It is probably fair to say that the issue of sex and sexual relationships does not feature very heavily in the pecking order of emotional issues and emotional drives that tend to fuel an individual's alcoholism or addiction.

It is however a hugely important issue that often plays a crucial role in an individual's active alcoholism, and the fear of sex, and of sexual relationships and of sexual orientation can hover largely over the dark cloud of early recovery for many people.

When an individual enters rehab for treatment from active alcoholism, it is probably fair to say that they have left a train wreck of a life behind them. This may well involve family members, employers, friends and sexual partners both within and outside marriages and relationships.

Aside from the reality of what this may entail in a medical and emotional context, this fear of owning one's past and the reality that comes with it is often one of the chief blocks to an individual being able to get sober and stay sober.

It may be, although it is unlikely, that the fear of the consequences of one's active alcoholism can be thought of in moral terms. It is more likely that the fear that the individual has, was driven by past acts, and is much more driven by a broader fear compounded by the effects of alcohol and any drugs that the individual may have been using.

This really means that when an individual gets sober and begins to rebuild a life whether in rehab or through Alcoholics Anonymous, they need to be able to know that they have time on their side in terms of facing their past and being willing to rectify it if possible.

The 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous structures the recovery process through a series of individual steps, and leaves the amends steps pretty much till the end of the process. This allows an individual time and space to process their own internal recovery before being able to approach other people they may have hurt or have used, either sexually or in other ways, till the individual has a degree of stability in their own life, and are able to deal with these matters in a sensible and mature way.

The book Alcoholics Anonymous addresses the issue of sex and sexual relations in a very sensible manner. It makes a point that as a society people have widely differing views about the morality of sexual relationships, and that the recovery process is not really concerned with this. The recovery process of Alcoholics Anonymous focuses on instances where an individual has used another person for their own ends, and may have hurt them in the process.

This can obviously apply to sexual relationships, as well as normal or abnormal emotional relationships. It is in this context that the therapeutic work that is done in a rehab can help lay the groundwork for an individual to regain their own self-respect and deal honestly with the legacy of their past when they feel emotionally able and in a position to do so.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Main is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes extensively about all areas of self growth and self development. He has a particular focus on self help issues for people who are in recovery from or who have been affected by alcoholism and other addictions. Some people begin their journey of recovery and healing in a rehab, others in a twelve step fellowship such as Alcoholics Anonymous, some in rehabs in other states to where they live, where it is especially important to check the rehab is properly accredited, others in a religious or spiritual setting.