Getting clean and sober is a great start in a new way of life, but it’s not the only step to happiness. When you first get clean, most of your focus is on learning how to cope with the whole world without the use of substances. You’re often told to stay away from people, places, and things that present danger to your recovery. This may mean avoiding people you’ve known for years through drug and alcohol use. It’s a difficult thing to do, but you’re worth it! And as you adjust to life in recovery, you’ll find you make new friends with similar interested. But how does somebody go about making new friends in recovery?
Getting to Know People at 12-Step Meetings
One of the first lifestyle changes outside of staying sober that you’ll make is getting yourself plugged into 12-step meetings. Here is where you’ll find a sponsor to help you work the 12 steps as well as building a reliable support network.
Staying clean isn’t a job to be done alone. You need a robust support network to lean on when times get difficult.
Making friends at meetings is an excellent start to building this network. But friendships don’t exist in a vacuum. Going to meetings alone isn’t enough to build a relationship. You’ll need to collect phone numbers and make an effort to reach out to others.
How can you get to know others in recovery outside of 12-step meetings? It’s easier than it may sound. Start going out with the group after meetings, if your schedule allows. Find out about events that are hosted by 12-steppers in your area. You’ll see flyers for events such as sober dances, camping getaways, etc. at your local 12-step groups. Make an effort to attend these groups and try to make friends with people who are more than a year sober. They have experience, strength and hope to offer you.
If you have trouble talking to people or are shy, try to make sure that you get a “service position” at your favorite meeting. This is an obligation that you fulfill weekly, and it may be as simple as making coffee or putting out literature. You’ll get to meetings earlier when you have a service position and, even if you’re shy, people will start to learn your name when you show up early every week.
If you’re worried you won’t have enough support after treatment, 12-step meetings are essential, but they are not your only option. Consider aftercare therapy groups and sober housing, which will give you support from peers who understand what you’re going through.
Finding Sober Housing
Sober housing is a great way to make friendships with others and live in an environment of supportive peers. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077.