Successful recovery includes removing yourself from the situations and friends who were part of your active addiction. Your old drinking buddies are not the right crowd for you to socialize with after you find sobriety but removing yourself from unhealthy friendships can result in feelings of loneliness, especially if the majority of your friendships were damaging to your health. Once you have completed medically monitored detox, you’ll enter the next stage of treatment, and many patients begin making friendships in sobriety at this juncture in recovery. Here are tips for easing the process of making friends in recovery.
Friendships are built on many factors, including common interests. While your shared interests with your old groups may have involved drinking or substance abuse, you can find genuine common ground with the new friends you make in recovery. Making friends when sober should include finding friends who share common interests. If you enjoy a specific sport, consider socializing with people who also enjoy the same game. Making friends when sober is much easier when you have common interests.
Volunteering in your local community is another way to make new friends when you’re sober. The key is engaging in activities that do not require drugs or alcohol for an enjoyable experience. When you’re making friends in these settings, you’re more than likely socializing with those who share your newfound values of sobriety and health.
You may also consider joining an alumni recovery program, which is a foolproof way to enjoy making friends when sober. Our alumni recovery program supports individuals that have completed the entire course to recovery, connecting newly sober individuals with one another in fun, social settings. Best yet, all members of our alumni recovery program are sober too, ensuring that you’ll make sober friends in recovery.
Even if you’ve made new friends outside of a drinking setting, they may invite you out for a few drinks if they’re not a part of the recovery community. You can be social in these settings without drinking, but it all depends on your own comfort with the situation. You should never put your sobriety on the line just to make friends, so if the situation can be triggering in any way, sit that one out. If you do choose to attend social events that involve alcohol, you can socialize without drinking by:
Making friends when sober and enjoying social situations can be challenging, especially in early sobriety. Your new sober life does not have to be one filled with loneliness, you can make valuable friendships and socialize without drinking or compromising your recovery.