Matt: What’s going on everybody, this is Matt and Greg with Project Unbroken. Project Unbroken is something Greg and I have been doing for a couple of months now. We’re talking about our experiences with addiction, heroin addiction specifically, and just some of the things we went through in our journey to recovery.
Matt: So, if you know anybody that might benefit from watching these videos, please share these videos, hit the like button. Please subscribe if this is something that you’re interested in.
Matt: But today, we wanted to talk about relationships, and how they effect recovery. This has been something that we get a lot of comments about, a lot of emails about, where typically one person or both people that are in the relationship might be struggling with addiction. One wants to get out before the other, and it’s a really hard situation to deal with sometimes.
Matt: So, we want to dig into this a little bit. Relationships in recovery. So, Greg, what do you think, if somebody is coming to the realization that they can’t manage their life anymore and their addiction, they want to start moving towards recovery, what do you think about relationships? Good thing, bad thing, either.
Matt: I have, actually, a good amount of experience on both ends of this. So, for those of you who don’t know, my wife went to rehab a year and a half ago for alcohol, so I’ve been on that end where I’ve kind of been the loved one of the addict. I’ve also been that addict. And just from all of my experiences that I can tell you that a relationship can have everything to do with how good your recovery’s going to go.
Matt: If you have someone there who, if you’re using heroin, you’re in a relationship with someone who’s using heroin for example, you’re fucked. Like, you’re not going to quit. Right? So, with my wife, like when she stopped using alcohol because she went to rehab, she realized she had a problem, I stopped. Why? Because I know from experience that if she’s in a relationship with someone that drinks, even though I drank very little, even if she knows that I’m still drinking, it’s like she feels like no one’s there, because everyone around drinks, and if she has her husband not drink with her, that makes her recovery a lot easier. You know what I mean? Like, we can go places, and I’m not ordering drinks. Like, all right, well I just quit too. So, since I quit with her, it made her recovery a whole lot easier.
Matt: And just going back when, like when my best friend was using dope, guess what. It was a lot easier to use dope, and it made it a lot harder to quit. Right? So, relationships have everything to do with recovery.
Matt: Yeah. I think it depends a lot on the individual circumstance. So, we literally, we get comments from people where they’re like, hey me and my boyfriend, or whatever, we’re both addicted, I want to quit, he doesn’t. That’s one situation.
Matt: There’s other situations where somebody might be single, and they’re starting to come out of their addiction on their own. And this is another kind of pitfall that people can fall into, because I mean, we see a lot in like, rehab centers. You see these love stories kind of blossom where people are on their way out of recovery, and I think a lot of times it can be a really dangerous situation. I know that there are successful relationships out there, and people that are positive influences on each other, but in my experience, I think a lot of times when somebody’s coming out of an addiction, and they’re looking for a relationship, it almost seems like it’s more in an effort to fill a void than to actually be in a relationship.
Matt: I don’t know, what do you think?
Matt: It’s kind of dangerous when you have two new people that are newly out of addiction getting together. You know what I mean?
Matt: In a way, it almost increases the danger of you going back. It could go the other way if you have two people that are really adamant about being in recovery, and they follow all of the steps, they stay away from people using, it’d be great for them. But I think in a lot of cases what happens is one of those person … because really what you’re doing is you’re almost, a lot of times I think you’re doubling your chances of failing, because if I’m in a relationship with someone, and I’m adamant about quitting, and maybe they are too at first, but then maybe they fall off. Guess what that does for me. I’m likely going to follow that person along, especially if I’m love with them or whatever the case is.
Matt: So, in a way, when you get in relationships so newly in recovery with someone else who’s new in recovery, it almost doubles your chance of failure in a way.
Matt: Yeah, because that if one of you has a moment of weakness-
Matt: The other one [crosstalk 00:04:31]
Matt: Yeah, that’s a good point.
Matt: You got to be careful with it. But again, it can go the other way where you help each other, so.
Matt: And I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it go the other way, and I’ve seen people have those relationships. Again, it’s like a built-in support system. So, you can’t say, or we can’t say, I can’t say one way or the other if it’s a good or a bad thing. It’s really dependent on the situation. And I think as long as you’re honest with yourself and whoever this potential partner may be, whatever it is, you have to really be careful not to trick yourself and rationalize yourself into thinking that what they’re doing is going to be necessarily good for you. There’s just too many factors involved there.
Matt: But I think Greg and I talk a lot about in recovery as long as you really are focused on the long-term, and you’re making good decisions and steps in the right direction, and you’re honest, you have to just see what’s best for you.
Matt: Yeah. Also, I mean when you’re coming out of an addiction, you’re new into recovery, a lot of times you almost have to get away from your old friends, you almost have to start building new relationships. I know we’re talking specifically about maybe as love relationship, but you almost have to build relationships anyways, so it’s kind of, I don’t know, it’s weird.
Matt: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and that’s a big talking point of ours, is getting yourself into new social situations and things like that. You’re bound to meet new people, and yeah, whether it’s a friendship or a love interest, or whatever, I guess as long as you just keep everything lined up correctly and your priorities straight, yeah. I mean, it’s not always a bad thing.
Matt: I think it’s almost safer to have like, a group of people that’s about sobriety to start with, because if you just have one person, let’s say like, love or something. Again, if that person falls off the wagon, you’re likely to follow, because that’s likely the one person you’re connected with the most, and it’s just you’re likely to follow them.
Matt: If you have a group, like for example when I came out of my addiction. I came into the gym, it’s a group of 100 people that are all positive. If one of those 100 people fell off, I probably wouldn’t of noticed, I’m still around a bunch of positive people. You know what I mean?
Matt: So, relationships is also about the, I think, having a group environment, because that way if one person falls off, it’s not likely to bring you down. I think it’s more likely a group atmosphere, at least initially, is more likely to keep you above.
Matt: Yeah, and it has a lot to do with the atmosphere that you’re surrounding yourself with. To Greg’s point, if he came in here, and surrounded himself with all these good people, and a love interest did come out of that, chances are … we talk about falling off. Nobody in this gym, at least that I can think of, in danger of falling into a heroin addiction. I just, this doesn’t seem … and of course, that can happen anywhere, but just would be really out of the blue if you’re putting yourself into an entirely new environment with people who are more geared towards health and wellness, and just positive activities. I think the danger’s a little bit less than maybe necessarily finding a love interest in a 12 step group or a rehabilitation center.
Matt: So, yeah, I think that about covers it for what we think about with relationships recovery. Bottom line, it could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing. You just have to keep your priorities straight and your eye on the prize so to speak, just make sure you know where you’re going, you’re making good decisions for yourself, and not necessarily for somebody else.
Matt: Yeah. Remember, I think the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.
Matt: Right. So, you got to put that above everything. If you’re not healthy, no one around is going to be healthy, so.
Matt: Yeah, exactly. Well, guys, thanks for watching. If you have any other questions or comments about topics like this, leave us a comment. Hit us up on email ProjectUnbroken@gmail.com, and we’d be happy to dig into this stuff a little bit further. Don’t forget to hit the like button, don’t forget to subscribe, and we will talk to you soon.