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Being in a relationship is a priority for many of us. Once we find what we consider to be a “good” relationship, we try to nurture it and safeguard it from any harm. We want it to always be as loving and supportive as it can be.

Do we consistently do this for the most important relationship in our life? The one that will give back a hundredfold what we put in? The one relationship that cannot be rivaled by any other? This most precious relationship is the one with “self”. We often neglect and sacrifice the relationship with self in light of other stress factors we may encounter.

And how do we cultivate a relationship with self? Put your needs as a top priority, not wants, but needs. Make sure you are not hungry – eat well balanced meals. Don’t’ skip meals or load up on food you know is not healthy. Take care of your emotional health – learn to recognize your feelings and express them appropriately. Don’t isolate – make use of sober supports and community. Get enough rest and don’t overwork your body or your mind.

Don’t put other people’s “wants” above your needs. Very often we try to impress another person by fulfilling their wishes. This is a normal part of a relationship – but remember not to neglect your own needs in doing so. If you are not caring for yourself, you cannot care for another in an honest manner. Both relationships then are destined to falter and disintegrate.

There are two very old and basic recovery principles outlined here – old and basic but indeed relevant. The first one is HALT – never get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Again, take care of yourself – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

And the second is “Me first!”. Don’t be confused and take this as a selfish concept. Take it as it was meant to be – my recovery has to be my first priority. When we put something else ahead of recovery – that will be the first thing you lose.