Sex and Sobriety
They say not to start a relationship in the first year you are sober. That's what "they" say. You know..."them." The collective them. As a recovering alcoholic, I go back and forth between thinking I know more than this "them." Alas, I have given in and decided I cannot figure it out on my own.
I did not start a relationship. But, I was in a relationship that was struggling when I decided to go into recovery. He was supportive. I guess he thought that I would be better when I stopped drinking. I thought I'd get "better," too.
But, alas, "better" to me and better to other people are completely different things. I am getting to know the real me. I am liking her. She's stronger. She feels things. She has goals. She is helping others. She is evaluating and having forethought to situations and people that were not good for her. She's different. Better? Nah. I still have the same amount of good that was always inside me. (a very average amount) But, am I different? Abso-fucking-lutely.
So, here are two obstacles you have to overcome in new sobriety that relate to intimacy. The first is shallow but it is the truth. When you have been a VERY hard drinker for 15 years, you do not get better looking when you quit. I actually gained weight. I had to focus on surviving and could not get to the gym and stay fit. I was tired. And, most of all I was HUNGRY. So hungry. I replaced the 2000 calories a day I was drinking with food. Do I feel better? Yes. Do I look better? No. Am I better? Yes. Do I accept it? I have a 50% acceptance of wearing a larger pants size. But, hey. I like me better now on the inside. Am I insecure about it? Yes. Will I attract the same people? Nah. But, will I attract people who look at my heart before my body? Abso-fucking-lutely.
So, here's a relationship killer. Your sex drive changes. Dramatically. I was always verrrrry sexual. Let's be honest, I could've been addicted to that, too. I was not into risky behavior ever. But, I would have played 6-10 times a day if I had the option and time. Fast forward to sobriety. Something changed in me. I had zero drive. No interest. I crave connection and intimacy now. I would rather have someone hold me while I sleep versus the best O. I have goals like having children. But, how do you do that if you do not want sex? So, ultimately your sex drive is gone, just hanging out waiting for the right person, or waiting for you to be comfortable in your own new, fatter skin. But in any case, how can you expect someone to be with you in a romantic way? I cannot right now. There might be all of the love in the world. But, sex issues and insecurity in that area are not fixable problems in the first year. Sex is not fixable by anything but time or pills...and pills are out. So, time it is. I am pretty sure "sober sex" never happened for me until June 8th of this year. Anyway, it is weird. It is present. And, it is as scary as shit.
So, "they" said it. "They" knew that the first year is hard to be with someone. But, then again, who says we have to listen to "them?" "THEY" DO! But, on this account, I am going to have to agree with them. It's hard. And, that's not what she said...
The sex and sobriety needed it's own full blog. I mean, it really is as scary as can be. Read up, if you feel like hearing me whine...