Maintaining Sobriety: Surrounding Yourself With Like-Minded People
You have completed your treatment and you’re ready to go home. But nothing is the same anymore: you have changed. Now, you are a new person. You are sober, and you are committed to remaining that way. Who you choose to surround yourself with will either encourage your sobriety, or jeopardize it completely.
So how do you go about surrounding yourself with the right people?
Unfriend Your Old Pals
It’s tough to face old friends and tell them that you can longer be as close as you once were, specifically friends that were such a big part of your life while you were using.
But to maintain your sobriety, cutting ties with people who are likely to make you fall off the wagon is absolutely critical. You may feel like if you lose your old friends, you will become lonely. But remember: you can make new friends who share the same experiences as you with recovering, meaning they’ll also have goals similar to yours.
Maintaining old friendships, especially with friends who are using, can pose a huge threat to your recovery. It is easy to tell yourself that you will not use when they are using. But as long as you keep hanging out with the same old crowd, eventually, you are going to fall back into the same habits and start using again.
You also need to get rid of friends who do not support your recovery, and those who are not a positive influence. If you have made it clear to your friends that you do not want to go to places where you may be tempted to use, but your sentiments fall on deaf ears, it may best to distance yourself with these “friends”. The people who truly love and care for you will want to encourage your sobriety in any way they can.
Always Forward, Never Backwards
To maintain your sobriety, certain things, situations, and behaviors have to change. Continuing to hang out at your local bar or going to parties is not going to help you avoid old pals. You may feel like you are in control and have the willpower to avoid temptation, but hanging out at nightclubs, bars, and gatherings where people are using the same substance you quit is self-sabotage.
So find better places to hang out: places you know will not tempt you to use or engage in old behaviors.
As difficult as it may be, you need to explain to people that you don’t use anymore if the subject comes up. You don’t need to give out too much information unless you are comfortable sharing your experiences. The most important thing with honesty is not trying to cover up your sobriety. There is nothing wrong with being sober, and the right people will only praise you for it.
Exercising can help you focus on your goals and encourage other positive behaviors, such as maintaining a healthy diet. Researchers have found evidence that shows that exercise can reduce alcohol use and drug cravings.
When you come for treatment at Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, part of our regimen involves getting good nutrition and consistent exercising. We hold yoga classes regularly, and you can also take part in other physical activities such as cycling, walking, hiking, and jogging.
Hang Out With Sober People
Connecting and hanging out with sober people is one of the best ways to maintain your sobriety. At Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, we have groups where you can meet and interact with like-minded people going through similar situations. You should also consider talking to one of our professional counselors if you feel like you’re struggling with negative feelings that could lead to relapse.
Engage in Community Activities
Spend your time and energy on activities that are positive and productive. You can do this by volunteering in your local community. Try helping at a food shelter or hospital. Engage in activities that involve helping people: it’s a great way to meet and connect with others who have gone through the same struggles that you have. Plus, you will feel better knowing that you have helped someone else.
Boost Your Skills
Learning new skills can help you maintain focus on the things that are most important to you. Maybe you want to learn how to create apps, or how to start a small business. You can learn these skills by enrolling at a local college, and can also find inexpensive courses online that suit your interests. Having a long-term goal is important to envisioning a successful, sober future.
Join A Club
Join a club where you can learn new skills that are useful. Don’t just sit at home: get out there and do something you’ve never done before. Enroll in a cooking class, or get friends together for a monthly book club. There is so much you can learn by simply joining clubs and interacting with others that share the same interests. Furthermore, most clubs hold activities that are fun and inexpensive.
And if you can’t find a club that interests you, start one and tell people about it. It’s very possible that you you end up helping other recovering addicts to stay sober. You’ll be able to accomplish so much more when your energy is spent on developing a passion for something that will help you grow.
Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers offers a caring, supporting environment that allows addicts to surround themselves with other patients, helping them develop a sense of belonging and trust. Call us today for detailed information on our programs and services.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602.346.9130.
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