An often unexpected consequence of starting your new sober life will be the often dramatic changes to the relationships in your life. Many changes with sobriety often lead you to spending time away from old environments. In early recovery you may fantasize about spending your time with drinking and using buddies but “just not partaking yourself.” This is often an incredibly tempting situation but avoiding it will change the social dynamic.
Disclosing to friends that you are struggling with addiction can also change the relationship. If that person if still sold on their own use this is likely to create a strong rift between you. If the other person doesn’t understand addiction they may offer well intentioned but ultimately unhelpful advice.
The positive side though is that as you are sober and being more honest which will naturally screen out the negative influences and open you up to new connections. There is often a strong sense of satisfaction and intimacy in learning how to share your struggles with people who are part of your life.
Most people are surprised by how supportive and caring loved ones can be. They may also be surprised that what you thought was a well-kept secret was, at times, very obvious to others. There is also the opportunity of developing new friendships. Connecting with others in recovery or new healthy activities can provide a safety net that can prevent you from returning back to your struggle. There will be changes, but in taking care of yourself you will attract people into your life who also have a sense of self worth and esteem.
All the Best,
Chad K. Cox PsyD
AToN Center 888-535-1516