Dating in Sobriety

By Lauren Wallett 11/09/18
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Deciding I’d only date over six foot tall, Jewish men who looked Greek with an S-starting last name, long hair and facial stubble, gave me a greater choice pool than dating in sobriety.

When I was into using addicts, it was like, grab a drink and get in line to join my rotation. 
I would cycle through them, wine cold, speed setting: fast. 
Washed up was so much easier than clean and dry.

Walking into my first AA meeting was heaven. 
Entire sections dedicated to the lost boys in rehab. So many baby addicts. All needing a Wendy nurturing care taker with some Tinkerbell magic to brighten their dark days.

BUT.

You don’t date in your first year of sobriety.

When converting to Judaism, I had Hasidic Jews who were prepared to overlook the status of my conversion in oder to date me. "You’re not Jewish - yet! " The promise was enough to bend the rules.

In sobriety, it’s steps in line, let’s get in formation. "How much time do you have? What step are you on? Ahhh, step four - yes. No, I’m not free to go on a hike with you." 
Can’t go off track down that trail thanks!

Boys and booze. The two-point combination was my constant compensation. My Replacement companion. Now, it’s desert dry.

The addict options are all still there but it’s different now. What was once palatable when washed down with wine, is boring to the bone without. It’s press play, past conversations on repeat and I’ve heard it all before. The “It wasn’t not my fault”; “I’m not like everybody else”; “I’ll show them all”, coupled with a detest of authority and no personal autonomy other than the weed and the booze and the drugs - by choice. Always, by choice. ‘Boredom’ so ‘freedom’ by intoxication.

The daily alleviation that leaves them salivating for more. Numbed out. Disconnected and discontent. Taking about the glory days of their past and this dream for a huge future that shows no signs of arriving anytime soon.

And in my dysfunction, I’d lap it up, mirroring back the void that ‘more’ could fill if it was just ever enough.

You really get me!” they’d muse, opening up, leaning in. Yes. I speak addict 101. I’m fluent in your language. It’s my native tongue.

But I’m enchanted by a new magical language now.
"Higher power. One day at a time. Keep coming back. It works if you work it and you’re worth it."
The deeper beauty in everything, unfiltered by beer goggles.

I can’t go back to the delusion. The incessant intrusion of thoughts congesting my mind. The "What’s wrong with me?" and ‘Is this all there is?" 
I have a map pointing me in a new direction now.
With promises of happy, joyous and free after 12 suggested steps.
How could I not explore?
Is this the more I’ve been looking for?

And if I journey with anyone, he needs to be clear of conscious mind. Courageous enough to not ‘drink with they boys’ and ‘have one for the road’. No more sheep men, herded into caged conformity by the normalisation of our addiction culture. A free man is not an addict. He isn’t reliant on substance. A man who abuses his body will abuse you too. He’s programmed to self destruct.

But a man, in program… is on a path to true liberation. A man who has overcome, discovered, recovered.

I want an addict 2.0. A man who has next levelled himself. The progressive addict: The sober one.

So I’ll suck it up for six more months.
I’ll pay my dues.
Because if it’s worth it, you’ll wait for it.

 

This article was originally published here.

 

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