One of the most important aspects of a strong recovery is having social support. This can include friends, family, and mutual aid groups. This presents a bit of a challenge for people just starting out in recovery. Often, they find their old friends were just drinking buddies and they don’t have much else in common. Typically, it’s best to avoid anyone who might trigger cravings or pressure you to relapse. This might lead to isolation and loneliness, which are also bad for recovery. In addition to resuscitating relationships with your family and supportive friends, it’s also good to make new friends. Here are some things to think about when choosing friends in recovery.
Your friends will influence your behavior.
We all like to think we’re independent, that we think for ourselves and make our own decisions, but in fact we are influenced by the people around us in a thousand subtle ways. If you spend much time with someone, you will adopt each other’s beliefs, attitudes, and mannerisms to some degree. That means you should definitely avoid anyone whose beliefs and habits aren’t good for recovery. Anyone who is negative, pessimistic, or not particularly interested in staying sober will probably hold you back if you spend much time together. On the other hand, people who are optimistic, supportive, and motivated to stay sober will probably be good for you. After treatment, try to spend time with people who have the kind of recovery and the kind of life you would like to have.
Listen to what people tell you.
If you aren’t sure who the positive people are, just listen. Most people can’t wait to tell you what they think about things, but often we discount it or just don’t listen. Then we’re surprised when their actions match what they’ve already told us. Listen to what people say and consider the possibility they’re telling you the truth.
Be willing to make mistakes.
Even if you try to limit yourself to being friends with positive people who will be good for your recovery, you won’t always get it right. Some people talk a good game but can’t follow through. Mistakes are normal, but at some point it may become clear you’re dealing with a disingenuous person. Also, just because someone has a positive attitude doesn’t mean you will be great friends. Sometimes people just don’t click. Stay on good terms but spend more time with people you get along with better. Don’t get too discouraged by these wrong turns. If you remain open and keep reaching out to people, you will eventually make some good friends.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.