Recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism and achieving genuine sobriety involves far more than just staying away from drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol consume every aspect of life until they decide to get sober and enter recovery for their addictions. Jobs, friendships, finances, and most significantly, their relationships with people close to them are affected. Young adult addicts will lie to, cheat, and take advantage of the people who are closest to them to support their drug or alcohol habits. This conduct erodes and destroys relationships and impairs their ability to form new and meaningful relationships. Recovery is a process of healing and learning. Healing old relationships and learning how to fully participate in new ones are part of this process.
Relationships in Early Recovery
Early recovery is full of mood swings, difficult experiences, and drastic change. From 30 to 60 to 90 days, an adolescent in recovery changes from one day to the next. Being in a romantic relationship during that time can disturb the natural and necessary flow of recovery. It is recommended forming any new romantic relationships should be abstained from for at least a year. This time should be used to learn and develop new tools to address stress, anger, and other challenging emotions. Adding a new relationship into this mix can impair both the development of those tools and the growth of the relationship. Too many relapses are the result of a breakup or romantic rejection in early recovery. Emotions are fragile as are identities, senses of self-esteem and self-worth. Sex, affection, and attention can feel as good as substances during vulnerable times. Unfortunately, they can leave a young adult feeling as broken and confused as they did before.
Working to reconcile existing primary relationships with friends and family members should take precedence. Addiction is seen as a family disease and an illness that impacts everyone in an addict’s life. Neglecting to heal these relationships can result in lingering anger, shame, or resentment within them. Preventing past relationships from moving forward complicates the ability to create new ones.
Sustain Recovery Services in southern California helps adolescents and young adults to recover from drug and alcohol addiction through extended care services. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information on how we can assist in helping you or a loved one build a new life with a solid foundation in sobriety.