Forming new, close friendships as an adult can be challenging especially for people with addictions who have spent years adjusting themselves to solitude and isolation. However, in order to recover from substance abuse problems bonding with other people is crucial because it creates a support system and prevents the type of loneliness that can lead to self-destructive behavior.
Even though it may seem normal in the modern world to spend lots of time alone, human beings are social animals that need a connection with others to feel fulfilled and comfortable. Making new friends in recovery can help make the path toward sobriety easier as you surround yourself with people that want the best for you and are there to help motivate you to achieve your goals.
Replacing Negative Influences
Once you have quit an addiction, you will have to reconsider who you will spend your time with in the future. Some of your old friends may have enabled your habits of substance abuse because they were also addicts. While it can be hard to let go of some of the people from your past, it may be necessary in many cases so that you can stay focused on sobriety.
Some of your old drinking buddies may not understand your decision to become sober and they may even feel threatened by it because they are not ready to confront their old problem. If friends from your past are still negative influences on you, the best choice may be to let go and move on.
Because you may have to break some ties with old friends it is important to fill the empty space with new and more positive friendships that will help support your new lifestyle. Group therapy and twelve step meetings are great places to meet people who are on the same path as you and can provide you with compassion and understanding. They can also give you the kind of advice and encouragement that would be hard to find elsewhere.
Physical and Emotional Support
There are plenty of reasons that addicts need to have a social group for the sake of their physical and mental health. Having a network of supportive friends can provide physical help in times of trouble simply by being there for you, giving you a ride or a place to stay when you need somebody available.
In addition to physically being a resource, sober friends also provide emotional assistance when you are going through tough times and need a shoulder to cry on. Emotional support is one of the most important things to have in recovery especially after you leave treatment and are living on your own.
Creating a close bond with other people will also give you a way to have feedback on your progress and keep you in check when it seems like you are slipping. Addicts often isolate themselves because they want to avoid the kind of feedback that forces them to confront the consequences of their substance abuse. Staying closely connected with others will help you remain accountable for your actions and it will be crucial in preventing a relapse.
Even though some people may believe they can do everything on their own and they are independent and strong, recovery always means having a network of friends to help you out. The bonds that you form in recovery can become lasting friendships that keep you on track and even change your life for the better. When you have positive influences in your life who support you and give you the love and understanding you need then there is no limit to what you can achieve.