Addiction is not always a lonely experience. Many people who drink excessively and use drugs find that they develop a common bond with others who enjoy doing the same things. Before you got sober, you might have spent time commiserating with your drinking buddies about your work and family life. Or, you might’ve enjoyed using party drugs as you jammed out with your band. The thought of leaving people behind that you might’ve been friends with for years is upsetting.
You might worry about having no one to talk to or even that they might be mad at you. Your curiosity about whether you should leave behind drinking and using buddies shows that you are already aware of the many changes that you’ll need to make in sobriety. While it is likely that you’ll need to leave some friends behind, there is a chance that you might not have to. In some cases, your buddies might be willing to stop using drugs or alcohol, too. If not, then you can also rest assured that you’ll find new people on your sobriety journey that will fill in any social gaps that get created when you refuse to spend time around people who could support a return to your former habits.
Take an Honest Look at Your Friendships
Once you start to get sober, you might begin to see your friends through a different lens. It is possible that your friendships are based solely on using drugs or alcohol together. Take a moment to think about what you do with your buddies. If every gathering involves using together, then it is possible that your friendships aren’t based on other interests. After thinking seriously about your friendships, you could also notice that they aren’t exactly healthy relationships. For example, your friends might rely on you to pay for drugs or alcohol, or they may have lied, stolen from you or done other things that broke your trust. These friendships will naturally fall away over time since you’ll be thinking with a clearer mind in sobriety.
Find Out If They’re Ready to Join You In Sobriety
Upon introspection, you might also find that your friendships aren’t so bad, except for the fact that you tend to go overboard with your buddies. Some of your friends might not have an addiction. If that’s the case, then you might want to find out if they’d like to do other things with you that help you stay sober. If they’re willing to stop using drugs and alcohol around you, then they might be worth keeping in your life. Just remember that sometimes seeing certain people is a trigger for cravings. You’ll want to monitor your reaction to having that friend around to make sure it doesn’t lead to relapse.
If your buddy has an addiction, then you might need to stop spending time together until both of you get sober. However, you might be the person to help jumpstart that process by talking to your friend about going to treatment. If they see or hear about your success in sobriety, then they might be willing to try it out for themselves. You will still need to stop spending time together doing things that trigger your cravings, but they may just be the perfect newly sober friend to help you make it to the next stage of your journey.
Start Making New Friends That Fit Your Sober Lifestyle
The truth is that some of your friendships just won’t be able to support your new sober life, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be lonely. You’ll start making friends right away in rehab, and you can continue to find people to spend time with by trying out the following activities.
- attend group therapy sessions
- volunteer for a charitable organization
- reach out to sober people from your past
- join a wholesome club in your community
- talk to people at your gym
Are you ready to get sober, even if it means making major life changes? We’ll help you find a program that gives you the chance to make healthier friendships. Give us a call today at 866-963-7200.