Friends are an important part of life. You need them to laugh with, to enjoy whatever area of your life you know them from, and to lean on when times get tough. Without that support, you may start to feel alone and isolated from others.
With all the recovery measures you are implementing in your daily life, you may start to feel a slight difference in how your relationships with friends evolve over time. You may notice that what once bonded you together is actually the very thing that is tearing you apart. As your moral compass continues to straighten up into the principled way your Higher Power wants you to be, this process could impair your relationship with a friend who does not care about how important it is for you to live a more virtuous life than you once did.
Does this mean ending the friendship altogether to save face? Not necessarily because they may follow your lead with either getting sober themselves or by using your example into a more wholesome lifestyle. You do need to consider that sometimes you may outgrow a friendship because that does happen from time to time and here is why.
You are sober and they are not.
Sometimes friendships become weakened because you make them feel bad about their own relationship with alcohol. If your friend is still abusing drugs and alcohol, they probably do not want a reminder that they are not living their best life, even if they think they are. Seeing your strength in recovery that includes total abstinence allows you to have compassion for them because you understand what they are going through. If they do seem to hold resentment for your sobriety, just know that this is not your problem although you should still be empathetic to their situation.
You feel comfortable and they do not.
When you are at social functions that serve alcohol, and your friends, or loved ones, begin to act strange as they feel as they can no longer drink around you, inform them that you appreciate their respect for your recovery. Let them know that you are the one with the problem and that if you feel uncomfortable you will excuse yourself instead of making them change. People have walked around on eggshells with you for long enough and now is your time to make them feel comfortable. Strength in your sobriety comes from knowing your limitations and knowing that you have recovery tools to fall back on in a sticky situation.
You think you are being judged.
There may come a time when you realize that the chemistry in your friendship has changed. Instead of being two peas in a pod who relate to one another on most issues, you may experience a shift in having different outlooks. As you work the steps and attend therapy sessions, you are inevitably going to alter yourself into another direction. If you are working a recovery program, your morals and principles are going to improve while theirs may remain the same. Your friend may seem to judge your new lifestyle although there should be no room for their disapproval. Stay on track and keep growing in the direction you are and do not let their aversion sway the path you are on. You should be around people who will encourage your recovery measures and support them, especially since your addiction was a life and death situation.
You find that they are extremely negative.
Now that you are seeing out of a new pair of glasses, you may not have realized how negative and toxic certain people in your life can be. You know that their approach to life is wise in many ways although you had not yet discovered that they could bring you down with their negative attitude because you were right there with them. Now that you have learned how to be positive in your own recovery, you can use their pessimistic ways to comprehend what you no longer want to be like. You are who you surround yourself with. If you are spending time with positive recovery friends, most likely you will overcome the negative approach to life you once had, and be able to move on from the unfavorable attitude you once exhibited.
Keep in mind that what used to bring you together, drugs and alcohol could cause the separation of friendship you were fond of. Trying to mourn the loss of a relationship that you thought was solid could be extremely difficult to fathom and you may find yourself in a very sad state of mind. Feel your feelings and try to move on because there is a whole host of recovery friends waiting to greet you with open arms.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463