Golden rules for relationships when you’re in recovery

DON’T get involved in a new relationship for at least one year. You’ve heard this one a million times (okay, half a million)It may be tiresome to hear again, but at Eden Recovery Centre, we urge you to treat this rule as sacred. Why? A new love takes your focus off what must be your first, second and third priorities in the early stages of recovery — staying sober.

DON’T get bogged down by guilt. At Eden Recovery Centre, we often hear this from recovering guests in therapy. “I feel so guilty for everything I’ve done. I can’t live with myself if I mess up again.” This kind of thinking can create unbearable pressure instead of focusing on getting better.

Have empathy for your partner’s feelings. Addicts are self-absorbed; it’s hard to make space for someone else’s feelings when you’re all about getting your next fix. Now that you’re sober it’s important not just to ask your partner what’s on his or her mind, but to practice empathetic listening. This means that while your partner is talking don’t interrupt. At Eden Rehabilitation Centre, we encourage guests to wait 10 seconds after he or she is finished speaking so you have time to give a thoughtful answer.

DO have empathy for yourself, too. The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. So it’s essential to treat yourself with compassion. Likely one of the reasons you succumbed to addiction was self-loathing: I’m not worth anything. Why shouldn’t I throw my life away? At this pivotal time of your recovery, practice self-affirmations: I’m a worthwhile person. I deserve the best life possible

If you are concerned about entering a relationship while in recovery or need advice on different treatment plans, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.

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