People with substance misuse disorders often find their relationships are the first area of their lives to suffer the strain. The deception and self-destructive behavior that accompany addiction erode trust, driving away even the ones who love you most. Enabling and codependency are two additional relationship problems that are often closely linked with addiction.
Many addicts or alcoholics reach a point where their primary relationship is with their substance of choice, and the people they associate with most are either those who drink or use drugs with them, or those who help them get their next dose. When your life revolves around getting high or drinking, your focus often narrows so you lose interest in other hobbies or activities, even if they were things you previously enjoyed. After you regain your sobriety with the help of a qualified treatment facility, you may struggle to mend old relationships and create new ones.
Avoiding Toxic Relationships
Healthy relationships are the foundation of your successful recovery. However, if you drank or used drugs for a long time, it can be challenging to tell the difference between which relationships will support your sobriety and which will not. Here are some tips on how to identify positive relationships and avoid negative ones, and how to navigate this often complex landscape.
If your recovery is well-established enough that you feel ready to rebuild old relationships, be careful about reaching out to anyone who played a significant role in your life while you were addicted. As tempting as it may be to reestablish connections, it’s safer to steer clear of anyone who may put your recovery at risk.
Make a mental checklist of your past relationships and friendships. Who supported your decision to seek treatment? Who believed you were capable of getting clean and starting over? Who has demonstrated respect for your recovery process? Those are the people you should want to stay in your life.
Toxic people are the ones who made you feel bad about yourself when you told them you were going to rehab. Anyone who has been abusive, controlling or manipulative, or who actively contributed to your addiction by encouraging you to party and get high with them, is someone to avoid.
Establishing Sober Relationships
People in drug rehab benefit from mentors, support groups and sober peers to help them navigate the trials and errors of recovery. If you are struggling or having a rough day, there is always someone willing to lend an ear or reach out a helping hand. When you leave the rehab facility to reenter the world, it can be difficult to recreate these sober networks, leaving a void in your life.
As you seek new relationships as a sober person, it is essential to seek traits that will help you maintain your freedom from addiction, such as:
- Honesty and open communication
- Trust and safety
- Positivity and empathy
- Accountability and reliability
- Acceptance and respect
With any relationships you form in recovery, it is essential to know how to set boundaries. If you encounter someone who represents a hindrance to your sobriety, know when to walk away. When you find someone who supports your recovery journey, keep that person around to help you achieve long-term success.
Rediscover Your Freedom at New Found Life
If you are looking for a holistic, evidence-based approach to recovery, New Found Life can help you achieve sobriety with our tailored treatment plans. For 25 years, we have helped our clients overcome chemical dependency and reclaim their lives in Long Beach, CA. Contact our admissions specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get started on your road to recovery.