friendship and recovery

Friendship and Recovery: Parting Ways With Addicts

Once you’ve gotten sober, you’ll need to cut out the negative influences in your life. Friendship and recovery can be quite complicated.

One of the hardest things about getting sober is the complete shift in lifestyle that you have to make. You’ll need to seek out new hobbies and activities to keep your mind off of using substances. You’ll also need to say goodbye to some of your old acquaintances.

It doesn’t have to be forever, but it’s integral to surround yourself with the right people when you’ve made the decision to stop using. Some of your friends, of course, may still be addicts. So, how do you tell them you need some time away?

In this post, we’ll be giving you some tips on how to part ways with the negative influences in your life. You’ll learn more about prioritizing your recovery, living a sober lifestyle, and moving forward with the positive things in life without worrying about what you’re leaving behind. 

Friendship and Recovery: How to Get Rid of Bad Influences

It’s important to note that when you get sober, there’s going to be a considerable change in how you live your life. With help from your family and doctors, you’ll have higher chances of success. However, if you’re going to make sobriety work, then you need to know that there will be some temptation during your recovery.

Being able to see who has your best interest in mind and who has their own best interest in mind is critical for a successful recovery. You have to figure out who supports your recovery and who doesn’t.

You Need Support

People that struggle with addiction can recover with help from good support systems. In fact, many addicts come from healthy families and have healthy relationships. However, there’s almost always an undercurrent of bad influences as well.

When you decide to get sober, you’re taking responsibility for the part you played in becoming an addict. Admitting that you’ve got a problem is a huge step in the right direction. But it’s only the first part of a long process.

To get and stay sober, you’re going to need the help of supportive parents, friends, family members, partners, and even ex-partners. It’s impossible to go through recovery alone. So, the sooner you realize the importance of keeping good influences around you, the better this process will go.

The same goes for keeping bad influences away. There are people in your life that will actively prevent you from achieving your goal of getting and staying sober. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re trying to sabotage you or your life. There could be a lot of reasons why someone close to you doesn’t want you to give up substance use. Even so, you’ll need to keep these people at arm’s length while you go through your recovery.

Signs of a Negative Influence

Cutting ties with anyone is hard, and not all of the people from your old life will interfere with your recovery process. Still, some of them will make it hard to resist the urge to return to substance abuse. It’s unfortunate, but you need to get away from these kinds of people— at least while you’re still in the process of getting sober.

Being objective about who to cut ties with can be tough, so here are some of the telltale signs of a negative influence. You should put some distance between yourself and friends that:

  • criticize your decision to get sober
  • frequently cause you emotional distress
  • accuse you of being “no fun” or “boring now”
  • have a pattern of influencing your decisions in a negative manner
  • are ignorant of their own addiction or unwilling to seek treatment 

These aren’t all of the signs, but they’re some of the more obvious ones.

If you’re particularly close with someone that acts in any of the ways listed above, then you will have to make the difficult but critical decision to cut ties with them. It will be especially hard if you see the person every day or if the two of you live together.

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

The truth of the matter is that if someone really cares about you and has your best interests in mind, then that person will see why you have to have some time apart. If anyone in your life is resistant to you temporarily cutting ties with them, that’s an even greater sign that you’re making the right decision.

Again, it’s almost never out of maliciousness. It can be hard for people in the middle of substance abuse problems to be happy for those that decide to stop. For reasons of jealousy or insecurity with their own inability to get clean, they’ll appear to be trying to pull you back into the addiction.

The best way to approach these types of conversations is to recognize that you played a part in this unhealthy relationship. Taking ownership of your own problems will show them that you’re not blaming them for what’s transpired or passing judgment on them for not seeking help.

The conversation could go any number of ways.

There will likely be a negative reaction. No one wants to hear that they’re part of a toxic relationship. If you feel that someone isn’t taking you or your health seriously, then you should cut ties entirely and focus on your recovery.

The important thing is that you find the best treatment possible to get and stay sober.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

The good influences in your life will make themselves apparent right away. Having a network of supportive and loving people is just as important as the treatment that you receive. You’ll meet supportive doctors, nurses, and peers during treatment that you’ll be able to rely on for years to come.

Eventually, you may see some of your old friends again. It’s important to remember that people can change and that addiction changes people. Maybe some of them have even decided to get sober, too. If that ever happens, you can decide whether or not you want to be for them what they weren’t for you: a friend.

Help from Addiction Treatment Services

For help finding addiction treatment, visit Addiction Treatment Services.

Be sure to also check out our blog for more informative and inspirational articles about getting sober, finding friendship and recovery, and starting a new life.