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HI, EXENE: I respect your opinion so much, and I would love to know what you think of my current dilemma. I have been clean and sober and off drugs and alcohol for about three months now. I am working a 12-step program, and it's helping immensely. The thing is, I'm a gay dude, and I am only really meeting straight football guys that I have nothing in common with (except we are all addicts), and I need to meet more gay guys. I have had to cut a lot of people out of my life in order to get better, but I also need to make connections with other people, and those connections aren't being made in the meetings I go to. What do you suggest? I'm also in graduate school to be a therapist, so that's time consuming, as well as satisfying. I just need to I meet more people in recovery I can relate to.
Thanks so much! You are truly the best.
DEAR MATT: Congratulations on your sobriety! Great move, and 12-step is the best way to go for a lot of people. It has worked for me. This is a very important time in your development. You don't give your age, but you sound young—and social adventures are exciting and life-affirming. However, this is a time for you to focus on yourself. You are in recovery—in a state of transition, emotionally and physically. Study hard, research what interests you, eat healthy, continue with your sobriety program, learn what you can in those meetings from people of all walks of life, and find your commonalities.
Consider a sponsor.
Reflect on your life.
Think only positive thoughts.
You are making a new start in life, so what do you want your reality to be?
It's not a good time to start a relationship—love yourself first.
This column appeared in print as "Relatable and In Recovery."