13 Jul Why Major Changes Are Discouraged During Your First Year Sober
If you have been sober less than a year, someone has probably told you that you shouldn’t make any major changes in your life during your first year sober. If you are like most addicts or alcoholics, you probably don’t like to be told what to do, and the more others try to tell you to avoid making major changes in your life right away, the more you want to make them. You may stubbornly insist that others don’t have the right to tell you how to live your life, and you feel there is no point in listening to this suggestion.
The fact is, people aren’t telling you this because they want to be bossy or because they want to be able to control you in some kind of robotic or manipulative way. They aren’t trying to treat you like you are a puppet. There are good reasons for this suggestion.
Why You Should Avoid Starting a New Relationship
If you are a single person, you will hear over and over that you shouldn’t get involved in a new relationship during your first year sober. This is a suggestion you probably don’t want to hear. You are tired of going home to an empty house night after night, and you may have met some pretty interesting people now that you are sober, people who seem to have a lot more to offer than those you hooked up with in the past.
But during your first year of sobriety, you are dealing with unpredictable and volatile emotions. You are in the process of learning how to live a sober life, and if you are to be honest with yourself, you don’t have much of a clue as to who you are and what you want out of life. Any relationship you start during this turbulent time is likely to be based on the fact that you are looking for something or someone outside yourself to make you feel better. You aren’t yet stable enough to choose a healthy partner or to have a healthy relationship. Any partnerships you form at this time are likely to be disastrous.
Dangers of Ending an Existing Relationship
If you are married or in a committed relationship, you may suddenly feel like you have nothing in common with your partner. You’re turning over a new leaf and completely transforming who you are, and you just don’t think your partner is a good fit anymore.
There may be many good reasons for ending your relationship, and it’s definitely possible that your existing relationship won’t survive long-term once you are sober. But don’t rush into making a permanent decision while you are in the early stages of change. For one thing, the ending of a long-term relationship is painful. You will experience these feelings with a depth of intensity that you have probably never experienced before. Take your time and get to know yourself sober. Evaluate the relationship and where it’s been and whether it fits with the changes you are making. But don’t suddenly terminate a long-term partnership.
Giving Up Stability
As you are changing inside, you may feel like you want to make major external changes as well. You may feel like you should quit your job and find a new one, or you might feel like you want to move far away to an unfamiliar area where no one knows anything about the things you have done in the past. This is known as a geographical cure, and it rarely works because wherever you go, you take yourself along.
Don’t throw away the aspects of your life that offer stability, thinking that you want a whole new beginning. Even though your alcoholism and addiction progressed to a point in which you recognized the need to change, don’t be so sure you have to change absolutely everything about your life.
Transformation takes time, dedication and hard work. You may want to make some changes in in your life as you get to know the new, sober you. But don’t try to change everything about your life all at once. Safe and sound decisions take time.
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