Drug addiction and alcoholism are filled with isolation and loneliness, as well as a lack of trust and fear for other people. To be able to keep using their substance of choice, addicts tend to isolate themselves from their friends and family who are concerned about their behavior. And, as a result, they end up associating only with people who have a similar problem. But these relationships are not healthy, and they often do more harm than good.
A very important part of recovery is developing a healthy support network, which means reconnecting with your family and making new friends. It also means cutting ties with people who might be a bad influence and put your recovery at risk. Addiction recovery is a very personal and sometimes difficult journey. But surrounding yourself with people who can offer you support can make it that much easier.
As human beings, we are social by nature. We need connection and support from others. Isolation can be unhealthy, and it can be especially dangerous during recovery. Without friends and people to connect with, life becomes lonely, and loneliness can trigger a relapse. Here are 3 reasons why it’s important to make friends during recovery.
Even after getting the best treatment for addiction, relapse is possible, and it’s actually very common. Sobriety is very challenging. You face temptation almost every day, and just a moment of weakness can make you give in to it and destroy everything you’ve worked so hard for. Friends and family can encourage you to stay strong during the hardest moments and help you avoid making bad choices. Having people who believe in you and are rooting for you every step of the way is one of the greatest sources of motivation to stay sober despite craving alcohol or drugs.
You shouldn’t be hesitant to talk to them when you’re having thoughts of using again, or when you’re feeling weak and uneasy. Real friends won’t judge you. Instead, they will offer you advice on how to deal with these feelings and encourage you to keep moving on. And, if you do relapse at some point, they will be there to help you get on your feet again and start over.
One of the most amazing parts about rehab is that you get to meet people who understand your situation perfectly because they are going through the exact same thing. The people you meet during addiction treatment can become your lifelong friends. The bonds you make at such a state of honesty and vulnerability can last forever. And, since you’re going through the same thing, you can motivate and encourage each other through the hardest parts of recovery.
But your old friends and your family can be understanding and supportive too. A great way to help them understand better what you feel and think is by involving them in your recovery process. For example, attending therapy together is a great opportunity to express your feelings in a safe environment, which can help both your friend/ family member and yourself. There are many rehab centers that offer family therapy and different types of support for family members. If you’re located in Idaho, this outpatient rehab in Nampa can be a great choice.
It’s important that the relationships you form during recovery are with people who will reinforce your sobriety. This means that socializing with the group of guys from the office that go out for drinks every single night after work is probably a bad idea. Especially in early recovery, it is best to avoid friends who drink or use drugs. You may be able to reconnect with these people when you are certain you will turn down any opportunities to use drugs or drink. Instead, you should socialize with people with healthy habits you can learn from. For example, if you have a friend who enjoys hiking, tell them you want to go with them sometime. Or if your mom loves cooking, a great way to connect with her is asking her to teach you some of her best recipes. This way you will keep busy and make healthy connections with people who can support you through your recovery journey.
Socializing can be harder for some people than others, and, during recovery, it can feel a little overwhelming having to make new friends at such a vulnerable point. That’s why a great place to start is to connect with people who are going through the same things you are. You will slowly gain the confidence to make friends outside rehab and reconnect with the people you may have neglected during your addiction. You will see that being able to rely on friends and family who can offer you encouragement, understanding and who will reinforce your sobriety will make recovery a lot easier.
Do you have any tips on making friends during recovery? Please let us know in the comments below.