Addictive Relationships

I just finished a very short book (31 pages) about addictive relationships. I guess it is more of a pamphlet that I ordered on Amazon. It is called “Addictive Relationships: Why Love Goes Wrong in Recovery” by Terence T Gorski. I first heard about Terry Gorski while reading One Breath at a Time by Kevin Griffin. I now feel prepared to try to continue dating. I want to sum up some of the things I learned from Mr Gorski.

Characteristics of Addictive Relationships:
-Magical or Unrealistic thinking: “My life will be better when I have a boyfriend.”
-Instant Gratification: “He must be gorgeous and turn me on as soon as we meet.”
-Dishonesty: “If I am honest, he will leave me.”
-Compulsive and Obsessive Overcontrol: obsessed with the relationship, it is the most important thing in your life
-Lack of Trust: Don’t try to change their nature.
-Alternating Doubts- I complain about him which then turns to self doubt.
-Isolation- Don’t want to share your partner with anyone else
-Repeating cycle of pain

He talked about how addictive relationships are built on risk-taking. I realize that was the start of almost all my relationships. I have always focused on having “interesting meeting stories” to entertain people and make myself seem more glamorous. “Oh we met while traveling in Argentina”. “He offered me a ride home cause I was so drunk and he SAVED ME”. “We met in boot camp.” “I bought furniture from him online and then asked him out.” All my affairs had the adrenaline kick of risk-taking. So many times I started to date someone and thought I could change them “for the better.”

His suggestions:
Do not have sex on the 1st date. He did not give a time frame of how long to wait. But I am thinking I am gonna self-impose at least 3 months.
Never have sex out of guilt of obligation. I know I have done this from feeling lack of self-worth.
Never have sex to change someone. I have done this. I have had sex thinking it would get the guy to like me more.
Don’t share your alcoholic past on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd date. You will scare them away. But you must eventually be honest about it.
Build the relationship slowly. Yea I need help on this!
-Have realistic expectations.
-Establish and maintain personal growth first!

I need to stop focusing on finding a relationship and worrying about it. I am meeting a guy today for coffee. I will see how that goes but think I need to stop agreeing to squeeze in time to date. I have a lot of other things I can be doing. Dating should not be stressful.

Giant drunk and shirtless man causes Ryanair diversion to Denmark | Road Warrior Voices

Another drunk on a plane causing problems. Sheesh. I have to take off my shoes to go through security and can’t take more than 3oz of shampoo onboard, but airplanes still serve alcohol? I think drunk passengers are a bit more dangerous than anything in my carryon.

DUIs are that little dark secret that never go away

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning. They were discussing reactions to finding out your significant other posed nude for a magazine. Some people said it would not bother them but the secret kept from them would bother them. Then they started asking if they all had dark secrets th at no one else knows or they don’t share with husbands and wives.

It made me think of my dark DUI secrets. I do tell some friends and usually it is shaken off because they know others that got arrested for drunk driving or they got caught themselves.

But how many of those people crashed a year old car into a ditch? How many spent a week in jail instead of one night in the “drunk tank”? Yet after two months of sobriety after my release, I went back to partying and drinking.

Will I confess my DUI to future relationships? Will I reveal the details to them? It seems anytime I fill out an application for anything (job, apartment,  travel visas), I must answer whether I have ever been convicted of a crime. Everyone tells me that it should not have to be disclosed unless it happened within so many years (five, seven, ten?) But when I fill out forms, they always ask EVER convicted. It will follow me forever.

It wasn’t just a mistake. It was not some normal slip of the mind. I put my life and other lives at risk. And I did not learn a lesson because an alcoholic puts her addiction before anything else. I avoided driving drunk again for a few years by living in areas with great public transportation systems. But four years later after my last DUI, I had a few incidences where I have no idea how I drove home.  Hit a wall in a parking lot once and don’t remember it.  Had friends tell me horror stories of being the passenger in my car but letting me drive because they couldn’t drive manual shift. I am sure a third DUI will happen if I drink again.

Now I am worried about a visa application for a country. I had to list that I was arrested twice.  I am going to the consulate tomorrow.  I have my arrest ticket, court papers, and letters that I completed mandated alcohol programs. I hope the DUIs do not make them decline my application.

I need to blog about the whole DUI and jail experience.  Not sure how much I will tell a future spouse but I will spill the beans with cyberland.

Risk of Unknown Sobriety

Often, unhappiness can come because of fear of the unknown,  fear of the future. Sometimes we just need to face down that fear to understand that even though we have a right to be concerned, our fear is out of proportion to reality. For instance,  we are often terrified of taking risks because if we fail, we feel the consequences will be dire. Or we are unhappy in the course our lives have taken us, but the fear of the unknown is more frightening than living an unhappy life. In reality,  there are few things worse than living an unhappy life.

To Hold The Sun by Chas Watkins

I picked up this book cause I thought it was about diving in Roatan, Hondurus. It seems to actually be about a man’s philosophy and how to enjoy this journey of life. It is a short book and I hope to finish it tonight. And a lot of it sticks out to me regarding sobriety and my struggles.

The quote reminds me of how scared I was last year. I feared getting sober even though drinking was not making me happy. I was frightened of life without beer and wine. Sobriety was unknown. AA meetings had foreign language.  What would happen to my social life? What if I can’t do it? What if I fail? Will sobriety be worth it?

And now that I took the “risk” of going sober, I can say it is worth it. I am happier. I don’t have to fear discovering what I did in a blackout. I don’t have to drive home worrying if I will get pulled over and a DUI. I have less fear of the future. I am proud of myself more than almost any other achievement. (Except bungy jumping. That might have been more harder to do than quitting alcohol.)

If you are trying to go sober, take the risk of this new way of life. Don’t let fear hold you back. The active alcoholic life is a lot scarier.

Total Abstinence

Yesterday after being upset about a hopeful relationship ending before it even began, I read a great chapter in my book One Breath at a Time by Kevin Griffin.  The chapter is about step seven but he brings up relationships failing in sobriety.  He was given a tape of a psychotherapist Terry Gorsky, whom I googled and found his name is actually spelt Gorski. I then ordered a book by Mr Gorski which should arrive in a few days.

The advice my book gives from Mr Gorski is that “the place to start building a good relationship was the beginning.  Specifically,  he suggested no sex for the initial stages.”

See, I have been happy that I have been able to date sober. And I have been wondering what it would be like to finally have satifying, sober sex. I think I have been focusing on that achievement more than actually wanting a relationship.  I mean, I do want a real relationship. I want to find someone to make me laugh and happy. I want someone that will accentuate me. But I think I have been concentrating more on the physical attraction with these men. I was not establishing the foundation of a long term relationship; I was fixating on wanting someone that turned me on instantly.

The guy who told me “it would not work” between us was very sexy. I am sure I would have had sex with him if we had another date because I told myself I deserved it. I thought a year of sobriety would make finding love easier. I thought if I had sex sober, I would not regret it like I regretted most of my blacked-out encounters . I blamed my alcoholism for all my relationship problems. But rushing into relationships was another fault I had. I did not know how to take things slow. I did not know how to wait. I did not have patience.

Another suggestion Gorsk[i] made was to avoid people who triggered intense sexual longing because such partners wound up setting off an addictive pattern of craving, bingeing, and eventual revulsion. Instead, he suggested that you date people who you liked to spend time with on a friendly basis…

Reading this helped me a lot yesterday! I was telling myself I did not want to follow those dating “rules” that everyone has been suggesting: make a man wait for sex. I thought those rules sounded like games. Why would I make him wait if I wanted sex?

Reading this section made me wonder if that was why all my relationships have failed? (Well, that and the drinking!) I slept with all my boyfriends and girlfriends almost right after meeting them. And when the sexual excitement fizzled, I got bored. I filled that boredom with drinking and cheating. And lying. But lying usually follows the cycle of drinking.

So no sex. No sober sex. No drunk sex. I wonder what Gorski says about self-sex?

I am sure I will blog about what I read in his book when it arrives. And I will keep my blogged updated how this sober, chaste dating thing goes.

My 1 year coin


I finally got my coin!

It is a used one though. I am not gonna worry about that. I went to a Big Book meeting and when it came my turn to read and share, I mentioned I just passed a year sober and would live info on how to get a coin. A guy walked up to me after and gave me his. He told me to give it to someone else who needs it one day.

But I still want a ceremony!

Maybe when I go visit my sister, we will find a meeting and get me a new coin with bells and whistles. Like I have said before, my area AA meetings suck for getting coins!

I felt I had to go to a meeting today. I sort of got dumped. I was not in a real relationship though. He is a guy I went out with about a month ago. I started to really like him. He made me laugh a lot. He is smart, artistic, and very cute. He had a smile that melted my heart (and other body parts.) Plus he doesn’t drink alcohol!

Due to my traveling and then him traveling, we haven’t seen each other since our first date. We were supposed to see each other last night but he texted me in the afternoon that he had to work late. Then he texted me at midnight that he was finished and was wondering where I was. I was too far away. But this morning, I started to wonder if he canceled because he had another date. I texted him and asked. He said no, he was working, but then texted he doesn’t think this is going to work out. We live an hour and half from each other and have conflicting schedules. I was hurt. I started to cry. Did I come off as too jealous? He said he would be still interested in “just hooking up.” I told him I am too good for that.

Logically, he is right. It most likely would not work out. Besides the distance and rarely having time for each other, there is a religious difference. He is Muslim and while I am not sure how serious, I know I would never convert. And all my Muslim men friends have told me a woman must convert to marry a Muslim man.

I am still sad. I deleted his number. Deleted all the photos he sent me of him. Deleted our messages. I am glad I am sober to be able to handle this.


When I think about the times I “took breaks” from drinking or “sort of” quit, I think of willingness. The difference between those times and now was my willingness to quit. My willingness to stay sober. My willingness to actually risk feelings. My willingness to live life without drinking alcohol.

And then I found something about it today in my book One Breath at a Time by Kevin Griffin:

Willingness comes before any growth: willingness to stop drinking and using; willingness to try a new way of living; willingness to put that growth before our personal comfort. In short, the willingness to let go.

How committed are you to recovery?

I have plans today: AA meeting; then introduction to meditation class, then a dinner date. I remember a year ago, I was so scared of trying to date sober. I aways associated having drinks as a way to relax. Alcohol helped those first awkward moments of a first date. I felt I could judge my date by what they drank. Were they a beer person, wine, or hard liquor? I still do judge them now but by the quantity they drink. I am not gonna stop a date from ordering one drink with dinner. But if he or she orders a second glass or bottle, I might not consider another date. I don’t want to date the horrible person I used to be!

I had a guy on a dating website ask me out for drinks last night. He didn’t say coffee, which made me realize he did not read the part of my profile that says I do not drink alcohol. I turned him down and told him I would be busy going to an AA meeting.

Bye bye happy pill

I stopped taking my Prozac. There are a few reasons for this action:

1) I forgot to take it for 2 days.
2) I only had 6 left and my insurance for my new job does not kick in until April.
3) I want to try life unmedicated.

I think Sunday was my last pill. It has been almost a week. I did feel a slight down in my mood yesterday. But I dealt with it and it passed. My whole saying of “things could be worse” that I repeat over and over seems to help.

I did have a slight negative experience a few weeks ago related to my Prozac. But it was more related to people’s judgement of depression and anti-depression meds.

I was about to go scuba diving. Right before we left the shop to head to the beach, the manager remembered she forgot to have me sign the medical form. So I grabbed it and checked no next to everything except “are you taking any medications?” The dive guide asked me what do I take Prozac for and the manager answered “for depression.” The guide is foreign and not familiar with such medications so asked if I take it just “every so often”. Like when I feel sad. I answered I have been taking it every other day, which was true because I kept forgetting to take it while on vacation. This cause a red flag for the manager. She said I needed to be seen by the diving doctor before any diving.

So I had to go see this doctor to answer questions. I told him I took it every other day as a way to try to wean off of it. He asked if my doctor gave me those directions. I said no. I did NOT tell him how I basically prescribed myself the medication by buying it in Mexico and then getting a clinic doctor to write me a refill. He asked why I was taking them. I told him I started because I was feeling down all the time and wanted a temporary help to feel better. “No, what happened that made you start to take these. People just don’t get depressed. What was happening in your life?”

I was offended. People can’t be depressed unless a tragic event? He did not seem to understand the chemical cause of mood disorders. Maybe they don’t believe such things in his country? But I felt I was being judged. I lied and said it was because I broke up with a guy. He was happy with that answer. He wanted take make sure I was not going to be depressed while diving and “create an accident”. And he told me trying to get off the medication was a good idea. I should dive more to be happy.

I decided then and there even if I stayed on Prozac or start it again, I am lying on my next diving medical form about it.



I found this today in my boxes of wall decorations. I cropped out my name of course. But it was my certification from a visit to the Jameson distillery in Dublin, Ireland in 2008.

I remember that day. I toured it alone. I had to wait about 20 minutes for the tour to begin. I had a hot chocolate with a shot of Jameson while waiting. It was before lunch. My tour was with a big group of students from America. I thought that was an odd place to take students. But at the end of the tour, they ask for volunteers to be taste testers. My hand was the first to go up. The other testers were all chaperones for the students. I remember liking the Jameson much more than the American and Scottish whiskeys we tried. After that, I would order a shot of Jameson once in a while at a bar and brag “I am a certified whiskey taster. I have the paper on my wall to prove it”.

I am gonna burn this. I still haven’t had my “ceremony” of burning things from my drinking days. I still haven’t gotten my coin for one year sobriety either. I need to find the time.

But the important thing is I am still sober. Forget how many days it is now. 🙂