In which I pit the person trying to help me:confused rant

So I’ve had the annus horriblus (sp?) . I hope the spelling is close because my anus is pretty much ok. The year has been bad.

Anyway, it’s sucked…including having to come to terms with problems I’ve had before. All at once. What fun. But trying to be positive I met this guy. Who’s in AA so figuered out pretty quickly that I was drinking too much and has been doing more than anyone could be expected to to help me out.

Which is so wonderful. But he seems to have lost noticed that I’m an attractive, intelligent women who is not just a …project?

This is what kills me, I now shy away from talking to this guy because, as many times as I 've said yes I’m doing what you suggested, can we talk about something else, I don’t want to be be just a pathology…

But he won’t.

But I don’t want to stop talking to him.

I could use the help. But I’d prefer help that acknowledges that I am something other than My Problem.

Doesn’t really make you want to open up to someone about Your Problems if it turns out that’s all you’re going to be to them.

Should this be in the pit? Does it make any sense? I don’t know. Just somethink I had to vent about. Because it makes me a little sad.

It makes perfect sense to me.

Even if you’re working on your problems 24/7, you’re still allowed to have other interests. In fact such interests are seen as a good thing: if all you can think about is not drinking, what have you, it’s going to make drinking seem more tempting - just because thinking about not drinking is still thinking about drinking.

Especially if you’ve started taking some steps I’d think he should tone back a bit, and just chill. My understanding had been that AA emphasizes the need and power of friendship - and you can’t get that if all you are is a pathology to a person.

Is this guy acting as your sponsor? Then it’s probably a good thing if he thinks of you more as a project and less as an attractive woman.

Did you stop drinking fairly recently? Isn’t there some AA rule about not getting involved in a personal/romantic relationship too soon after stopping? Whether there is or not, is getting involved with an(other) alcoholic a good idea anyway, for either of you?

Is he just maybe really socially awkward and literally has no other conversation?

I understand that you don’t want to stop talking to him but that his limited choice of topic is discouraging. Is his refusal (in your opinion) to see you as a person instead of a Problem a serious enough issue that it could potentially threaten your sobriety by making you so reluctant to open up that you can’t with anyone?

From the other side of this equation: I’ve belonged to a 12 step program in the past, whose name ended with “Anonymous.”

When befriending women who had the same addiction I did, I would often intentionally try and restrict our conversations and friendship to our common problem. I would do so more fervently if I felt any romantic interest in her, simply because it felt so skeevy to use a support group as a meat market.

If this guy is anything like I was/am, he’s probably just trying to be an honorable fellow. If you’re interested in more of a relationship with him, or even just a broader-based friendship, you might have to make the first move.


My understanding is that members are encouraged not to pursue romantic relationships for the first twelve months of their sobriety. I assume he’s not her sponsor, as I think the rules prohibit men and women from sponsoring each other (because of the risk of romantic attachment) - but if you’re serious about treatment, betenoir, you might want to find a sponsor and stop talking about your alcoholism with this guy. It seems to me that AA is strict about separating your intimate relationships with the people helping you in your recovery; it may be best to carefully limit his role in your life to one or the other. This is just my limited understanding of AA, though - I may be entirely wrong.

P.S.: Best of luck in your recovery, betenoir. And I hope your next anus goes better. :slight_smile:

AA also discourages members from choosing sponsors of the opposite sex for just the reasons you listed (among others). The last thing you need when you’re trying to get your head screwed back on straight is any kind of new romantic entanglement. Next thing you know, you’re back in the bottle. Not good.

I would suggest at the very least, that you find someone of your own gender (I’m assuming female because others did!) to talk to about all this. Preferably someone who’s been sober for a number of years and is Doing Well with it. (having years doesn’t always make for Doing Well)

Good luck!

AA also strongly discourages members with sobriety from getting romantically involved with people in their first year of sobriety. It’s called 13th Stepping, and is widely viewed as preying on the vulnerable and/or defenseless. I’m not saying the OP is defenseless, just that a lot of newcomers come in feeling seriously unloved and unlovable, and have very poor judgment where relationships are concerned. As a result, far too many 13th step-type involvements end up with one or both parties getting drunk, which is bad for all concerned.

So I’d suggest that if you’re really interested in the guy and also separately feel you need to do something about your drinking, you might (a) get yourself a same-sex sponsor and work on getting your own act together, and also (b) be prepared to wait a while because odds are he’s not going to want to date you for the next year even if you get and stay sober starting tomorrow. He’s probably also not going to want to date you if you’re still drinking because, frankly, that can be pretty hard on him if your drinking is at the problematic level. So if he takes his sobriety seriously, odds are he’s not going to get involved with you at this point even if he wants to for and and/or all of the above reasons.

I’m not trying to be a downer here, just a realist. Hey, if the guy really is interested in you and you end up getting sober, he just might well be willing to wait around. But at this point your #1 priority should be you and your own drinking. Good luck!


I’m quoting this one just because it’s what I need about now…a little humor.

A little less about My Problem (even if it’s the 500 pound gorrilla in the corner of the room).

I appreciate all your comments. You don’t know how much. (In fact all this human decentcy is highly inappropriate to the pit!).

Thanks to you all.

I will say…no he is NOT my sponsor. And I understand the distinction. I want him to be my friend. He pushed me in the right direction. But now I need him to be my friend…and remind me why I’m giving this shit up in the first place.

I need reminding.

I…don’t need every conversation to be about exactly how many meeting I’ve been to. I may not be ready for a romantic realtionship but it would do a lot for me to see myself that way…that’s what I’m working for.

Hence my pitting of a really great guy…but it’s difficult when the great guy makes you a Problem.

Thanks again. Y’all being way to nice for the Pit.

I’ve never been one that’s too keen on rules and following them. If you feel that the time is right for you to persue a romantic relationship, then no one else can make that decision for you.

Tell him how you feel. If he still wants to make you a project, then he’s not the right one.

Best of luck with the gorilla (both of them).

Have you tried talking to him directly about this? Saying to him exactly what you just said here?

Good luck with the recover.