" Chapters range from explaining the 12-step program and how to have fun on dates to information on addictive behaviors that might carry over to a new relationship.She reminds readers that not all recovering addicts are the same; some might be OK with going to places where alcohol is prominent while others might not.Almost a year after Karen Nagy's relationship ended, she still found herself wondering what happened. It wasn't the typical relationship that ran its course -- Ms. "No other boyfriend I had had behaviors quite like these," said the Greensburg native, 56, who now lives in southern Florida.She is a musician and an actor who teaches at Miami Dade College. Nagy's research, she couldn't find any books written for someone in her situation, so she decided it was hers to write."I've learned through mistakes to now be very straightforward with PIRs instead of guessing if they are comfortable with a certain setting," she wrote.It's a huge life-changing event, and you enter a new culture and new way of thinking of yourself and the world." Hazelden looks at several hundred submissions each year, but few are chosen, Mr. Even more rare, the publisher kept the author's original title. Nagy's title plays off the phrase people in recovery might use to identify their participation in Alcoholics Anonymous to other members.Instead of referring to AA, one might ask if someone is a friend of Bill or Bill W., referring to Bill Wilson, the co-founder, to keep to the organization's tradition of anonymity. Nagy felt her actions with her significant other were affected -- if he was a friend of Bill, she had become an extension of that or "a girlfriend of Bill." There are more than 2 million members of AA around the world and 1.2 million in the United States, according to the organization's fact file. Nagy describes the two cultures of people who are in the program and those who are not as "two different worlds" where there hasn't been much crossing over until now, which explains why there is little information for people who are considering dating someone in recovery.
"Now there is online dating, which means more intermingling and questions being asked," she said. Nagy said she took away from her research is that just because a person has stopped using drugs or alcohol, it doesn't mean he or she has recovered.
Recovery is a lifelong process, but that doesn't mean people in the program can't have successful relationships.
"Girlfriend of Bill: 12 Things You Need to Know About Dating Someone in Recovery" is the first dating guide to broach the subject.
The book (.95), published by Hazelden, is being released today.
"Sometimes it takes years for PIRs [people in recovery] to realize that their emotional sobriety is not progressing as well as their physical sobriety.This makes sense, because in early recovery they've got enough to do just trying to live clean and sober," Ms. "As a result, a non-PIR could very well be dating a 45-year-old PIR whose emotion age is 16!