The thought of having to give up all of your friends might be holding you back from seeking addiction treatment. After all, you might have known your friends for years, and you’ve all been through so much together.
Trying to figure out if you can be friends with other addicts is hard, and no one wants to have to tell people they can’t talk to them anymore. However, most people find it necessary to make a clean break from negative influences as they work on their sobriety. If you find this upsetting, then it is okay to feel that way. One thing that can help is to look at it like this doesn’t mean that you have to lose a friend forever. Your decision to seek addiction treatment could pave the way for others in your social group to make similar choices.
Getting sober also opens up opportunities for new friendships that you might not be expecting. Life in sobriety may look boring when your mind is cluttered by the false sensations that are created by drugs or alcohol. Yet, being sober is more fun than waking up too hungover to enjoy going to a movie or family event. Once you stop using drugs or alcohol, you’ll have more energy and time to pursue new hobbies that expand your social group. Taking a look at how your friendships will change for the better makes it easier to enter addiction treatment.
Why Are Social Connections So Important During Recovery?
One of the most important things you will learn in rehab is that positive social connections support sobriety. Friendships are important, and you’ll need to rely on people in your life to help you get through tough moments such as managing a craving. Your friends and family members are a large part of your social network, and you’ll also add new forms of support such as a sober coach and friends who are also working on their sobriety.
Having strong social connections helps you to feel stronger when you feel weakened by a lapse of judgment or craving. Sometimes, all it takes is just a phone call or having coffee with a friend to help bring new light to a moment that feels dark and overwhelming. On top of helping you through rough times, your friends can help you stay busy with healthy activities that support sobriety. From shooting hoops to cooking a special meal, you’ll find that filling your time with positive social engagements makes life in sobriety more fun.
Can You Stay Friends With People Who Are Actively Using?
This question always hits deep. This is because the answer typically is that you will need to let friends go who choose to continue to use drugs and alcohol. The reason for this is simple. If you are around drugs or alcohol, then it is more likely that you’ll start using them again. During your first year of recovery, you are especially vulnerable to having a relapse.
Taking a break from negative influences gives you time to get stronger. While you might need to walk away from a few people in your life for the time being, you can look forward to them hopefully coming around to your side of things once they see all of the wonderful changes that sobriety brings your way.
How Do You Build a Social Life That Is Based On Sobriety?
If you have to leave some friends behind, then your next question is likely what are you supposed to do now? In the very first stages of sobriety, you’ll make social connections in treatment that are usually more formal. For instance, you’ll meet your new counselors who are trained to help you figure out why you use drugs and alcohol. You’ll also get to meet other people who have similar struggles. The other people in your treatment program are all working hard on sobriety. While you are usually advised to avoid romantic connections during this time, you are free to find new friends that share similar interests along with a commitment to staying sober.
The next phases of sobriety open up more ways to make friends. Sober living homes are places where you can live and hang out with a group of people who have all made sobriety their lifestyle. There, you won’t have to worry about someone popping open an alcoholic beverage or pulling out drugs. Instead, you’ll be instantly thrust into a house that is full of people who all want to make healthy social connections. Are you curious about how your life will change in sobriety? If so, give us a call at 866-963-7200. Our friendly staff will help you find the right place to stay to get sober and enjoy an active social life.