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5 Tips for Making New Friends in Recovery

Starting the recovery journey can be an overwhelming, if not frightening endeavor. The recovery journey is more than just not doing something. Recovery is a lifestyle change. There is an understanding in various treatment models that a successful recovery journey entails changing various aspects of your life. These changes can include finding new hobbies, avoiding triggers and immersing yourself in a new type of environment. For a successful recovery journey, some people have found that they need to let go of old relationships and find new relationships that are supportive of their recovery.

Here are 5 tips to making new friends in recovery:

Grieve old relationships.

This is an often-overlooked step in the process, but it is an important one. While you were in active addiction, you did have relationships. These relationships were probably not always positive and healthy, but they were part of your life. To move forward, you must grieve and let go of the past. Processing these past relationships can be done in therapy, counseling, support groups or 12 step meetings. Some people write letters to old friends to gain closure. The purpose of coming to terms with the past, is to be able to move forward for yourself. Do not worry if you do not complete this step immediately, processing your past can be an ongoing process.

Learn about yourself.

Take some time to get to know what you like and dislike. Finding positive friendships is more than just about finding people who have the same amount of sobriety than you. Make a mental or written list of hobbies and interests that you have. Seek out friends that have similar passions and hobbies as you.

Look for positive friendships in positive places

This is the action part of the plan. When you were in active addiction finding friends and acquaintances could be as easy as going to a bar or club. Now that you are in recovery, you may not want to frequent those types of places, especially in the initial stages of recovery. Look for friends in positive places. These places could include support groups and 12 step meetings. You could join a meet-up, join a gym, go to a coffee shop or book club. Consider using networking events from work to meet new people.

Take chances

If you meet someone that you hit it off with, take a chance on yourself. Talk to them. Ask them if they want to hang out. Use small talk to initiate a conversation and get to know more about them. If you do not take chances you may miss an opportunity.

Be patient with yourself.

Patience! The road to recovery is a new journey for you. Learning to live again is a new process. Remember when you learned how to ride a bike or swim? You did not have it perfected on day one. Making friendships in recovery is similar to riding a bike. With some practice, you will become more confident and successful at it. Just be patient with yourself!

Recovery is a journey which starts by taking the first step toward detox. Start your journey with a compassionate, comfortable environment where healing is the main priority. Call The Gardens Wellness Center today for information on our residential medical detox programs:  (844) 325-9168