How to Have Sober Friends After Drug Rehab and Still Be Cool
Posted on 04/05/18: Addiction Recovery
Socialization is on all platforms is today’s norm. But with your presence online, there is an increased risk for cynicism, narcissism, and oh my… making new friends. But let’s be cautious about who we term as a friend and why. In fact, how we define friends before committing to a drug-free life varies greatly to what we’re looking for once in aftercare. Awkward? That’s putting it mildly. Because the first year into sobriety is often marred with moments of feeling alone and out of your comfort zone. It takes more than a leap of faith to start over in the social scene and throw your insecurities to the wind. The process seems reminiscent of revisiting the first day of middle school (Yuck!). It isn’t just about finding sober friends after drug rehab but ensuring that others think you’re cool. Sounds superficial? Maybe, but truth.
Top 10 Tips to Form Better Friendships
Is anyone an expert in friend-making? Is there a professional license or special designation for that? Doubtful. I believe that all of us are bonified experts through the school of hard knocks. Now that you’ve got some experience under your belt (friends made and lost), you already have what it takes to form better friendships but, up until now, may not have figured out how use these tools to your benefit.
Take Sobriety Out of the Equation
Once you leave treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, the business of getting on with recovery looms heavy like the warmth of the sun or a gray cloud – it’s all about how you perceive it. Focus on the positive.
The same characteristics to form better friendships have everything to do with interpersonal connectivity and little do to with a sobriety lifestyle. Surprising? Not really. Remember the friends you had before you started drinking too much or drowning in opioids? Those relationships and the reasoning why you became friends had nothing to do with your drug of choice. There was some other commonality that bonded the two of you.
Now that you are clean and sober, you can make friends with people that make you feel good or bring out the best in you. It doesn’t have to do with being drug-free, but more about choosing to surround yourself with those that also make positive life choices where substance abuse is not involved. When you focus on relationships that have a shared positive basis, drugs or alcohol won’t even come up. However, if you’re both engaged in a sober lifestyle, it’s just one more thing you have in common – not what defines the relationship.
Top 10 Tips to Friendships:
- Listen more – It isn’t all about you.
- Remove judgement – You don’t know where they’ve been.
- Stay open – Not every person is your life is there for the same reason.
- Laugh often – Life is a playground, ease up and share a giggle.
- Share vulnerability – Intelligence is impressive but revealing soul is timeless.
- Expand boundaries – Change it up by trying something new.
- Remove safe spaces – Staying in the comfort zone prohibits growth.
- Take a chance – Reach out to a not-so-stranger.
- Lead by example – Practice personal accountability.
- Accept yourself – Self-love allows others to truly accept you.
Being Social Is Easier Than Ever Before
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of friendship is stepping outside of your comfort zone and admitting you need or are open to making new friends. Your efforts might be met with scrutiny. After all, trust without verification is not in abundant supply. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Here are some ways to put the Top 10 Tips to Friendship to work for you;
- Use with the friends (and family) you have
- Share the tips on Facebook and Instagram to reign in new friends
- Strengthens your own personal development
- Serves as a reminder in staying true to your recovery
- Your outreach can help someone else
Encouragement Is Contagious
It’s easy to find negativity; just turn on the local or national news outlets or read a social media feed and you’ll find it. When you decide to exercise optimism by forging new friendships and fortifying existing ones, you are exhaling positivity into the universe. We need more of that.
As you commit to making more friends immersed in the same aspects of emotional goodness that you have, together you move positive visualization into reality. It’s amazing what sound friendships can do for you and everyone you touch.
Encouragement in you inspires others to do the same, much like your sobriety. It’s okay to live your truth and share your authentic self with others. This is the fastest way to draw like-minded people to your personal path and enjoy the right kind of friendships that will enrich your life.
One more thought: the way to be cool is to be the real you.
Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for soberlivingaz.com, writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.
If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact Sober Living of AZ now to get the help you need. Sober Living offers an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare. Call us now at 602-737-2458.