Making new friends in recovery is one of the most intricate pieces of your sobriety puzzle. When the friends and substances of your past is all you know, it can be hard to detach yourself from those ties. That’s what makes making new friends in recovery so important to the process directed by your physician.
There is perhaps no greater importance than the bonds you develop during rehab. In life, the friends you make can determine where you end up. It’s no different in rehab. In recovery, friends can either make or break your sobriety aspirations.
A wise person once said, “You show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” In this case, the quality of your friends can determine whether or not you will achieve freedom from your strongholds. But how does one find such friends?
There are many roadblocks and important key traits to consider when seeking to develop any friendship, especially in rehab. After all, not all friends are good friends in recovery. The information here will make the befriending process in recovery easier.
How to Make the Right Friends in Rehab
Making friends in recovery doesn’t mean blindly befriending the first person you see, though you should be friendly to everyone. There are specific key traits one should hone in on when developing new bonds along the journey to sobriety. Equipping yourself with the observation tactics below will help you make the right companions in rehab. These positive personality traits will help you know what to look for in a good friend. If they pass the “REHAB” acrostic, you can be sure they’re the type of friend you want to have in recovery.
If you notice a therapy attendee is focused on sobriety goals, this is a good indication of someone who will strengthen you equally. A strong friend who is focused primarily on achieving sobriety will provide you with a sense of direction. This will keep you motivated in your goals. With the guidance of your therapist and the encouragement of motivated recovery-minded friends, your sobriety is well within your grasp.
Empathy means caring and sharing another’s burden. Any friend who expresses sincere care for others’ well-being will care about your recovery in the purest way. Whether or not someone truly cares is often easy to tell by speaking with them. An empathetic friend will be an anchoring friend who keeps you excited and desiring to remain sober each and every day.
This means that they are receptive to therapy and give their therapists complete trust and control of their recovery paths. If you notice a therapy recipient heeding therapeutic direction and advice, this is the kind of friend you need in recovery. It’s difficult to progress in your recovery if your friends in recovery aren’t encouraging you to help yourself and come to terms with your addiction.
There is a wise old proverb that proclaims, “Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” In the case of recovery, somebody with accountability partners is keeping themselves sharp and strong against relapse temptations.
Do you notice your friends taking extra caution in having one or more accountability partners? This sign of accountability shows that they’re serious about their sobriety. A good friend in recovery will take responsibility for their actions and attempt to remove every stumbling block from their lives.
Are your friends n recovery bad influences or hindrances to your sobriety goals? Do they have a positive impact on your sobriety goals? Do they surround themselves with less than favorable influences? These are the questions you ask when determining if an individual in recovery is a good friend to you.
You can tell a lot by a person by who they surround themselves with. Just like any other friendship, bonds are developed by having things in common. If the traits that you have in common with your friends in recovery aren’t sobriety-related or they magnify your friends’ desires for substance use over sobriety, these influences will obviously not help your goals.
What are the Stumbling Blocks for Making Friends in Recovery?
It can be difficult making the transition from your older habits to establishing new ones in recovery. During this transition period, there can be many stumbling blocks that prevent you from making the friends you should in recovery.
Here is but a few hindrances and how to combat them. Bear in mind, that most of these struggles stem from the change in atmosphere and stripping one of the strongholds they’ve grown so accustomed to.
As creatures of habit, a change of scenery and protocol can disrupt our social processes. For some, a change can be the best thing possible for finding friends in recovery, while it can cause others to become introverted. The hardest thing about change is getting started in a new lifestyle.
You often don’t know how you’re supposed to act or respond. This is a normal step toward defining what your new habits will be in sobriety. Once you take to opening yourself up to more encouraging forms of friendship in recovery, you may find recovery becomes easier by the passing day.
Another behavior a change of scenery can bring on is hesitancy in all aspects of your new environment. This means hesitancy to interact, hesitancy to open up, and even reservations about accepting the wise advice of your therapist.
Talk to a behavioral specialist today about how to open up and remove your hesitancy surrounding your rehab environment. Like dipping your toes in the lake before jumping in, oftentimes you’ll only make the plunge by jumping in. The only way to overcome hesitancy is to take that first step of communication by simply saying, “hi.”
The necessity of changing the circumstances that feed your addiction doesn’t change the fact that it can be a confusing time. Taking away a lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to can make a person confused about how to act and react in a new environment. This is where the aid of a behavioral therapist can strengthen you to create new opportunities to communicate. Learning to communicate is one of the most important traits of rehab and making friends in recovery.
It’s not uncommon for family members to feel deserted due to their loved one’s addiction. One scenario that might occur is the family might begin drinking with the person who has an alcohol addiction. This situation rarely is effective because addiction is powerful, and the act of trying to keep up to avoid feeling left out isn’t feasible.
For example, stating, “If you don’t stop drinking, I will leave” is a threat and ultimatum. However, saying, “I will not allow any drinking in my home” is setting a boundary. Remember, you’re not able to control if your loved one stops drinking or not, but you can decide what type of behavior you will and won’t accept in your life.
A powerful aspect of Al-Anon is members learn that they don’t have to accept intolerable behavior in their lives. You might not be able to control the behavior of another person, but you do have a choice when it comes to what you find unsuitable. Remember, setting boundaries is an act that is done for your benefit, and not as a method to control.
To set boundaries effectively, it is helpful to be able to detach to some degree. Detaching is letting go of another person’s concern. It will allow you to look at the situation more objectively.
How To Make Friends in Recovery
There are a variety of simple methods you can utilize to help you make as many friends in recovery as you wish. The most important aspect of making friends in recovery is to take action. Just as your addictions require action to resolve, so does your social life in recovery to get all the support you need in rehab. Here are just a few ideas to help you open up to new friendships in therapy.
As simple as it may sound, it may not be so simple for others. But, you can’t turn the page on the next chapter of your social life without taking the initiative to say “hello.”
You won’t be able to transition from your prior social life to a current one if you fail to develop one in therapy. Developing new bonds is a vital part of helping you leave your toxic old ones behind. A simple hello could open the floodgates of getting to know your next best friend and support in therapy.
One of the greatest methods of making new friends in recovery is simply by opening up in group therapy sessions. Sharing your story with others helps you connect with them on a deeper level.
In sharing your story, you’ll be encouraged to see that you’re not alone in your battle with addiction. There’s no shame in opening up honestly about your struggle and what you’re seeking to get out of therapy. Rehab is filled with amazing personal stories that bring people closer together, all while striving toward a common goal.
In order to make friends, you must first be a friend. This means making yourself available to hear others’ stories, struggles, and needs. Listen to what others have to say. Be receptive to what you learn from your new companions and our team of caring physicians.
By listening to others and being a friend to others in need, you’ll be surprised how much smoother rehab can be. When you open yourself up to becoming a friend, people will be quick to befriend you.
Your New Friends Await you at New Directions for Women
New Directions for Women has a friendly atmosphere with a firm direction that you need to achieve sobriety. Equipped with a new philosophy and new friendships, you’ll have all the support and tools you need to achieve and maintain your sobriety.
New Directions for women can make all your recovery dreams come true. You’ll meet some of the truest friends you’ll ever meet in your life. Rest assured, your sobriety rests in the hands of our trustworthy team of loving professionals eager to help you achieve your goals.