Remember when you thought that making friends in school was hard? It’s much harder when you’re a newly recovering addict. This is a scary, uncomfortable time as it is, and you might not be sure of who you are and the types of friendships you want. At the same time, it’s important to build a support network, as you don’t want to be lonely and miserable during a vulnerable time.
Fortunately, you are not alone when it comes to making friends in early recovery. There are ways to cultivate friendships and foster close bonds without stressing yourself out. Below are the recommendations we make to our own clients as they navigate the road to friendship.
Get Involved in a 12 Step Fellowship
The 12 steps help recovering addicts make positive changes in their lives. We understand that not everyone is open to the 12 steps, but we do believe in their power. Not only will you learn more about yourself but also develop a strong support network.
Each 12 step group is run independently, but they follow the same format. You will attend meetings, get a sponsor and even participate in events. Your fellowship is so much more than attending meetings. You get to interact with people who can relate to your journey.
Create Structure with Outpatient Drug Rehab in Agoura
If you feel that you need additional structure after rehab, consider an outpatient treatment program. These programs are flexible and allow you to work, volunteer and go to school. Counseling is a core part of outpatient treatment. For example, our outpatient rehab in Agoura offers weekly individual therapy, family therapy and 12 step facilitation groups. Our clients are able to work on their recoveries while staying connected to friends and family.
Discover New Hobbies
Are there hobbies and activities that you used to enjoy? Or maybe there is a new activity you want to try. By exploring new hobbies, you can discover the things that make you happy while meeting people with the same interests.
Here are some ideas for social activities:
- Join a softball league
- Take a painting or cooking class
- Get a membership to the park district
- Volunteer your time
- Start a book club
- Offer to walk your neighbors’ dogs
- Learn to play an instrument
Put Your Recovery First
Making friends is hard enough, but developing these relationships when you’re just learning about yourself is especially difficult. This is why it’s important to put your recovery first, even when you are doubting yourself. Your recovery is everything, and you should never risk it to please someone else.
To be successful with this, you must know your boundaries and be comfortable telling people no. We highly recommend having an exit strategy for when you’re feeling tempted to use. Keep a trusted friend’s number in your phone, as well as your sponsor’s contact info.
Building friendships is important for long lasting recovery, but you must continue to put your recovery first. Awakenings Treatment Center offers outpatient addiction treatment in Agoura for people in all stages of recovery. Contact us today to be part of our community.