From the August 2013 magazine.

August 2013: Two Garbage Trucks in the Night

Sober dating doesn't always have to be messy

Immediately upon entering AA, I was told by members that new people don’t date for their first year, because they really have no idea yet how sick they are. I was in a home group in New York’s East Village, and it was filled with beautiful women. Some looked to me like they’d just come out of an after-hours club. I was like a lost dog looking for its owner. I soon discovered that their suggestion saved me—and others—a lot of misery.

At the end of my first year sober, when I did my Fourth and Fifth Steps, I discovered that I craved women. I used them like a drug and an escape. I tried to control them, but also wanted to be sheltered by them, and I chose women who couldn’t or wouldn’t love me back and was always hurt when they didn’t. I learned I would go out with anyone who would take me. I was an angry doormat—passive, resentful and toxic. I discovered more clearly what I already knew—that I had never had a relationship last more than four months without exploding. I found out in my Fourth Step the awful, depressing truth that I had an inability to form a true partnership with another human being, which they talk about in AA literature.

-- Josh H.

New York, New York

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