People in early sobriety face a lot of challenges, one of which can be loneliness and isolation. If you distanced yourself from old friends because they still drink and party, you’re probably missing a lot of the social interaction you once had. Sober friends aren’t just a relief from loneliness but also part of an all-important sober support network.
Why Do I Need to Make New Friends?
You may think that your old friends will be happy for you for getting sober, but the harsh fact is that many people you used to hang around with won’t. You may be disappointed to realize that you’re getting pressured to drink or use “just a little.” Or, you may discover that, without the shared addiction, you don’t really have much in common with your old friends anymore.
This can leave you in a lonely place. But, there is hope. Finding new friends in recovery can be easier than you think, especially if you’re participating in group meetings or attending sober events hosted by your rehab’s alumni program.
Social Support Helps Your Recovery
A network of clean, sober friends can help you maintain your sobriety. Humans are social creatures, and we need company and interaction to thrive. Plus, sober friends can help ease some of the loneliness and isolation you may feel. Other benefits of sober friends are:
- Give you support when you’re tempted to drink
- Help with advice to handle cravings
- Work through the emotions you’re feeling in early recovery
- Get involved in sober activities to relieve boredom (a common relapse trigger)
It may seem overwhelming to make sober friends at first. But, remember that you already share one important value – you all want to stay sober!
Loneliness is a Big Relapse Trigger
Boredom, loneliness, and isolation are three big relapse triggers. A new group of sober friends can help reduce all three feelings. When people feel bored or lonely, they may turn to a familiar habit – drinking or using drugs. Having friends in recovery can not just give you someone to call or text if you’re bored, but you can also rely on them to encourage you if you’re tempted to drink.
How to Make Friends in Recovery
If you aren’t sure where to start when meeting new people, try attending more meetings. There may be groups that meet at other times or locations with people close to your age or with whom you have things in common, like being a parent or going to grad school. Try saying hello to people or arriving to the meeting a little early to socialize. Or, you can try to get involved more in their support group. Volunteer to help set up before a meeting or clean up afterward – it may help you get to know a few people at a time.
Or, perhaps your sponsor can introduce you to people who attend the same meetings. They may also have advice for you to help reach out to other sober people. And, don’t forget about the people you went through treatment with. Your rehab center may have an alumni support group that you can get involved in.
Are You Worried About Drug or Alcohol Use?
If you’re newly sober and need extra support or are worried about your drug or alcohol use, you aren’t alone. We can help. Call Hickory Treatment Centers today to learn about our different programs for drug or alcohol addiction.