Whom you choose to spend your time with during the early stages of recovery from addiction can have a tremendous influence on how your recovery progresses as a whole. This is why it’s so important to evaluate your social circle early on as you enter recovery, filling it with positive influences and preparing to part ways with those who would lead you back down a road toward relapse.
If you’re battling addiction and are looking to establish a strong recovery-promoting social circle, read on for some tips on changing up your social circle in the right ways. Identify your positive influences. Who are the friends in your life who desire to see you happy and addiction-free?
Who do you feel that you can be your true self around, free from judgment? Seek out the friends in your life who uplift you when you’re around them, and who spend time doing wholesome things with you. These friends will form the very basis of your social circle, and you’ll want to keep them closer than ever.
Spend time with these positive influences. If you feel that there are truly only a select few friends whom you can count on, and if you feel that broadening your social circle will help you gain the support you need during recovery, then it’s important for you to really spend time with those positive influences in your life.
Spend time engaged in group activities and at group get-togethers with them, and let them introduce you to their friends. Let go of toxic relationships. This can be one of the most difficult parts of the recovery process. You may very well have formed friendships around shared substance abuse, and chances are many of these friendships will prove toxic as you navigate sobriety.
Even if these friends aren’t necessarily pressuring you to use again, substance abuse might truly form the basis of your friendship, and spending time with these friends may very well tempt you toward relapse. Identify those toxic relationships in your life—particularly relationships with those who might pressure you to use again, or who might try to convince you that you don’t need to gain sobriety. It will require a measure of courage on your part, but it could mean the difference between relapsing and avoiding relapse.
Keep in touch with fellow alumni. One of the greatest benefits to completing an addiction recovery program is the continued support you’ll receive even after the program is over. Fellow recovering addicts make an excellent addition to your social circle, and together you can bond over struggles that you might not share with others in your social circle. In addition, you can explore new activities that promote recovery.