Thoughts on Living With and Loving a Recovering Addict
My significant other and I lead double-lives. I don’t mean LITERALLY a double-life. There is no cheating, no multiple personalities, no lies, or deceit. I am not in recovery; however, my better half is. Before meeting my boyfriend, I was learning bits and pieces about sober living; now I’m living with it, and experiencing it first hand. Being worried at first is an understatement. I am by no means obsessed with drinking, and I do not partake in any illegal drugs, but I didn’t know what to expect. Should I hide if I want a drink after a long day? Do I keep alcohol in the house? If I do, should I lock it up? NO. Honesty is the most important key in any successful and healthy relationship. Cliché, yes… but absolutely true. I’ll rewind a little bit. We went on our first date, and second, and third, and he was the one to ask whether I would like a glass of wine. At first I was pretty anxious, and I didn’t know if that was disrespectful. I simply asked and I realized I was allowed to be myself. But let me restate, that it is respectful and important to ask your significant other how they feel in situations. Some people in recovery may not be comfortable with the normalcy of drinking. My boyfriend is seven years sober. What a commitment and a blessing. Having love and compassion for him (or anyone in recovery), I would not have minded either outcome.
After some time, we moved in together. My boyfriend then turned into my best friend, my soulmate, and the person I could not live without. We have traveled, attended dinner, escorted each other to parties, and at each event I am free to do what I please. Hold on, I cannot cover up some discrepancies… a person in recovery is one hell of a strong person; however, each person has to fight their own battles in their head. If I was to go to a doctor, or for whatever reason have prescription medication in our home, I have to remind myself about his struggles, and though he may be comfortable with alcohol around him, pills may not be the case. I asked and he didn’t want to ever be tempted. So locked up they remain. Does it bother me? Hell no. You do not have to understand everything that someone has gone through or how their mind works. You wouldn’t forfeit a once in a lifetime relationship over something that doesn’t define you as a person. Alcohol does not define me. My love and personality define me. If I loved peanut butter, and my significant other was allergic, I wouldn’t mind refraining myself to a nice spoonful when around him. Relate your differences to small conditions.
Being in a relationship with someone who is in recovery has opened my mind. Every girl, or man, looks for a relationship where they can be themselves, not have any secrets, have communication, and find someone who has goals. A person who has faced true adversity and has overcome it, has true perspective in life. The communication and adultness in our life is a dream come true. We fight. We are both really strong-headed, but we talk. How many people go to bed angry or leave the house because they can’t stand to be around that person? We as humans make mistakes, but where we are in our lives determines how we fix them. I sit to myself and wonder what I did to be so blessed to be dating my best friend. As a person who never had a physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological dependency on a substance, I do not comprehend everything he has gone through, but what I do know is that I am so thankful for the treatment he received, and for all of the people who have helped him find himself along his journey. Recovery is scary, but a blessing in and of itself. You are literally reborn and given another chance to live life as God intended you to.