Friends in Sobriety: Navigating Life’s Challenges Together
How Sober Friends Help Recovery
You cannot heal in the same place you got sick. Even if you are no longer around the people that allowed you to use, you cannot make friends with people that will offer you drugs or drink alcohol in the future. Sober friendships and positive influences are crucial to maintaining your recovery over time. Surrounding yourself with sober friends and people that actively support your recovery will keep you focused on sobriety and protect you from potential risks of relapse.
Friendships often influence the people within them, so it is best to pick ones that will push you to be healthier. If you are around people that use drugs and drink, you may find yourself doing the same. If you surround yourself with those who engage in sober activities and healthy coping, you will most likely do the same, which will significantly boost your recovery and well-being.
The Power of Friendships
When you develop positive friendships, you will see many benefits. You can also be the source of those benefits for your new friends. The emphasis here is on positive friendships, as you will have left behind your association with friends who encouraged you to use drugs and alcohol and are moving forward toward a support circle that will benefit you in recovery.
Friends can be good for your mental and physical health. You can celebrate good times together and you can be there for each other when one of you is struggling. Friendships and fellowship in recovery can help you by:
- Boosting your happiness and reducing your stress level
- Improving your sense of self-worth and self-confidence
- Increasing your sense of belonging and purpose
- Helping you cope when you struggle with traumatic events you may experience
- Encouraging you and supporting you in your new, healthier lifestyle in recovery.
Research has shown that when you have a strong social support of friendship and fellowship, you will be more likely to have a reduced risk of significant health issues, such as high blood pressure and depression. You may even enjoy a longer life with a strong support circle of true friends.
Positive Support in Recovery
One of the most important benefits of friendship and fellowship in recovery is the positive support you will receive as you work through the challenges you may face after successfully completing your addiction treatment. Your addiction treatment professional can guide you through the steps that will help you build up a support group of friends, as well as help you identify those unhealthy relationships that you will need to avoid going forward.
Changing your problem relationships and identifying supportive relationships are critical steps for you now. You may find that you need to set boundaries with former friends so they will no longer negatively influence your behavior. Developing new friendships may seem like a challenge at this point in your life, but you can find positive support through a number of opportunities to meet new people.