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Forming Healthy Relationships in Sobriety

As a result of our addictions, our social lives suffered. Many of the people we considered to be our friends were others in active addiction, and we may find it helpful to end those relationships or distance ourselves from them when we enter into a life of sobriety. However, the recovery community is vast. We will undoubtedly find others who are living happy, joyous, and free lives in sobriety who we can form friendships with and who will help us maintain our sobriety.

When we think back on the friendships and relationships we had during our time in active addiction, we often see that there was little true connection there aside from mutual drug and alcohol use. Forming new and healthy relationships with others in the recovery community is a great way to form true friendships and develop support systems.

The fellowship of the recovery community is strong. Dr. Lee Ann Katkutas, in a 2009 study in the Journal of Addictive Diseases entitled Alcoholics Anonymous: Faith Meets Science, explains, “AA meetings, and spending time with people in AA, represent changes in environmental cues; that is, you’re not at a bar, seeing alcohol and seeing people drink alcohol, when you’re at a meeting or out with AA friends. At an AA meeting, you are exposed to successful role models, instead of current drinkers, who suggest a new approach to abstinence: not drinking 1 day at a time (instead of saying you are “quitting forever”). Seeing yourself able to abstain for one day begins to build self-efficacy, which accumulates with the passage of every sober day. Spending time at AA meetings and with people in AA also leads to relapse prevention mechanisms put forward by standard behavioral modification techniques. These include learning how to say no to a drink when offered, having a plan of action when confronted with likely drinking conditions, and choosing alternative behaviors to take the place of drinking.”  

New relationships with others in the recovery community can give us a sense of purpose. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends—this is an experience you will not want to miss. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.” The relationships we form in recovery have substance. They are true friendships not based in the shallowness of drug and alcohol use. We will find that we are never lonely when we are involved with others, and that our sobriety has brought us true friendships that we never thought possible.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers treatment programs that ensure a safe location where clients can relate to staff and other clients in similar walks of life and learn to rebuild their relationships and roles within their communities. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431