When Your Friends Are No Longer Your Friends
Often, when a person suffers from addiction, they are physically and mentally unable to avoid certain illicit substances. This has a snowball effect on many other corners of their life. They may begin to avoid friends and family, miss work, and generally fall away from society. It can be a terrible rabbit hole to fall down, and their suffering will exist as long as they avoid treatment.
Friends Who Enable
One of the hardest parts of addiction is the people that surround the individual with substance use disorder (SUD). For every friend and family member who is there to lend a helping hand, other enabling friends will pull the individual further into addiction.
These friends will often be fellow addicts whose problems mirror the individual’s. They may believe that their addictions are simply habits or may feel awkward about admitting they need others around. This feeling of inadequacy will eventually lead all of them to cling to one another due to having addiction in common and the fact that they have been ostracized by former friends and family.
At the time it may not feel like enabling. In fact, the individual may be just as enabling to these new friends. There exists a level of groupthink that will serve to continually keep the entire group mired in addiction until one of them finally breaks free of the cycle.
Fear of Losing Friends
If someone has lost the camaraderie of their true friends and family, they may believe two things:
- They will never get them back
- Their new friends in addiction are their only hope of connection
These two mindsets are incredibly detrimental to the healing process. The attachment to other people with SUD will create an unhealthy bond whose evaporation will feel like a looming threat. Fear of this possibility will leave the individual feeling nervous about being left with no friends and a thriving addiction.
People are social creatures and desire to be accepted. We look for connection in shared experience, even if that experience is unhealthy. To learn that these connections may be taken away can leave us vulnerable and afraid.
The Benefits of Leaving Friends for Treatment
Once a person realizes that their behavior is both unacceptable and dangerous, they may choose to enter a treatment program. Upon learning this, their new friends may deride them, accuse them of being selfish, and wonder aloud as to what could possibly be wrong with being around them.
These questions should serve to show the individual that they are mired in an unhealthy lifestyle. That the only way to get out of their rut is to abandon these enablers and take control through treatment.
Where Treatment Can Help
Many people look at recovery as focusing squarely on the addiction itself. However, the social aspect of the program is just as important. In fact, it is fair to say that the examination of one’s life before, during, and after treatment can be pivotal to recovery.
One of many things people will learn is that when they leave rehab, they must avoid the people and groups that led them astray in the first place. The program will explain to them that to move forward, one cannot allow themselves to fall backward. Relapse is a very real possibility for those struggling with addiction and treatment programs will do whatever they can to help avoid it.
Treatment will also help to carve out the social sections of your life and decide who needs to go. It will examine why these individuals have been a burden on your life and how, following treatment, you can learn to either confront or avoid them.
Establishing a Social Safety Net
A recovery program will help you to envision life after treatment. This will involve where you will live, what type of job you may want, and the people with whom you choose to surround yourself.
It is important that even before leaving recovery, you begin to reestablish your social safety net. This is the group of people you can rely on when things get bad. They are also the ones you can talk to when things are going well. The main goal of a social safety net is to make sure you are surrounding yourself with people that love and respect you.
Some people will say that they are strong enough to deal with those they were around before recovery. They may even say that they will not have a problem being around others with addictions because they themselves have been through treatment. This is a dangerous way to look at life post-recovery.
Your social safety net can include the following:
- Non-addicted friends
- People in recovery
- Spiritual leaders
It should not include:
- Current drug or alcohol users
The goal of a post-recovery life is to do everything possible to avoid returning to rehab. Avoiding illicit substances is only a part of this. The rest is all about making sure you surround yourself with people who understand you, what you have been through, and how important sobriety is to you.
Social Interactions and Twilight Recovery Center
At Twilight Recovery Center, we will provide you with the best care possible. Part of that care will involve discussing the next steps and what they will entail. Often, the family will be involved in treatment and can be asked to assist if you so choose.
When considering Twilight Recovery Center, remember that it is important to consider life in a post-treatment world. Each day is another day in recovery and every one of those days is a day when you did not step backward.
When substance abuse becomes a problem, it may become clear that the people we surround ourselves with are not our friends. True friendship is not based on enabling or the sharing of detrimental experiences. That is why at Twilight Recovery Center, you will learn that you are better than your addiction and those who have helped to keep you in it. Personal responsibility is key, and taking that responsibility and remembering that others do not have control over your actions is the first step to building healthier relationships. Twilight Recovery Center will make sure to put you on the path to re-establishing healthy bonds with people who genuinely care for you. Call us today at (888) 414-8183.