Your “new life” post-rehab is all about sober living, embracing your admirable accomplishments after completing a rehab program to beat your addiction. As you’ve successfully conquered your demons and dedicated your future to living a fulfilling and fruitful existence, positive changes are part of the picture. This may include reevaluating friends who were participatory while you were abusing drugs or alcohol.
As much as these people have shaped your story, spending time with them could be detrimental to your ongoing sobriety, especially when you are newly out of rehab and relearning life as a sober individual. Making new friends may be challenging, and could take some time, but the rewards are worth the wait. As for the old friends who can wholeheartedly support your sobriety in a healthy and productive manner, by all means, keep them around, enjoy their company, and spend time strengthening your bonds and shared beliefs.
A Toxic Temptation
Friends have many facets, but if the people you associated with pre-sobriety were users/abusers of drugs or alcohol and still partake in the lifestyle, spending time with them can set you back. It is too easy to fall into old habits when the temptation is so close. Perhaps months or years down the road you can reacquaint yourself with these people, but when you are newly sober, it could be risky to revisit these relationships.
Perhaps if you see these friends in a social setting in which they aren’t using drugs or alcohol, you’ll be safe. Try meeting up for coffee or invite them to your home. They will have to understand that you can no longer partake in your past lifestyle and respect your boundaries. This “weeding out” process will leave you with the friends who have your best interest at heart. Those who can’t appreciate what you have been through and where you’re going are not the people who will be productive as you stay on the sober path.
That said, your willingness to guide them if and when they are ready to stop using themselves will be a gift. Keep the lines of communication open for this potential scenario. Otherwise, it’s much wiser to steer clear of them and the trigger environments they frequent. Your well-being comes first, even if you once considered them good friends.
Along with the old friends you deem “safe” for your sobriety, it is a great time to make new friends who can be part of your life as you stay sober. You may have met some people in rehab who are obviously in the same boat. Keep in touch and reach out when you think you’re both ready for a relationship. Staying sober isn’t easy, and when you can encourage one another to keep at it, you will be blessed to have a hand to hold.
Of course, you can find new friends who have nothing to do with your initial recovery but could be encouraging as you stay sober and seek out new adventures. Find friends in the workplace, your religious congregation, in your apartment complex, or via social networking. Friends of friends are easy to meet, so be open to introductions.
Most importantly, be your own best friend. Once you accept your past and pat yourself on the back for a job well done in rehab, you’ll be your number one fan. Use this self-confidence to communicate with others, and the right people will be attracted to your essence.
As you continue to work on staying sober, seek out additional help if you feel you are still struggling: Contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 for more information