It is very important to be there as support for the short-termers in an AA group, if you can. They need to know when they go off track in their thinking. Mostly in regards to relationships and what they mean to them. A sober alkie is the only one who can recognise this shift in the thinking of a short-termer when it happens and this is the reason why AA is so important for getting alcoholics sober.
He needs to recognise he has gone off track and to get back on track and to have his thinking in the here and now. Not in the past or the future when thinking of relationships.
He does this by dealing with what’s going on around him in the here and now. He or she needs to be brought back into reality by telling him to think about the times, in the past, when he was drinking. That he got involved with someone and to remember what happened to his head. His thinking would go out of whack. Remind him that the same thing will happen again now if he gets into a relationship when it’s too early into sobriety.
It will be an absolute disaster if he is in a relationship while still not sober. If he wants a relationship ask them, how can you find someone decent when you are so messed up? Explain that at this stage he could only attract someone who is desperate or someone who is nuts or they would be on to the fact that there is something not right with him. Fact is he is not going to get anyone decent and sane until he is that way himself. Alkies are great people, it’s only the alcohol that makes them into people that they themselves do not like. Let alone what anyone else thinks of them.
They need to take the time out to become people they themselves like before finding someone who will also like them for who they are. Lets be really clear on this fact. Alcohol turns alcoholics into people that they themselves do not like. They do not like their own behaviour when drinking, so therefor they continue to let themselves down. This pattern has to be fixed before they can hold down a stable relationship.
Basically without alcohol they are great guys or girls. When they get properly sober they will have everything going for them. They need to take that time first to get sober. 5 to 7 years. After that they will be a real catch but not until then. This doesn’t mean they can’t have friends. It means they need to be sane and sober to make the right decisions about their future. Tell them if they want to stay alive, and have a much better future then they need to be properly sober before getting involved in relationships.
In the meantime suggest alternate things they can do to relieve sexual frustration if this is the problem, rather than looking for a relationship in early sobriety. If they are in a group in AA where they receive proper advice on getting sober then they will have everything else besides a relationship that they need, in the current set up of the group. They need people who care about them. They need a group that has respect for who they truly are and this can be a situation they are in for the first time in their lives.
A situation like this means they are with a group where they have a future. It’s important to not go messing it up by letting the wrong organ of their body be in control of their thinking. An alkie will understand this if it’s explained properly to them by sober people. They are the people who understand the delicate situation he is in because they themselves have been there, in early sobriety.
An alkie will trust you to be giving him the right information at a time when he needs it most. He will understand reasoning that has logic – alkies are not idiots and must not be treated like children.