The Slippery Slope of Romance in Rehab
When someone checks into an inpatient treatment facility for substance abuse it is common for him or her to be emotionally unstable. Many people abuse substances in order to numb out feelings or emotions. Long term drug abuse chemically rewires the brain, making the next fix the most important aspect of life.
When they enter into a facility for detox and the drugs and or alcohol start being removed, the part of their brains responsible for feelings and emotions gets reactivated.
This is a fragile time for them. Being so used to searching for an outside solution to an inside problem, a lot of times people will turn to the opposite sex to fill that hole inside of them.
Emotional Rollercoaster of Early Recovery
As addicts, we’re all about instant gratification. We want to experience things instantly. Whether that is with our drug of (no) choice or with a job or many other aspects of life. When a person is coming off a drug or alcohol bender, they are more than likely going to be experiencing extremely raw emotions. We tend do anything in our power to suppress these feelings.
This is where rehab romances are known to start. Being in a treatment facility you are going through a similar experience as the person next to you which creates a bond. A bond that can be helpful or harmful. While it is imperative to create new sober friendships, it is easy to take a friendship to the relationship level.
This is extremely dangerous. The early stages of recovery themselves are already a crazy emotional rollercoaster. Adding the stress and emotions of a relationship on top of the stress and emotions of early sobriety can have disastrous consequences.
The Dangers of Developing a Relationship
Many people in 12-step programs suggest not getting into a relationship in early recovery. While this is merely a suggestion, it comes from experience.
Entering into a 12-step program provides the chance to work on yourself. It helps you get a deeper understanding of who you are and what character defects you possess. When you enter into a relationship prior to building a solid foundation of recovery, it makes it easy to end up going back out.
Too put it plainly, you’re not spiritually fit to handle a relationship. People in recovery see it happen all too often, newcomers will get into a relationship and will either go back out together or one of them will go back out after things come to an end. Depending on what your drug of (no) choice is, this can have deadly consequences.
Putting Your Faith in a Higher Power
In 12-step programs, it is suggested you find a power greater than yourself to help remove the obsession to use. Sometimes, when you’re new, your higher power becomes a person of the opposite sex.
Putting your faith in a person risky because humans are fallible. Doing this pretty much ensures you will be let down by your higher power.
If you are new to recovery, give yourself the proper time to focus on yourself before complicating your life with the stress of a relationship. You entered treatment to help get rid of a terrifying drug habit, so did the peers who are in there with you. If you truly care about that person, you will allow them time to focus on themselves.