In Skool today we had to write a discussion post on "What are YOUR non-negotiables? What are you not willing to budge on when looking for a mate?" And I wrote a post but it was too long and so I thought, hells, let's blog and put it out there. Expand the thing. So, here you go:
I’m pretty flexible. There are quite a few things I’d be willing to compromise on and aren’t deal-breakers. Like race, income level, profession, religion, what the heck you look like, even man vs woman. There are things I’d like in a person, being Spanish speaking would be a bonus, or a writer. I think being with me would require an open mind and a really good sense of humor and a lot of patience. Probably mostly patience, I'm really not good at this, yet, and have no experience. I actually made a list about 6 months ago, which is dangerous, because if you do that, it’s likely your person will show up. It was a long list.
But there is one thing I’m pretty sure is non-negotiable.
I want an alcoholic.
I know. Not something many people consider an asset when looking for a mate. More specifically, I want an alcoholic in recovery. Because that’s what I am and it’s such a huge part of who I am, and it’s not a part that’s going to go away.
I don’t want to come off sounding like the poster child for AA, but the program works for me. It’s shaped who I am, how I react to the world, and how I try to get along in the world. Mind you there's AA and there's AA and there are meetings and oh dear god there are meetings and not in a good way. If anyone reading this hasn't had a good experience with AA, I'm sorry for that, all I can suggest is try another meeting, find your people. I can promise you: They're there. Also, if you have another way, more power to you, go for it, and fly free. Recovery is unique to every person. This is about me.
We had a part of our lecture where our Professor talked Projection Dances. Let me give you the short version: Three ways people fuck up relationships. Pursuer/Distancer, Over-functioning/Under-functioning, Submissive/Dominant (don't EVEN go there, or do if you must but keep it to a giggle) I think most people at various times can mess up their relationships, but if I might brag a little: We alcoholics are AWESOME at it.
But she also talked about Transforming Dances. Meaning you can change how you go about things with others. Self focus rather than other focus, naming the pattern, survey the emotional field, what is the fear. I thought listening that, hey, this is right out of AA. It’s what we do every day. Clean up our side of the street and don’t worry about if the other person is right or wrong (Step 9) and going thru naming all the resentments and look for patterns (Step 4) identify ways you control fear by controlling people around you (Step 5) Naming your fears, practicing the opposite (Step 6 and 7 right there) Then the section wound up suggesting with the Serenity Prayer, which AA’s say ALL THE FREAKING TIME.
There’s a lot more to it, but you get the idea. Being with someone who understands that spirituality (not religion) is the basis of who we are is the most important thing. Someone in the program, in recovery, would get that. My primary purpose is indeed spiritual growth, and I can’t have all the other things I love and value in life if I don’t have that first. I want that in another person.
I think too that having another person in recovery around would be handy as well, for those times I get seriously wrong and off the rails. They wouldn't have to ask, "What the heck is wrong with her?" It's likely they'd know. It's also likely they wouldn't take it personally, but gently (or not so gently) suggest I call my Sponsor or get myself to a meeting.
It’s hard much of the time, and it sucks much of the time, this being alcoholic. And I can tell you for a fact that a person who has had to quit drinking has been through a battle. A person in recovery knows about that battle. And is willing to look at themselves, be honest about themselves, and to be honest with another person. Or at least they are willing (key word there) to wake up every morning and try.
That’s why I want an alcoholic. The kind in recovery.