Published date : October 14, 2018
The date was be a boobytrap of triggers that I wasn't completely ready for. But mindfulness, endurance, accountability -- retrieval - kicked when I needed it . I startled because my phone buzzed a text from my thigh. This was my first date. "I'm late, but I've got tacos!" Sponsored ad I urged myselftaking a breath and taking in the en-
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ironment. It's going to be nice. It's only tacos. This was my very first date in well over six months. We ran around Reykjavik looking for traditional Steak meat soup, to no avail. It was also whimsical, it was carefree, however, it was all the way in Iceland. And it did not even end with a kiss. This taco rendezvous felt like a legitimate return from a relationship hiatus. Dating is tough. Sober dating can be extremely precarious. To begin with, I've hardly any courtship experience. My M.O. has always been meet, partner, marry. Finally, I learned not to wed every man who demonstrated interest. Twenty decades of successive long term relationships supposed at 36 years old I became more sober and legitimately unmarried, for the first time in decades. SCARY. In the minimum, it is uncomfortable. So why do so a lot of us drink? To treat discomfort! "Meeting for drinks" is equally neutral ground, also grants permission for each party to self-medicate throughout the ordeal. It's natural to want a strong drink (or if a strong drink and perhaps a highly effective pill) to relax. When I am home getting ready, agonizing over my hair, costume, and what things to say,"just one" goes a long way towards numbing my nerves. But"just one" steers me down a dangerous course. (ALLEGEDLY! There's no proof.) It's just not worth the risk. Deciding if, or whether to"out myself" as sober into a man is always a bet. He'd mentioned"wine" more than a suggestion for our first activity. (An early red flag that I adeptly dismissed ). Adding a glass in the present time can be challenging and embarrassing, so I lightly commented prior to the date,"I really don't drink...however if you want wine, it is cool" When he didn't respond with all the all-too-common:"Really?? You do not drink ever??!!??" My optimism was buoyed. Sponsored ad So I waited for Taco Guy with no alcoholic pre-lubrication, counting flashes as a healthy working mechanism instead of throwing back shots at the pub. He came, tall and appealing. He had a huge bag of neighborhood Mexican food in 1 hand, a spirited canine attached to your leash from the other. He even brought me a Fresca, recalling my preference for sparkling water. Fresca is no La Croix, but he got points for thoughtfulness. The date started out smoother than anticipated. As dinner wrapped , he clumsily commented he was not certain what to do next. "Ordinarily I'd like you to a pub, go champagne tasting...something revolving around beverages." My teetotaling ways left him in a reduction. I recall the days, pre-sobriety. Addiction: a essential ingredient for each circumstance. I once turned down an otherwise solid, yet sober guy over this. "Sorry, beer is critically that significant to me personally. I practically live at breweries. We will have nothing in common!" Taco Guy was worried about what we would not get to perform collectively in future encounters. "Wine tasting? How do you've got fun without drinking?" In just two decades of sobriety, I've barely been bored. I unwittingly challenged his ability for booze-free amusement, but stayed aloof. "Anything you can do with alcohol, so you can certainly do without. I promise. I am super enjoyable. " "Do you ever do anything bad?" he asked skeptically. I laughed out loud, thinking how he would likely never know the truth about my former IV drug usage and three decades left . "Trust me," I assured him. "I'm not all great ." He had a teasing smile. Sweetly persistent and proficient at flattery, he persuaded me to bring our puppies into his place. They could play in the garden and we can watch Netflix. Prove you could be fun! Within 15 minutes, I was standing in his little, clean apartment. He had called me beautiful and left his interest in me obvious. Does this mean we were planning to make out? Was I ready? Can I make the first move? What are the principles? In earlier times this was simple. Drink, flirt, also use alcohol as an excuse for any indiscretion occurred. Sober relationship is not easy. Sober sex is really on a whole other level. He talked, blessedly interrupting my ideas. "I'm going to have a whiskey, do you really mind? I'm really nervous." "Go ahead, naturally!" I replied bravely, however, believed REALLY?!?! Not honest!! I am stone cold sober, attempting to navigate original date principles, and you also get to wash your worries away with hard liquor while I sip on water to tame my own cottonmouth. UGH! He also poured a substantial amount of Jack Daniels on ice hockey, and I took the chance to use the bathroom. Shutting the door behind meI leaned against it, even worrying. Is he going to kiss me? Or maybe more? Can I wash beneath my arms? I should use his mouthwash! The mirror reflected back glossy color on my freshly styled hair, nervous rosy cheeks, and a touch of pink lipstick which had mostly wiped off on the Fresca. I looked adequate. I'm not a terrible catch, such as a sober chick. Wait, what should he tastes like spirits? Might it be weird if I request to use mouthwash? No that's crazy. Or can it be? Leaning into the sink to wash my hands, a comfortable sight stood out on the counter: the glowing, cunning orange of a medication vial. No cupboard snooping necessary. My eyesight went fuzzy on the borders. Drying my hands on a towelI waited for the buzzing feeling to dissipate. I have been sober tonight, but I'm not immune to activates. Medication bottles are not just benign bathroom articles. I shopped around my bottom lip and thought within my next move. One of the labels was easily visible:"Metoprolol." Phew, I thought. Heart medicine. No big deal. No warning, my hands took over and snatched up another bottle, turning it label side up. Hydrocodone-acetaminophen. Otherwise known as Vicodin. Fuck. I set it back down, but picked up another. Oxycodone hydrochloride. Percocet. Double fuck. Setting the ominous vial back, I resigned from the sink, then clenching my hands at my sides. I might take a couple. It just took a moment for the thought to invent. I pictured the euphoric, care-free atmosphere. Pictured worrisome"initial date rules" slipping away, letting go and enjoying the second. Deciding the bottle once more, I shook it gently. Exactly how many are here? I bet he would not notice any lost. The thought was brief. However, it was billed with fatal possibility. Lucky for me, mindful recovery teaches me I don't need to think my thoughts. I've got a choice. I do not want this. It isn't me anymore. I extricated myself in the bathroom, delivered from temptation. Taco Guy was second tumbler and'd stepped outside to smoke. Menthols. Of course! My new. At least they wereonce upon a time. This date introduced landmines everywhere I turned. In my better judgment, I remained long enough to perform with fire. Taco Guy is fairly hot, kind and gainfully employed. I was not planning a long time together, however, I hadn't yet ruled out viewing where the night would go. Maintaining a menthol involving my fingertips, I stated flirtatiously"It has been awhile." I took a drag, so trusting I looked dangerous and alluring. Coughing, I just ended up probably looking like a silly woman who had not inhaled . I remained long enough to smoke the smoke and repent it. Long enough to sulk and want things were different. It's not fair. I don't wish to be an addict. I need to be normal -- I need to be able to get drunk and make out. I wanted, for an instant, this Taco Guy and I were not so oblivious. While I pouted privately, I knew I was kidding myself. The truth is, we are incompatible and I was uneasy. I don't really wish I could wash and have an excuse for my own behaviour. I really don't wish I may take his pills or go back to using. What I guess I really wanted was just to be on a date where I might be my honest, openminded, sober-out-loud self. I don't want to date when I can not be real. That likely means when I'm really ready, I'll date guys that are also in recovery. I had contested this when I became single and sober. Who would I date? Can I date somebody who drinks regularly? I got my answer this evening. Crushing the cigarette in a well-used ashtrayI reached for my keys. He seemed rejected. "You are leaving? I promise to become a gentleman. We'll only watch a movie." Within a few of hours in his existence, I had given in to smoking. Next, I would ask for a sip of whiskey. Once the brownish liquid passed my lips, then burning the back of the throat, then I had slink in the bathroom. Tilting the bottle of Vicodin back and forth, considering the siren song as the pills clicked against one another. Nope. Not gonna happen. I love myself a lot time to go back there. Driving home, I felt a mixture of pride, relief, and regret. And a touch of nausea from the cigarette. When was the last time I had appeared a bottle of pills from the mind and walked away? The date was become a boobytrap of triggers that I was not completely ready for. But mindfulness, endurance, responsibility -- recovery - kicked when I needed it . I was detained, but not helpless. I won this battle. I needed to be firm and honest. "I can not date somebody who drinks. That has become very clear. Thanks, and best of luck." To my surprise, he replied with a compromise: "I should not drink . I'll attempt to stop. You may be a huge support and help to me ." As if the triple threat -- alcohol, smokes and pills -- wasn't enough, co-dependency alarms rang in my ears. The final red flag was flown. Firmly informing him that his petition was wildly improper, I blocked his own number. Over the last 20+ years, I've made very disappointing, damaging relationships choices. Looking back, all I manage is,"What the fuck were you thinking?" You are doing your very best. It's not simple, it's not painless, but you are making intelligent decisions. " I believe time may be now. I could do it straight for once. Saying"yes" into a drama free, recovery-centric era of radical self-improvement. Saying"no" to alcohol, drugs, and self-evident conduct one nerve-wracking date at one moment. Tiffany Swedeen, RN, BSN, CPC/CPRC is a certified life and restoration coach, She Recovers Designated Coach, along with a registered nurse in recovery herself out of opioids and alcohol. Tiffany lives"sober out loudly," proudly sharing her story during advocacy and blogging and is still enthusiastic about helping others do the same. Her purpose is to eliminate shame and enable all to live a life of revolutionary self-love. You may contact Tiffany throughout her website Recover and Boost , read her blog www.scrubbedcleanrn.com and follow with her @scrubbedcleanrn.