Recovery teaches you that your old friends will no longer suffice; as a matter of fact, you learn that many of the people with whom you had relationships in addiction were not your friend. The people you used drugs and alcohol with are more likely acquaintances of circumstance. After you pull mind-altering substances out for the equation, the individuals you are left with are unlikely to resemble what one might define as a friend.
Once you adopt a program of recovery, a commitment is made to do virtually the opposite of everything you did before. Working a program means no longer frequenting the places you associate with substance abuse; it is doing away with anything and everything that can precipitate a relapse; and, perhaps most importantly, it means that in place of your old “using” buddies that you insert a group of individuals that care about your well-being.
Cutting ties with people from your past isn’t natural; in some cases, you have to say goodbye to the people you care about that are not ready to embrace recovery. For some people, severing connections calls for breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend. It isn’t easy to move forward with anything mentioned above, but if you are serious about long-term recovery, it is vital that you protect yourself from the people in your past that may jeopardize what you are fighting for today.
Friends Conducive to My Recovery
It is possible that there are people from your past that you did not use drugs and alcohol with, men and women who are affirming and stand behind your recovery. Such people can remain in your life and should; many addicts and alcoholics have two diametric groups of peers in their life: those who want the best for you and those who want something from you. The latter must go!
With that in mind, now that you are in recovery you are probably working a program that involves meetings. Such events are a perfect opportunity to seek out and foster healthy friendships. Socializing is one of the reasons your counselors in treatment told you to get to meetings early and leave late. It is the “meeting-after-the-meeting” that brings about lasting connections with your peers in recovery.
Please take time to meet the people you are recovering with and get to know them intimately. When you introduce yourself to people in meetings, they are likely going to want to spend time with you outside of the rooms of recovery. You may have the desire to turn down invitees to open yourself up to others, but we strongly recommend that you avoid the temptation to refuse the entreats of your peers in recovery. Taking people up on their offer to socialize could be the beginning of a life-long relationship with an individual who may one day help you avoid relapse.
Hope by the Sea, located in San Juan Capistrano, California, offers evidence-based services to help you or your loved one recover from addiction. Please contact us to learn more about our program and how you can take steps for a future that is free from drugs and alcohol.