Mar 29, 2010
When I came into recovery for my eating disorder I heard just about everyone from therapist, sponsors to other women in recovery tell me, "Don't date until you have a solid year of recovery."
They explained that the recovery process is pretty dramatic in and of itself and adding a guy to the mix only adds to the already messy knot of emotions, food, uncomfortable situations and insecurities. But like any arrogant addict I blew off the words of the wise and went off dating as I pleased. My argument was that my case was definitely the exception to the rule. I had established boundaries with friends and family and I knew what I wanted from a relationship.
Like many others who date during their first year of recovery, my experience was not a good one. I discovered that even though I had good boundaries with the people I was close to, those boundaries became muddled when I was trying hard to get the approval of someone new. I also found that dating brought out my ED voice and made me hypersensitive and insecure on dates, which resulted in messy food at home. I kept doing and saying things that I wasn’t proud of and that my true self didn’t agree with. After talking out these relationships with sponsors and therapist, I agreed…I’m just not ready for relationships right now.
If I could give you a metaphor I would say dating in recovery is kind of like baking cupcakes. We all love cupcakes. They are cute, fun to look at and delicious to eat. But, if you take them out of the oven before their down cooking (and cooling) you know what will happen…a big goopy, disgusting mess that tastes like raw eggs and makes a mess all over your cute dress. Yup, that’s what dating in recovery is like. You put all this time, effort and energy into your recovery. You eat your 3 meals and 3 snacks, you go to meetings, you go to therapy, you do yoga and then you take a huge jump and go date the dude down the street and you’ve got a whole mess of tears, emotions, weird food and drama. Not so much fun (or cute.)
Whether or not we’ve had 5 minutes of recovery or 5 years of recovery we all have that voice inside us that tells us right from wrong. It’s our true self trying to get out. It’s our job to relentlessly pursue that voice until in manifests into our entire being. That’s what recovery is all about becoming who we truly want to be. Then eventually sharing that person with someone extra special and deserving of us.
Love you beautiful ladies,
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.