tell me how great I was and how well they thought of me. My relationships as a full-blown addict became meaningless, full of manipulation and distrust. I guess that would explain why they never really lasted more than a couple of months.
After I went to rehab and was doing better physically, the first thing I did was jump into a new relationship. I thought this time because I was honest and upfront about my history and background, that it would be different and maybe this girl could be the one. I was mistaken. Even while clean I couldn’t keep a healthy relationship with someone for any length of time and I was beating myself up because of it. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me or what I was doing wrong for this to be a continuous pattern in my life.
Unfortunately, this led to a relapse and I was right back to square one. I was using and lying again, manipulating my way into the bedroom with another person. This is not a very healthy way to go about life, but again I wanted everybody to “look at me,” so I did whatever I needed to get the attention I craved.
I went to rehab once again to work on myself, however this time I really dove into the aspects of my life where I couldn’t understand what was going on, and predictably, my relationships were high on the list. I discovered that the people I continued to bring into my life were not the type of people I wanted to associate myself with. I want people in my life who are honest and supportive but also those who won’t always pander to me and what I want, but rather, can confront me when necessary.
I always hear the concerns about getting into relationships too soon after getting clean and here is my opinion on the subject. If getting clean was simply a way to just got off the drugs but no actual work was put into the mental aspect of addiction, like I did the first time, then I wish you the best with your relationships. That didn’t work out too well for me. If by getting clean, you actually took the time to work on the physical AND mental aspects of addiction, worked on finding out and deciding who you really want to bring into your new lifestyle, I think you will know for yourself when the right time comes to get back into dating and relationships.
Jordan M. — Narconon Suncoast Graduate