Substance addiction tends to disrupt close relationships, including those with family members, friends, and co-workers. During recovery, you might face the challenge of rebuilding some of these connections. It is a lot of work.
Meanwhile, you also need to initiate changes in certain relationships, such as with friends who have used substances with you in the past. Remember that your sobriety is a top priority now, which determines what kind of relationships you need to invest in.
Repairing Broken Relationships
If you have decided to rebuild some key relationships with family members who suffered hurtful experiences due to your addiction, be prepared for a lot of trust-building at first. Many people struggling with addiction lied to their families, and that has soured the trust. You need to invest time in mending these treasured relationships by showing true personal accountability and progress in recovery.
One key aspect of rebuilding family relationships is setting up healthy boundaries. This means that the dynamic of the relationship can and should change dramatically. You need to guard yourself against falling back to old habits, such as dishonesty or codependence. Explain what new boundaries you need to maintain sobriety, and ask your family to support you.
If you are a parent who has missed many years of your child’s growing up because of emotional absence, this task of rebuilding parent-child bonding also requires a lot of time and patience. Learn about your child’s experiences and feelings. Be open to communication about your recovery. Develop new hobbies that you can engage with your child. Live a healthy and active lifestyle to show your child that you are making positive changes.
Avoiding Unhealthy Relationships
There are certain relational dynamics that you need to watch out for or even avoid. First of all, you should avoid hanging out with friends who are using. This may sound difficult, but for the sake of your own sobriety, spending time with these friends who show no intention of abstinence may trigger a relapse. Remember how far you have come from that kind of lifestyle. Do not try to play savior to your friends. You need to work harder on solidifying your own sobriety first.
Equally important, you need to avoid toxic personalities and relationships during recovery. These personalities or relationships might show up in workplaces or at family gatherings. Finding yourself entangled in complex or unhealthy relationships can be very stressful. Your top priority for the present moment is to reduce the level of stress from social interactions. Workplace toxic interactions can also be a source of stress. You need to make wise changes to avoid getting deeper into these interactions.
Building Healthy New Relationships
It is not uncommon for recovering individuals to leave rehab with a smaller support system than they had before. During early sobriety, you can start making new friendships. It is actually beneficial for your emotional and mental health to explore new social connections. As human beings, we thrive with pleasurable social interactions. However, the need for sobriety should dictate who you befriend. Try to form new friendships with shared healthy and sober interests.
By now, you should have learned a lot about what makes healthy relationships. These are built upon mutual respect, healthy communication patterns, and they also involve kindness and caring. Prepare yourself to be that kind of friend. When you make new social connections, guide the relationship to focus on each other’s health and wellness.
Valuing the Health of Relationships
When building your relationships and social life after rehab, you should focus on the health of these relationships. Watch out for signs of relational toxicity, including interactions that dimmish your self-worth and self-image and behavioral patterns that perpetuate negativity. Meanwhile, you cannot make your new phase of socialization completely stress-free. At the end of the day, you need to learn how to de-stress from relational frustrations.
Reducing stress and relaxation is also a way to reconnect with yourself. Whether you have realized it or not, your relationship with yourself has also changed since rehab. You need to extend loving kindness to yourself first before you can live out that ideal externally. Your relationship with yourself is the foundation upon which all other relationships are built.
No matter what external relational challenges you encounter, there is always an internal approach you can cope with. First of all, refuse to consider yourself a failure. Be compassionate and gentle toward yourself. Do not blame yourself for your problems and mistakes. Accept responsibility for your problems and simply develop strategies to improve. Remember to lean on your recovery community for support, as they know the same principles well. With time, you will enjoy this exciting new phase of social exploration.
Do you find it challenging to transition back to socializing after achieving early sobriety? You are not alone in this. Many people find that their relationships have changed after coming back from rehab. When navigating this new phase, you need a strong support system. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we provide counseling and other aftercare programs with a holistic approach. Our team specializes in caring for both your physical health and mental health. Even after completing inpatient residential treatment, you can still stay connected to us by using our long-term outpatient care programs. While you are here, we provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our own organic garden. You can rely on us to help your relationships prosper so you can gain their benefits while maintaining sobriety. Do not delay. Let us help you recover. Act now. Call us today at (800) 804-8714.