Sex is a natural, healthy part of relationships, but it is also a major cause of relapse among the newly sober.
But when I finally managed to stop I had a shocking, negative epiphany: all I’d managed to do (bar save myself from dying of liver failure) was sort out the fact that I was hung-over and ill all the time. Submit to the disease and your life becomes incredibly simple. What you have left in its place is an area of outstanding natural horror.
All of the stuff that I’d drunk to avoid – mental illness, debt, depression, the impulse to self harm, the impulse to commit suicide, anxiety, social dysfunction, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, stress, anger, violent rage – was still there. Drink becomes the only thing you care about – and you will end up just fine with letting all the other stuff slide to the extent that it doesn’t even matter if you die or not. You have been tasked with draining the massive body of water away to repopulate the area. It probably feels like you should have left well enough alone. It is necessary to be aware of what you’re getting into and that way you will be less disheartened when things take a while to sort themselves out.
Depression, homelessness, the break up of the family unit, losing one’s job, losing one’s career, losing one’s house, losing one’s mind, losing one’s life even.
But perhaps the most insidious aspect of this disease is the dawning realisation that even if you manage to quit the booze in time, you’ve still got half the battle to go. You’ll need to call the police and the coroner’s office. There are rotten and half eaten animal carcasses that need to be cleared up and disposed of. You have never seen so many mangled shopping trolleys, broken children’s bikes and unwanted cars. There are burst canisters of toxic waste that have long since leached into the ground.
Most counselors will counsel you against getting involved in a relationship (or making any major life decisions) so early on in your sobriety.
You need to be thinking about the adjustments YOU need in YOUR life while you're learning how not to spend time drinking.
I’d built up a number of other ‘client’ habits over the decades, which ranged from the very serious (cocaine, amphetamines) to the aggravating (junk food, sweets) via all sorts of other issues (painkillers, caffeine).
All of which needed to be unpicked and dealt with one by one.
I used to start craving a beer in the last hours of my work day.