During treatment you’re going to meet all kinds of people- some you like, some you don’t like, and some you find yourself deeply attracted to. “Rehab Romance” is the term for people who “fall in love” and start a relationship during the earliest stages of their recovery. Most co-ed treatment facilities have strict rules against “fraternizing” with other residents. However, almost any industry professional will tell you that when there’s a will there’s a way. For addicts and alcoholics, or those recovering from other mental health disorders, engaging in romance and romantic activities is a welcome distraction. The brain thrives on pleasure and needs to feel a surge of dopamine wherever possible. From sneaking home cookies, doughnuts and sugar packets from recovery support meetings to sneaking across corridors, addicts will find a way to get a “fix”.
On the surface it is somewhat comical. Underneath, where the deeper meaning lies, it can be a problem. Here are the reasons to avoid a rehab romance and wait to date in recovery.
It doesn’t mean you’re bad people, because addiction recovery isn’t for bad people getting “good” but sick people getting well. To get to treatment, you both had to go through some hard times and likely abusing a lot of drugs and alcohol. While this seems like a point for bonding, it should be a point for warning. You’ve only been sober for a few weeks. The truth is, you’re not ready to handle the tumultuous emotions of romance or a relationship.
The likelihood of a rehab romance being the end-all to relationships in your life is slim. Eventually, you are going to break up. As addicts and alcoholics in early recovery, you will not yet have developed the skills to communicate in non-harmful ways or cope with the pains of break up. It will bring up issues of rejection and abandonment, which, because of the next reason, you might not have dealt with yet.
Bottom line is, rehab romances are a distraction. All caught up in the throes of love, you can’t fully connect to the oftentimes painful processing which comes with therapy and treatment. As a result, you ignore many deep issues which lead you to relapse time and again. You’re here to focus on yourself and your journey. If it’s meant to be, it can happen later down the line. Delayed gratification is difficult for most addicts and alcoholics due to their tendency toward impulsivity. Treatment is the perfect time to start the practice.
Hired Power is a family of compassionate professionals working to serve your journey in recovery. From safe passage transportation to aftercare and sober monitoring, we’re here with you every step of the way. For more information, call us today at 1-800-910-9299.
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