Social life is essential for someone who is recovering from addiction. Let’s face it: going to treatment was hard, and you need to have some fun. However, your social life will now look different. You must work on rebuilding your social life now that you have had the opportunity to develop healthy habits and avoid triggers.
Do not underestimate the challenges. Be humble about what your willpower can achieve, and make realistic plans. You need to strategically plan to create a social circle so that you continue to progress in recovery. This may look like mapping out and avoiding triggers and pulling all supporting resources around you.
Navigating a Different Social Life
It is inevitable in life and recovery that stress will come up, and you will need to fight off the urge to use substances. It is also important to caution against unhealthy old behavioral patterns. Yes, you have learned a great deal from your therapist and counselors, and there is an extensive toolbox you can access.
However, using them in real life can be challenging. Luckily, sobriety has created a new beginning to approach people, groups, and life as a whole. The challenges are just new opportunities. All you need to do is to be more attentive and intentional in navigating these waters.
Remember to Be Confident
Self-confidence is essential to start with. Do not discount your efforts. If you have been sober for this long, you can handle what is to come.
Recognizing your worth is important because you don’t want to lose courage on the first days of your new battle. It is an active battleground, but you have been equipped to fight. Your confidence is a vital armor against frustrations and despair. You will probably fail from time to time, but you’ve learned the drill of how to pull yourself up.
Staying Committed to Recovery
While making new connections, it is crucial to stay committed to your recovery. Keep your eyes on this prize. Stay firm in your decision. Do not allow anybody to talk you out of staying sober just to have some “fun.” You are going to meet friends or acquaintances who try to distract you from this mission. Be grounded and determined.
Things to Avoid
When making new connections, you may want to make a plan. Your strategic plan should include things, people, and places to avoid. If you have not already realized, recovery from addiction usually reveals who your true friends are. These are people who care for your mental and physical health and respect your decision-making. They would not impose a lifestyle on you. They would not shame you for doing or not doing something.
By now, you have probably lost some friends. You may have some close friends who used and encouraged you to do the same. However, such friendships are founded on a mutual love for harmful things. That is not what love is supposed to be. It is unfortunate, but such a loss might be a good thing for you.
Don’t Try to Rescue Others
Once you get sober, you may want to “rescue” friends from their addiction. However, the truth is, you are still in a fragile stage of recovery yourself. Like someone who just got rescued from drowning, you are gasping for air, and there is no strength in you to save another person.
If you care for your friends, the loving thing to do is refer them to treatment. You know how much work has been done by medical professionals in helping you out of addiction. Let these professionals be the rescuers. Your top priority is to care for your current stage of progress.
New Things to Try
The most rewarding part of recovery is trying new things. Making new friendships is a huge part of that. Starting from peers from your 12-Step group and friends from treatment, you can expand to a new social network of healthy, friendly people.
Along with this, you might want to explore new hobbies. Sometimes you meet new friends while doing these activities. You can also consider becoming more engaged in your community or at your children’s school by volunteering.
While building new relationships, treat these relationships with care and caution. Be aware that you have old habits that tend to wreck relationships. However, recovery has given you the chance to reinvent yourself. Recovery is an unlearning and relearning process. From making conversations, collaborating on projects, working out differences of opinions, or even resolving conflicts, you need to work out the principles taught carefully.
Congratulations on your recovery! Sobriety is an accomplishment, but it also needs maintenance. Are you ready to embrace a new social life? Or do you find it a bit daunting? Your social life in recovery will look very different. Luckily, there are well-proven strategies to help you succeed. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our mental health professionals can walk alongside you in this process. Our primary purpose is to equip our clients with the knowledge, life skills, spiritual tool kit, and emotional support to produce a meaningful character transformation. We create a safe, fun, and comfortable home-like atmosphere that enables our clients to achieve and maintain long-term recovery and a positive life change. Together we work diligently with our clients to uncover, discover, and discard to unearth the authentic self in each client, healing the underlying causes of addiction. Call Laguna Shores at (866) 906-3203, and our experienced staff can help you prepare for a new chapter of your life.