Careful Choices of Companionship in Sobriety

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Happy woman talking and laughing with a friend at homeIt is often said that you become whom you surround yourself with. There is definitely truth in this statement, as we often acquire behaviors of those who we frequent ourselves with. We are influenced by the people that we interact with on a daily basis.

If the individuals we choose to surround ourselves with are positive and uplifting, this can influence us to better ourselves and aim towards constructive choices in our decision-making. On the flip side, if we surround ourselves with negative people, this will likely influence how we view ourselves and persuade us towards poor decisions.

Perhaps there is no greater time that warrants careful choices of companionship then in sobriety. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is something that is highly influenced by the environment that a person puts himself or herself in. By aiming to have companions that are supportive of addiction recovery and sobriety, this will make the journey easier and more successful.

Who Are Your Current Friends?

If you or a loved one has been struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and is now working to maintain sobriety, take the time to assess your current social situation. What kinds of friends do you frequently spend your time with? Are your friendships supportive of your work in sobriety and your recovery from addiction? Do your friends help support your sobriety or discourage you from the positive choices you have made in recovery?

While these questions can be difficult and sobering to ask, they are absolutely necessary to the success of your recovery and sobriety. If the majority of your time is spent with people who are not uplifting your choice to remain sober, then it may be necessary to question a continued relationship with these people.

College FriendsIt can be extremely hard to let go of some relationships, but you need to consider what is helping your life for the long run. You must weigh the consequences of what it may mean to continue relationships that are not conducive to your ongoing recovery and sobriety.

Letting Go of Triggering Relationships

If you are having difficulty letting go of past relationships that were perhaps triggering to your addiction, it may be worth considering speaking with a counselor or therapist who can help you processes these feelings and emotions. It is never easy to part with a person.

Relationships are complex and involve several different aspects. Working with a professional may be helpful in finding some guidance as you navigate through these emotions and feelings.

If you are working to build new companions in your recovery from addiction, consider the factors that would help support your sobriety and ongoing recovery. Can you have open and honest discussions with this person? Do you share healthy behaviors and hobbies that can be enjoyed together while honoring your sobriety? Will your friendship help keep you accountable in your recovery journey and with your sobriety? These are important questions to ask when considering companionship after addiction recovery.

Fighting the “Comfort Zone” in Friendships

Group Of Happy Smiling FriendsFalling back into old relationships and tendencies may be your natural inclination. This is understandable because this is the easy thing to do. We are creatures of habit and tend to gravitate towards the things that are easiest and most comfortable.

Pulling away from these tendencies and making proactive choices that support your recovery is what is needed to keep you alive and well. You do not have to face this journey alone however.

There is a community of support around you that you can draw from to strengthen yourself for this journey. You can lean on other people who are stronger for advice, comfort, feedback, and encouragement.

Maintaining sobriety and health is a conscious choice that you will have to make everyday. This choice can be made easier when you are surrounded with others who encourage your choice to maintain and uphold your sobriety. Carefully consider the people that you want to be in your life in order to keep your recovery going.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think are important factors to consider when choosing companionships that support your sobriety? What has helped you make these choices in your own life?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 7th, 2015
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